Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Gilbert Got Fried
Jennifer Flaten

Apparently, Mother Nature is feeling a wee bit confused. Today’s been a mix of snow, rain, hail, rain and more rain. Tomorrow promises the same.

I didn’t realize how much rain until I stepped out into the garage. What was once concrete floor is now the river Nile, sans Alligators, at least for now. I immediately slammed the door shut and pretended I didn’t see anything.

Unless I grow gills, I am not going anywhere for a while, so to entertain myself I break out the latest issue of celebrities run amok.

After perusing the magazine and catching up with all the usual suspects I decide the winner of the “What was he thinking” award is Gilbert Gottfried. I’ll wait while you run through the search engines.  

Gottfried is a funny man. He’s in many movies. His voice work is legendary, quirky, grating and often as foul.

You might recognize him as the voice of “Aflac.” Others remember as the fellow running naked through the luxury Fairmont Hotel, in Toronto, screaming, “There’s a Jew loose. There’s a Jew loose. Lock up your daughters and sheep.” His scream was a self-reference.

Well, that’s Gottfried. If you didn’t hear and if you have a life you probably didn’t, earlier this week he tweeted a string of tasteless comments about Japan. I have no idea what exactly he tweeted. The point isn’t whether I think what he wrote is tasteless. It probably is, but that is not why he's a celebrity. The point is “Aflac” thought it was tasteless and might fire him for it. Money talks and Gottfried may walk.

Why “Aflac” would be surprised the man who played Johnny Crunch in the “Adventures of Ford Fairlane,” your right, I am the only person in the whole word who has watched that movie, would make a good spokes-duck is beyond me. In terms of why stars take the spokes person jobs, it’s the money. I understand how a dump truck full of money, the sponsor offers a spokesperson, is hard to resist.

The problem is the stars fail to see what a drag it might be to all their other work eclipsed by their stint as an insurance pedaling duck. I would just like to take a moment to say that I, for one, would never ever feel that way. Feel free to offer a mere wheelbarrow full of money to work with a duck. I promise I am simply too lazy to ever tweet anything derogatory about anyone. There’s that verb, again, and no birds in sight.

Perhaps, Gottfried tired of squiring the duck to industry events, I’m not exaggerating: I found a picture of him and the duck at an event together, and he decided this was a good way to break his contract. Maybe the duck got more money or a bigger dressing room; maybe that should be nest. 

Here’s the thing, I can see Gottfried saying something tasteless. Heck that happens to everyone, it is easy to open mouth and insert foot, but to sit down and type it out? That is crazy. Yet, it happens every day and not just with celebrities.

Why would anyone think social media will not, at some point, turn around and bite them in the ass is beyond me. After all, the whole idea of social media is to be social and have tons of followers. Therefore it shouldn‘t come as a surprise that your boss read your post lambasting his choice of footwear and “promotes” you to the basement outpost.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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