No alcohol necessary

By Mir
January 12, 2011

We have reached the part of our program—school is closed for the third day in a row, and we are more or less housebound, and the children are crabby and everybody is sick of everybody else—where I am back to my standard coping mechanisms. This means that by the time the kids go to bed at night, I am basically non-verbal and can only handle a bare minimum of human interaction, provided it occurs during the commercial breaks (or fast-forwarding through the recorded commercials) of mindless shows on the television.

In other words: The kids go to bed, I go to the couch. I grunt or mutter in response to whatever Otto says to me, but mostly, the extent of what I can process or react to ends with pointed snickering during CSI: Miami.

I tend to think of this evening couch time as deeply therapeutic. After all, I’m curled up with the dog, I often have a square of good chocolate, I’m decompressing from the day because who can think about anything important while partaking in what passes for entertainment in this country? Sure, I’m probably not very good company, but it beats the evenings when we decide to talk and I just cry all over Otto for an hour or two.

(Related: God, it is SO MUCH FUN to be married to me! Otto is a lucky, lucky man!)

Anyway, it’s something of an exaggeration to say we don’t talk at ALL during these times. Why, there’s always someone on TV to make fun of, for example, and of course there’s often child detritus laying around for us to either complain or plot about. (Note: It is now 10:30 a.m. and someone has yet to realize that her brand-new iPod is missing. There’s a little cash riding on how long it takes her to notice. The fun part, you see, is that she’s such a slob it may take WEEKS before she begins to suspect it was relocated for her. I like to call it the Crapness Protection Program—saving treasured objects from Hurricane Chickadee is all in a day’s work, ma’am.)

So we do talk, some. Why, yesterday, I sank into the couch and the dog immediately pounced on my lap and I began scrolling through the programming guide, looking for something worthy of our mockery for the next hour or so. Otto wasn’t yet in the family room, and so when he came along and sat down, I paused in my searching to talk to him about… something. I can’t even remember what.

You know how the TV display works when you’re on the guide, right? The guide takes up the bottom two-thirds of the screen, and then the top third is split between details about whatever show you’ve landed on and the actual programming happening on whatever channel you’re currently tuned to. I have no idea what channel I was on when I started scrolling through; I hadn’t been paying attention.

Anyway, I left the guide up on the screen and started talking to Otto. And I was about two sentences into whatever I was saying when I realized he wasn’t listening to me AT ALL, which is unusual for him. Instead, he was staring at the television, completely transfixed.

“What is this?” he asked.

I glanced at the TV, which appeared to be showing a commercial of some kind. “I… don’t know? I was looking for something.”

“No,” he said. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS??” His agitation was real. I turned back to the TV and beheld… this:

I guess because it’s a cartoon, it’s supposed to be… okay? Like, it’s fine to have a pooping contest during prime time as long as it’s only CARTOON poop. Or something.

Now, I think the commercial is stupid, for sure. But Otto’s reaction to it was just… comedy gold. He sputtered. He stammered. He managed to squeak out things like, “WHY?!?!?!” It was as if Luvs had personally set out to disrupt everything he’s every known to be true about the world and common human decency.

In the midst of the Snowpocalypse Shutdown, teen girl hormone rollercoasters, and everything that’s going on with Monkey’s health, my husband’s ability to make sense of life as we know it was completely rocked by the sight of cartoon babies shitting themselves.

And somehow, that was all I needed to laugh until I could barely breathe, to sit there on the couch, gasping for breath, tears stinging my eyes, just HOWLING at his reaction. His utter indignation was the stuff of legends. I wish you could’ve seen it.

The next time I need to relax and unwind after a difficult day, I’m making Otto watch that commercial again. It was way better than a glass of Pinot.


  1. Randi

    ….this is the reason I love DVR, to avoid commercials like this one. HOWEVER laughter is the best medicine, and it sounds like Otto’s reaction was the medicine you needed! yay!

  2. Headless Mom


    Oh my! I haven’t seen that one yet. I totally get Otto’s reaction.

  3. dad

    Don’t you just love where evolution has taken us? Perhaps the same ad agency will be hired to produce a scintillating commercial for Ipacac.

    You seem to be able to find both pathos and humor in nearly anything…even a group poop! A good laugh is medicine for the soul.

  4. Kristin

    I’m speechless.

  5. Brandi

    I just sent that to my husband. Thanks!

