By Chris Gay
While waiting on a checkout line the other day I did something I rarely do; I made an impulse buy. There I was, staring blankly at headlines I couldn’t care less about only because there really was nowhere else for me to look. Did it matter to me which star had kept a diary detailing his experiences after being captured by a Centaur? No. Was I intrigued enough with the prospect of discovering what the cast of “Eight is Enough” is doing now to include among my purchases the magazine willing to spill the beans? To put it kindly, not really.
However one item did catch my eye; a tin of Altoids. The more I looked at it, the more I realized it had been awhile since I’d bought them. Too long, in fact. So I took a tin from the display and tossed it on the conveyor belt. As I was still bored, I reflected back on the first one I’d ever had. I remembered thinking (although not in italics) they’re mass produced mints. How strong can they be? I thought about it the same way I did the first time a waitress at Chili’s claimed their salsa was “real spicy.” Right.
After trying my first Altoid– once my sinuses had cleared- I’d thought huh. These mints ARE curiously strong. The British had come up with the absolute perfect adjective to describe them. True, they weren’t powerful enough that you’d find someone trying to achieve glory by downing ten of them on an episode of Man vs. Mint Nation, but they were strong enough to make you take notice.
As I continued my wait on that line, behind the last person on Earth to still pay with checks, I reflected on how rare it was to come across such truth in advertising.
To wit, I’d used Axe body spray before only to find myself not immediately inundated with women. I’d had a York Peppermint Patty and hadn’t gotten any “sensation” other than the sense of tasting chocolate covered peppermint. (On the other hand, I always thought it was clever of them to be the sole sponsor on all of those Charlie Brown television specials years back) But I digress.
The point is, seldom does a product deliver exactly what it says it’s going to. So I say thank you to our cousins across the pond. I mean really; first James Bond, and now Altoids? Just splendid. I’d thank you for Cadbury chocolate too, but I’m not sure if, like Haagen Daz, they’re not just one of our companies here in the States trying to give itself a more distinguished sounding name. I could Google it of course, but I’m feeling kind of lazy tonight.
God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.
Hope Springs (Barfly)