The Little Boy and the Old Man

Joel and Mary were in town a couple of weeks ago and they brought with them a present for Jack: “A Light In The Attic” by Shel Silverstein. I loved these poems when I was a kid and we’re enjoying them; it’s great fun to read about flying hippos, Whattifs who enter your head at night and Clarence Lee (who ordered new parents.)

But there are a few here that have a decidedly adult point of view and tell stories much deeper than most kids will realize. For example:

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the little old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the little boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.

Come to Tennessee and… Oops!

This is classic. A recent ad created by Memphis advertising agency Chandler Ehrlich touted the great mountain biking available in Tennessee. And, honestly, there is quite a bit. The problem was the sizzle they used to sell the steak…

Turns out that during the Fall, many of the leaves fall off the trees in Tennessee. (It sucks, it happens here in Indiana, too.) So by the time the concept got approved, the photo would have been less than appealing. Two choices (well, I think they had other choices, but they apparently thought they had two): Either scrap the ad or find a stock photo. (I think “alter the ad or find an appropriate photo… perhaps taken by a mountain biker in the state of Tennessee”, but I digress.)

What they did, instead, was buy a stock photo. Of a mountain biker. In Alaska. And then they ran the ad across the country in some fairly major publications like Outside Magazine and Travel + Leisure, where it just so happens that a reader recognized the photo and realized that it uh… wasn’t the Smokies.

[Read a great account of the full story]

(Photo by Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News)