Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

October 12, 2013

What's next for the Geico Camel?


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — It’s been going through a rough patch for the past few months. You see, I’ve been having a reoccurring nightmare.

It starts off innocently enough. I’m at my office trying to get some work done. Everything seems pretty normal — the printer is beeping incessantly, my co-workers are singing (badly) and the phone is ringing constantly.

Suddenly, a large, grotesque beast is standing over my shoulder breathing heavily and drooling down my back. I freeze in a panic as he leans his hairy snout down to my ear and says … “Bec, Bec, Bec, Bec, Bec! What day is it?”

This week, as we continue to celebrate all things scary during the month of October, may I present the sad future that is in store for the Geico camel.

I know I don’t have to explain the commercial to you. A camel wanders through his office annoying his co-workers, including poor Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, and asking them what day it is. Finally he gets the answer he’s looking for: it’s hump day.

Geico Insurance began airing its camel commercial back in May. Since that time, people just can’t seem to get enough of it. It seems seeing it several times a week on television is just not enough. It has been viewed on YouTube more than 16 million times and the parodies have been endless.

It’s safe to say the camel’s catch phrase is the “Where’s the beef?” of this decade. In fact, teachers in one middle school in Connecticut had to ban kids from using the phrase because it was too “disruptive.”

Apparently, not everyone finds the camel so amusing, and I’m becoming one of them.

Sure, I got a chuckle the first few times I saw the commercial. What’s not amusing is that now that it’s gotten popular, people are in a hurry to run it into the ground.

Did you know the camel now has a name? It’s Caleb. He’s also already got a starring role in another commercial coming soon (poor Mike from the original commercial makes a cameo). Look for it in a theater near you.

There are also mugs, tote bags, magnets, pens and T-shirts. The T-shirt retails for $34.50.

What’s next? The future is not bright for Caleb.

He’ll start out small. There will no doubt be a Caleb toy out for Christmas. Squeeze his hump and he’ll spout his catch phrase. Soon he’ll have his own television show, maybe even a cartoon series for kids. Then the movie roles will start rolling in.

He’ll appear on Leno and Ellen. He’ll host the Emmys. Soon paparazzi will be stalking him. Rumors will surface. He’ll headline all of the tabloids.

Caleb will begin dating Miley Cyrus. That will be the beginning of his downward spiral. They’ll be spotted at night clubs. He’ll have an earring and a blue Mohawk. As advertisers pull out due to bad press, his shows will be cancelled. The offers will stop coming in. Caleb will not take it well.

A stint in rehab will follow. Then Caleb will attempt a comeback starring in low budget remake of “Hawmps.” A bad movie to begin with, the role will kill his career.

It’s a scary story, isn’t it? But there is an upside.

Mike (remember Mike?) will go on to be the most beloved character in the history of cinema.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.