I Won’t Be Your Neighbor

20 07 2010

I pay far too much attention to billboards. You probably noticed this back when I talked about the Sizzler billboard. (It remains one of my favorite posts so if you haven’t yet read it, you now have a homework assignment.)

In the last few years I’ve seen a lot of billboards from the Foundation for a Better Life. This is a great non-profit organization that, according to their website, “creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our communities – values such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others.” I’m sure you’ve seen their billboards as well.

They have a somewhat new billboard up. I’m almost afraid to talk about it, because I don’t want to receive hate mail from people who think I’m belittling a national icon. I’m just going to put it out there right now–I’m not mocking him. I’m not even really mocking the ad. I’m mostly mocking myself, and the fact that the average person looking at this billboard doesn’t have the same thoughts that run through my head.

Here’s the billboard (from the Foundation for a Better Life website):

Nice billboard, right? It has a good message and features a well-loved public figure. (Unless you’re my friend Janice, who claims she doesn’t like Mr. Rogers. I think she might be a communist.)

Now I’m going to walk you through my thought process when I see this billboard. “Oh, look. Mr. Rogers. How nice. Won’t you be my neighbor? Friendship! Hey, wait a minute. Mr. Rogers is dead. How can I be his neighbor if he’s dead? Is Mr. Rogers saying he wants me dead, too? What the crap, Mr. Rogers? What did I ever do to you? Okay, now he looks kind of creepy. Like he’s trying to steal my soul. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY SOUL, MR. ROGERS! I WILL NOT BE YOUR NEIGHBOR MINION! Oh, hey–Wendy’s billboard. I’m kind of hungry. Maybe I should get a burger.”

That, my friends, is what goes on in my fully-medicated brain. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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19 responses

28 09 2010
kris

OK, this is hilarious!

My only problem?

Is that you apologize for what you are about to say before you say it. Who cares if you offend some people?

Plus also?

Who wants to be a dead guy’s neighbor?

Seriously.

That’s all kinds of creepy.

Skeleton in a sweater and gym shoes, that’s what I’m seeing.

Ack.

What happened to his pants?

Ack!

16 09 2010
My Mother is a Fish « Like Swimming

[…] the fact that my own internal monologue is quite nicely punctuated (with the occasional lapse when Mr. Rogers is attempting to steal my soul). Actually, I just re-read the Mr. Rogers post and it appears to suffer from excess punctuation, so […]

2 08 2010
chels

I love your fully-medicated brain!!! I can relate…hee hee!!!

22 07 2010
Molly

Now i’m all creeped out! kind of like their einstein billboard which seemed all good and cute and then I really looked at the photo and realized that it was kind of creepy looking. and now it gives me nightmares

21 07 2010
La Yen

I thought the same thing when I saw it: “I want to be your neighbor IN THE CEMETERY.”

21 07 2010
rachel

mr. rogers will come to you by night and suck out your soul!!!
i tend to dislike motivational anything because it always seems trite and cheesy. but i’m a cynical beast, and i like it that way.

20 07 2010
Nirvana Mamma

Oh my gosh…you totally had me thinking the same thing. Now I think it’s creepy!

20 07 2010
Mimi

Does Mr. Rogers even show on PBS anymore? Are adults the only ones who will know about him anymore? i didn’t really care for Mr. Rogers until I became a parent. When I was a kid, he was too boring for me. I was a rockin’ 7-8 yr old who had no time for him. Maybe if I’d watched his show I would’ve been a better neighbor as a teenager.

I recently saw a bilboard that said, “I think your wife is hot” or something to that effect. There was no advertising or anything. At first I was like, “What the heck, loser!” And then I realized, maybe someone was trying to remind husbands that their wives are hot and then I was thinking, “oh, that’s so cool. Maybe tonight the ladies are gonna get a little love from their hubbies!”

~Mimi from Woven by Words

20 07 2010
Carissa

I married Mr. Rogers…. so beat that!!! 🙂

20 07 2010
Jenny

As long as he’s not dead, it’s all good. If he is, I don’t want to hear about it. 😉

20 07 2010
Mimi

I love Mister Rogers, he was my hero growing up… ok, so maybe he wasn’t, but his was my favorite show! You are so very disturbed Jenny!

20 07 2010
Janice

For the record, I’m not communist. Crazy, yes. Communist, no. I like Mr. Rogers as a child but now he seems creepy to me.

20 07 2010
Erika Hill

Is it bad that I sort of hate all of these billboards? Okay, maybe not the one with the girl holding her shark bitten surfboard with her nub of an arm. That one’s kind of inspirational. But remember when they had one with Shrek that said, “Ogre achiever”? Really? That’s your role model? Shrek? Someone who isn’t even real? What you’re really saying with this billboard is that you’re more interested in making kids think you’re cool (“See? We’re at least as cool as Burger King! Shrek toys vs. Shrek billboards…yeah, I think we’re cool!”) than actually providing me a motivational figure. And why do I need a billboard to be motivated anyway? You know what would be MORE motivational? Take down your crappy billboard so that I can actually see some sky while I’m driving up and down I-15!

On a somewhat related note, yesterday while eating at Red Robin I saw a guy who looked just like the “I’m your neighbor. I’m a con man.” guy. I was like, “Brent! It’s the con man!” No joke.

20 07 2010
Jenny

Yes! I despise the Shrek billboard! The Kermit one was vaguely amusing, but Shrek? No.

20 07 2010
danessa

You’re so funny Jen. And a little disturbed, maybe that’s why I like you so much!

20 07 2010
talesofmy30s

Yeah, like we all want to be neighbors and friends with dead people like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. (“I…see..dead…people”)

20 07 2010
Laney

Once again you have me snort laughing 🙂 Thanks

20 07 2010
Kristina P.

I literally thought the same thing when I saw this! He is dead. Creepy.

20 07 2010
Jenny

That’s why we get along so well, Kristina.

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