Question: Have I Just Been Insulted?

Humorist Walt Jaschek ponders the connection between a recent series of “unintentional insults” and his sudden desire to launch a memoir.

“Have I just been insulted?” I’ve been asking myself.

“No, wait, that was an unintentional insult,” I think.

In fact, a series of recent “unintentional insults” made me think it might be time to finally write a memoir.

How do these things connect? I’ll explain.

First, though, I ask: Have you ever been unintentionally insulted? You know, when somebody says something insulting to you, but they didn’t realize they were insulting you (probably,) so it sort of doesn’t count?

Here. Let me describe four situations, and you tell me. Intentional or “un?”

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #1.

This story begins with me grabbing a late-night dinner by myself after teaching a college class. It was an ethnic restaurant here in St. Louis County, and I won’t say which ethnicity, ’cause it doesn’t matter. Visualize your favorite.

I had just taken my seat, when the 20something, male server approached with a notepad. I could tell from overheard moments seconds before that perhaps English wasn’t his first language. That’s okay, too; I’m not a “Speak American” guy. I speak no other languages; I admire people who speak at least two.

He smiled big at me and said:

“Yes, Old Man, can I take your order?”

Old Man?

I choked back a laugh and said, “Yes, sure,” and proceeded to order.

For context, I’m a grey-haired 66 and look it. I don’t look much older, but I don’t look much younger, and I am every bit a proud Senior Citizen.

I was just struck by the non-ambivalent wrongness of whatever he thought he was translating. I truly believe he thought he was saying something else, such as, “Yes, Distinguished Gentleman, may I take your order?”  Or “Yes, Greying Wizard, may I take your order?”

But sure enough, when my meal was done, he approached again, and said, “Yes, Old Man, may I bring you the check?”

This time I just smiled and nodded. I paid the check, tipped well. I’m sure he didn’t mean the insult. It was unintentional. Right?

I mean, I don’t know what “Distinguished Gentleman” would translate to in his language. So how can I expect him to know?

Dinner was great, by the way.

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #2

A week or so later, I was checking out some items at the local grocery. It was early morning and I was gathering a few items pre-breakfast. I had some black tea bags, a bottle of orange juice, and a Wall Street Journal.

The very tall, middle-aged woman clerk scanned the items, noting, “Wow, you have your coffee; you have juice; you have your paper; you are ready for the kitchen table.”

“Yes, I am,” I said, smiling.

“You are going to be a happy little man,” she said, handing me my receipt.

Happy little man?

I know she was tall, but come on, I’m five-foot-ten. I’m not that little. I’m average.

She breezily went about her business.

My wife heard this story and got a kick out of it. Every once in a while, when she sees me engaged in stuff I love – eating oatmeal with granola while reading a comic book and listening to movie scores – she’ll say, “Look at you. You’re a happy, little man.”

I’m sorry to say it’s caught on.

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #3

Recently I drove my wife and me to a family gathering. It was very fun, very nice, and during it, a family member who saw how I had parked my car outside his house, said, “Who parks your car?”

I said, “I did.”

“Oh, my God,” he said.

We looked and I had parked poorly… like three feet from the curb, almost as if in the driving lane. This family member went outside, took a picture of my parking job, and texted it to another family member…. Can you believe this? Everyone seemed to agree this parking was so bad, it could be a meme.

This, therefore. might not count as an unintentional insult. Because:

(A.) My parking job was pretty bad.

(B.) There was nothing unintentional about these remarks. It was more like, giving me shit for something I should be given shit for. I can take that, I’m plucky!  So was it an insult at all, intentional or not?  Riddle me that, readers, and also, note: you shouldn’t ever ask me to park your car.

Very Quite Intentional Insult #4

This also involves cars, broadly.

Recently I was driving a winding country road, doing the speed limit, but being careful because after all, I am of a certain age.

Tailgated by a black truck in a big hurry, a wrap-around-sunglass-clad 30something at the wheel was not enjoying my driving-the-speed-limit thing. He flashed his lights. Navigating those curves, I had no room to pull over for at least a quarter-mile, when finally, some gravel on the side gave me room.

He showed me a scowl and a middle finger when he drove by.

Okay, okay, there’s no ambiguity there. That was of course an intentional insult. Almost a relief in its lack of ambiguity!

Plus, I am getting immune to the flip-offs, horn-honkers, cut-offers, no-signallers and general impatient craziness of Drivers on the Road Today.

[ Old Man Waves At Cloud ]

But there’s a bigger point here, and, honestly, believe it or not, it’s one of gratitude.

