I feel uniquely qualified in all matters B of A. Why? Because that noble institution holds my mortgage. Well, not at first. I originally had my home loan with Etrade Financial (before the talking babies). Then it made its way to Countrywide (you may recall their stellar reputation). And from there on, it was eventually acquired by the hometown folks of B & A. The entire process was likely more bundled than a frigid, burka-clad Afghan girl in Mazar E Sharif.
I remember this one time when my payment was a couple days late. I was immediately bombarded with telemarketing calls. And the calls were nonstop. Nothing pisses you off more than seeing an 866 number register on your cell phone. Then, you answer the phone and there's complete silence for about 8 seconds. Suddenly, a guy who sounds like he's from a call center in New Dehli enters the fray. If you thought his name was Raghib or Harish, you'd be sadly mistaken. He identifies himself as Joe Hanson and immediately asks for my social security number. I'm reluctant to offer any information. But he desperately needs to verify my identity or the call can't proceed. Keep in mind that they are the ones who called me. I try to explain that my payment is late, but it's in the mail. But he does not care. The only thing this guy wants is my SS# so he can continue the scripted pitch. I get annoyed with the process and hang up. Sure enough, another 2 hours passes and rest assured, it's B of A again. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. In this case, it's Same B of A call, different Indian male telemarketer. And the same vexing conundrum awaits. I'm still reluctant to divulge my info. This process goes on for a few days until they get the check. It's about 5 or 6 calls per day.
So yeah, I'm intimately acquainted with this venerable banking institution and all their fine work. But it's these inane commercials that really get my blood boiling. If it's not the insurance companies, it's the banks. And like a "good neighbor," they are here to lend a "helping hand." How the fuck can they still peddle this shit? It's 2012 for Christ sake! Do people still succumb to this blatant level of bullshit?
Alright, so I watched the Pink's Hot Dog commercial and noticed a few things. First and foremost, the guy's parents approached Bank of America with an idea for a new business. They didn't have anything but a hot dog cart on a busy street corner. Fortunately, the banker admired their "enthusiasm" and decided to take "a chance!" They were "worth" the "risk." He loaned them $4,000 and that got the ball rolling. Call me naive, but I don't think it works like that. The more likely scenario, he reported them to the city health inspector and tried to shake down Betty Pink and gramps with some kind of "hot dog excise tax" or "bun splitting tariff."
And you've got love how the current owners (the Pink family) are besieged with autograph requests. They just cannot believe that people want them to pose for a picture. I've got admit, nothing would be more gratifying than a signed portrait of me and Richard Pink... hanging above my downstairs toilet. Next up on my bucket list, a picture of me with Ray Inari (billionaire CEO of Occidental Petroleum) in the foosball room.
Bank of America is obviously looking for some image rehabilitation following the 2008 bank bailouts. It's about time! So they go with the hot dog approach. Think about it for a second. Is this "Pink hot dog" thing a coincidence? I don't think so.
A. Hot dogs are the favored cuisine of the ballpark - intrinsically linked to baseball (America's great pastime). B of A literally oozes small town patriotism. Yeah, right? Aren't these the same assholes that foreclosed on a bunch of military families? Aren't these the same fuckheads that hit you up with all kinds of hidden fees and debit surcharges?
B. Pink - the color of breast cancer awareness. I don't think the humanizing, sympathetic angle was an accident either. Yes, I am that cynical.
Why not just have Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and the whole Palin family enjoying a trip to Pink's? Maybe he could splurge and treat the whole fam. But hold the phone. His 2011 compensation wasn't even a million. It was only $950,000. Wait a minute. That's his base salary. I forgot about his stock options and bonus package. But I do like how the Board of Directors keeps it below the vaunted million mark. See? Bank see-e-oh's aren't really that wealthy. They're just regular, normal people... much like the Pink family.
Still, he could probably afford to feed the Palinites. Maybe they should name a dog after each kid:
The Bristol Dog
The Trig Dog
The Track Dog
The Willow Dog
The Piper Dog
For some reason, this seems to make sense. Don't ask for an explanation though. Just trust me. This will happen before you die.
And I just checked the Pink's menu.
Here are 4 of the stand-outs:
Three Dog Night - 3 hot dogs, wrapped in a giant tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili & onions $7.95. Honestly, who the fuck would order this, let alone consume it?
Rosie O'Donnel Long Island Dog - About 15 years ago I saw this portly woman at Drover's sporting a Rosie O'Donnell backpatch on her jean jacket. I casually mentioned how I wasn't a fan and she took great offense. Seriously, she got all up in my grill and was fuming, "Who the hell asked you, asshole!" I quietly apologized. That lesbianic militant served me up a well-deserved, monster gulp of "shut your fucking face."
Martha Stewart Dog - Yes! A hot dog named after a home decor expert that pilfered $65,000 in an high stakes, insider trading scam. Here's a thought - don't market a product around the concept of opening your mouth, especially if you should have kept your mouth shut in the first place.
America the Beautiful Dog - $7.10. And that doesn't even include tax. This item is well versed in the patriotic inspiration of lips and assholes. It's rumored that when the Pink family opens a new location in Pittsburgh, they'll rename it the Santorum Dog. In Utah, it's the Romney Dog (literally named after the terrified family dog that rides in the cargo carrier on top his SUV for the 8 hour trek to the Grand Canyon).
And how about the suggested hour-and-a-half wait in line. We had so much fun in line! That young couple was spotted kissing while they waited. That was the greatest part of the chili dog experience! Personally, I prefer the Soup Nazi's approach when handling overzealous, romantic couples. "Nobody kisses in my line!" (Yev Kassem)
We could use a Pink's Hot Dog in Wheeling. Oops, I forgot. We already got Louis (pronounced Lew-eeees) Hot Dog in the Elm Terrace shopping plaza. Gig and I went to eat there one time. We were taken aback by something I termed "the hoisting of the dogs." Not to be confused with the "running of the bulls." As we approached the counter, we looked deep into each others eyes.
"I don't want to be here."
She replied, "Eric, let's get out of here."
And that's all I have to say about that (Forrest Gump).