Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm sitting in a coffee shop with wi-fi!! I've returned somewhat to civilization, having taken a solo road trip this morning to the civilized edge of the Northeast, over the Mason Dixon. Once you cross that line there are Starbucks and Trader Joes and it's quite a bit colder. Bella lives here in a suburb of Philadelphia. Perhaps that's giving away a lot, but it doesn't matter if anyone knows where I am or even who I am. I don't mind. I like it up here. Philadelphia is a great city. I'd live here.

In any event, I managed to escape Millpond for a long weekend before Christmas and I definitely needed it. Millpond was getting to me. I was starting to get contrary and whiny. I have to pick her up in a little while, so for the time being you're getting the rare short post. Once I get back to her place I'll be able to write every day. I also have some work to do. I'm editing the story about A that I wrote in Iowa and sending it off. Wish it luck. By the way, dear readers. I'd like to thank you. I've had two pieces that began as blog posts on here published this year in major, high paying publications under my real name and I wouldn't have been able to do that without all of your support and feedback. So thank you. Thank you a lot, because it was my dream to be a published writer and now I am and I didn't do that alone. You guys gave me confidence and your comments let me know which pieces are worth editing and polishing and turning into real essays and I can't even express my gratitude to you all for that. Keep commenting! I've also had a piece which could have been a blog post, but wasn't, published in a Christmas anthology that's getting great reviews. Yay!

But none of this has anything to do with the green bean casserole commercial.

I hate the green bean casserole commercial. Have you all seen it? It's a snowy evening. A mother takes a green bean casserole out of the oven and places it on her windowsill to cool. Then, the pine tree outside the window has the gall, the absolute balls, to open the window, reach its dirty assed branch into the house, grab a spoon while no one's looking and take a scoop out of the green bean casserole. After it, I guess eats the green bean casserole it turns into a Christmas tree. End of commercial.

Much is wrong with this green bean casserole commercial. First and foremost it is a commercial for green bean casserole. Second, the tree is rude. Third, the commercial implies that green bean casserole is magical. Fourth, it's just creepy that a tree would want to eat green bean casserole and its branch grosses me out, as does the scoop of grean bean casserole it steals, all slick with grey mushroom soup. Yuck.

I once took a class where all we did was analyze advertisements of all different kinds to get to the root of what they were trying to say. Most ads are sexist and pornographic at heart. Pretty much every ad boils down to this one message: If you buy this you will get laid.

Clearly this is going on with the green bean casserole commercial. The pine tree is an obvious phallic symbol. I think once it eats the green bean casserole, cooked by a woman of course, it "grows" into a colorful Christmas tree. I don't know about you, but I think I might be offended. Someone needs to call a Women's Studies department somewhere so we can start protests against the alleged, implied dick hardening properties of green bean casserole. I really think Campbells is trying to imply that if we ladies cook our men some green bean casserole that they'll instantly get wood. Get it? Wood = Tree. Totally obvious. Green bean casserole is clearly X-rated.

As if that weren't bad enough, I think this tree is way out of line. How dare it steal green bean casserole? The nerve. If some dirty tree branch reached into my window like that it would see the sharp side of an axe pretty damned fast. Think of all the dirty things that live in trees. Birds nests! How about lice? Don't even get me started on the filth in squirrel's nests and what about animal poop? There's definitely animal poop in that tree somewhere. I know there is.

Next, I can assure you, from years and years of experience with green bean casserole that it isn't magical. I sure wish it were, but it's not. Green bean casserole is not magical. It can't transform anything except waistlines. My mom and grandmothers always make it and no one ever wants to eat it except them and it kind of gets shoved to the back of the casserole buffet.

So, I hate the stupid green bean casserole commercial. Every time it comes on and interrupts my Dateline and investigative reports kind of shows it makes me mad. I can't wait until Christmas is over so I don't have to see it anymore.

You know what other commercial I can't stand? Cristy Lane's greatest hits. My parents and Memere Marie have been forcing me to watch Fox News and at every last commercial break I have to hear Cristy Lane singing about angels and "the man from Galilee" and the real meaning of Christmas in these hard times, which confuses me because I think they're talking about now, except the commercial was obviously filmed around 1982. Maybe there was a recession then too (I'm not old enough to remember clearly) and they decided now that we're in another one that they should trot the Cristy Lane commercial back out and see if it sticks. The funniest part is that Memere Marie loves the commercial and sings along with it whenever it comes on. I understand though. She and Cristy have the same hair. My parents have threatened to buy me the three cd box set of Christy Lane's Greatest Hits for Christmas. I just know I'm going to find it in my stocking Christmas morning. If you've never heard of Cristy or heard her angelic voice, do yourself a favor and go to her website and check it out. I swear it's not a Saturday Night Live skit, although it should be. I'll bet that Kristen Wiig could do an excellent Cristy. If I had my dream job as writer on that show I would write that skit.

I have to go pick Bella up at work now, but I'll write some more for you later.


BoB said...

very crotchety, the green bean casserole TV ad rant

Millpond obviously effects you.

Modern Philodoxos said...

i really think green bean casserole is magical.

