Shill for Hire

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I told you last year that many, many years ago, when the world was young, I was bemoaning to Randy Richmond, the Managing Editor at The Packet at the time, I had worked all day typing a book using Word Perfect and when it asked me whether I wanted to save the 65 pages of, dare I say, brilliant writing (yes / no) I hit ‘no’. Randy said, “It is God’s way of saying whatever you wrote needs more work, rewrite it.”

I went home and did just that and at the end of the day when it asked me again if I wanted to save it, I again hit ‘no’. When I told Randy he said, “It is God’s way of saying you are stupid.”

I learned a great lesson that day, ‘If you make a mistake, whatever you do, don’t tell Randy.’

This all came back to me when I was trying to find a column that I wrote some time ago about advertising and Jane Powell’s dentures. Surely you remember Jane. She was one of the singing and dancing movie stars that young gentlemen dreamed of in the wee hours of the morning. The column I was after was just a bit of nonsense about why movie stars could go on TV and talk about their woes, be it dentures, dandruff, that annoying rectal itch’ or whatever else ails them. We all had the same miseries but they get paid big bucks for telling us about it on national TV.

You will have trouble believing this but not once was I ever approached to advertise anything. The unfairness of it all consumed me then and still does.

This time I planned on attacking Joe Namath, the great Hall of Fame quarterback of days long gone by. Broadway Joe is currently shilling on CNN for some medical coverage company. Wolf Blitzer never called me to see if I was interested and I would have been. Joe is worth 25 million bucks while I am worth about $7 – if I take my empties back. I admit I won’t win any prizes in a beauty contest (not even best of breed) but Joe looks like he was ridden hard and put away wet. (Don’t ask; I have no idea what that means)

I would be more than willing to lie or say anything they want for just a few spots on CNN. I would even be willing to go on a panel and tell them what I think about the American political system and why the colonies should have stayed with Britain – although now that I have taken a long, hard look at Boris Johnson’s hair I may have to rethink that. He looks like one of the Muppets only goofier.

Titleist never offered me a contract to say I would only use their golf balls although they did say they would give me 20 bucks to say I preferred Pinnacle’s. I contacted the Pfizer company a few years ago about doing a few TV ads for Preparation H. The negotiations were progressing well until I just happened to mention that their fine product was hard to swallow and for all the good their suppositories did me I might as well have shoved them up… that’s when they hung up on me. (When I mentioned being a spokesperson for their fine E.D. product, they just snickered and said, ‘don’t be ridiculous.’)

Buckley’s, the cough syrup people, were interested after I had an embarrassing coughing fit in Shopper’s and were quite prepared to offer me a contract until I told them I found the taste quite pleasant and often put in on my cereal in the morning.

Jennifer Anniston practically bathes in Aveeno and we see her smiling face everywhere, blemish-free. At least they could have hired me for the ‘before’ picture. Lately I seem to be turning into a leopard. I went to a dermatologist and all she could suggest was a coat of paint.

This probably the worst time for me to complain about false advertising when I am trying to get hired to do it, but I must. I passed a sign on the highway offering ‘Free Range Chickens’. When I pulled in to get a couple the farmer had the audacity to try and charge me money.

By the way, what exactly is a range chicken?

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