I am grateful for these intentional-or-not incidents. They’re content, baby! They mine comedy gold from otherwise mundane situations. 

I mean, if you are looking at life seeking out material – as a copywriter and “humorist,” I guess I always am – then these zingers, intentional or not, are like unexpected gifts from the Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfields of the Great Beyond.

Conflict makes stories, and stuff like this has an internal conflict: even if it’s… “Should I be offended by that?”

Which makes me think: “Wait! Is this the beginning of a memoir? One in which I explain my quirky, funny life to at least myself?”

Sure!

Let’s call it… “Walt in Progress.” It’ll be about developing life resiliency and internal harmony by honing senses of humor. And coffee.

After all, I’m not getting any younger. Or getting to be any better of a parker.

So (A.) thanks for reading…

(B.) Thanks for commenting…

and (C.) Please be assured, I am indeed…

A happy little man.

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30-Second Radio Ad Script Examples + Final, Produced Spots

Here are six 30-second radio ad scripts from Walt Jaschek’s copywriting portfolio, along with final, produced radio spots for comparison to the scripts. Helpful!

Need to write a 30-second radio ad script? I could write it for you. Or you can do it yourself, using these 30-second radio ad script examples as inspiration. They might unlock an idea or two.

Hi. I’m Walt Jaschek, and I’ve been writing radio ad scripts for decades, with hundreds produced for brands big and small worldwide.

This site you are on has lots of radio spots I’ve written or co-written; many of them funny, many of them award-winning. There are 14 of them detailed in this companion post.

Culled from that longer set are the below 30-second spots, with scripts, most produced by Paul & Walt Worldwide, so you can see and hear how the writer communicated to clients and collaborators how the final spots should “sound.”

That’s your first, most important job as a writer of radio: to help a reader – a client, an actor, an engineer – “hear” the commercial in his or her head.

Yes, a successful radio spot owes collaborative contributions from the producer. Director. Engineer. Sound designer. Voice talent. And clients courageous enough to do something beyond the boring ordinary. But it starts with the script.

Funny, 30-Second Radio Ad Script #1

“Auditions” for Star Trek: The Next Generation

SFX: Harp glisten, to indicate a flashback

ANNOUNCER: We take you back now to the auditions for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

DIRECTOR (as if to assembled actors): Okay, people, today we are auditioning for the role of Captain Picard. Please read the line in the script. You, the guy in the bow tie?

NERDY GUY (as nerdy as can be): I am Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise…

DIRECTOR (cutting him off): Thank you. You, sir, the next guy?

BAD ACTOR (clunky): I. am. Jean-Luc. Picard…

DIRECTOR (cutting him off): Thank you. Okay, you, sir, the bald guy?

PATRICK STEWART (in perfect Picard speak): I am Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise.

DIRECTOR: Hmmm. Uh, bald guy?

PATRICK STEWART: Yes?

DIRECTOR: Do you get air sick at warp speed?

MUSIC: Star Trek theme, under

ANNOUNCER: Star Trek: the Next Generation. One hip starship! Weeknights at 7 on Channel 6

MUSIC OUT

Funny, 30-Second Ad Script Example #2

“Magnesium And Phosphorus” for Big Bang Theory

ANNOUNCER (urgent:) Magnesium burns at 2,474 degrees Kelvin.

SOUND FX: Chemicals burning in a lab’s bunsen burner

ANNOUNCER: Phosphorus burns at 3,333 degrees Kelvin.

SOUND FX: Chemicals burning in a lab

ANNOUNCER: And Sheldon Cooper burns… five nights a week.

SHELDON COOPER: You bowl like your Mama… unless of course she bowls well… in which you bowl nothing like her!

SFX: AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

ANNOUNCER: Ouch! On The Big Bang Theory, you draw Sheldon’s fire… you’re gonna get burned!

SHELDON COOPER: That’s what I call a burn on you!

SFX: AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

MUSIC: BIg Bang theme, under

ANNOUNCER: The Big Bang Theory. Five nights a week.

[:05 local TV station tag]

Funny, 30-Second Ad Script Example #3

Listen to the recorded spot and compare it to the script.

“Vibrating Water Bed” for Jeopardy

LAVERNE (seductively): Oh, Larry…

LARRY: I’m watching Jeopardy, LaVerne.

LAVERNE: It’s our honeymoon…

LARRY: All this week, it’s the first round of the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions!

LAVERNE: We have this waterbed…

LARRY: This is primo Jeopardy action! The champ wins a hundred grand!

