Arch Stanton Guest Post: “Batman Cries” by Joe Settineri

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This is an emergency post. Sometimes an event is so life-shattering, so monumental, that you can’t help but urgently move to share it with every person you know. Today, I share with you: “Batman Cries” by Joe Settineri. If that title doesn’t grab you and immediately require 100% of your attention, well… how did you even find this page in the first place?

So this life-nourishing bit of mana appeared in my life as a tweet from someone claiming this was part of a PR promotional email, which normally warrants immediate deletion without further waste of your precious time but they noticed the particularly grabbing headline you saw above.

I am almost certain this is satire. There has to be a nudge-and-wink I’m missing somewhere, because this could not have been approved by multiple serious professionals. I struggle to understand the intended purpose here if it was indeed a sincere song and video, therefore I am electing to go step by step this song that is… something.

0:01: Look at this Stepford-ass neighborhood with its quaint houses and charming light fixtures. It’s nighttime, which goes without saying because the title includes “Batman.” You could say this is redundant, but let’s take nothing for granted. Our protagonist is an inoffensively quasi-handsome man, a kind of a Long Island Tony Romo. He is singing over some somber piano, alone in the middle of the street and on the sidewalk as water runs into a sewer gate. This is called foreshadowing, people!

0:24: Wait a second, our protagonist’s face looks different in this shot.

0:39: EYE PAINT! Joe looks like he is fronting an emo KISS cover band. No one tell Gene Simmons, we don’t want this artistic masterpiece to vanish due to a frivolous copyright infringement claim. We are approximately one-ninth of the way into the video, and I am HOOKED.

0:45: Joe is BELTING out the chorus. This motherfucker is leaning into it, he is giving it everything his high school music teacher taught him – really utilizing that diaphragm to project his emotions as he sings “when he cries, when BAT-MAN- CRIIIIIIIIIIES!” We have hands pumping, gripping dramatically, and arms akimbo as Joe channels his inner Scott Stapp to really convey his emotion. This is the first chorus. There’s still like four minutes. How can Joe keep this energy?!?!

1:20: Joe is now in a foggy shower with his face paint. Now, I don’t typically wear much makeup, but this will lead to running mascara, correct? Is Joe going to show us his impersonation of a sorority girl who went too hard at the Phi Delt kegger? God I hope so.

1:33: It’s raining now. Joe is remarkably dry despite the pouring rain. The logistics aren’t adding up – is he on a sound stage and the rain is behind him for texture/ambiance, or is he under an umbrella? And it doesn’t work as a storytelling aspect either – we still have a long ways to go and it’s already raining. Even in “November Rain” Guns N Roses knew to keep us titillated by withholding the rain until the end of the video. Joe may have blown his load too early.

1:36: The pouty little emo kid pulling his hood over his head is delightful. I will find this gif, and it will be my response to everything in my life going forward. A distant uncle left me his vast fortune? Slouchy Batman. Dog died? Slouchy Batman. Stuck waiting in the rain? You got it – slouchy Batman. Immediately following slouchy Batman, Joe is now wet. The tension has been dissolved. Joe is wet and wearing face paint, all within the first ninety seconds of this video.

1:45: To quote the ephemeral Tobias Funke: “I’m afraid I prematurely shot my wad.” SLOUCHING IN FACE PAINT IN THE SHOWER! Knees tucked in looking forlorn – is it possible to get this tattooed across my chest?

1:50: Face paint shower Joe has his hand on the glass looking down as the water cascades over him. If you have never seen a movie before, this is suggesting our character is distressed or experiencing self-doubt about who he is as a person. Really soak in this for a moment – an adult man is scream-singing about how Batman cries while pantomiming as a KISS tribute band member while acting serious in a shower. If you don’t find this incredible, leave this site immediately and question where you are in your life.

2:00 Second time through the chorus, but this particular moment, Joe (somehow dry again in the rain) leans back to yell his displeasure at any heavenly body who will hear his wails about a comic book character crying.

2:08: Face painted Joe is back in the shower and pounding on the tiling. I have moved from “I need this tattoo” to “I need a triptych of this face painted man tattooed across my body.”

