I didn’t used to be afraid of the dark. As recently as 4 months ago, I was fairly fearless. Apart from my arachnophobia, I’ve always been moderately brave (or not quite sharp enough to be afraid). I’ve stood on the front porch and watched tornadoes and stood on the beach to watch 30 foot swells. I may even have been a bit under-afraid. But there are nights out here in southern Texas when I’m just a little uneasy. These are some of the things that have happened in 3+ months of gate guarding that make me jumpy after midnight.
1. The potential rattlesnake napping under the RV when I go out to talk to a driver
2. Henry suddenly dashing to the door with fur and ears standing straight up
3. The smell of cigarette smoke in the middle of the night when I’m 1/4 of a mile from the rig
4. The raccoon sitting on my front step looking in at me at 2 a.m.
5. The barrage of large, unidentified insects flinging themselves like hail on the screen door
6. The screams and screeches of feral pigs, bickering coons and other unnamed nocturnals
7. The snorting, stomping and very loud mooing of many mad bulls
8. The great white sharks
9. The sudden knock on the door when no traffic has rung the bell to alert me
10.The bats falling off the awning onto my head (one fell on our geo-scientist this week)
11. The pickup idling for an hour with lights off, sitting on the road but never coming to the gate
12.The continual snapping of brush and branches
13. The yipping and howling of circling coyotes
14. The tarantulas who want to be my friend
Of the afore-mentioned, all except an occasional green beetle or moth have been courteous enough to stay outside. The raccoon almost made it in but was scared off by my camera flash. All except the sharks.
According to the American Movie Goer Consumer Research Group, the primary target market for movies these days are 16-24 year old males. Based on what’s hot at the cinema, that’s believable. I’m speculating that this is also Snicker’s target market.
In this Snickers commercial, animated great white sharks are participating in a focus-group. A pleasant lady asks them in a blind taste test of people they’ve just eaten/sampled, which one they liked best. The sharks preferred Steve who had eaten Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, over Lisa who had eaten a peanut butter cup.
As I sat down to write tonight I Googled the ad and found it’s been pretty controversial. I was surprised at how strongly people felt. Some have sworn off Snickers forever.
Others thought it was the funniest thing they’ve seen on TV. As I read the reactions, it struck me as interesting that the people who, for a variety of reason, don’t care for the ad, were accused of having: no life, no brains, and no sense of humor.
All that over disagreement about a 30 second commercial. Can you imagine a debate something substantial like the terrorism returning to Northern Ireland or Libya’s oil industry? Possibly that would be less intense. Hard to say.
I like Snickers. I’ll probably continue to buy the one or two bars a year I usually buy. I don’t like the commercial. I don’t think there’s a correlation between this and my hobbies, my intellectual prowess or my sense of humor. I just have enough things that might bite me, sting me, charge me or land on me at night to not want to add something that wants to eat me, too.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have an extra-active imagination, but I’m in danger of develop one. Desert or not, add sharks to the screaming and mooing and screeching and slithering and stalking and it starts getting down right creepy. It’s well after midnight and shapes are shifting in the shadows of the mesquite and mossy oak. Might be a good time for a Reese’s peanut butter cup!