Wide Lawns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

not to mention the whole "CREAM of mushroom soup" metaphor.

I'm just saying.

Me, I only like green bean casserole if its crusty and cheezy and cream less.

I wonder what that says about me in your metaphor.

Merry Merry, WLawns. Hope you havve a lovely southern Christmas. I'm headed to the red neck riviera myself.

Steph said...

I actually am a big fan of green bean casserole. Seriously.

I agree with you about the tree being rude, though. I think the ad would have been better if one of the kids took a plate of gbc out to the tree, and then the tree ate it with it's dirty branch, and then lit up in happiness and gratitude..

That would be better than green bean thievery.

Jeannie said...

I'm glad I live in Canada - we don't have green bean casserole here. WTH?

As for recycled commercials, my son is freaking out over a "Trouble" commercial he's pretty sure is from the 70's that they're running.

BohoPoetGirl said...

I love reading your blog! You are an incredibly captivating writer with a great natural and unique voice. Keep writing and you know more and more people will be reading. xoxo

KT said...

I agree with Steph--children sharing is always a crowd-pleaser, and I'm sure feeding trees would make the environmentalists happy.

Hollye said...

congrats on getting published!!!
btw, that was a v. funny casserole post. One of the funniest green bean casserole posts I've read in years!

hope you and M-dog are well!

kate_sterling70 said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it! Keep up the great writing and enjoy your holidays!

Dayna said...

Congrats on being published!!!
Can you tell us where you were published so perhaps we can purchase/read the piece in which your writing was published?

1982 - Hell yeah we(well at least my family in South La. was)were in a RECESSION. Those were the years of Ronald Reagan. People rave about Ole Ronnie and the infamous Reagonomics. During that time my father was laid off twice for 6 months each time and twice he had to take a cut in pay to keep from being laid off.
I am CRINGING for you, just at the thought of you having to watch FOX NEWS. Get one of those big ass guns(that your folks keep handy) and blow the TV up, like Elvis did.

Michelle said...

Whoa... '80s flashback. I swear I've seen a commercial, probably for one of those compilation albums, featuring that version of "One Day at a Time". They'd play it all the time when I was a kid.

Erica said...

I am a sucker for green bean casserole, however, there are VERY stringent guidelines as to the proportion of gooey-ness to crunch (ie, about 1:100 - I could each French's onion thingies out of the can and be happy enough), and leftover green bean casserole is a monstrosity. End of story.

I'm off to go mitigate my midwestern tendencies by making chicken curry. From scratch. Score!

Happy Holidays! Love the blog!

Marcie said...

You know what, there was a recession in 1981 and 1982. Good guess!

Sixteen Chickens said...

That's it! I'm making my husband green bean casserole every Friday night from now on! Who knew?

booda baby said...

1. Congratulations on the publishing thing. You'd be a writer, either way and a good one, but if it contributes to your confidence - well, YAY!

2. I'm with Modern Philodoxos. Green bean casserole's magical. You can not un-enchant it. Sorry. :)

That damn expat said...

I'm glad you got published. I love your blog and would buy a book!

Anonymous said...

I think your writing is really great. I always knew you'd get published - I just knew it. I think I've mentioned it before, but my favorite post was your obituary to your step-mom. Really good stuff. Primo writing.

I really wish you'd let us loyal readers know where you've been published, though!


kerry said...

Merry christmas!

I'm on the fence about green bean casserole. Haven't seen the commercial, but it does sound like the tree was rude. I've been known to voluntarily eat GBC but only when someone else makes it and it's the holidays.

Marie said...

I am beyond thrilled for you that you are now a published author. You deserve it, have worked hard to achieve your goal/s and I am proud of you. You are a great role model for others. Well done.

foxymoron said...

YOU are fantastic, and it is we who should thank you! When I read your stories I really feel like I'm seeing a movie. You have made me laugh so hard, cry happy and sad tears... and overall just made me love you like you were my sister, or my best friend or something. I know one day you're going to be super famous, just let us know it's you, k? I feel like you sort of belong to us :) Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah sweetheart :)

Serenity said...

Frankly, I find that commercial funny because I imagine the ending that we didn't see. The tree steals the GBC but the kid gets blamed by the mom later on.

I say this because my frame of mind right now is annoyance with a visiting child of a neighbor and he is SO FRICKEN LOUD and I've had to listen to him all weekend. Plus, the little brat throws rocks at our cars...I wish a tree would steal him and eat him.

Sinclair said...

WL, the funny thing is that when I saw the commercial I immediately thought of your blog and how much you dislike "casseroles" and "cream of mushroom" let alone those two together.

Congratulations on your publications!!! I love the way you write.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Serenity said it. Mom comes back from checking on the Christmas goose (or whatever) and sees a big dent in her otherwise beautiful casserole. The kid still stands in the corner with a look of shock on his face, having seen a freakin' tree break into his house and eat his food. Mom mistakes his look for that of guilt and sends him to his room without dinner. All the while the kid protests, "But the tree did it! The tree I tell you!"

Christmas is ruined for everyone. Thanks a lot you thieving tree.

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