Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A View of Advertising - From The Other Side

My local 7-11’s cast of clerk characters is pretty consistent. Not a lot of turnover at this store. One of the best is Babu, a man probably in his late 50s who is as sarcastic a person as I have ever met, so naturally I think he's great. I sometimes think the character of Apu on The Simpsons was based on Babu.

If someone buys a lottery ticket, Babu berates them with a smile, telling them the lottery is all a scam and if you don’t live in Miami you simply can’t win. If a red-eyed landscaper is buying a single blunt, a Big Gulp and a stack of junk food, he will mutter “Don’t you think you’ve smoked enough pot today?”

And this conversation took place yesterday.

Babu: So, where do you work, Dave?
Me: Down at [international megacorp’s identity redacted].
Babu: What do you do for them?
Me: I’m a writer.
Babu: What do you write?
Me: Advertising, mainly.
Babu: So, like publicity. And everything is a wonderful story!
Me: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
Babu: (laughing) So, I see. You are a hypocrite! And a liar!
Me: Thanks, Babu. I’m going to go kill myself now.

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