Let’s Get Phygital! Phygital! ¹

Holiday Place Settings—Extra Settings are for Elijah, Godot and Their Plus-Ones

‘Twas the night before… Wait, wrong holiday. Can’t go there yet. Today, on all Thanksgiving’s eve… Don’t even! Oh, well… Tomorrow is a national holiday, but I am afraid that amongst its calendar neighbors, it has become a bit lackluster of late and this year, 2020, hasn’t been particularly kind to the whole giving thanks department. Gone are the days of Pilgrim’s pride, which were vastly overrated, if you ask me, in my not quite so humble opinion. We want to change all that. Humaning you holiday is our purpose driven goal. 

We here at Regenaxe, Federer & Smith would like to offer you our outstretched and sanitized hand. Sure, we hail from Madison Avenue, but we’re not going to tell you how to enjoy your Thanksgiving by dumping a whole pile of corporate jargon monoxide on top of you. We would much rather spoon feed our pabulum.

Hi, I’m Mark and I would like to be your storyteller for tonight. By storytelling, I mean story-doing. Humaning the whole hyper-telling process for you, drawing you in, making my vision yours, so that we can act out our solutioning together.

Apropos of nothing, have you ever noticed that you can create one new and really interesting word, by hyphening two rather plain and ordinary words together? Plus, the spellchecker doesn’t care that you’ve just created a new word out of thin air. I call that a win-win. Now, I’m just spit-balling here, but the game of Scrabble has these two blank tiles that until you lose a letter or two can be played as any letter that you want, but why just limit yourselves to the original twenty-six? I say let them also be hyphens. What possibilities! I hope as you scroll through this post that you find this idea as thumb-stopping as I have.

But I digress. We here at RFS want to make your holiday meal as tasty, convivial and safe as it can possibly be. Let me enumerate, first tasty. We offer a wide selection of purpose-driven lifestyle brands (Blue Apron, Chipotle, Goop, Godiva, etc.) that are prepared to lead you on a delightful customer journey to the dinner table. Just don’t eat the Goop. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is much better for you when applied externally. Think of it as an after-dinner spa treatment. There I go again, second. After you’ve first lifted that fork and taken that first bite of our truly scrumptious snackable content, wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to look around the table and see all of your friends and family smiling back at you? Let’s get Phygital! Building on current Zoom technology, we can offer you our [insert TLA² here] app. Through your phone, and with our app, you can enjoy a convivial and safe supper, with all your love-ones, virtually. Better than real life, it comes with a mute button for Uncle Fred.

This concludes my elevator pitch and just in time, because we have just arrived at your floor, the penthouse. I hope that I have been able to convey to you some of the warmth, the brand heat that we feel for you. Now enter, your party awaits you, have a nice time and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

  1. Thumb-Stopping, Humaning, B4H, the Strange Language of Modern Marketing by Tiffany Hsu and Sapna Maheshwari
  2. Three Letter Acronym

Decisions, Decisions…

Decisions, Decisions—Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Coke to Spare

Isn’t it often true in life that there is really only one clear choice? That’s the way I feel and I hope that you do too. We are now one week out from Election Day. We’ve come a long way to get here, but at a week out, it still feels like we have a long way yet to go. I’m not going to argue here for or against either the Republicans or the Democrats. People who know me, know where I stand. For those who don’t know me check my Twitter feed to the right that will give you a clue. I’m not going to come down here against partisanship, either on the left or the right. Quite the contrary, I embrace the partisan divide. Love your enemy and all that. There are some very fine people on both sides. If I’m going to rail here against anything, anyone, I’ll rail against the proverbial undecided voter.

What is with you people, you fence-sitters, you mugwumps? Can’t you make up your minds? Conservatively this election’s campaign has been going on since the day after the last Presidential election, some four years ago or haven’t you noticed? Have you been living under a rock, just returned from outer space or been in a coma for the last four years?  On the oft chance that you have been aware of the ongoing campaign, but still can’t decide between the candidates, let’s compare and contrast. Granted that both candidates are pale, male and stale, but they have totally different political philosophies and temperaments. The choice could not be anymore distinct.

