Saturday, February 17, 2001


I hate commercials. OK, I love to hate commercials. I love to hate that commercial from LifeAlert where some old guy crumples in a flowerbed and presses his beeper.

MR. PERKINS: Help me...I’m having heart attack!

And LifeAlert responds instantly.

LIFEALERT GUY: Don't worry, Mr. Perkins! Help is on the way!

What I’d like to see...

MR. PERKINS: Help me...I’m having heart attack!

LIFEALERT GUY: What am I supposed to do about it?

MR. PERKINS: For God’s sake help me!

LIFEALERT GUY: I’m afraid you didn’t pay your bill, Mr. Perkins.

MR. PERKINS: Oh God....the pain!

LIFEALERT GUY: We sent you three notices. Three. Don’t you think that’s fair? We think it’s more than fair. But you ignored us, didn’t you?

MR. PERKINS: It”s like thousads of tiny dwarves with little knives inside my heart!

LIFEALERT GUY: Have a nice day, Mr. Perkins.

(Hangs up)

Cut to MR. PERKINS falling face down in the zinnias.

This is when they cut to the upbeat OLD LADY. She holds up a LifeAlert beeper.

OLD LADY: Life’s like my magic wand to summon the police, the fire department, or the paramedics.

You see the old lady in bed. There’s a silhouette of a BAD MAN outside her window, some guy in pullover cap, no doubt The Wrong Sort of Person.

OLD LADY: (on the phone to LifeAlert) There’s someone outside my window!

VOICE ON PHONE: Don’t worry, Mrs. Perkins. The police have been notified. Help is on the way.

And, the instant he says this, the guy in the window reacts. Does this “uh-oh” doubletake and runs away. Now, please explain to me what he’s reacting to. Is his hearing that good? Is he psychic? Carrying a little police radio?

The more obvious explanation is that he’s been hired by Lifealert to scare the shit out of old people — make ‘em feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.

LIFEALERT MANAGER TYPE: Yeah, show up outside her window. When she calls, I’ll page you. Then run.

GUY: Can I steal something?

LIFEALERT MANAGER: No. Just run. And don’t scare her too bad. If she fucking dies we can’t sell this shit...

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