I was sitting here a few minutes ago, in my underground walk-in closet with the pole still intact, and smelled cinnamon.
And how could that be? I’m home alone, and none of the windows are open. How could a strong smell just suddenly waft through here, then disappear? I seriously have no explanation.
Do you think I’m having a stroke?
And I’m proud to announce that I spelled cinnamon correctly on the first attempt. I have trouble with that word; I always want to have one N and two Ms. I also struggle with occasionally, in case you were wondering.
What words cause you trouble, over and over? I’ve tried to come up with little tricks to remind me how to spell cinnamon and occasionally the right way, but when it comes time to type one, I only remember that I devised a trick and nothing else. Maybe I should invent tricks to remind me of all my tricks?
I simply don’t know.
While driving home from work last night I switched on the George Noory Show, as usual, and hoped for the best. Sometimes that show is really interesting and mind-blowing, and other times they have crushingly dull guests who pontificate at length about how accomplished and amazing they are.
But last night I turned on the radio at the beginning of a long series of public service announcements. It went on and on, and I started to wonder if a piece of equipment at the station had malfunctioned, and was just repeatedly firing.
I heard PSAs about all the major diseases, including glaucoma in black males. In addition, there were a few strange ones. Possibly full-body cancer, the thick piss, and empty sac syndrome (ESS)? Some seemed out of date, maybe Think Metric! or something about ration points? I was barely listening.
But it continued for an incredible length of time, and at some point I looked at the radio, frowned, and hollered “What the fuck, man??”
I know radio stations are required to run a certain amount of those things, and they put them on in the middle of the night when only the mental patients are listening. But last night they must’ve had a backlog that needed to be resolved.
And since we’re on the subject, there’s a PSA that always bothers me. It features some woman SCREAMING at a kid, and saying stuff like, “I wish you’d never been born!” I turn it off every time. I hate that thing, and wish someone would scissor-kick that evil bitch in the neck.
When I was a kid there was a PSA on TV, possibly about breast cancer. It had a woman singing a song with the lyrics, “I want to write a novel that will bring the world to tears…” and that sort of thing.
It showed a woman lounging in soft-focus on top of a hammock, with the song about dreams playing over it. Then, a harsh male voice: “Janie died.”
Do you remember that? I’d love to see it again. I’ve done Google and YouTube searches for years, with no luck.
And I know this is a long-shot, but have there been any public service announcements that really got to you in some way? Maybe it irritated you, or touched you, or was just memorable for unknown reasons? Tell us about it, won’t you?
And I need to go back to work now. Last night sucked a thousand eggs, and the possibility of a replay makes me very sad indeed.
I’ll leave you now with a really funny post at Aaron Starmer’s blog. I hope you’re reading his stuff, because it’s excellent.
And I’ll see you guys tomorrow.
Monica Fox says
I have always had trouble with separate and dependent (only one of which I got right without spell check)…it’s the damned second syllable vowels that always throw me for a loop.
Anyway…as far as PSAs are concerned, I always hated the “this is your brain on drugs” one with the egg in the frying pan…no…that’s Breakfast, not my brain on drugs. But thanks for playing. It’s inciting a tiny internal riot just thinking about it…
Swami Bologna says
“I learned it from watching you” brought back memories of an earlier PSA, which has forever caused me to think of the pronunciation “aero-plane glue” whenever I see a tube of airplane glue:
Swami Bologna says
Brynhildr: Regarding your watermelon story — thank you for my laugh of the day.
I know I am a wimp but as s child the crying Indian made me cry every. single. time. If my mom was in the kitchen knowing I was watching TV and all of a sudden heard me crying she would holler “Is that the Indian again? Honey he is not really sad, ok? It is just a commercial. We shouldn’t litter!!!”
todd jennings says
That actor wasn’t even a Native American!
Gino Ruberto says
He was an Italian dude.
I don’t know how I forgot this one:
VD is for everyone!
Lately in Atlanta, there has been a PSA about pedestrians…
a teenager is talking about the drive to school, “we were just laughing, talking… we never saw those people, etc”… The announcer comes on and says, “please watch out for pedestrians, just think of the impact you can have”
… think of the impact you can have… classic scripting!
Swami Bologna says
Ah, the good-old innocent days when the only thing we had to worry about with unprotected sex was “VD.” No painful death, or lifelong drug cocktail regimens, or incurable itching sores that recur every few months for the rest of one’s life. Just plain ol’ “VD” which could be cured by a visit to the local medical clinic.
Fat Secretary says
Was the crying Indian guy not really a native American Indian?-I seem to remember some such urban myth like thing about that.
WOW, Surf Reporters – thanks for the stroll down memory lane.
