Between Geico and Liberty Mutual, I’m about ready to damn the entire insur­ance industry.

Geico’s ads are annoy­ing at best, but the recent clus­ter that has celebrity “inter­preters” for Ordinary Folk are a record low for a com­pany that intro­duced me to the Legendary Shack Shakers just a cou­ple years ago. (The lizard being given an East London accent was a major step back­ward. Interestingly, his accent has changed. The orig­i­nal Received Pronunciation accent — what some would call a “proper” British accent — was done by Kelsey Grammer.)

The inter­preters them­selves are not the prob­lem specif­i­cally; I just loathe the idea gen­er­ally, mostly because the inter­preters are among the most irri­tat­ing celebs on the planet.

The one I have spe­cific prob­lems with has Charo inter­pret­ing for some old doo­fus who begins by say­ing “I love my car like I love my wife.”

I’ve never made it past that line.

That any­one can ever say any­thing like that — with­out the slight­est trace of irony — is sick beyond sim­ple descrip­tion. It’s hard to imag­ine the pathol­ogy involved in being roman­ti­cally, erot­i­cally and emo­tion­ally so involved with a fuck­ing hunk of metal and glass, but there it is.*

And imagne how his wife must feel. Is she the Other Woman, or is the car? Or is she so incensed at the idea of being reduced in sta­tus to chat­tel, to prop­erty, that she — like the car — doesn’t speak to him and is cold in the mornings?

There is no way to sym­pa­thize with this male crea­ture, and any demo group that gave this spe­cific ad a pos­i­tive rat­ing has got to be com­prised mainly of creeps.

As for Liberty Mutual — recently they’ve been show­ing home­own­ers doing “respon­si­ble” things such as chang­ing smoke detec­tor bat­ter­ies. (Good idea, too.)

They’re run­ning an ad now fea­tur­ing a man who’s try­ing to work the bur­glar alarm. He asks his wife if she’s changed the code. She tells him it’s set to the date of their anniver­sary, and you can guess the rest already.

What’s the prob­lem there? Well, let’s turn this ad on its head and see if it’s still so god­damned clever.

WIFE: [Working the bur­glar alarm panel] Honey, did you change the alarm code?

HUSBAND: It’s the cir­cum­fer­ence of a ten-​​inch diam­e­ter cir­cle to the fourth dec­i­mal place.

WIFE: [Frets and strug­gles and taps in some numbers]

ALARM: BLAAAT! BLAAAT! BLAAAT!

Ha ha, get it? Women suck at math, just like men suck at remem­ber­ing impor­tant dates in their rela­tion­ships with their life­long part­ners! Isn’t that just pants-​​pissingly funny?

Liberty Mutual’s ad is work­ing a stereo­type, and it’s offen­sive to men, or it damn well should be. Neither they nor Geico are likely to get any of my respect — or any of my dol­lars — any time soon.

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* On the plus side, at last we have a plau­si­ble expla­na­tion for My Mother, the Car.

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