Weather wise, it was a stellar Hump Day. Thankfully I departed using two feet, not four wheels (or on four legs) and I walked an easy three and half miles before I got home. I wish we could bottle up this weather and have it year-round.
I often check the trending videos on Comcast when I log onto my e-mail. I cherry pick the ones to watch. I don’t know alot of the new celebrities and the ones I’ve heard of like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, well … I just bypass their antics. Sometimes I’ll check out videos about clever critters or the babies laughing non-stop … but even they can get old after awhile. I had not heard of the thirty second “Hump Day” commercial from Geico until it became the subject of Facebook chatter so I hopped onto YouTube to take a peek. I’ll bet the ad agency behind Geico’s “Hump Day” is destined to win a coveted CLIO award for this clever commercial. If you’ve not seen it yet, here’s a link to the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBhP0EQ1lA
I Googled to find out some background on Caleb the camel who has surpassed Old Joe from the Camel cigarette commercials in popularity. Caleb was paid a flat fee for his appearance at the workplace where he wanted everyone to answer “it’s Hump Day” to his query to guess what day it is. There are over 13 million views on YouTube of this video already.
Just like Caleb’s twin bumps on his back, I’ve got two stories to share today.
The picture accompanying this blog post is me with a camel named Missouri in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which was a port of call on a Greek Islands cruise I took in September 1981. I was part of an American Express tour group and the agent had booked our entire party to take a camelback excursion around the Great Pyramid. There were fifty camels in the caravan, each named for one of the fifty U.S. states. I asked for “Michigan” but he was already taken by the time I climbed aboard. It was a bumpy but memorable ride. Each camel had its own camel driver. I asked our tour guide to snap some pictures of me sitting on Missouri and then standing next to him when we concluded the ride. You don’t dismount a camel like a horse … the camel is positioned like above and you climb on or off and the camel raises back up again. I had another picture taken standing next to Missouri and his camel driver who removed his keffiyah scarf from his cap and plunked it on my head for a very touristy photo. Yes I was uncomfortable as I’d never shared a hat with anyone before and it was dirty and sweat-stained … ewwwww!!!
I also have a story to tell about animals in the workplace and it wasn’t “Bring Your Dog to Work Day”. When I worked at Young & Rubicam ad agency, our major client was Lincoln-Mercury. I worked in the Creative Department as a secretary. If you’re old enough to remember the Mercury Cougar ads and the snarling cougar sitting atop the Lincoln-Mercury dealership sign, you’ll remember Tom-Tom the cougar who starred in those ads. Tom-Tom wasn’t the only frisky feline in Mercury’s car ads. There were automobiles named Bobcat and Lynx, each with their respective namesake mascots. One day our downtown Detroit ad agency, which created those memorable auto ads, was paid a visit by the trio of famous cats, each accompanied by a handler. The bobcat and lynx, whose names I no longer recall, were playful and their nails kept getting caught on the common area carpeting while they were walking around the halls for the meet-and-greet event. Tom-Tom, the famous cougar, had a main handler and a stand-by handler and the visit was a P.R. photo opportunity with the president of Y&R’s Detroit office. Tom-Tom was posed in the prez’ executive chair in the corner office with a pen in one paw. We were allowed to take pictures alongside Tom-Tom and the other cats and I have a few pictures in a scrapbook tucked away in a cupboard. We never got to see Tom-Tom’s famous growl, because that growl is only done on cue with the incentive being a big chunk of meat dangling in front of him. But no matter, it was great fun and we were treated to a visit by a trio of stars, though Tom-Tom was more famous than the others. And … just in case you are wondering, yes, Tom-Tom had 8 X 10 pics of himself handed out, autographed with a paw print.