« Sell the rights to your blight | Main | helpless »

here's how to order

qod wants you

here's how to order

Sometime back in the 70's, there was a commercial for an airline. It may have been Delta or United, I'm not sure. It featured several shapely young women, purportedly stewardesses, all in mini skirts and go go boots, and they each stepped forward one at a time, vamping for the camera and looking straight into your eyes with a seductive stare and said the airline's slogan: "I'm Linda, fly me!" "I'm Kathy, fly me!" The innuendo was pretty clear, even to a young, naive person like myself. Basically it was "fly our airline because our stewardesses are gorgeous and sexy and hey, maybe they'll even bonk you in the bathroom if you're lucky!" Well, that's what I saw anyhow. And I know it's what most guys saw.

My mother, on the other hand, was a little less astute in these matters, because a couple of weeks after that commerical first aired, my little sister, who couldn't have been more than five at the time, was wearing a shirt that said "I'm Lisa, fly me!"

It's not that my mother wanted to set Lisa on the path to selling herself on her looks. She was just a sucker for a slogan. And she instilled this slogan fever onto my poor, unsuspecting little sister.

One summer day, must have been about 1977 or so, my mother asked me get a tshirt for Lisa out of her dresser. When I looked in the dresser drawer, it dawned on me in horror that Lisa's entire wardrobe was bought with UPC labels and boxtops. There, in Lisa's drawer, was an homage to every commercial slogan or jingle or mascot that existed in the 70's.

She had a shirt with a picture of the Jolly Green Giant that said "where have you bean all my life?" There was the Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies shirt. Scrubbing Bubbles, Mr. Bubble, Libbyland, Tang, Quisp cereal....there wasn't a single shirt that wasn't an advertisement.

It wasn't just her clothes, either. My mother sent away for every free toy or book available. Lisa's room was filled with a collection of advertisig mascots disguised as playthings. Basically, she was a walking billboard.

It's no wonder that years later, we would joke around by sticking a tv antenna on top of Lisa's head and calling her "the walking commercial." She knew every tv theme, every jingle, every slogan. She was pure entertainment to have around and I often took her out with me (ok, I was forced to take her out with me) and my friends would sit around and ask her to peform her repitoire of commercials.

The thing is, she still remembers it all. And thankfully, her love for all things pop culture has not diminished. Who else would call me when I was having a bad day at work and play a cd she made of sound bites from the Simpsons? Who else could entertain me by singing the theme to Electric Company? We could sit around for hours reminiscing about stupid tv shows and her slogan-filled wardrobe and debate the lyrics to the Facts of Life theme.

But every once in a while, as we are sitting there talking about some forgotten commercial, I could swear I see an antenna popping out of Lisa's head. And I'm just saying, Lisa, I'll blame mom when at your wedding next year you walk down the aisle to the theme from Knots Landing. It's not your fault, really.


just be grateful she don't start singing the highway to heaven theme...then it's time for the exorcism...

I had a crush on one of the Facts of Life women. I can't remember which and I'm afraid to try.

Lisa sounds like me, except I don't want to remember commercials. They seem to stick to me whether I want them to or not.

eyeing Todd suspiciously that he forgot to leave out our wedding recessional was the "Main Title" from Star Wars

There's my story. Sad but true.
And somehow I wound up in Marketing. Hmmm...

Ah yeah! It was for National Airlines - Vegas-based budget flight of choice! They give you a scratch-off ticket when you board and once you're in the air you can see if you've won a prize! This sleazy-stewardess model was based on the image of Southwest Airlines (headquarted down the street from my house.) SWA was starting to be very successful and other regional carriers copied their image. Another Dallas-based carrier, Braniff, used to have one which was even worse. A model playing a flight attendant actually did a strip tease, removing her skirt, jacket and top down to lingere - as the commercial voiceover said "Because even an airline hostess needs to look like a girl."

ahh, the good old days of advertising.

where have you bean all my life... damn, i want that shirt now!

Can we have a "TV theme song" qod?

Oh, great idea! Look for it this week.

The Electric Companeeeeeee-ee-ee-ee. The Electric Companeeeeeee.

Charles above has the wrong airline. It was named National Airlines, but was not the current one based in Las Vegas which only dates to 1998. The one with the "Fly Me" slogan was Florida-based and became extinct in 1980 when it was absorbed by Pan Am.