  6. Marissa

    When I saw that commercial I lost it – in what world is it appropriate to score a baby’s ability to poop. This is the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while. Keep in mind that I have a 16 month old girl and 10 year old boy,so talking and hearing about poop is a (too) big part of my life already. When I get the daily de-brief from hubby including the poop report, our son feels the need to give a report of his own.

    i’m glad you’re finding some humor this week. My coping mechanism is wine and Top Chef – why couldn’t it be running and salads.

    Hugs to you!

  7. laura

    Do mother’s have a built in gross guard? I’m not real impressed with this commercial, but…poop happens.

  8. Megan

    Eeeew – and here I had already used up my store of Indignant Outrage at the Stupidity of Advertisers with those darn bears singing lerve songs to their toilet roll!

    BTW, seems to me only fair that if Licorice had to have her slightly less than dignified walk through the snow broadcast to all the internets then Otto should expect to have his reaction to idiotic adverts similarly exposed for all to see… maybe a series? Aw, c’mon! I want to see what he makes of the Shake Weight!

  9. KarenP

    What about the Jack in the Box commercial where Jack’s dad comes out and asks a question about it being 4 hours already and now what does he do? (a viagra reference)
    What does that have to do with hamburgers?

  10. Heidi

    Crapness Protection Program – ha! On USA network’s fictional Witness Protection Program “In Plain Sight”, the name of one character is Marshal Marshall. Hee hee, you can be Marshal Mir.

    And, how do you children sleep through your riotous laughter? Do they sleep in a different wing of the house?

  11. joshilyn


    The only more offensive thing EVER is those Charmin bears.

  12. Heidi

    Oh, and if you don’t have TiVo, why in the name of everything good don’t you? Annoying commercials need never be watched again. (It’s yet another expense, but my honey the bargain hunter found a box and contract on eBay for a mere pittance – not sure that’s allowed anymore. But – Best. eBay. Purchase. Ever!)

  13. BethRD

    My husband had to be convinced that this was a real commercial. We caught it on TV recently and he was SURE it had to be a spoof, SNL-style, but NO, this is actual advertising.

  14. Tracy

    OH OH OH…I just don’t know what to say about that! I mean, seriously???? This confirms they will put ANYTHING on TV…anything! That is down right diguesting!

  15. Karen

    I’m… I’m…. ummm… disgusted? Flabbergasted? … I’m all… OMG-SOMEONE-THOUGHT-THIS-WAS-A-GOOD-IDEA???

    It kinda goes with the quality of television nowadays, though, doesn’t it.

  16. ~annie

    And yet again I am reassured that I am not missing a thing by not subscribing to any kind of television service. At least it’s cartoon…

  17. Flea

    Oh. My. WORD.

  18. Another Dawn

    What are the people at the ad agencies smoking?

    Also, you *could* film Otto’s reaction and post it here. I’m just sayin’… :)

  19. paige

    This means that the next thing will be cartoon contests for feminine hygiene products?

  20. jennamom2boys

    I love it. I read this thinking “Wonder what Joss will say in relation to those infernal Charmin bears?”

  21. Mamadragon

    There are no words. I would like to believe that living in That Country to the North disqualifies me from having to see this commercial on my TV, but somehow I don’t think it does. Is it just me, or is there kind of a Japanese anime sensibility to this commercial? I think that’s what saves from being quite as awful as those Charmin bears.

  22. Katie in MA

    It puts a whole new spin on “when life hands you lemons…” doesn’t it? :)

  23. Erin

    My husband feels the exact same way about that commercial! I, too, think it’s ridiculous, of course–but he’s just INCENSED anytime he sees it. OUTRAGED.


  24. Chris

    We had the same reaction last night when we saw it, though my husband made me rewind the DVR because we just couldn’t believe it was real.
    I’ll take my prime time without a side of poop, please.

  25. Little Bird

    I just laughed for a good solid five minutes before I could see well enough to type!
    Competitive shitting for babies! And Otto’s reaction! (If you had been able to get THAT on video it would have been perfect!!!!!)
    A good laugh is exponentially better than a good cry.
    I do agree that this is worse than the Charmin bears though.

  26. susan

    you must have been stopped on whatever channel it was I was watching last night, because I think I had the exact same reaction as otto (except I was alone in the room). I’m pretty sure I said “what the f***” outloud, to the tv. seriously. I don’t understand how that commercial actually made it to broadcast tv!! I wonder what people who don’t have children thought of it…

  27. jessica

    My husband saw me watching it and asked, “WHAT are you watching?” After it was done, he said, “WHY?!”

