Thursday, September 07, 2006

"I feel like I could blog all day!"

Here at 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters, we're deep in the middle of our latest Midlife Crisis. (In fact, we've decided it will be easier to have one, constant, on-going midlife crisis until we're around 45. We'll let you know when it's over.)

This current crisis, however, was precipitated by the realization that we've made it to age 37 and no one has called, asking us to endorse their product. This realization hits us every morning on the bus, as we cruise past the billboard featuring former Milwaukee Brewers baseball player Gorman Thomas, plugging something called the "Sleep and Wellness Center" ("I feel like I could play ball again!" the smiling Thomas is supposedly saying, as though the only thing between Gorman Thomas staying in his 19-year-long retirement and his returning to pro ball is a good night's sleep. Although, given the Brewers' recent 10-game losing streak, signing a 55-year-old lifetime .225 hitter might actually be a savvy move. But we digress.)

The point is, here's a guy who hasn't played in a baseball game since 1986, and he's still being asked to endorse products. So I figure there must be plenty of companies providing products and services out there that would be only too happy to hire me as their celebrity endorser.

My first thought was to flash back, Gorman Thomas-like, to 1986. Twenty years ago, I was just starting my senior year of high school, which would make some kind of acne medication an obvious fit - though if I wanted the billboard to read "I feel like I could go back to high school again!", I'd probably want to endorse a product that would actually clog my pores. So I've tried to narrow down my options.

The main consumer good I purchased my senior year of high school was the Szechuan Beef at Chin & Lee's, a hole-in-the-wall take out restaurant in the Kemp Mill Shopping Center in Wheaton, Maryland. It was a remarkable food, and the perfect alternative to the school lunch, provided I remembered to take it out of my locker before it fused to my Trapper Keeper. More remarkable, though, is that a) the place still exists, with basically no change in decor in 20 years, and b) the place still exists, with basically no change in the price of the Szechuan Beef in 20 years.

On the other hand, a hole-in-the wall Chinese restaurant - even one that's lasted for more than two decades - seems unlikely to pay the six-figure endorsement deal that a blogger of the 19 Minutes stature would command. So a more viable option would seem to be approaching the Ford Motor Company to belatedly endorse my 1978 Ford Fairmont:

"Hi, I'm Mitch Teich. Father. Radio professional. Blogger. Driver. Sure, I take the bus to work. But as I cruise down Interstate 94 first thing each morning, I can't help but think how much more fun it would be in my 1978 Ford Fairmont. Vinyl front bucket seats. Three working cylinders. And plenty of room for catchy bumper stickers on the back. The '78 Ford Fairmont. Rescue yours from a junkyard near you. And for a limited time, get 75 cents in Customer Cash when you bring 15 aluminum cans with you. Tax, title, and license highly recommended."

If that doesn't work, I'm seriously thinking of approaching Dunkin' Donuts about Liquid Donut.

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