As we all wend our way to Iowa, the campaigns are on the ground trying to hawk their merchandise to unsuspecting caucus-goers who might happen to drive their minivans around their kids’ soccer matches, using the power of the bumper sticker to motivate legions of grassroots activists. Most campaigns have a banal selection – Ted Cruz, for example, is all tee shirts and buttons, Mike Huckabee has mostly the kind of lawn signs you see covering up dead patches of transplanted sod in long-term trailer parking. Rand Paul has been, far and away, the most creative, even getting me to shell out $15 for this “Detroit Republican” tee shirt that I can’t actually wear in Detroit.
Jeb Bush is the newest entrant into the game, is going with more high-end merchandise, including this “guacamole bowl,” that will cost you a whopping $75 (and you don’t even get a recipe for guacamole), and all of your saved-up sanity.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me unreasonably angry. I mean, I like Jeb Bush as much as the next person with masochistic tendencies and an anxiety disorder, but there’s something overtly aggressive about this level of pun. Clearly “Guaca Bowle” is a play on the word “guacamole” but the very fact that I had to explain that to myself rather than just accepting the wrongheaded spelling at face value means I spent an entire thirty seconds more looking at this ad than I should have. And the result of that commitment? I read through the description which references “Sunday Funday,” presumably only a “funday” if you capture it with a selfie stick.
I want to punch this ad in the face. Or in the back of the neck as it walks slowly in front of me on the wrong side of the sidewalk. Or trip it when it fails to abide by the “stand right, walk left” rule of Metro escalators. I think, in terms of ads, it’s “hipster quality,” but not the hipster guy down the street who has an actual job and mows his lawn and only wears skinny jeans on the weekends. This is the art-loft-renting-with-trust-fund-money-but-refuses-to-bathe-regularly sort of hipster.
The worst part of this ad may be that the actual “guaca bowle” is available for $25 less on Williams Sonoma, where is als features a pestle to its mortar which makes the Williams Sonoma one look reasonably priced, and that catalogue hasn’t sold anything “reasonably priced” since it discovered it could sell empty aluminim cans to exurban housewives and call them vintage.
On the plus, side, I suppose, Jeb is still doing better than Donald Trump, whose best campaign accoutrement is his Iowa spokeswoman, who previously starred in infomercials for the Bedazzler.