    By the way, if your baby is so wonderful and the like, why are you making him/her sit around in his/her own crap — especially THAT MUCH — on the winner’s podium for so long, champ or no? Wow.

  28. Sara

    I saw that commercial the other day and thought “is this SNL?” then I thought “gross” and then “are those diapers really that good?” Yep. I spend a lot of time with (other people’s) children, and a diaper that prevents what that commercial portrays from landing on my shirt is good as gold!!

  29. Kristen

    oh my goodness – we saw this last night, too!!! I actually rewound so my husband could see it again. It is NASTY!!!

  30. Stacy Q

    Bwwwahhh ah aha ha ha!

    I TOTALLY get Otto’s reaction! Mine was the same, slack jawed shock.

    I TOTALLY get your reaction to Otto’s reaction! Ha ha he ha ha h ah ah ahah ah!

  31. Nancy R

    Joshilyn, I 100% agree on those damn Charmin bears.

    My husband’s cousin works in advertising and I’m seeing her on Saturday – I will inquire for her opinion on the Luvs thing.

  32. pam

    Better than a glass of Pinot???? Me thinks not.

  33. JennyM

    I…er…hmmm. What a crappy commercial.

  34. Kathy

    I agree … what happens in the diaper should stay in the diaper! Ick!

  35. addy

    …… really?

  36. ramblin red

    Oh, Mir….from the very beginning of the post I was nodding my head emphatically with you, as we too have that veg out period much like you described (perhaps more dramatically since we have two tweens AND a wee toddler-monster to wrangle with), and then I laughed hysterically as you described not only Otto’s reaction (which was essentially the same as mine a couple of nights ago when I saw it for the first time) but how it struck you….

    And that is why I love your blog – because I relate to so damned much of what you write, down to the everyday mundane.

    And for what it’s worth, I can’t believe the commercial either – it is pretty much reprehensible – I mean South Park had to be on a cable channel when they started talking about Mr. Hanky, so should Luvs!

  37. ramblin red


    You said ‘detritus,’ and nothing impresses me more than a well-played big word to describe the chaos of kids.

  38. Ingrid

    I’ve only seen it once, but that Luvs commercial ranks in the top ten of worst commercials I have ever seen.

  39. Aimee


    @ Joshilyn — I immediately thought of you and the Charmin bears when I saw this.

    I agree. NOT okay.

  40. Liz @thisfullhouse

    LOL! [wipes eyes] Please thank Otto, for SUCH a good laugh, for me, too!

  41. JenniferG

    I saw this commercial the other day…. “Poop there it is” Really? And marketed to who, exactly? At least the Charmin bears are more subtle!

  42. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, I can’t watch it. But the line “Babies shitting themselves” made me laugh aloud in my workplace.

  43. Heather

    Oh man, I saw that commercial the other day and I was just a little appalled :P It’s just…gah.

  44. Elena

    Those Potty Dance pullup commercials are making me crazy! (okay, so I didn’t have far to go) Not only are they horrendous, but the song is a tenacious earworm. I have to mute the TV when it comes on.

  45. MaryP

    When my eldest was a revoltingly slovenly fourteen-year-old, I once sneaked into her room and buried a hand-made coupon in the mounds of detritus on her floor. “THIS COUPON GOOD FOR TWO DOLLARS” it said (yes, I’m cheap), and I dated it. I figured it could be MONTHS before I had to pay up, and it would be well worth the two bucks to have the satisfaction of mocking her for how long it took to find it.

    She found it that same afternoon, about 90 seconds after her return from school. “See mum? I TOLD you I know where everything is in there.”

    Well, damn.

    On the bright side, she’s 25 now, and keeps a nice, tidy home. Has done for years. All those lessons I taught her finally ‘took’… five minutes after she’d moved out.

  46. Rachael

    We’ve seen this commercial several times. We both had the reaction of shock, then horror, then gut busting laughter. Somebody up at Luvs had a bad advertising idea! It reminds me of the disgusting Quizno’s commercials a while back with the monkey-like things. Nice to know corporate worlds can waste advertising dollars.

  47. Linda

    We are so turning into the movie ‘Idiocracy’. Wow. And to think I thought the Potty Dance was bad.

  48. sheila

    HA! I saw that the other day for the first time too, very funny! Although I’m getting a bit sick of the “potty dance’ commercials.

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