Monday, October 20, 2008

Where Has All the Funny Gone...

No, assclowns... I'm not talking about my lack of posting lately - and when I have found a few spare moments to post it has been an utter waste of your time to read. I get it. Fuck off... in the most loving way possible, of course. I'm one busy bitch.

Anyway, I myself find it odd that this is my second post out of only 100 or so that covers the topic of greeting cards, but I have recently discovered what a large source of stress and anguish this topic is in my personal life, and I’m guessing it’s no different for any of you.

On a recent trip to the Walgreen’s on Oak Lawn, after charging my way through the sea of “I need some spare change to take a cab to the bus to my car that ran out of gas 96 miles away from here where my dying mother-in-law is waiting for me to drive her to the emergency room because she is paralyzed… and so is my puppy” requests, I proceeded to the card aisle in need of a folded piece of birthday-centric paper for a friend.

The whole idea of cards is still 100% asinine to me, but whatever. Even though none of us would never again miss receiving a card on special occasions if we stopped that practice altogether, everyone is afraid to be the asshole who stops first. So, back to shopping for my shitty waste of $3.25.

Something witty would be ideal, even though people tend to fly through greeting cards with the same disinterest & lack of attention to detail Tony Romo likely throws his hotdog down Jessica Simpson’s proverbial hall. But unfortunately for Hallmark, witty is no longer in their vocabulary & their proverbial hotdog rarely touches a side. Their best days of the funny came Circa 2006… and they are still schlepping those same cards in convenient stores across America hoping people either forget they gave that same card last year, or that it’s just funny enough to give twice. "Pay no attention to Stephanie," or the "Obey the birthday monkey" card, or the "You’re a legend in your own mind" have all be gifted, and re-gifted by me multiple times.

Now, I just need a new friggin' card I'm not completely mortified to give to a friend. Doesn’t even have to be funny. Slightly amusing will do. And one would hope that for a company whose job it is to write a couple of funny one-liners ONCE A YEAR, this request would not be too much to ask.

Apparently, it is.

It seems as though instead of spending these past couple of years dedicated to coming up with that one great idea, that one unforgettable series of cards, Hallmark has gone down an entirely different path.

This path is one I would LOVE to have sat in the ideation meetings on... it reminds me of some of the piece of shit ideas my company comes up with on a daily basis, many of which are now full-fledged products because someone sucked the correct dick at some point. This product extension from Hallmark, one that has repeatedly given me the urge to jump out of a window, seems to have birthed from the same scenario.

Music & motion cards. Both equally cheesy. Both horrifically stupid and unfunny. Both sucking up an entire row in Walgreen’s that could have contained cards actually worth purchasing. Both equally embarrassing for the observer & receiver. Both a complete waste of time, effort & money.

These cards are the Sarah Palin of the Republican ticket, the message of Change for the Democratic ticket… they are all meant to take advantage of the initial positive response we give to bright lights & flashy sounds, but for Hallmark the distance from selection to checkout is much shorter. The amount of time one has to spend in a stupor of stupidity is so brief that the likelihood of a purchase made on over-eager excitement & false pretense is much, much greater.

Maybe they know it sucks. Maybe they are aware these cards are likely the foundation of many a contemplated suicide. But maybe they also have figured out that the average time-to-checkout with a card still leaves them with a lovely profit. It's like marketing the 19-burrito deal at the Taco Cabana located next to the "tobacco" shop... until you have eaten the burritos, and subsequently regurgitated them, everybody is happy - everybody wins.

So, with that said, if someone could point me to the Libertarian birthday card section, that would be awesome, because if I hear the .wav version of Hannah Montana singing Happy Birthday again or Lucille Ball's monologue of Vitametavegamin (well actually, to be certain, I Love Lucy kicks a lot of ass... just not in the form of an audio birthday card),
I may have to move to a country where birthday cards don’t exist at all… and homeless men don’t have to beg for spare change to buy their precious elbow grease – they can even afford the flavored kind, and frankly that warms my heart.

God Bless America.


A dinosaur fighting a robot said...

The easy fix is to give someone a card for an unrelated holiday. Many of my friends and relatives have received a Sorry Your Pet Died or Happy Bat Mitzvah (From Grandma) card from me for their birthday. It's good to just sign your name and not acknowledge that the card is totally ridiculous; that communicates both your attention to their birthday and your total disdain for the practice of giving greeting cards.

Tom said...

I find these e-cards to be entertaining, eco-friendly and cheap.

Sabrina said...

I am so totally over cards, too. I quit giving them. They just end up in the trash anyhoo. I always tell the recipient that I wasted the $4 for their card on a nice Happy Hour Martini. Then I usually tell them to suck it.

Anonymous said...

Miss Bitter (that's a compliment) -You've obviously never run across a greeting card line available locally at places like Nuvo on Cedar Springs and Fete Home in the Bishop Arts District called O'REILLYCARDS. Not only are they produced by a local boy who hand-colors each and every one, their sentiments should be right up your alley (probably not the only thing that's been up your alley recently): "Having a wonderful time...Wish you were dead!" or "I just can't decide what to get you for your birthday...After all, what does one get for the person who's had everyone?". Anyone interested can Google o'reillycards' and his info will pop up. Just thought you might like a viable alternative to all those bland, uninspired cards you've been running across! Bye!