The StickMonkey hands a banana to Danish travel agency

The birth rate is declining in Denmark, and you know that what means. More people need to get “in the mood.”

denmark-sex-hed-2014So an enterprising travel agency set out to find a way make making whoopie feel like something a Dane should do for his or her country. And if there’s anything about the video that’s not un-subtle enough, you have the tagline: “Do it for Denmark.”

 

 

Tourist commissions everywhere should take note. So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey is enchanted by yet another TV commercial from Japan

Japan Credit Card

It’s for a credit card. Screw features and benefits, this is how it feels to have it!

The commercial was  reportedly created without special effects thanks to the real skills of 22-year-old actress Rina Takeda.

It’s not an exact translation, but the narrator says something along the lines of, “Depends on how you use your head; depends on how you use your card.”

If you want to see more of Ms Takeda’s remarkable athleticism, check out this movie clip.

To steal the tagline of another credit card, “Priceless.”

So sayeth the StickMonkey

The StickMonkey hands a banana to earhoox

These things have made me fall back in love with the earbuds that came with my iPhone 5.

earhoox

Now my earbuds actually stay in my ears, and they are very comfortable. It’s the one problem I’ve had with my iPhone 5. I kept using the older earbuds, but I really liked the sound quality of new new earbuds. For $10 bucks, problem solved.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey hands a banana to Jerry Seinfeld

It’s reported he already has a net worth of about $800 million, but maybe Jerry Seinfeld is worried that his wife’s use of Uber to get the kids across town might start cutting into that.

seinfeld

So he got a gig writing eight new commercials for Acura, which will be featured in the upcoming third season of his web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

If you’re a fan of car ads from the ’50s and ’60s, you’ll get a kick out of them. I especially liked the one titled “Astro” – featuring a group of astronauts who splash down after visiting the moon and discover they’ll have to get their own ride home. Good thing this new luxury SUV has enough room for the space rocks…and a small alien one of the crew brought back, as well.

I didn’t fall out of my seat from laughing too hard…but I did appreciate watching a commercial for a car that didn’t require all of those ridiculous warnings about the driving being performed by professional racers and not attempting to try this at home.

Moon rocks and space aliens not included.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey hands a banana to eBay

I’ve bought a few things on eBay, but I’ve never sold anything – that is until yesterday. I had an old first-generation iPad that I no longer needed. I also have a first-generation iPad mini, which is still sealed in the box. I put that up for auction on eBay, too – but it didn’t sell.

ebaylogoAnd when I tried to re-list it, I found out that eBay has category limitations. I couldn’t find out what the limitation was, so I used the function that requests for eBay’s customer service department to call me. The listed wait time was 12 minutes.

I got a call in less than that time. The person who helped me was engaged and polite, empathetic, and he took the time to answer not just my category limitation question – but a few more that popped into my head while I was talking to him.

I don’t call customer service departments. It’s usually an experience that does not end well. In this case, I might have spent another couple hours trying myself to uncover what those category limitations were. It would have been futile because the eBay customer service representative who helped me told me that this information wasn’t customer-facing.

So I saved myself a lot of time and frustration, not to mention that I actually ended up in a better mood by talking to a real human being who was in a happy frame of mine and who easily transferred that happiness to me.

It makes me wonder if I should actually start trying to use those customer service numbers. But…what if my experience with eBay was just an anomaly?

So sayeth the StickMonkey

The StickMonkey adds to his collection of James Bond infobytes

bondvesperThey come my way. Random bits of information that somehow end up leading to James Bond. For example, learning not too long ago that James had something in common with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Today I read an interesting and amusing article on the NPR website about what your liver would be like if you really did drink all those Vesper martinis as portrayed in the movies and books about James Bond.

Nottingham University Hospital in England embarked on a yearlong study to determine how many drinks James Bond had on a daily basis.

Their conclusion?

On average, the handsome and deadly spy consumed about six to seven drinks a day – or 45 drinks each week.

