Wednesday, August 24, 2011

№ 32. Subic Beefs

There is proof that Tanduay Ice bends perception and reality. Thanks to a late nighter of that mild drink paired with wild Guesstures™. Throw in a grass skirt, light the mob of six on fire and you're set!

The Bends, as we call them, make your worldly ideas lag behind reality. That's when weird, wonderful and surprising things happen: weaponized marketing tactics kick in.

For example:

1. Caveat: An act of God can be your best excuse for a lousy, greasy day.

While waiting for the Convergys group to finish registration, the harassed staff (HS) of Treetop Adventure gave us a briefing, with hidden Philosophical truths:

HS: "No refund, no transfer, no exchange."

Uncomprehending silence. 
We were still a recovering after the loopy drive by Ms. Wowowie. 

A minute after, deer in headlights chorus: "Okay...." 

HS: "Umm, you might also get greased up if it rains."

Bambi: "Grease?! Did we sign up for palo sebo?"

HS: "Sir, sometimes, rain makes the grease drip from the steel cables."

Bambi: "Ah" Enlightenment finally descended upon the herd. 

Yeah, we can blame the rain because God is ultimately responsible.

2. Silver Surfer Part 1: "Fear is Relative"

Einstein would have been proud of the latest permutation of his theory. In our first ride, we got a comic validation that, to quote HS , "fear is relative" indeed.

Our first ride was the Silver Surfer. It's just one innocent ride that's a green, rickety seesaw of pogo sticks. Unknown to most, it's a killer worthy of loud hysterics (more on this). It makes wild pendulum swings while being pushed and pulled across thin, greasy steel cables about 100 feet up in the forest canopy.

And because peer pressure has the unbearable lightness of that fluffy Meat Plus cheesecake, Ms. Botong caved despite her audible fears.

In 10 minutes.

Yes, peer pressure, is still a formidable force. Especially when wielded by Colonel Raab. Ms. Botong was no match for the colonel. He was trained in guerrilla negotiations at the fabled National Office in Agham Road.

Colonel Raab, rather wisely, used emotional blackmail in all caps: "If you won't go, Ms. Calgary will have to go ALONE. NO FUN." Ms. Calgary was, by then, already close to tears at the thought of solitary hops, up in the air.

Yes, the snake oil saleman's persuasion rendered our damsel incoherent, vulnerable and pliant as a prosciutto wrapped in the metal harness of the Silver Surfer.

Marketing 101: Blackmail is a necessary evil. When used judiciously, it's also a potent marketing tool that can knock down friendships, rationalization, self-preservation and common sense. It's fail-proof.

3. Silver Surfer Part 2: KISS, Keep It Sonic and Searing

There is a mother of all screams.

It's a sonic shriek that can blast any UAAP fan to Pluto. The trio of Ms. Botong, Ms. Calgary and Ms. Kapatid emptied Binictican and Anvaya Cove of their resident simians. The poor jungle creatures probably thought Pinatubo was getting restless again. Oh if you can only see the carnage.

Because everybody heard the excitement of the ride, the one beside the Silver Surfer---The Superman, didn't sound as life-changing anymore. Ergo, many from the Convergys groups trooped to our side. They ditched Clark Kent and made a beeline for the galactic marvel. Suckers.

Wisdom of the experience: Ear-splitting vocal advertising shots trump any "no return, no exchange" policy.

4. Disgusting. That's the new OMG.

A P330 kayak fee inserted in our bill was DISGUSTING. And we haven't even touched the paddles. Sneaky. Yes, you heard us, disgusting!

Ms. Calgary felt loathsome bile rise from her stomach when she discovered it. Fortunately, two things intervened to restrain her:
  1. The culprit, bums still red from the kayak paddle, admitted it should have been charged to their room, Room 110. Ours was Room 210. Go figure the arithmetic.
  2. An easy lunch of Jollibee Chicklen Joy and retail therapy at Nike outlet quelled the nerves.
Marketing 101: Nothing screams consumer dissatisfaction like the new OMG, "disgusting". One more time please---with sound and fury, DISGUSTING.

5. Vampire Economics

When driver Santi mentioned the bed bugs from the Amityville school house, nobody paid any heed. The P225 nightly rate just proved irresistible. So he stayed there for the night.

The next morning, he looked exsanguinated. Luckily, an order of tapsilog and coffee revived him. Cost: P330. He was his jolly old self again in the expressway. And, without visible signs of bug bites! It was the sonic scream.

A fair wash? Maybe.

Lesson: No recession can justify any blood bath as consequence. But a little blood letting can be a fair exchange for a hearty tapsilog.

Driver Santi circa 1970s. His quips made the road trip, err, engaging.Thanks for his
lessons about the macapuno, we're now buko pie junkies. Photo from Old Pictures.

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