The other day Noah and I were driving, and I realized we were running on fumes, so we pulled in for a quick fill-up. I began pumping another $80 worth of gas into my truck, when I suddenly crapped my pants because the pump speaker started blaring an unexpected advertisement at me. At first I thought it was the tattooed weirdo working the cash register trying to get my attention. It went something like this. “You, hey you. Yeah, the one pumping the gas.” I felt like I had been caught on their security cameras doing something horribly wrong or stupid, then it continued and I realized it was a recording. “Do you want to feel guilty for the rest of your life? Do you want to have the shame and humiliation of knowing that you killed somebody? Watch out for pedestrians or you will be a murderer”.
I couldn’t help but laugh. It was brazen for sure. It got my attention. It also irked me. Royally. Mostly because the natural reaction to fear is anger. I went to hang up the gas nozzle and I saw this sign above the pump:
Does anybody else see a problem with the ad above? I am in marketing, so I look at advertising probably a little more than the average guy. If I were to create this campaign and want it to actually encourage people to be more cautious, my sign would have looked something like this:
|NOTE: please do not judge my actual marketing skills on this stupid thing.|
No disrespect to the creators of the ad campaign, but all it made me want to do is take my truck and go mow over the first skateboarding punk I could find. Then, back up and do it again.
Seriously, why take one of the most annoying types of pedestrians and make them the poster boy for your “do not kill us” campaign? Use grandmas on walkers or babies in strollers. Even a picture of a random guy like me. But a skateboarder? Might as well paint a target on those poor teenagers’ backs.
Sadly for me though, I’m no murderer. Not even of little freaks who think the world owes them something. I climbed back in the truck and Noah asked me what I was photographing. “Noah, if you see somebody walking in the road, make sure you yell so that I stop, okay? I don’t want to hit anybody.” Okay dad. You don’t want to hit anybody cause then they’ll die? “Yep.” [sigh] I guess the ad got to me afterall.
And now, a true story of what happened next: a couple blocks later there was a kid carrying a skateboard as he walked what looked like miles to the nearest patch of development. The guilt I carried of how I felt when I saw the sign was weighing on me, so I pulled over and asked him if he needed a ride. He looked at me and said, “are you f****** kidding me?” and without another word walked away.
So… I ran him over.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
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