PSA’s That Taught Me Nothing

About a month ago my buddy Matt over at X-Entertainment wrote a great post about an old 80’s PSA add that warned kids of the hazards that drinking and driving poses. Of course to the little kids that we were when that particular add came out, the lesson was missed all together. Instead we were taunted not by the message but by the shock value that was burned into our brains. So now that I think back, there are a few PSA’s from my childhood that really taught me nothing more than a catchy tunes or sleepless nights thinking of evil puppets.

Ah shit, the old CBS intro. You know, the computer bleeps at the beginning? When I was searching for Woodsy the Owl adds I found this gem and that little tune brought me right back to the time when using the toilet was an option. I can not say I was a fan of Woodsy but I will say I met the owl in real life. I was a Tiger Scout and some poor bastard in an owl costume had to spend an afternoon at camp with us. I can still hear his muffled voice say, “give a hoot, don’t pollute!” Then he had to take his head off to keep from having heatstroke. Nothing like a giant dose of reality to 30 six year olds.

I was always confused why rolled up socks were singing to me. Then I payed closer attention only to realize that these were not socks at all but pills. That cleared a lot of questions up for me like, “why would people confuse socks with candy” and “Why would you call poison control if you eat a sock? You should call a shrink.”. To this day I still can’t believe Busta Rhymes stole this song for “Dangerous”. Now that is funny.

Should I touch this one? Oh I have to. First off the puppets are pretty scary and really belong at Six Flags, “Monster Plantation”. Second, if I ever have kids I don’t want them singing this. Maybe it’s the fact that I watch too much “To Catch A Predator” and I believe everyone is inherently evil and out to get children. Whatever the case, I have to believe the writers for this song are out of touch with the perverts of society. Or are they? Now I have the creeps.

Vince and Larry, the Crash Test Dummies never drove home the message that wearing your safety belt in a car would keep me from dying. No, I was too perplexed by the fact Larry had the same voice as Garfield. It really bugged me for some strange reason. I think Peter Venkman on The Real Ghostbusters also shared Garfield’s voice. I have issues.

I guess this as good of time as any to tip my hat to the voice of Garfield, Lorenzo Music. I was really upset when he passed in 2001 because his voice was one of the greats. Recognized by millions, he could read an obituary and somehow make you feel good about it. Wish he was still here but luckily for us he is immortalized by a fat cat that is 30 years old.

This commercial used to turn me on my fucking ear! I felt pretty bad for this kid when and I didn’t know why he took it the way he did. I used to put myself in his position and think, “If I was him I would ask her to dance and if she said no I would say, I’m sorry, you misunderstood me. I said you look fat in those pants.” Yeah. Then I would stare off into space smiling about how quick witted I was in an adolescent daydream.

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