I’ve referred a few times here recently to my friend and former Montreal Gazette colleague Earl, who has provided several inspired ideas for posts, not to mention some hilarious comments on them. In one such comment – you owe it to yourself to read it here – he manages to invoke pretty much every icon of 1960s CBC television programming in one fell swoop. (Reminiscing about the funny bits, especially the unintentionally funny ones, in 1960s CBC TV shows was one of the things Earl and I liked to do while putting pages together at The Gazette.)
Anyway, in that comment he also made a glancing reference to an advertising staple of 1960s CBC programming: the commercials for Timex watches, featuring various “torture tests.” Do you remember those? You must. The one that most sticks in my mind is when they dragged the watch – a Timex Marlin, I believe – behind or alongside a power boat going through the reedy, weedy waters of The Pas, Manitoba. (I think it stuck with me because as a kid watching that ad on the Manse’s black-and-white TV, I found that name “The Pas” very interesting and exotic.) At the end of that ad – predictably, because it was the end of every Timex ad – the watch was hauled out from its “torture test” and was, yes, still ticking!
And the most amazing thing about those ads was that the filming was always arranged so that it would be exactly 10 minutes to 2 when they retrieved the watch to show it to us! How did they do that?
Oh, wait a minute…
Anyway, YouTube failed to cough up a video of the torture test in The Pas, but I did find another water-themed one. Wait till you get to the bit where the water-skier lifts up one ski so the Timex can be retrieved! At exactly – wait for it – 10 minutes to 2.