Okay, so I was chillin’ on the couch mindin’ my own per usual when this new ad for AT&T’s GoPhone came on. I instantly recognized Meat Loaf in the role of overbearing dad who may or may not buy his son a GoPhone, and I admit I was equally tickled and nauseated by his use of “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” in the ad. (“Get me a phone, Dad!” “Let me sleep on it!” “No, I want the phone, dad!” “Let me sleep on it!” You get the general idea.)
Now Mr. Loaf milking his most popular song ever is no shocker, but what did catch Miss Pop Rocks off guard was the strange familiarity of his television wife, who makes a quick appearance as she walks in carrying groceries and makes some comment about “no surprise bills.” I had to watch the ad multiple times before it hit me…
His wife is Mall Queen Tiffany. Like, 80s Pop Icon Watch Me I’m-Covering-Tommy-James-&-The-Shondells Tiffany.
Even weirder is the extended dance mix of the ad available on AT&T’s Web site, which features Miss Tiff releasing a white bird as she sings about “paradise by the GoPhone light” and has a shot of the “son” dancing between two huge, singing Meat Loaf and Tiffany heads. (Must be seen to be believed.)
Two distinct memories I’ll share with y’all real quick:
Memory Number One: I have a clear vision of sitting in my friend Meg’s car in the parking lot of my high school at 10 o’clock at night while a bunch of us were delaying having to go home. (I have no idea why we chose the high school parking lot after hours as a place to hang. I suppose it had something to do with being 16, underage and bored out of our fucking minds, and even the high school parking lot was preferred over our suburban bedrooms.) At any rate, that night, Jessica played us “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” in Meg’s cassette deck.
“My cousin played this for me. It’s old like from the 70s, but it’s really good…see, the guy wants her to have sex with him, and she’s all like, no, I won’t. I won’t do it unless you promise me you’ll love me forever, right? And then there’s this part that’s like a baseball game but it’s in a song. And then they do it and they hate each other.”
I immediately realized it was the most incredible song I had ever heard.
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Memory Number Two: I also have a clear vision of sprawling on the floor of my BFF Lisa’s carpeted bedroom floor and staring at Tiffany in her boho-chic (although I didn’t know to refer to it as that) black sweater over blue shirt and far off look in her eyes as she held wisps of her (natural!) red hair to her face and looked wanton and scared all at once on the cover of her self-titled debut album. Much cooler than me, Lisa knew all about Tiffany.
“She sings this song that the Beatles sang, you know that old band? But, like, this is a better version because she’s talking about a guy standing there, not a girl. And she’s only a few years older than us. And she’s, like, a bajillionaire already. Isn’t that crazy?”
I immediately realized that Tiffany was most way cool girl I had ever heard of.
Now, I don’t really exactly know where I’m going with this, but I do know that the young teenager’s mind that still exists inside of this thirtysomething lady can’t quite handle those two precious memories and a new image of Tiffany and Meat Loaf acting married and singing about GoPhones. What the Hell is next? Debbie Gibson and Styx get together to promote timeshares in Florida? I can imagine it now… “Come sail away…to a time share in Florida…come sail away with me…” And Debbie’s in the background shaking her love or whatever with her hair in a scrunchie on top of her head. Good Lord what is the world coming to. – Jennifer Mathieu