Have You Checked Out This TV Commercial Yet?

It appears to be one of the new YouTube sensations.   I even seen a short segment about the video this morning on NBC’s Today Show.   Do you like it?   Do you think it’s done in a tasteful fashion?   What do you think about this sort of marketing…is it over the top?   Would you patronize this business?   I encourage your thoughtful insight below in the comments section.

©2011 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

I Got This Idea The Other Day

…Now bear with me on this one.   I’ll explain my idea in just a minute, but first I want you to look at this short little 10–second video tease that The Sportsman Channel is currently playing between their scheduled programming:


Kind of makes you wonder what they’re up to, eh?   I mean, c’mon…why do we need to wait until 6.29.09 for the big announcement?   We live in a world where we want to know what’s happening NOW!   Oh sure, this sort of marketing builds intrigue and wonder…but forcing us to wait two more weeks to learn what’s happening at the cable TV network is just a bit ludicrous, if you ask me.

Fortunately, I think I’ve decoded what’s going on.   Now keep in mind, I have no inside information…as what I’m about to tell you is strictly a guess.   And as far as guesses go, some folks might say it’s pretty far-fetched at that.

Okay, are you ready for what I think the big announcement will be?   Here it is.   I think The Sportsman Channel is planning to announce the debut of a new outdoors-oriented reality TV show.   Yup, that’s right.   In a world filled with popular shows of that ilk such as “Survivor,” “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here,” and “American Idol,” among others…isn’t it about time us sportsmen have our own high-drama show?   Seriously, I’m talking about a human interest show that is woven into a predictably humorous plot that we simply just have to tune in from week to week to see what might happen next to the participants.

Now, should we get down to specifics and hear my guess?   I think the name of the new show will be called THE SNIPE HUNT!!   Yup, a humorous concept that most sportsman are already keenly aware of, but nonetheless a practical joke that has been absolutely legendary standing the test of time.

Alright, for the sake of a few rookie readers who might not understand the concept of snipe hunting, I refer you HERE for an explanation.   For the rest of you, consider the concept.   What could be more hilarious from week to week than sportsmen tuning in to watch gullible, unsuspecting, totally green-horn type outdoors folks being dropped off in the woods with a burlap bag and a lantern.   Oh, and, of course, a camera-man who documents their every action as they slowly discover the gig isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.

Honestly, I have played this concept through in my mind and when you watch the teaser promo video and listen to the voice-over it leaves me convinced that what you have here is a couple of innocent folks out on a good ‘ol fashioned snipe hunt.   In my mind’s eye I can picture one of them holding the bag wide open and the other trying to direct the light as they hear the approaching sounds of what POSSIBLY could be an incoming snipe.

Now seriously, if you had to develop an outrageous reality TV show of great interest for most outdoorsy folks what could possibly be better than snipe hunting?   I think the time has finally arrived and The Sportsman Channel has recognized that the traditional sport of snipe hunting deserves 30–minutes of air-time each week.   There’s already enough shows chasing deer, elk, and lunker fish…isn’t it about time the oft disrespected snipe (the fictional one, not the migratory bird) gets the attention it is rightfully due?

Then again…I’m told that a new teaser promo will be airing each week before the cable TV network’s big announcement and perhaps the next clue will dispel my most recent guess of a reality TV show.   I certainly hope not…but for the record, I have been known to be wrong a time or two before.   I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned to see what’s happening on 6.29.09 even though I think it’s downright mean for them to make us wait that long.

© 2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

No Foolin’…At Least Not This Time Around

I racked my brain today trying to come up with a good practical joke to pull on my family.   No such luck.   Instead, I quickly funneled my attention to thwarting such a joke possibly being played on me.   Then my thoughts turned to pulling some sort of a bluff on this blog site with my loyal readers (something along the lines of what I have done other years).   Again, my creative juices just didn’t seem to intersect successfully with my mischievous side.   So, you’ve been spared…at least for now.

Yet, that doesn’t mean, mind you, that I don’t fondly remember some of the interesting pranks that have been accomplished in the past.   I must confess, I’m not sure they all were April Fool’s related…but c’mon, is that a necessary requirement to having some fun?

I think back to my high school days (almost 30 years ago) when my buddy Mitch and I decided to play a prank with a dead skunk.   You see, a neighbor of ours was having some terrible trouble with skunks somehow getting into his basement.   Well, we thought we would set him up by making sure that another skunk, albeit a dead skunk, paid him a little visit.

Late one night after dark we snuck onto his lawn and just a short distance from the door propped the skunk up into a realistic pose thanks to some well placed cedar shake shingles.   A short while later, the neighbor arrived home seeing the skunk in his yard thanks to his truck’s headlights.   The story goes…he ran into his house, pulled out his shotgun…and proceeded to fire off three rounds at the dead skunk before it tipped over.   Of course, the next morning when he went to remove it with a shovel he quickly realized he had been victimized the evening before by some prankster.

Of course, most good practical jokes require something a bit newsworthy or a good set-up to pull them off.   And so it was about 20 years ago in the news there was a recall for bird food as it had been tainted resulting in the death of many backyard songbirds.   Aha, the perfect opportunity for another joke.   At the time my cousin was big-time into feeding and was ripe for the set-up.   I told her the night before that there had been a recall of black sunflowers and that she should check her bag to see if it was on the list.   Of course, she didn’t…and I knew that.

During the night while I knew her husband and her were at a party…I slipped into their back yard and placed several bright red imitation cardinals scattered on the ground underneath the feeder.   The next morning wasn’t pretty…and perhaps it was best I was not there.   I was told my cousin, still feeling the effects of a bad hangover from the night before, peered out her kitchen window with coffee cup in hand only to see the faux carnage of her beloved cardinals lying motionless on the snowy ground.   Let’s just say it was emotional…and her husband later told me if I knew what was best I would never bring up that incident to her.   Well, 20 years or so have elapsed and this is one of the first times I have confessed to my misdeeds.   I still think it was funny, if not just a wee bit rotten of me to do it.

I suppose it was about 15 years ago I was in business with a guy who had this bad habit of opening my mail.   You see, he was a control freak and it didn’t matter to him if MY NAME was on the envelope…if it came to our business post office box in his mind it was fair game to be opened.   So how could I teach him a lesson by opening something he had wished he had not opened?   Quite easily.

A close friend of mine worked at the county courthouse and conspired with me to play this prank.   An official document was drawn up called an ROP, which stands for Recognition of Parentage, legally establishing a man as the father of a child when the parents are not married.   Imagine the look on my business partner’s face when he opened and read that fake document.    By the time I got the letter it was carefully taped shut and my partner denied it was him who had opened it.   Come to think of it, from that point on I didn’t have a lot of trouble with opened letters anymore…so with the prank I declared the problem solved.

Maybe now that I have gotten a bit older I don’t feel the need to pull pranks on people quite like I once did.   Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean I don’t still appreciate a good gag when I hear of one happening…just so long as it’s not at my expense.

2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.