2:25: Not only is this chorus absurdly long, but they repeat it. This song is like 70% “Batman… CRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIES,” but at this particular moment, Joe is howling like the Wolfman at the moon after another slaughter he was powerless to prevent.

2:35: DEAD. I am dead. I cease to exist. Face painted Joe strikes a symbolic Jesus pose with arms spread, and crashes face first into a pool. This is a man in face paint. Imitating Jesus. Falling into a pool. Singing about Batman. There is nothing I can say that will be funnier than that Madlibs-ass sentence. They second shot is him floating face-down in the pool. Just astonishing. This is where I am convinced this is satire, because no one in their rational mind could think this would perceived as anything other than bonkers.

2:52: The man sinks in the pool. Hooded face painted Joe curls under sweatshirt in the rain. He falls to his knees in the shower. The bridge comes in. He claws at the light post back as he pulls himself up. He dramatically stumbles to his feet in the middle of the street in the rain as he encourages himself to “come on, stand up” in song. The song builds with strings towards its triumphant crescendo: face painted Joe screaming about Batman crying again in the pouring rain.

The song plays out to the same beats: Joe Wolfman-howling while looking at something vaguely just off-screen, face painted Joe leaning into the rain, arms outstretched as we defeated our foe: Batman’s loneliness.

I did more research on Joe Settineri. He has no Wikipedia page, but does have two albums on Spotify from 2009 and 2014. According to his own site, he is a “go-to singer in Los Angeles” (whatever that means) and quit his job in finance to pursue his singing career. As of 10 pm October 24th, there are 35,729 streams of “Batman Cries” on Spotify. He has one other perfect fine music video (“Hello Goodbye”) posted June 1, 2018 with 909 views; “Batman Cries” has 21,500. His site includes the following about this soon-to-be part of internet lore: “The new video for BATMAN CRIES explores the inner superhero in us all — the strong, inner-spirit that fights for us and keeps us moving, dreaming, and striving. It’s about the eventuality that even our strongest self needs to be reassured, lifted up, and cheered on. It’s about being down – seriously down – with seemingly no way up and finding that inner strength to go forth. When a superhero is down, it tears us apart, but when that superhero is us, it’s a matter of life and death.” Unrelated to the video, but the producer’s name is “Mike Krompass”. That doesn’t impact anything, but I really needed you to hear the last name “Krompass,” which I’m pretty sure was part of Kenneth Parcel’s made-up religion in 30 Rock.

This is 100% real, people. There is nothing but absolute sincerity in every bit of this, and I don’t understand a single bit of it. I set out to get answers about what this was about, and yet I left with more questions. I may not have got what I came for, but I got what I needed.

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I’m Going to Hell 2.0

I struggled with this one. A lot. Two good hombres told me not to share the photo. I trust both people’s judgment completely. Unfortunately, I feel like I have to share this with the world. Not to offend the woman, whose photograph I recently took at the airport, but because the resemblance is just too strong. Forgive me.

If South Park is allowed to make light of the situation, why can’t I merely say the real person and the character look similar? I promise I don’t mean to offend her.

Arch Stanton Guest Post: College Football Preview

Just kidding! This isn’t a college football preview as much as a discussion of college football mascots, although I fear I may have alienated the vast majority of the potential readers with a title and topic as plebeian and regional as college football. Bear with me – there is something for everyone here: corruption, animals, the South being portrayed in a poor light.

College football is unlike any other sport in the sense it is profoundly unadorned with any logic or reason. You root for your favorite baseball team because that’s where you live, but your favorite college football team is so much more than that. It is an essential descriptor of the type of person you are, of your family personal history, and something innately within you beyond literary characterization. With a few tidbits about a few teams, maybe you’ll get an idea about the types of people involved in the stupidest sport to ever exist.

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Alabama Crimson Tide: OF COURSE we start with Alabama. Eternal #1, perpetual distributor of curb-stompings, and owners of an elephant mascot. Well not currently, but they did previously! Up through the 1950s, the University of Alabama kept a real, live, elephant as a mascot. You may be asking ‘what type of elephant exactly did they keep as a mascot?’ or ‘where did they get an elephant in Alabama?’, and you would be showing a fundamental lack of understanding of the University of Alabama, the state of Alabama, and college football as a whole by assuming any of this was according to a larger plan or more than flamboyant pageantry. The elephant’s name was Alamite, and was originally brought to games and carried the homecoming queen onto the field, but was given up as it became too costly. With that in mind, consider Alabama’s current coach makes over $11 million a year, had his home paid off by boosters, and recently stated they were going to upgrade their football facilities to the tune of $600 million. Do not rule out a future resurrection of a live elephant mascot in Alabama.

