What exactly are you trying to sell me?

As my wife and I headed through various western Massachusetts towns on the way to Easter dinner, we passed a bowling alley.

I hope it was real bowling and not that fake candlepin stuff they peddle in the rest of the state, but what was of greater interest was something on the sign intended to be a selling point …

… “automatic scoring.”

I am of a generation — probably close to the last one — that remembers scoring a bowling game by clipping a sheet to a table and filling in the numbers in pencil.

It’s not exactly heavy intellectual lifting — the biggest thing is remembering to add the next ball to a score after a spare and the next two after a strike — but I doubt many people have to do it anymore.

It’s sort of like hotels advertising that they have cable TV. At this point, other than maybe a few small places in the smallest of towns, I’m pretty sure cable wherever you’re bunking for the night and having your bowling score figured out by computer are standard.

Like free WiFi at wherever you’re staying, I would think a bowling alley would rather tout the various entertainment options — and this one also said it had an arcade — instead of “Bowl here! We won’t make you do math!”

Years ago, I ingloriously attempted to sell life insurance. … Clearly, we were doing it wrong.

There’s an ad for a life insurance company called Ethos that I hear all the time on the radio.

A youngish-sounding couple, their kids in bed, talk about how life is good, until she points out that the one thing missing is life insurance.

He’s not sure. After all, they’re young and healthy, and the process is such a pain.

But she reassures him that life insurance is not only important, but the process of applying through Ethos is so easy, it only takes 10 minutes, leaving plenty of time for … other thing … wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more.

He seems to like this idea, that they’d be able to find some way to pass the time.

The evil part of my mind wants him to say there’s something good on TV, for the kids to immediately start crying or a narrator to state, “And 20 minutes later … they were still looking for something to do the rest of the evening.”

Years ago, I ingloriously attempted to sell life insurance. We were taught how to pitch the benefits of life insurance, but none of them involved it being a precursor to getting your bow chicka on.

Clearly, we were doing it wrong.


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