Monday, May 09, 2005

Attack of the evil robotic cute children!

Run for your lives!

Okay, maybe not. But it's still pretty creepy.

Surely, if you're from the Quad Cities area, you're familiar with Maple Leaf Geneseo, the car dealership located just out of town in Geneseo. Now, before anybody accuses me of casting a disparaging comment towards Maple Leaf, let me get one thing clear.

I like their business, a lot. I've actually shopped for cars there in the past, and was treated decently. All of those Geneseo car dealers really ARE worth the trip in my opinion. Decent cars, decent staff, decent prices.

That said, I am haunted day-in, day-out by the hideous and eerie refrain of the Maple Leaf dealership. It could be 1 a.m while I'm lying in bed... it could be 9 a.m. while I'm in the shower... suddenly, and intensely, it strikes.


Yes, it's the Jingle from Hell, as sung by (I think) the owner's son. They had the little kid sing it so it would be cute and appealing to families... which it was... the first 500 times it aired. Now it's the Death Dirge, clawing away at the interior of my sanity everytime it airs.

But more to the core of the problem is the winking kid. He's basically become the trademark of the company. And yeah, it makes for a good trademark. I'm not ripping on the company's advertising one bit -- they do a good job... EXCEPT for one occurrence.

Ever traveled to Geneseo from the Quad Cities on Highway 6? If so, you know what I'm talking about. Somewhere out there in the middle of corn field hell is a barn. On the side of that barn is a painted billboard for Maple Leaf Geneseo, and another occurrence of the winking kid. Only thing is, where the kids winking eyeball should be they've placed a STROBE LIGHT that perpetually blinks 24/7, reminding us all to drive 20 and save plenty.

The effect, while effective (you DO look at the billboard,) makes the winking kid come across more as a blinking cyborg child from the year 2240, sent to Earth from an evil alien civilization to enslave us all, all the while singing, "Drive... 20.... Save... plenty!" I live in fear of the night that the Cyborg Kid enters my dreams (oh and it WILL happen, my nightmares are usually always low in creativity, high in terror) and chases me around with his blinking Eye of Doom singing the Jingle From Hell. Pity me that night, dear readers.

But again, I can't do enough disclaimers -- Maple Leaf Geneseo is a great business, don't forget about them when you're in need of a car. But, of course, none of us CAN forget about them because that jingle is embedded into our brains. (Which, while annoying, means that the jingle WORKS.) I need to find those jinglewriters so they can write a jingle for my column that will take over your souls. Then, and only then, will I be able to put my OWN billboard up. But in place of my head, I want a giant disco ball. My ultimate goal is that I want you guys to have a Pavlovian response -- you hear disco, you think "SHANE!" You think Shane, you hear disco. Some day....

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