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Texas A&M Aggies: A&M is an agriculture school with a strong ROTC program, so obviously their mascot is a rough collie named Reveille. Reveille is the highest-ranking member of the Texas A&M Corp of Cadets, making her the Air Bud of the armed forces. There have been nine official Reveilles, with the deceased priors buried at the field. Texas A&M is a weird place, like if a military outpost hosted Burning Man.

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Baylor Bears: Baylor has two bears they keep on campus: Judge Joy and Judge Lady, two sassy old broads who sound like they’re on a Golden Girls-Judge Judy spinoff. Up until 2010, they were brought to games on leashes. Live black bears, on leashes, during a sporting event with tens of thousands of noisy fans – Texas as hell. I saw one report that they originally were given lots of Dr Pepper before they realized, “hey wait a second – bears probably shouldn’t drink carbonated sugar water!” Again – Texas. As. Hell.

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Auburn Tigers: So Auburn is nicknamed the Tigers, but their mascot is a live eagle. Why? There’s some half-assed story about how a wounded eagle flew over a field in 1898 while Auburn was driving against Georgia, but that seems to be mostly bullshit. Auburn has kept an eagle on hand despite this limp-wristed excuse for history since 1930. They are their seventh official golden eagle. I went to a game in Auburn once, and before the game, they set this enormous dog kennel up on one of the outer rims of the upper deck. The camera zooms in and projects to the largest videoboard in college sports (suck it Saban!) a scene of a college kid rattling the cage. As the fear of being witness to the most horrific display of animal abuse I could imagine, this eagle crawls out and takes off around the stadium. The crowd goes WILD. It circles a few times before descending on the arm of a handler at midfield, with the crowd still screaming. Somewhere in front of me in my section, a man cries out above the roar, “AIN’T EVER SEEN NO ELEPHANT DO THAT! WAR EAGLE!” It remains one of the highlights of my life.

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University of Tennessee Volunteers: Tennessee is named after their citizens willingness to leap to a call to action in the Battle of New Orleans from Andrew Jackson, and less so their enthusiastic for the support of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Yes, the Civil War was almost one hundred and fifty years ago, no it does not matter one bit in the realm of college football (Ole Miss still calls themselves the fucking Rebels. Give up your participation trophy already losers). Who cares about that – they have a bluetick coonhound named Smokey who sits on the sidelines during games, and he is delightful. Tennessee is on Smokey X, who gets wrapped up in blankets during night games, and on especially chilly nights, dons a coonskin hat. It’s precious. Smokey IX is forever regarded as the greatest Smokey, as he repeatedly nipped (Tennessee’s words) or bit (opponents’ words) players during games. Look at this dog. I would die for Smokey.

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United States Naval Academy Rams: Obviously, a live ram shows up during games. His name is Bill the Goat, because the Navy doesn’t overthink these things. Navy is on Bill the Goat XXXIII, with the first appearing in 1893. Navy does not fuck with tradition. Animal welfare agencies have been heavily involved with Bill the Goat, as ultimate rival Army has kidnapped Bill prior to their annual face-off on multiple occasions, and left him in inopportune locations. (FYI – no Bills were hurt, although a few have been mildly inconvenienced by being rerouted to animal shelters on game day).

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University of Colorado Buffalo: Ralphie V is a live buffalo they run out onto the field before games. This is a delightful tradition, until Ralphie decides his handlers are going for a wild, nationally-televised ride should he remember he is a 1,200 pound animal that four hungover assholes with ropes could never hope to contain. There are multiple instances of Ralphie breaking lose, with handlers getting shed with others nearly being trampled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEVVKi35lRM). In a list of terrible ideas for a live mascot to wrangle on the sidelines, Ralphie is pretty high.

