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08/07/2002 Archived Entry: "Teri, Howie and Radio Shack"

I seem to have come down with a terrible sickness. It's the type of sickness that leaves me lying on the couch with my laptop watching TechTV. Some may argue that I spend most of my time engaging in such activities when I'm well. To those people I say: "Touche!"

When watching TechTV for an entire day one must be prepared to watch the same show over and over and over again until you can literally recite entire lines of dialogue from memory. As we speak I'm watching "The Tech of Military Diving" for the third time.

When watching a TV channel with such limited programming one must also be prepared to see the same commercial over and over as well. The commercial du jour is one of those Radio Shack commercials with Teri Hatcher and Howie Long. I must confess that I've never thought too much of these commercials in the past but the latest installment has left me spellbound and speechless.

The commercial is quite artfully done. Teri and Howie are facing each other with laptop computers so that it looks like they are engaged in a game of Battleship. When the camera revolves around the table one of their heads will block the shot for a moment causing the other to turn into a 10 year old. Here their comic banter turns serious as we get a glimpse into their respective childhoods.

They are both busy at work making insulting caricatures of the other and printing them out. It is here that we realize the children inside them are responsible for these insulting images and that we're just seeing inside of their minds. When the camera spins one last time they turn into adults and Howie shows his picture to Teri. It turns out that he doesn't show Teri the scathing affront his inner child had cooked up but rather a simple page that says, "Happy Birthday, Teri."

When Teri sees this her expression becomes noticeably more serious as she becomes more attuned to the gravity of the situation. "Well let's see yours?" Howie says. Teri is quick to crumple up the portrait of Howie she had made. Her expression shows an awkward flattery that can only occur when someone realizes for the first time that someone else is in love with them. Howie loves Teri. Clearly she is amazed that she is only now realizing this. What's more is that Teri seems to be wondering if perhaps she has loved Howie all along as well.

The commercial ends like a season of Friends. I am now stuck wondering what's going to happen between the two of them with some anonymous Enya song playing in my head. For the first time ever I care about those two crazy kids. I care about them more than I've ever cared about anything. Please, Radio Shack, don't make me wait too long to find out how it all unfolds!

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