Jim Beam Agrees With Ed Rendell on the Whole Wusses Thing
The devastating news is in, guys. If you’re web-surfing while standing up, for some odd reason, please take a seat. Grab some Kleenex. This is going to be tough to hear, but we’re in this together. The folks at Jim Beam conducted a nationwide survey to find the “25 Boldest Towns” in America. Philadelphia, it turns out, finished dead last—#100 out of 100. Pittsburgh beat us, barely (#99). Harrisburg out-bolded us (#97). And the real punch in the junk—Wilkes-Barre not only bested us, they made us the Urkel to their Schwarzenegger (#29).
At first glance, the results paint a less-than-flattering picture. Less than half of the Philly guys surveyed would agree to go on a blind date. Nearly 70 percent have never tried an extreme activity like parachuting or bungee jumping, or even something as relatively tame as kayaking or scuba diving. Only 17 percent have attended a political protest, and just 24 percent consider themselves spontaneous.
[SIGNUP]Based on those stats, we don’t exactly look like Han Solo or the guy in the Dos Equis commercials. But considering this sweeping scientific analysis was conducted by a whiskey company, I didn’t have much faith that it accurately represented us as a city. Consider the sample size, too—100,000 men from across the nation. I guess women aren’t bold? Or they don’t drink enough Jim Beam. Or maybe they’re the targets of the next survey that will reveal Philadelphians as a bunch of vanilla-ice-cream eatin’, speed-limit obeyin’, day-planner carryin’ wuss-bags.
There were also a few results that made me wonder if the people behind this survey—or the ones who took it—were passing around a bottle while they did it. For example:
• Nine percent supported a sports team by starting the wave. On behalf of the rest of the Philadelphia sports fan base, I’d like to donate $25 toward relocating you people to another city. The wave is something that sun-kissed, laid-back Californians do when their pot buzz is peaking or they’re trying not to doze off by the 7th inning stretch. If you’re a Philadelphian and older than 10, you do not start or participate in a wave at a game. You might miss a call that requires screaming at a referee.
• Zero percent pierced their genitals. This is not an indication that we’re timid wimps—we’re just not as freaky as dudes in New York, where five percent are packing surgical steel in their trousers (better leave extra time for the TSA lines if you fly out of LaGuardia). And seriously—who’s the one percent of guys in Harrisburg with jewelry hanging off their privates? I doubt Dominic Pileggi was in his H’burg office the day this survey went out.
• Fifteen percent arm-wrestled a stranger. I’m surprised this number is actually so high. Where are these feats of strength taking place and how can I be down? Did I miss the memo about an Over The Top renaissance?
• Three percent would get a tattoo of their significant other’s name for an anniversary. This falls under the “dumb, not bold” category. There are only three good reasons for getting a name permanently inked to your body: that person carries your DNA; as a tribute to a person who died and thus can never do something that will lead you to disown them, like appearing on Maury or taking one of these surveys; or you’re in prison and saying no to Bulldog is just not an option.
• Fifty-four percent called in sick when they weren’t. The hidden stat here—the other 46 percent are liars.
The Jim Beam folks followed up the survey with a commercial that’s actually pretty cool. Willem Dafoe sits in a diner while contemplating all the different choices he could make in life—would he be the guy on the flying trapeze, or the one down below, shoveling elephant turds? It’s in black and white, of course—so bold!—and in the end, when some brassy young turk is faced with a bus to New York or another to Milwaukee, he heads to the Big Apple, where apparently he’ll get a Prince Albert and start the wave at a Yankees game. If not wanting to do any of those things means I’m not bold, so be it. I’m more of a Maker’s Mark guy, anyway.