Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The corporate strap-on vs. the digital rectal test.

I was in Rogers Video yesterday with the kids, and I was rentin' us up some games for their new Wii video system. I grabbed a pile of movies as well, so I had new stuff the review for Cynical Cinema. When the bill came, the kids were surprised that it cost so little. The nice lady behind the counter explained to them that I was a Rogers VIP. When they asked what that meant, I explained that I, just like the nice lady behind the counter, had sold my soul to the coporate entity known as Rogers, and that the price of my soul was half-price movie rentals. They seemed confused. I explained, to their wide-eyed astonishment, that Rogers was more than just video game rentals! No, they are a "corporate empire", and they also provide us with cable, internet, and telephone. They bring us radio stations, TV stations, and a second-rate baseball team. Had I ever chosen to have a cell phone, they would have provided that too. You see, I went on, they put all these services together in convenient things called "bundles", where you can pay for everything you need all at once.

They were stunned. ONE company can do all this? They were further impressed when I explained to them that some day, they too would work for Rogers. You see, I said, Rogers will own most of Canada by the time you are old enough to work, so even if your first job is behind the counter at a gas station, you will likely be pumping Rogers brand gas from a Rogers brand hose, filling up the latest model of Rogers-mobile. (Here's hoping that when this takeover does occur, you will actually be filling up fuel-efficient cars with Rogers brand alternative fuels - one can only hope.) I told them that they were lucky to know me, because I basically got in on the ground floor! By the time Rogers owns the world, I will therefore own some of the world as well. I will be a very important powerful man, I told them. They were impressed. Boy, were they happy to know Eric yesterday.

Today it came home to me just how pervasively and subtly Rogers was beginning to own the world. Or at least Canada. Randall went in for what they call a "digital rectal" exam. This is a fancy way of saying "finger in the butt test". All men should really get this done. Not necessarily by your wife, or a neighbour, but by a medical professional who is checking for prostate cancer. Apparently they can just FEEL the prostate cancer simply by poking it with their finger. Which is tremendous, but certainly causes no less discomfort to elderly gentlemen like Randall. We had just been calling it the "finger in the butt test", when a listener called up and kept talking about the "digital rectal" exam. He seemed to really like saying "digital rectal". He said it about four times. Woody then made a keep observation. When you say digital, do you mean Rogers digital rectal, or Sympatico digital rectal? Everything digital must be owned by either Rogers or Bell, and therefore this exam must be part of the package. Now THAT's a new kind of bundle!

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