What’s more, a martini is usually far more than a single “drink” in terms of the amount of alcohol it contains (especially if you have one of my Vespers). So the authors of this study broke the consumption down to alcohol units – which makes a martini count as three.

The NPR article contains additional content about the medical consequences of consuming that much alcohol on a regular basis. Alas, even for Mr. Bond, it’s bad news for his liver and his brain. But I do appreciate how the article quotes psychiatrist Peter Martin, who directs the Vanderbilt Addiction Center, to put Mr. Bond’s drinking habits into perspective.

“You have to remember, this was the ’50s. People drank more and smoked more.” And Bond was hardly alone. “Think about how much a person like Winston Churchill drank,” Martin says. “He drank a lot! But yet he ran the effort of the western nations in the world war. So this is not unprecedented.”

It’s Friday, so perhaps tonight I will mix up a Vesper and raise my glass to the spy who apparently has pickled his liver.

So sayeth the StickMonkey

The StickMonkey talks about smelling nicely

SSTSM_CartierHermeslogosI received an e-mail today about a new men’s fragrance by Chanel. There’s a video (of course) for the new Bleu de Chanel, which was directed by Martin Scorsese – you can watch it here. You shouldn’t judge a cologne by its video, of course, but it really paled in comparison to the Chanel piece featuring Nicole Kidman. You get what you pay for: and in that case, Ms Kidman was paid $12 million, while director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!) was given a budget of $42 million.

What I thought was interesting about the e-mail was that it didn’t just try to sell me the the cologne. Its creator actually tried to engage me with something even more interesting – the importance for a man to select a signature scent.

Now, where have I heard that before…?

Oh, yes.

The year was 1982. I was seated next to Clare Boothe Luce at a dinner party hosted by the former publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, Joseph Ridder. I was 20 years old and working for the minimum wage at a Honolulu radio station. This was a formal dinner. I was underdressed for the occasion, and I pretty much knew next to nothing about what to do when seated at a formal dinner party.

I was mortified, and I’m sure it showed.

Clare Boothe Luce could easily have just ignored me. Most of the other dinner guests had been doing that all evening as we drank and strolled out on the sweeping lawn that led to the Pacific Ocean, with Diamond Head silhouetted above us.

But Clare took an interest in me.

What an amazing woman! I fell under her spell and the rest of the dinner party disappeared as the two of us traded life stories. Mine compared to hers? Insignificant. The stories she told me that night are a dinner conversation I will never forget – and I can still hear them to this day in her clipped voice, which was often hardly more than a whisper.

One of the many things about which we spoke during the dinner stands out – and it’s why the cologne e-mail today bright it to mind. My compliment about her perfume elicited Clare’s observation about men and their use of cologne. She was of the mind that most men were clueless about it. And here was her advice to me.

Find a single cologne – or perhaps two, but no more than that – which will bring happy memories to mind. Make it your signature scent. Wear nothing else. Go with something classic, something that has been around for decades; otherwise, it’ll probably not exist when you go to purchase more.

The dinner was over before I knew it, and Clare’s presence was in high demand. So I thanked her for the wonderful dinner conversation and watched as she was swallowed up by the 50 or so people in attendance. I didn’t stay long. I was out of my element.

A few days later I got a phone call from Clare. Would I be so kind as to join her for lunch the following day?

Fast-forward to that lunch on her lanai overlooking Diamond Head. As we dined, Clare reached beneath the table and presented me with a small package; which she encouraged me to open as we continued with the meal.

It was a bottle of Santos de Cartier. “I think you should make this your signature,” Clare told me. “It’s new for Cartier, but I believe it’ll endure. After all, Cartier has been around since the 1840s.”

“You must promise me this,” she continued. “Apply it only at the back of your neck, just below your hair. I trust you’ll know how much by remembering that a woman’s perfume should announce her presence as she enters the room, but a man’s cologne should follow him discreetly into the room.”

More than 31 years later, I still wear – almost exclusively – Cartier. I did add another cologne: the original men’s cologne by Hermes. I think Clare would approve of the choice, as the French luxury goods house was founded in 1837.

So sayeth the StickMonkey