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

Wednesday, June 25, 2003  

For those of you who included “the long holiday weekend apparently means no Reader Mail this month at Velcrometer” in your list of things to be thankful for yesterday, I would like to take a moment to say, “Psyche!” The fact that nobody will ever think that doesn’t prevent me from saying it. Just because you check in here doesn’t mean you don’t have a life.

But not necessarily an mLife. I wrote up one of mLife’s commercials last week. Vanessa offers a woman’s perspective on the ad:

Yeah, and:

While, one the one hand, I find it nominally refreshing that for once in my damn life I see a commercial in which it is the woman who's all independent and advancing-career having and the guy who's all needy and concerned about the relationship...

Why does her "traveling more" get automatically translated in his head as "you're going to leave me?" She has shit to do, dude. She still lives in your town, I assume, since you said "traveling" and not "moving." When she's gone, she'll be working. It's nice to finally see a relationship built on a solid foundation of trust on TV.

Why is her success a source of extreme anxiety? You could pretend to be happy for her, jerk-o, since you're her boyfriend and all.

And "I can come with you?" Whatever, stalker. Sweetheart, you're better off without him. There's a fine line between "clingy" and "creepy," believe you me.

TV. Bah.

Interestingly, I’ve since learned that the commercial was originally shot using two androgynous, vat-grown biological constructs, which explains their eerie resemblance to one another. The secondary gender characteristics were digitally added after the fact. This enabled the producers to shuffle several different versions without reshooting, and then test the various permutations on focus groups. The desperate guy/closed-off woman combination actually tested the second-best, but the client was leery about the most popular one, which featured a desperate skinhead and a closed-off Furry.

By the way, I haven’t seen that ad on TV ever since. You’re welcome.

While we’re on the subject of mLife ads, my referral logs tell me that a lot of people are curious about the song that’s playing on the commercial where the dad gives a phone to his daughter (a phone commercial that contains even less speaking. Are the creatives unclear on the concept of “telephone?”). I don’t know the song, but when I do I’ll post it here. Because my goal is to be no less than the Internet’s leading authority on mLife commercials. Everybody needs a niche, you know.

I felt a little guilty about starting the next day’s entry by claiming to have been involved in a car accident when in fact no such thing had occurred. I’m inviting myself onto your desktop in a way, and I wondered if toying with any concern you might have for me—no matter how minor, no matter how briefly—might be seen as too manipulative. As Brooke said afterward:

Okay, I was about to do the math as instructed and come to the conclusion that 5000 gallons of paint coverage divided by 6 square feet of Saturn equals Bahaha You Poor Stupid Bastard, but alas, my New Math sortie has been squashed by your "dream sequence" nonsense. So um, have a nice day then.

Thanks to Brooke for assuaging my conscience.

The week of cat entries got some good responses, including a correction. I made a reference to Orca having twenty claws. Kim quite reasonably pointed out that cats only have eighteen claws. Kim has not met Orca. I originally typed “all forty thousand” in that sentence about Orca’s claws, then later fixed it. I later confirmed that when Orca is asleep, she does in fact have only eighteen claws. I haven’t been able to count them when she’s awake because my eyes can’t move that fast.

Jamie, however, came up with a suggestion for calming the cats down:

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. My friend Adam walks his cat on a leash. I know this wasn't the kind of reader mail you were looking for, especially since you seem to have enough cat troubles without being "the guy with a cat on a leash."

They say taking him for walks has calmed down their cat Reggie enough so he doesn't try to escape as much and shreds way less of their stuff. The downside (and you knew there would be one) is that he won't go out after dark. Now, one or the other of them has to rush home from wherever they are at 4:30 p.m. so they can walk the cat before dark.

Maybe your cats would enjoy being on a leash? Or maybe they'd just try to kill you again.

Way ahead of you, Jamie. Sadly, my cats hate their leashes. They always squat real low and cling to the ground like they think I’m going to snap them up by their necks and try to fling them into the nearest tree. They should know better. I quit doing that when I figured out they didn’t like it. Plus people started calling me “the guy with a tree on a leash,” and that? I didn’t need.

Finally, people came through in a big way with corroboration of the existence of Mighty Funny. Janice, Nicole, Jules, Verbena, Samantha, Sharon, Erich, Snarky McSnarkster, and my friend Corpkitten all paint a grim picture. Not only did Mighty Funny exist; he continues to exist. Worse yet, he’s mutated into a new form, like a virus or a cockroach, impervious to all attempts at extermination. Several of my correspondents were “kind” enough to link to a syndicated newspaper insert called “Mini-Pages,” which now serves as the base of operations for Mighty Funny’s reign of terror.

Okay, it’s more like a petty bureaucracy of irritation, but still.

Mighty Funny is no longer a superhero, but a rather simian-looking grade-schooler who has experienced a psychotic break and is now deluding himself that he’s a superhero. I’m not sure who thought that would be less sad. On the other hand, he has escaped from the four-panel shackles that previously bound him to his gruesome fate. So it’s a trade-off, I guess.

I can’t be sure this is the same Mighty Funny I once knew, or if he’s an entirely new creation who happens to share the name. Or maybe Mighty Funny got sold to some other outfit the way Winnie the Pooh got sold to Disney, albeit with considerably different advantages to the buyer. The people who remember it in the form I described were in Michigan, so that probably means something. Somewhere there’s a missing link. That’s something I could research. Corpkitten gave me leads and everything:

For resources if this is truly bothering you, try:

The Harris Collection at Brown University
Comic Research Library in British Columbia
International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton

Your best bet is Lucy at Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library -- they have the most extensive holdings for newspaper comics, according to the librarians at MSU.

I could do that. But it sounds suspiciously like work. And work is what I started this site to avoid. The full saga of Mighty Funny will remain in shadow; for now, just knowing he’s out there is enough.

Enough to keep me up nights, that is.

posted by M. Giant 12:31 PM 0 comments


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