SOUND FX: VIBRATING WATER BED TURNED ON

LAVERNE (her voice vibrating, too): It’s a vibrating water bed…

LARRY: Sorry, LaVerne! The Tournament of Champions!

LAVERNE (resigned, but her voice still vibrating): Okay..ay..ay..

MUSIC: END OF “JEOPARDY” THEME, UNDER

ANNOUNCER: Jeopardy. Any questions?

LAVERNE (her voice still vibrating): Yeah! How do you turn this thing off?

JEOPARDY THEME CONCLUDES UNDER LOCAL TAG

Funny, 30-Second Radio Ad Script Example #4

Listen to the finished spot and compare it to the script.

“Put Your Tongue on the Radio” for Gene Simmons Family Jewels

ANNOUNCER: Put your tongue on the radio. (beat) Wait, that might be a little tingly. Ahem. Don’t put your tongue on the radio. But do stick your tongue out. That’s right. Keep going. There. Wow, you have a long tongue! Congrats! But it’s all relative, baby, because, you have a teeny-weenie tongue compared to…

GENE SIMMONS: I’m Gene Simmons. Rock God.

SFX: CROWD CHEERS

MUSIC: ROCK KICKS IN

ANNOUNCER: It’s the rock-meets-reality show that licks ‘em all! Gene Simmons Family Jewels – Season 2 premiere! Starring the man who has more talent than you can shake a tongue at.

GENE SIMMONS: Precisely.

ANNOUNCER: Gene Simmons Family Jewels. A&E Sunday. Oh:

MUSIC: OUT

ANNOUNCER: Please put your tongue back in. The guy is the van is staring.

Funny, 30-second Ad Script Example #5

Listen and compare the finished spot to the script.

“I’m Shaving My Head!” for Star: Trek the Next Generation.

MUSIC: STAR TREK THEME MUSIC, UNDER

ANNOUNCER: All over Miami, they’re shaving their heads!

YOUNG MAN (enthusiastically): I’m shaving my head!

SOUND FX: ELECTRIC HAIR CLIPPERS, MOVING FROM LEFT STEREO CHANNEL TO RIGHT

ANNOUNCER: Throughout the entire Channel 6 viewing area, they’re shaving their heads!

YOUNG WOMAN (enthusiastically): I’m shaving my head!

SOUND FX: ELECTRIC HAIR CLIPPERS

ANNOUNCER: They’re going for… The Jean-Luc Look!

YOUNG COUPLE (simultaneously): We’re shaving our heads!

SOUND FX: ELECTRIC HAIR CLIPPERS

ANNOUNCER: Like Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the bold, bald head of “Star Trek: the Next Generation,” weekdays at four on Channell Six. Get the look!

OLD, FUNNY GEEZER GUY (enthusiastically): I’m shavin’ my head!

ANNOUNCER: The Jean-Luc Look! On “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Weekdays at four on Channel 6.

MUSIC: THEME MUSIC CONCLUDES WITH A FLOURISH

Watch “Star Trek: Picard” for free on CBS All Access

Funny, 30-second Radio Ad Script Example #6

Listen to the spot and compare it to the script.

“Millions of Americans” for American Optometric Association

ANNOUNCER: We have with us in the studio millions of Americans. Millions, welcome.

HUGE THRONG (multiple layered voices, as if a “million” people were speaking simultaneously): NICE TO BE HERE.

ANNOUNCER: We’re asking millions of Americans to get their children’s eyes examined once a year.

HUGE THRONG: ONCE A YEAR?

ANNOUNCER: Right! All in favor of annual eye exams for children three and up, say “Aye!”

HUGE THRONG: AYE!

ANNOUNCER: Say, “Eye care means you care.”

HUGE THRONG: “EYE CARE MEANS YOU CARE.”

ANNOUNCER: Say, “Sally sells sea shells by the seashore.”

HUGE THRONG (getting the tongue twister wrong:) SALLY SHELLS SHE SELLS…

ANNOUNCER: Gotcha!

HUGE THRONG (sheepish): …BY THE SHE-SORE.

ANNOUNCER: A public service message from the American Optometric Association.

Scripts © Walt Jaschek. Spots © Paul & Walt Worldwide. All rights reserved.

More on my YouTube channel.

See also: 15 Funny Radio Ads To Inspire More of the Same

Want great copywriting like this? Contact Walt.


Walt Jaschek is a writer of comics, comedy and copy for big brands. For his work creating funny, award-winning ad campaigns for the entertainment industry, he was inducted in 2018 into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Declaring “I’m not history yet,” Walt is writing new content daily.

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