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University of Georgia Bulldogs: The Bulldogs, surprisingly, have a bulldog as a mascot named Uga. Not because he’s ugly but because of the University of Georgia is abbreviated as U of GA… get it? It’s very clever. We are on Uga X after the first appeared in 1956. In the most college football/SEC/Georgia part of this entire list – the fondness with which each Uga is remembered by directly correlates to the football team’s winning percentage while he was active, lest you forget what this is all about.

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University of Florida Gators: Had a live gator on the sidelines starting in 1957 (sorry, no pictures), but eventually decided a prehistoric swamp monster was probably not an ideal candidate to be roaming around the chaos of a football game. The school swapped in a costumed version of an alligator in 1970. Cowards, although Albert is a pretty great costumed mascot. He wrestled Steve Irwin one time! He got a wife!

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Florida State University Seminoles: Florida State is what most people like to refer to as “problematic” – they have had multiple incidents of sexual allegations against players that were swept under the rug or “mishandled” by local police. A professor had the AUDACITY to demand that her students/players actually attend and show effort in class – she was promptly fired and blackballed from academia. Florida State isn’t so much of a school as a vehicle for football.

You’ll be shocked to hear they have a tandem live mascot – Osceola, a Seminole rider, on top of Renegade, an Appaloosa horse. The rider is a white guy with face paint carrying a flaming torch – the school has had the approval of the local Seminole tribe that this is totally not racist, you guys! – but people insist this is wildly inappropriate, to which alumni suggest “you should have seen what it was before” (a white guy in red face dancing around the middle of the field). So obviously, it will never die.

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University of Southern California Trojans: The Trojans have a horse (Traveler!) with a nameless Trojan rider, so a massive improvement on Florida State. We are on Traveler IX. I really only added this to prove that they have football on the west coast, albeit it is vastly inferior in terms of the full-only stupid displayed by the south.

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University of Arkansas Razorbacks: The Razorbacks have a live boar on the sidelines for their games named Tusk. Apparently, a wild boar is called a tusk, so having a domesticated boar and calling him “Tusk” is technically inaccurate, but “technically correct” has never been a selling point in Arkansas. We are on Tusk IV (Arkansas was late to the game on actual live mascots), with Tusk II repeatedly jumping out of his four-foot cage despite being a 500 pound big. Suddenly, Robert Baratheon’s death seems far more realistic than originally presumed.

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University of South Carolina Gamecocks: I’ll be damned if that isn’t a beautiful chicken (FYI – for a good time, Google ‘beautiful chickens’)! South Carolina goes by the “Cocks”, because they have no sense of irony and/or a wise understanding of teenage boys willing to buy apparel with “COCKS” splayed across the front. They have a giant chicken-man in a costume named Cocky that no one gives a shit about, but they also have an enormous chicken (actually from a gamecock breed) named Sir Big Spur. This is AWESOME until you realize handlers and fans frequently shoehorn how Sir Big Spur is “bred to fight”, which seems like an unusual way to describe something that has been outlawed for decades in America.

/double checks laws on cockfighting

//sees its only been outlawed since 2008 in South Carolina

Well what the fuck do I know.

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University of North Carolina Tar Heels: Tar Heels – surprisingly not rooted in outdated racism! They have had at least twenty-three rams named Ramses – I couldn’t find an official number, but I did find a report that Ramses XXIII was brutally murdered by a drunk guy in 1996. Yeesh. Also – apologies for the enormous balls on Ramses in the above picture, but I thought you should see them.

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University of Texas Longhorns: If we want to discuss college football stupidity, we are definitely taking a lengthy detour into Austin, Texas to look at the Longhorns, perhaps the stupidest team in all of college football (Alabama sees you, spends millions to take roughly a hundred yards off of the teams walk from the locker room to the field on game day (this is actually happening as part of that massive expenditure I mentioned above)). No team has had more money involved and a longer history of general “wait, what happened?” than Texas. Evidence A – Joe Jamail, a local attorney who became big shit and decided the most appropriate thing to do would be to finance a football team and fight opposing counsel in depositions (true story! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxmrvbMeKc).

