WE DON'T GO SENTIMENTAL TOO OFTEN, BUT MAN OH MAN, WHEN WE DO . . .

The FD.com kitchen is being reconstructed, which has forced the relocation of HQ to the In-law's Apartment of Solitude, aptly named since the poor online connections there make us feel as if we're all alone in the world. But we muddle through. One byproduct of the relocation, which was made sans crib, is that for the first time, Small Fellow and Tiny Girl are sharing a bed - grandma's pullout couch.

The first couple of nights went well enough, though Tiny woke up each night at about 3:30 am demanding a move to a different neighborhood with better schools. But last night, they made it all the way through the night, and at one point we checked on them, and there was Fellow's hand resting on Tiny's little shoulder.

For moments like that, yes, we will in fact put up with the two of them calling us "Stinky!" over and over and over again.

OUR COMMERCIAL SUGGESTION WAS REJECTED: A DAD AT A WENDY'S COUNTER DEMANDING, "WHERE'S THE POOP?"

Our friends at the National Fatherhood Initiative have produced a series of PSA commercials with the Ad Council, "to bring the message of involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood to the public." We have prescreened the spots, as you can here, and they're an odd mix.

Our favorite is the Godzilla and Son spot, in which The Big Fella helps his boy try to master the ancient art of breathing fire. Small Rubber-Suited Fellow can only manage a couple of smoke rings, but Gojira pats him on the back, offers a piercing shriek of encouragement, and as Junior climbs on Daddy's tail and they fly off to level Tokyo, you can't help but shed a tear.

But another ad, "Errand," is a bit odd. A big burly dad skulks about a large heath and beauty aids center, clearly embarrassed about what he's picking up. As he approaches the counter, you think, It's either condoms or maxi-pads, and neither exactly screams fatherhood. But no, it's a box of tampons. And not just any tampons, but the lamest generic package of tampons a prop department ever came up with - it's basically a bright yellow box with the words "20 TAMPONS" written on it in huge type, and nothing else. As the man brings it out to the car, we see his 12-year-old daughter looking grateful that he's made this purchase for her. All this ad does for us is raise questions like, Where's mom? and, No, really, where the Hell is her mom, or her aunt, or her lunch lady? Can't my man find any woman to get Sally through this? Maybe that's the point.

Overall, the ads are slightly amusing but don't make much of an impression. And the serious, challenging tagline, "It takes a Man to be a Dad," has no connection to the whimsical scenes in the spots.

We give it 2 stars.

HEY, THE ONLY M WE'D LIKE TO F IS OUR WIFE, SO KEEP YOUR DISTANCE, USA TODAY! YOU AND YOUR FOUL TEMPTRESSES WILL NOT WEAKEN OUR RESOLVE!





(OK, IS SHE GONE? GREAT. LET'S CHECK OUT THOSE TERI HATCHER PICTURES AGAIN.)

USA Today can always be counted on to catch up to a cultural trend within six or seven weeks of it getting old, so it was no surprise they've jumped on the "Desperate Housewives"/"MILF" phenomenon. Their angle, apparently, was finding inappropriately dressed moms in small towns around the country and asking them, What's it like to be a hot mother? The answers are edifying:

"I'm all about the low-cut (tops), the 3-inch heels, the tight clothes."
"You're handing your body and your life over to your baby, but you don't have to hand your style over to your baby."
"They don't have to have that 'I've had babies now I've lost my body' mentality."
"I'm still young enough that I shouldn't be in a bar with a turtleneck on, you know?"

We have nothing against moms wanting to look good, or dads wanting to look good, for that matter. Our Puritan background might lead us to ask why USA Today thinks that women who wear heels and open blouses are necessarily "hotter" than others. But we'll let it slide, because the article includes our FD.com Line of the Week, which comes at the end of this passage:

"There's a lot of competitive mommyhood right now," says Jane Buckingham, author of The Modern Girl's Guide to Life. "We're all trying to look the best we can, even if we have spit-up on our shoulder." Buckingham, 36, a mother of two who splits her time between Beverly Hills and Manhattan, concedes that on days when her cute clothes linger in the laundry and her not-yet-showered hair is in a ponytail, she's "too embarrassed" to walk inside her son's preschool to drop him off. So she lets him out in the alley.

Yes, she'd rather her boy was bludgeoned by a hobo in an alley than be seen in sweatpants. By all means, let's commend her.

January 27, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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