Monday, November 4, 2013

"Bill's Sixth Blog" [originally published January 19, 2007]

I just saw an televised ad for a tax preparation service featuring Ghost Rider.  Ghost Rider is a Marvel Comics character who has a skull for a head, and is on fire.  When I was young, I read Ghost Rider's comic book a few times.  From what I can remember, he was a demon, or maybe his dad was a demon.  There was a demon in there somewhere.  Ghost Rider could also shoot flames.  He would ride his motorcycle around the Southwest, looking for bad guys, and when he found them he would shoot flames at them.

I used to work in tax preparation, and at no time did we have a Marvel Comics character as a client, let alone a flaming skull dude.  In the commercial, Ghost Rider gives his W-2 form to the tax preparer.  The W-2 is used to report income from employment.  So who employs Ghost Rider, and for what?

Unlike more popular comic book characters like Superman or the Hulk, Ghost Rider has not seeped into the popular consciousness to any significant degree.  I would imagine that most viewers didn't understand the ad at all.  Some people asked, "Why is that skull dude on fire?"

And other people just ran away from the TV screaming.

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