And other anthropomorphic dilemmas
Anthropomorphism. Try that one next time you play “Words with Friends.” For the somewhat befuddled, that fancy five-syllable noun (which I dare you to repeat three times quickly), simply means ascribing human traits and characteristics to nonhuman things. That nonhuman entity might be a plant, an animal, or the talking box of Cologuard in the TV commercial informing you that there is a non-invasive way to screen your poop.
And speaking of commercials, if you’re an unabashed TV watcher like I am, (Law & Order reruns remain my favorite time-waster), maybe you’ve noticed the number of two-legged and four-legged beasts that have become spokes-creatures or representatives for various products and services. Or maybe you haven’t. If it’s the latter, you’ll simply have to rely on my word.
Perhaps it’s the season, (it was just Halloween; can Christmas be far behind?) but the ad that’s caught my eye most recently is the animated Chantix Turkey. He is beyond adorable. And while he doesn’t actually speak to us, the life he is depicted as living could very well belong to you or me. He lives in a lovely contemporary, beautifully furnished, air-conditioned home with a swimming pool. He can be seen lounging at his pool, reading a good book, and sipping lemonade. He mows his lawn, waters his flowers, and is kind to birds less fortunate than he. He is diligent about refilling his bird feeder. And he drives an open Jeep. How cool is that!
His wardrobe is impeccable, and he is suitably dressed for any occasion, including a hoodie when there’s a chill in the air, and designer sunglasses when there’s a glare. It would appear that he is single, perhaps widowed, because we never see him with a significant other. Nevertheless, he appears content. I also conjecture that he is retired, and living a comfortable life.
He lives a full and well-rounded life. He likes to go camping, enjoys fishing and hiking, and vacationing by the shore. On a sunny day he might be found paddle-boarding in calm waters.
Our Turkey also travels. He was recently spotted at the Empire State Building, viewing the city sights through one of the telescopes on the deck, while conversing with a pigeon.
But most commendable of all, Mr. T is trying to kick the habit. Yes, folks, he wants to stop smoking. And for this he deserves our applause, and certainly our support. He does not deserve to be a meal. You go, Turkey!
So what will happen as Thanksgiving approaches? Will it still be possible for me to enter my local organic market and (gulp!) order a turkey to be devoured by my family? I fear that images of that endearing large fowl in a leisure suit mowing his lawn will send me straight to the tofu aisle. I’ll let you know.
The Chantix Turkey isn’t the only critter with the potential for ruining seasonal traditions. Take the Hartford Buck, for instance. He’s the logo for Hartford Insurance, and first made his appearance in their TV commercials in 1973. As often happens with celebrity bucks, he had his fifteen minutes of fame, then slipped into obscurity, and had not been seen or heard from since. Until now. The Buck is back. Current Hartford ads feature him standing majestically, antlers held high, while delivering his authoritative, yet pleasing, baritone voice-over. He extolls the virtues of small business owners — bakers, barbers, accountants, and puts his money where his larynx is. He is the Hartford Buck and his sole purpose is to protect the little guy. How virtuous!
So, hunters, take heed. Before you point that gun, consider that you just might be knocking off the beneficent Hartford Buck, the champion of small business. Without his protection, will small businesses fail, and result in an economic meltdown and it will be all your fault? It’s something to think about. I’m just sayin’.
And let’s not overlook the Carfax Fox. Farmers, please. Like the hunters, lower your rifles. So what if he steals a few chickens from the hen house? That’s small potatoes compared to the number of people who get great deals on used cars due to his research and diligence.
And last, but by no means least, let me present the Liberty Mutual Emu, affectionately known as LiMu Emu. Dumb but cute, this giant flightless bird nonetheless deserves consideration. So women, next time you shop for face cream, please make sure that emu oil is not listed as one of the ingredients. And be wary of the lotion you apply to your skin. It may very well contain LiMu’s cousin!
P.S. Oh dear. I almost forgot the beloved Geico Gekko, that charmingly-accented little amphibian who has tunneled his way into our hearts. But love him as I do, I continue to despise his prehistoric fraternity brother, the iguana, who eats my flowers, leaves me his droppings, and occasionally makes himself at home in the swimming pool! Is there a holiday on the calendar during which we might consider eating iguanas?