I might be considered odd, but I actually enjoy watching television commercials. Now don't get me wrong-- not every commercial on the face of the earth, but there are a few that I look forward to seeing on television. Naturally, there are a few that cause me to dive for the remote and flip to another channel for the required 30 seconds, and leading the pack is the current Coffee Crisp commercial, (`Makes a nice light snack') that drives me around the bend. It features a dorky dad who keeps holding the damned chocolate bar in the most unnatural manner (so the name shows clearly) while taking little nibbles off it as he lectures the kids about how `Coffee Crisp makes a nice light snack.' Let's face it-- no one holds a chocolate bar that way! You hold the thing straight and devour it (with the label ripped off) or the other approach is to open the wrapper, place it on the table/desk/whatever, and break off little pieces. Of course, as he finishes the commercial saying "You kids have to get out more." Geez, with a dad like that, what kid in his right mind would wanna be seen in public with him, as he holds his stupid chocolate bar so the world can read the wrapper. His kids are likely cowering under the bed somewhere, hoping no one will see him eating his stupid Coffee Crisp... But on the other side of the coin is my alltime favorite commercial airing regularly these days. It's the commercial for the Nissan special XTrail edition of their SUV, called the Bonavista, honouring the historic Newfoundland fishing town's rugged past. And it's hilarious. In the commercial, a fast-talking Newfie is extolling the virtues of the Bonavista, telling the (obviously non-Newfie) customer about all the bells and whistles the new model has to offer. And while the salesman is prattling on in his happy-go-lucky way, filled with unique Newfie banter, the commercial has subtitles running below to `translate' for the viewer. I find it incredibly amusing and at the same time kinda warm and fuzzy.
Personally, I've never met a Newfie I didn't like. I love their wholesome, genuine friendly manner, and their ability to not only remain light-hearted and up-front, but also their ability to laugh at themselves. They're fine people. The commercial sparkles with such gems as "If dat don't put a gust in yer spinnaker, I don't know what would," with subtitles appearing below him, translating, "It's cool." And the line "She's got eve'ry ting-a-mabod, and doohickey you'd want, de whole shebang," with subtitles saying "And many more options." The grand finale is when the non-Newfie customer responds with "I'll take it" and the subtitles read "Lord Tundrun." Apparently, not all share my view-- some people find the commercial demeaning to Newfies. I disagree, and think it enhances the charm `dem peop'le from de rock' are known for. Let's face it, Newfies have many Ontarians beat, when it comes to their command of their native tongue. They're bilingual-- able to understand two languages-- English and Newfie. Whenever that commercial comes on, I stop, take a moment to watch, listen and above all smile, as I enjoy hearing that Newfie salesman rattling off the most delightful and colourful dialogue I've heard in years. And it's one helluva lot better than some bozo saying "Coffee Crisp makes a nice light snack." Give the guy a Caramilk to shut him up. (Ted Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)