As a prelude to Mother's Day, we here in the news biz have received gifts of our own: dozens, nay hundreds, of pitches for gift ideas for your one-and-only mom. My inbox is bursting with news releases for cake-scented body polishes and hair/body mists, designer ear buds in tasty candy colors, Ann Taylor items such as a tote for $129, swimwear, workout wear, smartphones, colorful tablet sleeves and gadgets such as Hisy, a new Bluetooth-camera-remote-shutter gizmo for about $24.99 that lets you take hands-free selfies and group shots from as far as 90 feet away.
"Mom can rest easy now that everyone can get in on the family photo," the release reassures. Phew.
These gifts are all well and good. For adults to give. Maybe at Christmas. But when did Mother's Day (and Father's Day) get so out of control? What child has enough allowance money to blow it all on a $129 tote? What happened to making a card at school out of construction paper, Elmer's Glue and paper doilies? Or generating enough waffle batter to totally coat the kitchen in a slick layer of goo so Mom has to spend the rest of the afternoon scraping batter off the ceiling fan? Ah, good times.
It's a warm and form-fitting moment when product placement meshes so perfectly with big-city street culture, embracing it like a glove and keeping it from riding up. Yes, New York's infamous Naked Cowboy -- aka Robert Burck, a longtime Times Square fixture whose street shtick involves strumming his guitar while strutting around in cowboy boots, a 10-gallon hat, tighty whities and nothing else -- has become a walking, strutting, strumming, nothing-else ad for the new Fruit of the Loom "reinvented" boxer-briefs.
You know the ad execs at Fruit just couldn't resist using the slogan, "Even the Naked Cowboy has changed his underwear." And on Tuesday, Burck strutted, strummed and handed out samples wearing some fancy-pants red Fruits. According to Melissa Burgess-Taylor, senior marketing VP for Fruit of the Loom, it's all because "His primary wardrobe is so important to his daily job." Surely, his mom is proud.
Praise the Lord
Mark your calendars for Lindsay Wildlife Museum's two-day celebration to honor the 40th birthday of Lord Richard, the turkey vulture who regularly greets and delights museum visitors from her al fresco aviary at the Walnut Creek museum's entrance. Yes, Richard is a girl, which was hard to tell when she first came to the museum in 1974. Then, in 1980, she laid an egg. Yes, she's not only a girl, but she's a mom. It's not necessary to buy her designer ear buds. Check out the June festivities at 925-627-2913 or www.wildlife-museum.org.