As incredible as Texas’ endless reserve of boosters is, this is about mascots. ENTER BEVO, a big-ass steer Texas trots on the sideline during games. We are on Bevo XV, direct descendant of the four previous Bevos, including Bevo XIV who famously attended George W Bush’s second inauguration. You know, the guy who grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Yale and got an MBA from Harvard – obviously the 1,800 pound steer would be around for his party. That said, I get it – Bevo is delightful. The Longhorn Network (a University of Texas athletics-only channel – oh, does that seem preposterous to you? WELCOME TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL), runs a five-hour special on Christmas of Bevo standing at his ranch set to Christmas music.

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Louisiana State University Tigers: This is what we have been building towards. I may have jumped the gun on calling Texas the most outlandish because LSU is DEFINITELY the dumbest program in sports, which is why I love them unconditionally. Louisiana, if you didn’t know, is currently in the midst of a massive budgetary crisis where the state is struggling to finance its public institutions, but the public school did manage to rustle up $9 million to buy out their last head coach, who had won a national title for them only a few years prior. This is not a new phenomenon – famously crooked governor Huey Long tripled the size of the marching band after being shown up by an opponent, and when the state legislature would not approve funds to be used to build a new, Roman-style football stadium, he built a row of dorms, and added a field to one side of the new dorms, and had bleachers installed adjacent to the field. Free stadium! Louisiana is everything you would think it would be.

Alas! The mascot! We’ve seen other outlandishly named teams, but Louisiana doesn’t shy away from that. Yes, they have a real, live Bengal tiger. His name is Mike. Who is Mike? No one seems to have a great idea, but we are on Mike VII, who is really the eighth Mike (one died and they forgot to jump to the next number) (again, LSU is just stupid as hell, and we should all learn to embrace it). You know how we noted how other mascots have broken loose? Well, Mike’s been loose a few times. Sometimes because he was kidnapped by rivals, because stealing a BENGAL TIGER is something you do when you want to cheat death, but other times he just… got out. I dunno man, why you gotta make such a fuss? He didn’t kill anyone! He was tranq’d and returned unfazed. Mike originally became a mascot once a booster thought “it would be RAD to have an actual tiger for a mascot”, and because it was the 1940s, and it apparently wasn’t that difficult to find a tiger for sale in Baton Rouge, LA. Now, LSU rescues tigers from shitty zoos or subpar habitats, only to wheel their asses out on to a corner of the field during game day. Humanitarianism is one thing, but goddamn if we ain’t playing in-conference this week! LSU embraces everything about Louisiana, the Southeast Conference, college football, and America as a whole, with endless waves of pageantry, flamboyance and excess, and for that reason, I am eternally loyal to them.

(Big hat tip to Spencer Hall/@edsbs and his incredible season opener previews (one on LSU Tigers, Alabama Elephant, South Carolina Cocks and Tennessee Volunteers – this is why I ended up digging in on mascots in the first place. Spencer is one of my favorite writers, and each article is an incredible read even if you know nothing about college football. Strongly recommended if only for the wonderful evaluation of southern Americana. Start here: https://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2018/8/30/17799866/tiger)

Song of the Day (9/7/2018)

But before I begin, this:

Yes, China’s richest man and eternally adorable Mogwai, Gizmo could leave Alibaba in the near future. For the sake of keeping Geofredo Bezos busy and honest, hope that doesn’t happen. I side with Alibaba – we need to keep Amazon’s American imperialist aggressors at bay.

The song of the day. I may have shared this one before but it’s too good to not share again. It’s Disco Inferno by The Trammps.

Now, here are some license plates, bumper stickers, and signs from recent travels for your feigned enjoyment:

(I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley)

Bonus points to Arch Stanton for finding these gems:

Apologies for the grab bag of random shit in this posting. Remember to keep shopping Alibaba – we need to put food on the table for Jack Ma. Just nothing after midnight.

Cross- and Intra-Asset Correlations are Plummeting…

Volatility is skyrocketing. VIX…soar, like Eagle. The 30 year bull market in fixed income is coming to an abrupt end. Trade wars on a global scale are looming. Currencies and hard assets are getting thrashed. The 10 year bull market in equities has already baked in a massive tax cut and is running out of steam. Recession on the horizon. Prospects are bleak. Correlations are down.

It’s becoming a stock picker’s market…

Daddy’s gotta go to work.

In other news…God!:

Great bumper sticker. Wonderful. It NEVER gets old.

