Service of When to Be Frivolous

January 27th, 2022

Categories: Advertising, Candy, Commercials, Frivolous, Funeral, Laughter, Pandemic


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Some friends refuse to look at the news; others do so in small bits and still others have the TV on all day long. Between relentless destruction by the family of Covid viruses; Ukraine on the verge of war; inflation explosion; stock market craziness; missing products on shelves and in car dealership lots, and in NYC, innocents or police being killed or maimed by gunfire and citizens tossed on subway tracks–who wants to keep up?

That’s why Joseph Pisani’s article in The Wall Street Journal caught my eye. He wrote “Green M&M’s Fashion Makeover Is Covid Comfy but Not Everyone Is Happy.” He started with: “The green M&M has a new look. Not everyone is impressed. 

“The problem? The once-sexy cartoon candy seems to have been stripped of her mojo, some say. Online chatter objected to her makeover to sneakers from high heeled boots and to her pose which ditched the traditional one hand on her head, and another by her hip.”

In the 673 word article, [not counting headline and photo captions], the manufacturer responded: “The changes are part of an effort to make M&M characters more inclusive, Mars said Thursday. The company tweaked the looks of five cartoon candies and dropped the Mr. and Ms. prefixes for the cartoons to put the focus on their personalities, instead of their genders, it said.”

For two days “Green M&M” trended on Twitter. First thought, “Do some people have nothing better to do?” Second thought, “What kind of person gets caught up with characters in commercials?”

I’ve been to memorable memorials and funerals where laughter was an essential element inspired by the deceased. It felt good and appropriate.

Do you seek out lighthearted stories these days or do they strike a false note? Should there be more or less of them at a time of turmoil? Do you think “not now?” or “bring them on–please!”


Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

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9 Responses to “Service of When to Be Frivolous”

  1. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: Laughter is best medicine in general.. so yes I most certainly do seek out light hearted stories!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Nancie,

    You’ll know I’ve been watching too many Blue Bloods reruns when I reply “copy that!”

  3. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook: I was attending a funeral in the 90s for someone who was known for his dirty and funny stories. His partner began his oration with a very dirty and absolutely hysterical story. This was a revelation. A funeral oration can be funny, at least in part. Years later, when my father died – and my father was known for his jokes – I opened my own oration with one of dad’s jokes. Totally fitting
    My late partner, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, died on an October 29. Funeral two days later. Our Rabbi opened her oration with “isn’t it just like B to make it so that his funeral would be on Halloween!”

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Larry,

    A friend’s son read something she’d written for her funeral. She was a funny person and excellent writer. We were in stitches–bitter sweet. Sometimes you laugh so hard you cry.

  5. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook: A joke is a wonderful way to bring back the memory of a funny person.

  6. Lucrezia Said:

    Fun ads are being altered/removed mostly because of political correctness, a good way to lose me as a potential customer. Perhaps sanitized ads lose enough money to drop this nonsense and get back to what they are meant to do: Sell.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I hope you haven’t had the misfortune of seeing the Haribo Gold-bears candy commercial where adults are given children’s voices as they express their love for the gummy bear like sweets. When it comes on I reach for my remote faster than an Olympian racer at the starting gate to change the channel.

  8. Martha Takayama Said:

    My best funeral memories or stories intertwined with humor are those of the parents of several very dear friends who were offspring of turn of the 19th century Irish immigrants who went on to flourish in Worcester, MA. The Callahan family patriarch was a genius by the numbers. He referred to discovering “Popular Mechanics” as a young adolescent as akin to reading Tolstoy! His irreverence and wit permeated his wake which included a video recalling some of his madcap adventures such as making a car that had run out of gas go, if only a little bit by using urine. Another one, referred to Mr. O’Conell listening to the Saturday NPR opera performances in heaven. The mixture of affection, memories and often eccentric humor made a sad occasion into a memorable and comforting one without diminishing in any way the sense of loss or bereavement.

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    I loved these anecdotes and wish I’d known the Callahans. After one of the lowest periods in my life I heard myself laugh while watching “Out of Towners,” with Jack Lemmon and I knew that I’d be OK.

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