M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Tuesday, November 19, 2002  

There’s this commercial for mLife that bugs me more every time I see it.

Fade up on a couple, sitting in a diner. The business-suited woman smirks pixieishly across the table at the ragged hole she’s just torn in her boyfriend’s chest. “That’s great,” he lies. “So, you’re going to be traveling a lot more. For work.” His fork waggles in his hand as he fights the impulse to lunge across the table and jab it into her throat. The woman is unconcerned for her safety, her attention fully occupied by the tasks of finishing her meal and looking smug. The boyfriend tries to smile supportively, but his eyes are the eyes of a drowning victim and the blood is rushing from his head so quickly that it’s actually visibly deflating. Meanwhile, she’s giving him nothing. Nothing. Refusing to speak, sucking on her straw all adorable and shit while he neatly lines up his internal organs on the table for her incurious perusal. Making him wiggle on the hook until he tires, letting his fuse burn down to the charge, watching him watch his life go completely pear-shaped. Because it’s fun to make him squirm and she thinks she kind of looks like Amélie. “I could come with you,” he flails, because there’s nothing like sacrificing your last shred of dignity to someone who doesn’t seem to know or care that you just did it.

Finally, after a whopping twenty seconds of watching her fail to notice the coppery smell of panic he’s emitting from every pore (as if this woman would notice heavy traffic before getting wrapped around the axle of an eighteen-wheeler), he takes the passive out of passive-aggressive and accuses, “You know, you’re going to meet somebody else.”

All right, then. He’s put it out there. He thinks he’s being dumped. The relationship’s over. Check, please.

It hits her: she’s gone too far! Her eyes widen in stunned contrition, she’s up and around the table and holding him—

Well, no. She’s just casually reaching into her purse, because all along she was merely waiting for him to work himself up into this state and now it’s time for the second act. He watches her movements, his every cell suffused with dread. Is she going to produce legal papers? A weapon? Doctored photos of him in compromising positions?

No, it’s a wireless phone. It has a jaunty little ribbon and bow around it which are not in any sort of disarray after being hauled around in her bag all day and then sitting next to her in the booth while her significant other developed a perforated ulcer in twelve seconds flat, two feet away. The boyfriend picks it up and looks at it in puzzlement, wondering what this could possibly have to do with his sudden tunnel vision and this new roaring in his ears.

“It’s for us,” she chirps, dispelling—just in time—our rapidly forming notion that she doesn’t speak a word of English.

Okay, first of all. These two actors? Look like siblings. Creepshow.

Secondly, what’s with the one phone? Do they take turns? How many trips is she going to take before they figure out that a phone conversation requires equipment on both ends? Is she planning on speaking into it and then FedExing it to him so he can respond?

And thirdly, these two have about as much chance of maintaining a long-distance relationship as I do of winning an Oscar. He’s desperate and needy, she’s uncommunicative and manipulative. And this is when they’re in the same room. Can you imagine phone conversations between these two?

He: I’m glad your presentation went well.


I knew they’d like you.


So, did anybody, like, especially like you?


Anybody who might be, say, sexing you up in your hotel Jacuzzi right now and infusing your hoo-hah with a deadly payload of groin cooties to bring back to me at the end of the week?


You know what? I can’t do this any more.

She: I miss you.

Actually, that might explain why there’s only one phone. Same outcome, less money.

He knows damn well that a wireless calling plan isn’t going to cut it. You can see it in his face when he picks up “their” new phone. The script probably calls for the actor to convey “relieved wonder,” but all I see is “you dumb slut.” If I squint my eyes, I can sort of see “I’m so much better off without this moron,” which I’m pretty sure is not what the advertisers intended.

mLife. Kills dysfunctional, torturous, V. C. Andrews-esque relationships dead.

Gee, where do I sign up?

posted by M. Giant 3:22 PM 0 comments


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