This post is brought to you by:

Even if your Kumho has a lot of mileage, you’ll still feel comfortable letting your family ride that rubber.

Arch Stanton Guest Post: The Most Ambitious Crossover in History

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Hey have you heard there’s a new “Avengers” movie? It was pretty easy to miss, since it’s only been E V E R Y W H E R E for the past two months leading to it’s record-breaking opening weekend. Suck it “Titantic”! Part of the endless parade of promotions for the movie about CGI’d superheros fighting a CGI intergalactic bad guy is repeatedly calling this film, “the most ambitious crossover event in history”, which seems a bit presumptuous if you ask me. What about that other time Marvel made an “Avengers” movie? Or the time they made those “Marvel vs Capcom” videogames? Or the time “Friends”, “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld” all had a TRIPLE crossover about a blackout in New York City? (Do you not remember this episode of “Seinfeld”? It’s because NBC ordered it, and the other two shows fell in line, while the writer’s on “Seinfeld” entirely ignored it.) What about the time THE DONALD hung out with Grimace in a McDonald’s commercial? These were all mighty fine examples, but I can think of one property ripe for a crossover. Without further ado, here is the dumbest thing you will read this week….

“GEICO SPOKESMEN: INFINITE MASCOTS”

[SCENE: A nondescript strip mall in small-town, located between a Chinese buffet that apparently has a half-off special everyday and the last remaining roller disco in the Western hemisphere. Night has fallen, but there’s a large table towards the back of the office, visible from the parking lot due to the lights illuminating the conference room.]

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GECKO: [In a faux-…British? Australian? accent, it doesn’t matter you’re already doing the voice in your head] I have gathered all of you here today in the Geico Fortess of Solitude in order to address rumors of destruction and chaos in which we have never seen. We have faced formidable foes in the past – last year, we were nearly capsized fighting off Flo, and only at the last minute able to banish her to the Phantom Zone by bundling home and auto insurance together. We…

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CAMEL: GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?

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PINWHEEL PIG: Knock it off, Camel. Let’s get to it Geico – I got a blonde on a jet ski to get back to in order to make everyone very uncomfortable with the suggested implications.

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“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… today is Monday, and you are a one-joke mascot Camel?

PINWHEEL PIG: Uncalled for. We are all just as valuable to Geico’s ever-expanding marketing footprint.

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ODDLY-GROWING WEIGHTLIFTER: HULK SMAAAAASH!!

“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… this commercial makes my penis recede into my stomach every time I see it?

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WHATEVER THESE ASSHOLES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE: [plays twee chord]

GECKO: We’re going off the rails, people. Focus. We need an organized plan, throwing everything we’ve got at this next…

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EASILY OFFENDED CAVEMAN: Are you going to tell us what this is or what? This is an unwieldy platform for a movie because we have to split a movie among a dozen-plus characters while establishing their motivations or character growth, all while telling a coherent story. This is a big ask, even for the sharpest among us. Isn’t that right? [gestures to his left]

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MONEY-WITH-EYES: [continues staring vacantly]

[rest of table nods in solemn agreement to the endless reserve of wisdom dispelled by Money-With-Eyes]

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THIS MAYONNAISE-EATING MOTHERFUCKER: Wise words indeed, Money-With-Eyes. We all remember this strategy when we defeated Erin Esurance and relegated her to a life of fan-made hentai porn (NOTE: https://priceonomics.com/how-esurance-lost-its-mascot-to-the-internet/)

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MISCHIEVOUS WOODCHUCKS: Aww hell yeah! We totally remember Rule 34-ing that dirty slut into 4chan. We ARE naughty beavers after all! [high-five each while the rest of the room groans, with some cloying steel guitar and tiny guitar fiddling amongst the noise]

ODDLY-GROWING WEIGHTLIFTER: [takes the guitars and smashes them through the table like John Belushi in “Animal House”]

“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… I have been DYING to do that forever now?

GECKO: [over the noise] We need to focus! We all need to get on the same page as soon as possible before… [thunder cracks and light illuminates the dark parking lot, the smoldering husk of a hatchback suddenly folded up. Mayonnaise-Eating-Motherfucker mouths, “my ride…”. A second burst of lighting fills the sky with only a shadow visible in the front window]

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