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October 28th, 2005

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10:27 am
The Boston Glob has one of those fully-branded MBTA train things going on, where every advertising placard in a Red Line car is devoted to the ad campaign. No matter where you sit in the lucky car you have prime views of one of the Glob's ads, which currently consist of thought bubbles asking questions like "What's the hottest boutique on Newbury Street?" and "Where can I find an Italian restaurant in the North End?"

Those of us who frequent certain Boston-related online communities thoroughly loathe these vaguely specific questions, which pop up with the frequency of drunken Landsdowne Streeters. Honestly, who needs to ask the Internet where to find apple cider? It's right there in the supermarkets as common as water, people! (If one were to ask "Are there any nearby farms which sell fresh apple cider?" then I could understand the request, and have lots of fun researching those roadside stands on Route 2 and the like. But asking "hi where cider in bosotn" is really not going to help anything.) I've been tempted to take a sharpie and scrawl things like "JUST GOOGLE IT" or "MBTA DOT COM", with or without obscenity seasonings, but so far I've behaved myself. This morning, however, I noticed that others haven't.

It's a reasonable assumption that the Glob's aim with these ads was to impress upon people that the best way to get the answers to these burning questions is, of course, to read the Glob. What the paper didn't expect, I am sure, is that people have taken it upon themselves to answer the questions right there on the T. The ads I saw today were liberally festooned with handwritten answers, turning the ads from one-way notices to venues for true public discourse.

Take, for instance, the question "Where's Whitey?" Regarding the fate of one of Boston's best-loved fugitives from law, someone wrote "KILLED BY THE FBI BECAUSE HE KNEW TOO MUCH!" When one of the ads poses a political braintwister: "Governor Romney? President Romney? Mr. Romney?" a citizen helpfully suggested "PRIVATE ROMNEY." And when asked "What Boston neighborhood has the best schools?" someone scrawled "BEAN TOWN #1!"

I guess they can't all be erudite pundits.

The best answer, however, and most poignant, was a one-word reply to "Gillette, Reebok, Hancock... who's next to be sold?" The word?


(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
Nooooo! Johnny can you hear me! can you can you hear me! Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!
Date:October 28th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)

Those Freaking Ads.

You know, I could do a better job with those thought balloons than their highly-paid marketing monkeys.

That's what freaking annoys me.
Date:October 28th, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
Neither Gillette, Reebok, or John Hancock were sold. They were bought.
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
ombud@globe.com :)
Date:November 1st, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC)
Having recently moved there, though, I have to smile at the thought bubble that reads, "Why can't I park overnight in Brookline?"

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