(This is original. I posted it some months ago in talk.bizarre, and some people wrote back saying that they thought it funny. It was a bit dated even when I wrote it (I don't watch much TV), but I think that lots of people might be amused even if they never saw or can't remember the original commercial.) [Scene: A MAN walking along a rocky seashore, accompanied by his dog, SANDY. He does various things: tosses rocks into the sea, tosses sticks to the dog, sits musing and gazing out to sea, etc. during the... ] VOICEOVER: At Howlett-Packer, we never stop asking: ``What if?'' We hire people who can't keep their minds off the problem at hand: people who work on it... muse over it... become obsessed with it... won't give up as long as they think an answer might be possible... [The MAN has had a sudden inspiration! You can see it in his face. He calls to his dog -- he's going to go write it down, tell somebody about it, something of that nature.] MAN: Sandy! Hey, Sandy! [SANDY, superbly trained, trots obediently to his side. The man starts telling SANDY about his idea -- who else is around? Anyway, he might forget it otherwise. They start to walk inland. The camera follows at a slight distance.] MAN: Sandy! [Dramatically] What if... we tried [insert appropriate technical jargon here] and then [more jargon]. How about that? SANDY: It'll never work, Dave. [SANDY's voice is very doggy: gruff and barking, but not hard to understand.] MAN: What? Why won't it work? It's a brilliant solution! SANDY: I'm afraid it's theoretically impossible. Didn't you read my paper in _Acta Informatica_ last year? MAN: I'm not a theoretician, Sandy. I just implement things. SANDY: Dave, I know you don't take me seriously as a theoretical computer scientist because I'm your dog, but really you should keep abreast of the developments in your field. MAN: But Sandy -- SANDY: I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I turned down that endowed chair just last month. Well, actually it was an endowed dog bed, but you must admit it was a tempting offer. And that visiting-professor post in Amsterdam -- well, I admit my Dutch is a bit weak -- and [sorrowful] you don't even read my journal papers! MAN: I'm sorry, Sandy. Maybe you'd be better off on your own... SANDY: Dave, I'm your _dog_. We dogs are very big on loyalty. You know that! It's hard to find that kind of loyalty anywhere else these days. Your wife ran off with that software engineer -- MAN: [Agitated] San-dy! Please! [Calmer] Look, Sandy, if you're right, I'm in trouble. My boss...you know what he's like. You know what the whole company is like. [They stop.] SANDY: You want my help with this, Dave. MAN: I'll do anything within reason. Really. SANDY: No more generic dog food? MAN: Never again. I promise. SANDY: One of those cedar-filled dog beds? Extra-large? MAN: Don't you know how tacky those are? SANDY: [Slightly provoked] Da-ave! C'mon now! Weren't you serious? MAN: Okay, okay! What else? [They start walking again, very slowly. The camera remains stationary. Eventually they walk into the distance, but we can hear the following, fading slowly:] SANDY: No more of those sluts from the City Pound. MAN: Aren't they good-looking enough for you? I try to get the best. SANDY: They're all hardened characters. They've got fleas! I want one of those groomed, high-priced AKC bitches. MAN: Those're all airheaded snobs! Overbred! What was wrong with that last one I got you? She was obviously from a good home. Her owners must've just gotten tired of her and turned her loose. SANDY: The life of the streets, the pound -- it changes them, Dave! She was... she'd been through some awful experiences. Kept crying and trembling, couldn't loosen up for a second. I felt sorry for her, but you couldn't have expected me to cater to her emotional needs and carry on world-class scientific research at the same time! MAN: All right, all right. [Gently sarcastic] I suppose you want a mirror on the ceiling above the dog bed? SANDY: Well, Dave, now that you mention it... [Fade out.]
(From the "Rest" of RHF)
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