The problem here is not the candidates, not the system, it is you. Did your mom not love you enough as a child? Do you crave the attention? Is your name Ken Bone? Whatever the reason, time is running out for you. In a week you can’t be an undecided voter anymore. You will either be a voter or not. So, decide.

Wantoned Poll Workers!

Michigan Looks for Younger Poll Workers

Hey Chad, how’s it hanging? Want to come hangout with me? Hi, I’m a cute, young and highly desirable poll worker and I really want you, more particularly, I want your vote. I’m available all day, on say the first Tuesday in November? Does this work for you? No appointment is necessary. Please, just drop by my precinct. I would luv for you to stuff my ballot box. Hee-Hee. I don’t know which way you like to swing, Republican, Democrat or even Independent? I’m easy, any of them works for me. I can hardly wait to get you alone in the voting booth. 

I live alone with my Grandma, who I dearly love, but she is really strict. She never lets me go out. She is the one that got me into being an election official. She’s been doing it for centuries. She started dragging me along with her after this one time, this one election, when I, well let’s not go into that. It was really boring hanging out all day with a bunch of old people, while even more old people shuffled-in and shuffled-out all day. I never did much there, but she liked it, because she could keep an eye on me. But see now there is this Covid thing going on and it really does a number on old people. So, I say, Grandma you should stay home this election. I can do the work at the polls for you. I’ll be safe, you’ll be safe and you will know where I am all day, win-win, and she bought it!

Lets party! I got a bunch of my gurls to join me. I put together a great team, all except for this one. She goes to Michigan and wants to get all political. Says like it is our civic duty or something. Please! I tried beating her off, but she’ll be there. Still, I have a great crew working those poles for you. So, let’s get down! You’re not going to leave me hanging are you? Chad, can I count your vote?

—Thanks for the card, Carl!

If the world is a fair place…

If the world is a fair place…, Raqs Media Collective, 2015

Yesterday, we walked in Laumeier Sculpture Park, a county park with an artistic bent. We had just parked the car and were about to embark upon the park’s Art Hike Trail, when an older woman asked Anne, if she felt safe walking in the woods by herself. I should point out that I was standing next to my wife at the time. Maybe half sensing my presence the woman asked again, you have walked in there alone? Anne answered in the affirmative as much to answer the woman’s implied challenge as to answer her question. The woman had two dogs with her on leashes, one small and the other medium sized. She said that she had had a large dog and when she had that dog with her, she had felt safe while walking alone in the woods and wished that she could do it again. Anne again reassured the older woman that she would be fine and we bade her farewell.

23 Hour Surveillance

Almost as soon as we had entered the woods, we came upon this sign. It was so banal in appearance that I had to give it a double take. We tried to rationalize the missing hour, before deciding that it was a joke, but it segued so well from our earlier conversation that it seemed almost prescient. This art trail follows for less than a mile, a spring fed stream that in wetter times flows through about a third of the park’s acreage. We had last walked in March, just as the pandemic was reaching its first crescendo. I remember that as a scary time then, especially while walking in these woods, with its narrow path that did not permit six feet separations. There were few people in the woods then, the fewer the better, if you ask me, but every new individual or party entailed a dance of avoidance.

Since then, the county has embarked upon a trail improvement project that has widened the trail enough to drive their dump trucks up and down it and pave it with crushed limestone. Unfortunately, they are only about halfway done and when we reached their barricade, we had to turnaround. Still, it already looks way more Covid safe than the way it was, but I don’t believe that the virus was the source of that woman’s fears. The park is located in one of the tonier parts of the county, certainly not a bad neighborhood. While most people keep to the park’s central lawn that runs the park’s length, there were plenty of people about.

The sculpture park is primarily outdoors, but does include a museum that is now temporarily closed. This museum is housed in an 1816 mansion, making it one of the oldest buildings in the county. One of the newer art installations in the park is a collection of forty laser cut stainless-steel bands encircling tree trunks along the art trail. These bands write out responses to the sentence, “If the world is a fair place…” that were crowd sourced and range from the deliciously innocent, “then free ice cream for kids,” to the cynical “then I’m shocked,” to the surreal, “then all coins will dance.” Reading them as they curve around their tree can prove difficult and often entails scrambling into the bush.