Jersey Scott, I remember the Prejuduce PSA
Ed – THAT cigarette PSA was another one I was thinking about “Go Ahead – think abut it” but I couldn’t remember the tag line.
Great topic, Jeff!
Swami Bologna says
I never would have believed that, F.S., but according to Wikipedia you are correct — he was an Italian.
Scissor Kicking Shawn says
Restaurant (five tries just now) and Albuquerque (gave up after seven, had to look it up) give me the most trouble. Other than that…not much.
And I am with Bikerchick, the animal abuse ones really get to me. That’s why I don’t like going into pet stores, adoption centers, etc, because I want to take every single animal home.
And for some strange reason, I only see that one on VH1 Classics when I am watching Metal Mania. I don’t get the correlation.
It sounds like what probably happened was the station lost its feed to the show for whatever reason (satellite or ISDN problems) and the poor schmuck working there was probably scrambling his ass off for stuff to put on the air. I’ve worked in radio and have had a satellite feed go out like that, and it is not a fun situation.
dogberryjr – regarding eating brains… here is a PSA that I recently came across while doing drug abuse research. Not for the squeamish, though.
Gretchen — love the VD ad! Classic. Somehow missed that one when I was a young’un. Must have run after my bedtime.
I dreamed of the Crying Indian last night. He assured me that it was my duty to rat out my mother’s neighbor to his employer. You see, the idjit works for an environmental services company yet has no qualms about leaving his litter on the ground if it falls out of his work truck (which incidentally has the company logo emblazoned on the side). No problem. The trash will roll or be blown downhill and one of the neighbors will pick it up. It would give me no shortage of satisfaction if the assrabbit lost his job for that kind of hypocrisy.
Thanks, Brynhildr, now I’m hungry again.
Thanks to those who pointed the way to the “Like Father, Like Son” ad. The dad looks like a hooligan and the kid is a lot smaller than I remembered – I guess it’s because I was about the same age as he when I used to see it.
Now if I can just find the scary monkey ad…
“I want to see the sun come up another 50 years. I want to write a novel that will bring the world to tears….” [then something about I want to laugh, I want to cry.. but I’m not sure about that part.
[Janie] was killed by a drunk driver.
Featured a black-and-white video clip…
I, too, I have searched multiple times for that…
“…I want to watch the sun come up another fifty years…
….I want to write a novel that will bring the world to tears…
….and I want to see Venice” Janie was killed on a dark deserted stretch of hi-way by a drunk driver…(on her sixteenth birthday?) …”…and I want to see Venice~~~….”
“I want to watch the sun come up another 50 years
I want to write a novel that will bring the world to tears
I want to dance, I want to love, I want to breathe…
Janie died, because a lonely man was driving, drunk out of his mind. Help get the problem drinker off the road…
And I want to see Venice!”
The PSA featuring the song – I Want To Watch The Sun Come Up – was a drunk driving PSA from about 70-72.
I have it on vinyl
Jim Giggins says
I remember the “Janie died…” PSA well because my friend Brian misheard the lyrics and thought the song said, “and I wanna see Janice”. We used to laugh every time that PSA came on. Fuck you Janie! Who gives a shit about your fucking Venice dreams? Fuck Janice too. And while you’re at it, open a beer for me. They’re in the cooler behind the driver’s seat.
I was thinking about that PSA (circa 1975) today and did a Google search on “and i want to see venice” and found you guys. Amazing the random shit we collectively post on the internet.
Jim Giggins says
Holy shit, too funny… here it is 9 years later I’m thinking about that PSA again and find your blog and had no memory of having been here before until I read my own comment.
I remember the “Janie died” commercial too. It made me cry as well, and I was a little kid at the time. There was just something about it. What I remembered most was the phrase “a lonely road, an endless highway”.
Thanks for the recollections about the “Jenny” psa. I, too, found this blog searching lyrics for the song that has haunted me for so long. I was very young when this was on tv, so I estimate it’s from 1968-1970. I only remembered a few of the lyrics, but they were correct. A very moving song, even for a 5-ish year old. Would love to find it.
I’ve been looking for that PSA for a long time now as well. I’m a musician (not professional, just out of love for music), with a poets heart and that PSA moved me beyond belief.
I’m amazed that it doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the web by now.
The PSA is on You Tube
“I want to watch the sun come up another fifty years” https://youtu.be/FLXihIirjEA
It’s from the early 1970’s.
I loved that commercial and it has crossed my mind several times lately.
It is indeed haunting and beautiful.
Here’s a link to the actual commercial.
Janie died was a PSA about drunk driving made in 1972. It is on youtube