June 1st, 2004

One of These Days My Head Is Gonna Explode. It Really, Really Is.

Two stories in the news today about people getting worked up over absofuckinglutely nothing. Nothing. By which I mean nothing. Just an overwhelming need to be outraged.

In one case, there’s the story of a nitwit from Philadelphia (link via Jim Romenesko’s always entertaining Obscure Store) who saw a billboard touting an exterminator as the “911 of Pest Control” and thought the advertiser was making reference not to the emergency phone line but the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. So she made a stink, writing to the company, ” In the name of all things sacred, I respectfully ask you to remove your offensive billboard advertising,” which has to be about the most sublimely unintentionally funny line I’ve read all day. Then, confronted by the news that she’s an idiot, this lady pulled the classic move of digging in, essentially saying, “OK, but they’re still wrong.” No they’re not; you are. You were. You are. And come tomorrow you still will be. By the way, this woman’s a nurse, which I only bring up so you’ll understand when I say please, please, please never let me end up in a hospital where I have to rely on a dolt like this for my healthcare needs. Seems like a good way to die of a hangnail.

Then comes this gem about animal activists in Britain who are upset about TV ads that feature a drunken chimp. (Well, the chimp isn’t really drunk; he’s just acting.) According to the story, these humorless nincompoops claim the campaign — which is intended to discourage binge drinking and uses the line “Don’t Be the Drunken Monkey” — “debase the animals” and “will increase cruelty to apes.” And, just when you think they’ve got to be kidding, along comes Jenny Hawley of the International Fund for Animal Welfare to deliver, by way of her indictment of the spots, the second-most sublimely unintentionally funny line of the day: “For a start, a chimp is an ape, not a monkey, which shows how ignorant this campaign is.” Yes, Jenny, that’s the ignorance revealed here. No question about it.

OK, I’ve gotta go, ’cause if I keep thinking about this stuff my head really will explode. I’ll leave you with these lines from “Planet of the Apes: The Musical” (as sung by the inimitable Troy McClure):

“I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z. No, you’ll never make a monkey out of me.”

(You see, Jenny, in jokeland we don’t worry about the difference between an ape and a monkey. That’s because we’re making jokes, not writing zoology papers.)

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