Friday, September 05, 2008

Explaining the Seinfeld-Gates Microsoft ad

Critics are slamming the new Microsoft ad starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, which premiered Thursday night on the National Football League's season opener.

It's "an ad about nothing," the trade publication Advertising Age said, calling the spot a "classic Crispin Porter oddity." (Crispin Porter and Bogusky is the advertising agency responsible for the ad.)

Here at America Wants to Know, we keep a collection of psychics, mediums, fortune-tellers, detectives and dowsers (to investigate Washington leaks) on the payroll for occasions just such as this. Today we convened a staff meeting.

"Will you all please look at this Microsoft commercial," we said to the group, "and explain it."

The staff huddled around the small table where Madame Lyubitshka's crystal ball rested on an old tea cup from Romania. The Gypsy woman passed her hand over the glass and the Microsoft ad came gradually into focus.

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"I have to say, I'm stumped," Lieutenant Columbo said when the commercial ended.

The dowsers also came up dry.

"I saw there is cake in the kitchen," the psychic said, leaving the room.

That left the medium, Gloria Farthaway, alone at the table with Madame Lyubitshka.

"Any ideas?" the Gypsy woman asked.

"I think we should bring in an expert," Gloria said. "Does that ball get TV Land?"

Madame Lyubitshka passed her hand over the crystal fifty-four times, and a rerun of Sanford & Son appeared in the glass.

"I've seen this one, it's funny," she said.

Gloria Farthaway pulled up a chair and placed the tips of her fingers against the porcelain tea cup that held the crystal ball. "Redd Foxx!" she called out in a high, quavering voice. "Redd Foxx! We call upon your spirit! We are in need of your guidance!"

A thunderous boom of laughter filled the room. Columbo jumped. The psychic came back from the kitchen.

"What was that?" one of the dowsers asked. "Is somebody leaking?"

"No, I'm not leaking," Redd Foxx yelled out, "I had a heart attack!"

Gloria Farthaway elbowed Madame Lyubitshka out of the way and leaned in over the crystal ball. "Redd Foxx!" she called out. "Is it really you?"

The comedian turned away from the Sanford & Son set and pressed his face up against the crystal. "Let me give you a good long look at my pretty face," he said. "Nice knockers."

Gloria Farthaway leaned back again. "Mr. Foxx," she said, "we seek your comedy guidance. The great comedian Jerry Seinfeld is appearing in a commercial with the great Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and we are unworthy of them."

"Who?" Redd Foxx asked. "What?"

"We will show you," the medium said. She gestured to Madame Lyubitshka, who waved a finger over the glass and brought up the Microsoft commercial again.

Ninety seconds later, the room was silent.

"What's the problem, you don't get dick jokes?" Redd Foxx asked.

The psychic gasped.

"Mr. Foxx, please!" the medium said. "Your language!"

"What's wrong with my language?"

"Would you mind cleaning it up?"

"I did clean it up. I would have said..."

"Okay, okay, that's fine!" Gloria interrupted. "Thank you! It's fine! Please go on."

"It's a dick joke," the late comedian explained. "The big feet, the tight fit. Everybody holding up those nine-inch churros. They're saying the guy in the shoes has a big dick."

"That's it!" Lieutenant Columbo said, striding over to the table. "Mr. Foxx, sir, first may I say what a privilege it is, my wife just loves Sanford & Son, she..."

"Hey, Peter!"

The psychic gasped again.

"No, no, that's his name," the medium whispered to her.

"What are you doing here, Peter?" Redd Foxx asked.

"Well, you know how it is," the actor replied. "Everybody's gotta work."

"I know how it is," the comic agreed.

"The mystery," Columbo resumed, "is what exactly Microsoft is trying to say with this commercial."

"They're trying to say they've got the biggest dick," Redd Foxx said impatiently. "How many times do I gotta tell you?"

Columbo puffed on his cigar. "You're right," he said. "Microsoft owns ninety percent of the operating system market. That's what they're trying to say. They're letting everybody know that Apple may get the good press, but Microsoft is still the biggest."

"Now I have a question for you," Redd Foxx said. "If that's what they wanted to say, why the f*** did they name the company Microsoft?"

Copyright 2008

Editor's note: Enjoying this writer? Pick up her novel, The 37th Amendment.