JOE SWITCHED THE BREAD

One of the most inane commercials I’ve ever seen dates back to my much younger days and a product called Beefsteak rye bread. I’d guess that it was somewhere in the early 70s, and while that time may have been considered creativity’s golden years, this one was as leaden as they get.

The scene was a construction site full of stereotypically macho men (this was pre-Village People). A grizzled journeyman is doing something to his young new co-worker’s lunch, and two other workers chuckle, “Look – Joe’s switched the bread on him.”

Cut to the puzzled but fresh-faced young man, who has just taken a bite of the sandwich to discover a much different taste. Presumably, a much more manly taste. Because, you see, the veteran has removed the childish white bread from the youngster’s sandwich, and replaced it with Beefsteak rye, the clear choice of manly men. (Sadly, the spot wasn’t available on YouTube, or I’d have included a link.)

It’s wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is imagining a construction site where hazing consists of older workers teaching younger ones the fine art of being a man by focusing on yeast-based products. I can only imagine what the brainstorming session must have been like. “No, Manny, what if it’s two construction guys, and one replaces the other’s bread!” “Ho, ho – whadda laugh riot!”

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