Meme: Noun. One of those stupid images/videos/forwarded pictures that people obsess about for a couple of days then the rest of the world moves on. Examples include The Chocolate Rain guy, those Willie Wonka pics you see on Facebook, "All your base are belong to us," parkour, and Bronies.
Oh, how I hate the Bronies.
Being the kind of person that spends most of their time in the dregs of the internet (4chan, reddit, etc.) usually these things are hard to avoid. Many times they are impossible to avoid. I never wanted to watch that stupid "Charlie the Unicorn" video in the first place but I'm pretty sure I can recite it by heart now.
Which is why I was a bit dumbfounded when I?saw a commercial for Little Caesers Pizza.
For some reason the leaders of the PIZZA PIZZA empire decided to forgo their normal diminutive despot mascot in favor of a video showing a man holding a sign touting their $5 Hot and Ready pizzas.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good $5 pizza; particularly when I'm buying one and I?get recognized by the girl working behind the counter, then shot down when I ask for free garlic sauce.
Come on! You said you liked the column, just hook me up with a little free garlic sauce!
It appears the big attraction in the commercial is that the guy is spinning the sign.
Just a guy with an arrow shaped sign, spinning it around. A lot.
Normally I would just look beyond the chicanery of some pizza ad but something about the sign spinning was familiar. The commercial made me think of something ... something that used to be great, but now is so incomprehensibly bad that it makes you want to travel back in time and stop yourself from ever becoming a fan.
Oh, right, "The Office."
In this latest, nigh unwatchable season "The Office" they did a bit with some dexterous sign flipper. I?don't remember the rest of the plot (which is for the best) but if "The Office" in all its recent mediocrity referenced this alleged phenomenon then maybe others had already.
A quick jaunt to YouTube proved that 1: There are entirely too many videos about flipping a sign and 2: Once again "The Office" is painfully out of date since most of the videos were made in 2007.
Did I miss this? Usually I?see these things when they are still on the precipice of national consciousness. And it is work too! I don't want to spend my time looking up pictures of Cat Breading but I do it so I can understand what all the other weirdos on Xbox Live are yelling about before the match starts.
So when did the whole "sign flipping" thing happen? How could I?miss the first round of videos, the second round of videos talking about the first round, or the third round of videos where patently corporate shills on YouTube with names like "Slaker B" or "Righteous Dude" discuss the second round of videos. Did I?miss the autotune remix? How could I miss the autotune remix?!
It is a sad day when you realize that there will being hundreds of disposable memes that you will never get a chance to see, hear, love, grow to hate, hate, despise, enjoy on an ironic level, and then forget.
It is even sadder when you realize that you were actually disappointed that you didn't get to watch a bunch of out of work actors flip signs when all the cool/loser kids did the first time around. And watching them now would just be lame.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.