I saw this really weird commercial on TV about a week ago; a girthy hot dog commercial from Ball Park Franks. This fat schmuck’s standing around in his back yard over the bbq grill and he’s going on about how he needs a big, girthy hot dog to put into his mouth. He keeps saying ‘girthy’ over and over and over. There’s a peculiar homoerotic thing going on here, since girthy is usually used in to refer to penises. I can’t fathom how Ball Park thought making this schlub give oral pleasure to a hot dog would move the product. Jesus. Apparently I’m not the only one that connotates ‘girthy’ with penis size, NPR and Slate commentator Seth Stevenson agrees. The ad is just disturbing. Maybe it was made that way to provoke a response in the target male 18-34 demographic, but I certainly don’t think it puts hot dogs in a positive light.
The spot: An obese man is tending a barbecue grill. He’s cooking some Ball Park Franks. He says he likes his hot dogs “girthy.” He keeps repeating that word – claiming he likes “the way it rolls off my tongue” – as he holds the frank up to his mouth; issues a guttural moan; and wraps his lips around the big, swinging dog. In all, he says “girthy” a full seven times.
The commercial made me think of this babbling idiot I knew a few years ago named J.P. He was a small and insecure little human being, prone to drinking in excess and shackled with a crippling predilection for prescription narcotics. Whenever he got a little drunk, he was forever going on about how his penis was small but ‘girthy,’ just the thing to satisfy a woman. Frankly I didn’t need that particular image and that disturbing hot dog commercial conjured up his goofball visage saying ‘girthy’ and staggering about in a drunken stupor with his pants down. I don’t eat tube steaks very often but if anything, I will now avoid Ball Park Franks with a passion.