Monday, August 31, 2009

Missing: one Arby's oven mitt

It wasn't too long ago that you couldn't flip through your 74 channels of rap on the TV box and not see an Arby's commercial featuring the Arby's oven mitt. The series of commercials felt like total overkill and I started to wonder how long this could last. I imagined in my mind a world of Arby's oven mitt marketing. A near endless string of ads featuring the Arby's oven mitt meeting a female mitt. The two going on a date, sharing an order of potato cakes. Mr. and Mrs. Arby's oven mitt eventually getting married in a ceremony presided over by a weepy Arby's manager who is overcome with joy to see such a perfect union take place in his very own Arby's lobby.

I even imagined that the commercials, in online-only form, could take a more adult but still humorous twist. Picture Mr. & Mrs. Mitt getting all hot and heavy in the Arby's storage room. Madly oven mitt humping each other with sweat running down their brows. Mr. Oven Mitt forgetting, in the heat of the moment, to use any sort of protection (I envisioned a rubber glove) and four months later (oven mitts have a shorter gestational period) a commercial shot on some stainless steel surface in the Arby's kitchen where a screaming Mrs. Arby's oven mitt pushes as the original star, Mr. Mitt, encourages his pregnant oven mitt wife to push out their baby. Cut to the tired but happy couple holding their new bundle of joy - a crying, tiny oven mitt is born and the circle of Arby's oven mitt life continues.

But no, none of this glorious story happened. Instead, we got the entire series of ads featuring the rather phallic foam Arby's outline hat. Oh, I get it, everyone's thinking Arby's and doing that gives them all huge erections. It's a fucking genius play on words and imagery. But what about our forgotten friend - the Arby's oven mitt? What has become of our forgotten little man?

I picture the single, unemployed Arby's oven mitt living under a freeway underpass in a large metropolitan area. He's struggled to find other commercial work but being an oven mitt who talks and has only done commercial endorsements for one national fast food chain leaves you as sort of a one-trick pony. So our oven mitt friend scrapes up a few pennies here and there begging for change. He's scruffy and unbathed. He wreaks of alcohol because it's the only way he knows to numb the pain. He's even resorted to performing sexual favors but that only leaves him feeling even dirtier and in need of blocking out the horrific things he's done in his darkest hours.

All this because some huge, multi-national corporation thought that the Arby's oven mitt's story was done and they could just move on and he'd be soon forgotten. Well, I haven't forgotten and neither has he. Let's never forget the Arby's oven mitt and if anyone at Arby's is reading this, I have plenty of amazing ideas that could bring this commercial icon back.

If this whole ode to the oven mitt made you sick, MinnPics redeems things. Check out what happened over the weekend and other rare gems.

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