Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Curmudgeon should turn the TV off before falling asleep

Have you ever noticed that, when you fall asleep in front of the TV, whatever's on the screen has a way of working into your dreams? This happened to me again just the other evening, when a nightmare about our corporatist future got tangled up with an insurance commercial....
Int. auto -- day. An anxious-looking man, hair mussed, suit jacket rumpled, tie askew, is talking into a dash-mounted cellphone (hands-free). He becomes increasingly agitated, and begins gesticulating wildly.
Voice Over:
The pressure of providing superlative-quality customer service had begun to get to Agent Angus Nussbaum. Our PhoneTracking™ software detected evidence of suicidal ideation in Nussbaum's speech patterns. Nussbaum's possible self-destructive behavior might jeopardize sensitive customer data, so we activated our AgentControlChip™ in Nussbaum's prefrontal cortex.
Nussbaum's eyes suddenly pop wide open and he stops talking. As the voice over continues, we see Nussbaum pull over to the curb (a legal parking spot), remove his cellphone and computer briefcase. He locks the car and hails a cab....
Voice Over:
Under our direction, Nussbaum took all steps necessary to secure his vehicle and our sensitive customer data. He returned to Home Office and accepted our offer of therapy.
Ext. prison, day. We start with a long shot emphasizing the armed sentries in the guard towers and then zoom into one of the buildings. There we see Nussbaum, secured to a chair, wearing a gray jumpsuit and a telephone headset. His hands are free to type information into a computer and we see him chatting on the phone and typing away merrily, an idiotic grin on his otherwise blank face.
Voice Over:
Now Agent Nussbaum is living in company-provided housing, and once again providing the best possible customer service, six days a week, 12 hours a day, until he works off the cost of his therapy. (Beat.)

Protecting customer data and providing superior customer service; that's our policy. (Beat.)

What's yours?(Beat -- the camera is still watching Nussbaum work.)

You're in our clutches with Deva-State. (Fade to company logo -- a mailed fist ready to crush a stylized line drawing of a house, a car, and a family.)
If that voice-over sounds suspiciously like Dennis Haysbert, you're not alone. That's exactly who it sounded like in my dream....