Off Campus

25 March 2006

The Agony of Da Feet

I check my e-mail several times each day, but the most time spent delving into the inbox is usually during breakfast and lunch. There I sit, ingesting and reading, clicking and chewing, getting caught up on a myriad of missives. My personal e-mail account is through Hotmail, a free web-based service that is kept afloat by the ever-present banner ads that we all know and loathe. (Well, that and the multibillion dollar Microsoft Corporation.) I've pretty much learned to visually tune these ads out automatically at this point, but lately a new trend in marketing has me averting my eyes and putting my hand over my mouth, lest I yak on the keyboard.

Foot fungus ads.

Okay, this is just gross, and really has to stop. I'm sitting there, eating a bowl of Cheerios, and there's this yellow-green big toenail staring back at me. Or better yet (and that's "better" as in "much, much worse"), it's an animated ad with a little gremlin popping the nail up like it's the hood of a '73 Buick, exposing the horror underneath. MUNGO FELDINI! Do we really need to see this? Is this disgusting bit of visual horror anything anyone wants to click on and delve further into? I know when I see those (out of the corners of my quickly-averted eyes), I quickly click away to another page, hoping for a more appetizing ad to calm my violently churning stomach. I think, if anything, the regular presence of these ads would induce people to avoid visiting certain sites. And it can't be that any keywords in my messages are causing these ads to be tailored to my interests, because for the life of me I can't recall ever using the words "toenail" or "fungus" in a personal e-mail message, unless I was writing to a government official.

I realize that many people must suffer from foot fungi and sympathize with their plight, but I really, really don't need to see this problem magnified and animated on my computer screen. What's next? Flash animated hemorroid ads with the words "Roid Rage" strobing across my screen?

Fung off, I say!