Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Left on Spitbrook, Right on Daniel Webster

If you’re from the New England area, you may have seen this awesome commercial for McDonald’s Newman’s Own coffee.   Before handing over the coffee, there is a quiz that a guy has to answer of regional slang.  I have been officially assimilated because I understood most of them right off the bat!  Still, there are some that even Doug, a Massachusetts lifer of 50 years, hadn’t heard of.  Here’s the quiz:
  1. Blizzard of... ? ‘78.  (Say “Blizzehd”)
  2. Newyorkachusetts? Connecticut.  (I’ve lived in NY, CT and MA for a total of 36 years and haven’t heard of this one.)
  3. Drinking fountain?  Bubbler.  (Or Bubblah if you pronounce it correctly.)
  4. What do they ask for at a packie? ID. (Packie = package store = liquor store).
  5. Sprinkles or Jimmies?  Jimmies.  (Jimmies are usually only the chocolate kind of sprinkles.)
  6. 5 inches of snow?  Dustin’.
  7. Manhattan chowder? Never heard of it (I never had it even when I lived in NY).
These two hooked up again for another commercial which I haven’t found on Youtube yet.  Once I started looking for it, it never came on.  Finally, I captured it on my DVR during a news cast, but lost it so it’s still mostly from memory.  (2/11/10 Edited to add - Special thanks to Sandy for finding the commercial on YouTube!)  Here’s the latest quiz:
  1. Newyorkachusetts? Connecticut.
  2. Turn signal?  Sign of weakness.
  3. Left on Spitbrook?  Right on Daniel Webster. 
  4. EEEENHHH (the sound of a ferry horn)?  Island Queen.
  5. Irish Riviera?  South Shore. 
  6. Worcester? Woostah.
  7. Ant?  Aunt.
  8. Best Broadway show evah?  Wicked.
Now for questions 3 and 4, I originally thought that the EEEENHH sound was a BZZZT for getting the previous answer wrong.  Finally the internet came through and straightened me out. 
"Left on Spit Brook, Right on Dan'l Webster" is a correct question and answer (referring to the old Jordan's [radio] ad [from the eighties], as stated elsewhere). The next noise the questioner makes isn't a signal for "wrong" but rather the sound of a ferry horn, specifically for the Island Queen Ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Brilliant commercial. We actually set the TiVo and reran the spot until we figured this one out.”
Yeah, we reran our DVR without such enlightenment (Doug claims he figured it out while I was traveling).  But we did have a lengthy discussion about that intersection.  We are extremely familiar with the intersection of Spitbrook Road and Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, NH because it is the center of all commerce for those of us who live in Taxachusetts and shop in tax free and die New Hampshire.  In fact I probably frequent that intersection at least once a week. 

When I moved to the area in 1995, the major landmark at Spitbrook and Daniel Webster was the Green Ridge Turkey Farm restaurant.  It may have been great in its heyday, but it was horrible when we went. 

Vintage postcard from Card Cow.

Soon afterwards, it became a huge Barnes and Noble (a monstrosity by comparison).  Sure it has books, Starbucks and wi-fi, but it just isn’t as quaint, which may be why I have a distaste for B&N in general.  So next time you see the McDonald's ad, remember the Turkey Farm!

Image from Barnes & Noble.

We’ve since seen another of these commercials with a guy and a girl in a library with a new set of questions (this time I religiously rewound it on the spot when it came on):
  1. Vermont state bird?  Hermit thrush.
  2. Ball slowly rolls past?  First base (that Bill Buckner play is forever seared in my mind).
  3. Bowling?  Candlepin (my kids have played no other kind of bowling!)
  4. Downeaster?  Resident of Maine.
  5. Nor’easter?  Wicked bad storm.
  6. Your hair smells like sunshine.  What?  Nothing, coffee?
And in Albany, the last remark is “I love your chin dimple.”

The commercials must be working because Doug’s coffee of choice is now McDonald’s Newman’s Own instead of Dunkin Donuts.  Me?  I’m too cheap to buy coffee I don’t make. Winking


Momisodes said...

THANK YOU for posting this. My husband and I have been blasting our TV whenever these commercials come on (we don't have DVR).

I will confess that I didn't know ANY of these except for "Wicked" and "Jimmies." And I totally agree that 5 inches is a dustin' here.

p.s. Manhattan chowder isn't that bad, but it doesn't even compare to New England chowder.

Janet said...

I adore these commercials! Let me know when you find the second's funny that one hasn't shown up yet!

McD's coffee isn't bad, I was shocked!

Quentin said...

Yea, I love these commmercials, and I suppose I never think of myself as strictly a New Englander....but darn it, I AM and am PROUD of it too!


Linda said...

I am glad that you blended yourself and settled down as a New Englander. I imagine you feel good that you belon to this community. Enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for posting the words to these commercials! For the life of me I couldn't understand what he was saying in the library for his second question. It was driving me nuts! hahaha Thanks for clearing that up. Now I don't feel so much like a "Buckner"! Oh, poor Bill..hahaha

Joe said...

In the library commercial all I heard for question 2 was:

ross rollios pants?

In the Albany ad he spells Kosciusko and she has to pronounce it.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Nashua, NH all my life and when I saw the commercial that said left on Spitbrook right on Daniel Webster I was shocked and extremely happy because thats right near where I live. I wasn't positive it was talking about the intersection in Nashua so I had to look it up and I'm very happy to find out it is.

Unknown said...

I knew it! Jordans commercial...only reason I ever would have known "Right on Daniel Webster" followed "Left on Spitbrook." Wow, that's old!

MHightman said...

Hi, I am surprised you didn't know the blizzard of 78, Manhatten clam chowder-(Tomato broth & clams, rahter than new england which is cream based), jimmies, packie, bubblah,dustin', etc. in fact the only one on the list that should have thrown you was the Newyorkmassachusettes. I left Massachusettes in 1973 after being raised in Newton until I was 18- and I even knew the blizzard of 78

Anonymous said...

I, too, thank you for posting these. I'd just watched the 3rd commercial and, non-native that I am, didn't get the reference of "ball slowly rolls past? first base"
As for "Newyorkachusetts? Connecticut" - on Urban Dictionary it states that it comes from the fact that CT doesn't have any professional sports teams of its own - so most fans follow NY or MA teams instead.

Anonymous said...

here is the left on spit brook? right on daniel webster commercial!

Fleer said...

I heard a dummed-down radio version of the "Your hair smells like sunshine" line where the guy says, "tyour hair smells nice." Whaaaaat? Bring back the sunshine...such a better line.

Anonymous said...

vote for it. Wicked awesomest local ad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I've lived in New England since the Eighties and STILL didn't understand the commercial with the two guys where they said left on Spitbrook/right on Daniel Webster. After watching the commercial, I thought that the correct response was supposed to be Island Queen and it confused me even more!

I grew up in Ohio and we had the Blizzard of 78 days before New England. It shut us down for a week too!