Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Review of An Introduction

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A few weeks ago, we were in the Verizon store picking up a new phone. It took four (4) hours. Midway through recalculating the cost of our data plan, Allen, the Verizon guy, stops, his pen poised in the air. He exclaims, "Hey, I have a deal for you. If you get an Android tablet and you get 2 gigs of additional data, then it will cost you $120 less."

Tom's eyebrows take on a curl of suspicion. He confirms, "you're not just giving us an Android tablet and 2 extra gigs for free, you're actually paying us $120 to take them off your hands." 

Allen nods his head. 

Later, when we told Andy about our Verizon-filled afternoon, he surmised, "So basically you spent 1/2 hour getting the details of the deal straight and 3 1/2 hours trying to figure out the catch." 

Well put, Andy. And as result of the Verizon Suss-Out-The-Truth-in-Advertising Challenge, I have become attuned to catches. I've been looking out for them and just this morning, I  spotted one. I attended an event where everyone had to write a little introduction about themselves. Most people wrote about their interest in the topic of the event, The Limits of Human Reason, but Carine wrote, "I'm a rose with thorns, but I'm worth the effort."

Aha, I thought immediately. Finally some ad copy where the catch is front and center. 

A Review of the Introduction of Carine Showcasing the Catch.

I'm most familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, so I start there to model my review framework. In drug ads, there's always a catch— anal leakage, weight gain, irregular heartbeat, suicidal thoughts, death, etc. But the catch always hits you after the sunlit pasture scene where the lovely young thing cavorts through wildflowers after overcoming the heartbreak of scoliosis. You gain an appreciation for the pro before the con smacks you in the spine.

With this reference point, I study the Introduction of Carine in search of the Pro. She is a rose, which I take as a metaphor. And she's worth the effort. There is some begging of the question going on here. Is a rose really worth the effort? Who the hell is a rose anyway? Let's speculate:

A Rose is Someone who:

  • always has candy in her purse and she will give you some if you ask nicely.
  • will come over and fix your awning if it falls off your house.
  • will enrich your life with her stunning grasp of Immanuel Kant and the German Idealists.
  • will swap omelettes with you if you really don't like yours.
  • will overlook all your grammatical errors
  • can be counted on to show up at your magic party with a feisty trickosaurus.
I detect a problem. At an hour long event, there's plenty of time to rub up against a thorn and become a boy/girl with a thorn in his/her side (morrissey shout out), but not enough time to i-spy a rose. I will state for the record that metaphorical roses take a while to bloom in the garden of my red bleeding heart.

So here's my catch: I officially refuse to "make the effort." Thorny event attendees can keep their blood and their roses. Unless they are willing to give me an original Smithereens concert T-shirt, in which case I may or may not reconsider whether they're worth it.
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