I’m amazed/disturbed by the shear (sheer?) number of advertisemens for household products that feature housewives interacting with non-existant critters. Nothing like holding a conversation with Mr. Clean after he magically wipes your counters shiny clean. Or taking advice from the Arm & Hammer Ampersand regarding how to make things smell nice. Or vaccuums (sp?) that talk to you, or smile, or some other such audio-visual hallucination. Are these sly throwbacks to some unforunate side effects of Mother’s Little Helpers? Or simply an effort to create a Fantasia out of housework? I guess on one hand the actual effects of cleaner X vs. Cleaner Y are really boring, and so having some sort of character spices things up. But compared to other industries, there seems to be a preponderance of hallucinatory critters selling their services to housewives. At least in children’s toy advertising, there’s often a ‘snap-back’ scene where we see that the kids are playing with a real toy, imagining the wondrous adventures of whomever. But advertising that seems targeted to housewives never gets that. It’s simply a given that TV housewives see imaginary critters, and don’t question that they’re real.