#3. Watch Your Stoma
This ad uses gritty realism to warn you of the dangers of smoking. In this case, the gritty realism is all the shit that's going to get stuck in your neck hole, or, alternately, fall out of your neck hole. The big lesson you need to take away here is that you're going to have a neck hole, and if we're ranking the desirability of body holes, the neck hole is way down near the bottom. Even further down than the asshole, because for all the bad press assholes get, they still serve a valuable purpose and, if I may be so uncouth as to suggest it, they can be great at parties, or just for a night in by yourself.
This campaign was put together by the CDC, so they could have used zombies or Ebola monkeys to get their point across, but instead they opted for a guy who apparently learned the hard way that if you bend over with a stoma, all the food in your stomach rolls out of your neck. I take issue with this because, although I'm no biologist, I am pretty confident that currently when I bend over, my dinner doesn't pool at my Adam's apple. I think if you bend over and food rolls out of your neck, you have two causes for alarm here. One is, of course, the neck hole. But the other issue, unmentioned in this commercial, is that your stomach may be little more than a warm, damp sack attached to your neck. I think most of us have some kind of plug down in there that prevents our dinner from rolling around all over. And really, if we didn't, wouldn't the gymnastics portion of the Olympics be nothing more than really thin girls spraying an international audience with coleslaw and pierogi as they flip all about?
The commercial also drops a quick line about watching the hole when you shave, which makes me think that the risk of getting a bellyful of Alpine-fresh-scented shaving cream with stubble in it is a constant hazard of not paying attention to one's razor-handling skills. On the upside, all you need to do is bend over to make it all run out again.
The grossness level here is clearly pretty high and effectively makes me not want to smoke, no matter how cool the other kids will think I am. I'm putting this on par with discovering a pube that isn't yours on the soap after you've washed your face.
#2. Bulging Tumor Smoke
Straight out of the morbid and drab U.K. comes this terrifying commercial that plays out like a short from David Cronenberg's video collection. It starts out awful enough, depicting an Englishman stepping outside in the morning to enjoy a coffee and a smoke. This being England, though, it's probably tea, and the sky is as gray as a senior citizen's undercarriage.
Our protagonist has the thousand-yard stare of any Englishman who's pictured the queen naked as he puffs away, oblivious to the world, his skin wan and waxy like so many of his countrymen. But even worse, with each subsequent puff, a malignant, fleshy red tumor pulses and grows out of his cigarette like some kind of dreadful clown penis from a particularly unappealing horror movie that involves tumorous clown penises. Why a clown? Because it makes it sound more disgusting, doesn't it? Like if you had to choose between seeing the tumorous, pulsing penis of an accountant and the tumorous, pulsing penis of a clown, you'd totally go accountant, because you'd know that if you looked up, if you dared raise your eyes for one awful moment, the accountant would be looking down and weeping softly, but the clown ... the goddamn clown would be looking back at you. And he'd smile. And in that very moment, your entire brain would be reduced to so much pudding. Or, since we're in the U.K., custard. Goddamn custard.
On the overall grossness scale, for making a cigarette into a living, throbbing this, I'm going to have to say that this commercial is as gross as the entire previous paragraph I just wrote. Seriously, picture it.
#1. The Mouth of Sauron
Did you watch that video? If you didn't, I have something to show you.
Cigarettes cause you to become literally the most terrifying thing across 12 hours of epic fantasy films that had an unheard of special effects budget. Giant spiders, Orcs, goblins, spirits of the damned, the Ring Wraiths? No, not creepy enough. The Mouth of Sauron was far and away the most terrifying part of the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. And it's what you look like if you get oral cancer.
In researching this article, I have queued up this video at least six times, and I honestly have no idea what that woman says. I just lose myself staring at her terrifying maw. It's like it's talking to me and my brain doesn't want to hear what it says because of the mouth it's coming from.
"Oh my God, lady, your face is terrifying!"
"My master, Sauron the Great, bids thee welcome. Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me?"
"How do you eat anything? Can you chew gum? Is this even real?"
"Ah, Felix, I have a token I was bidden to show thee!"
"You look like Clive Barker made you in his spare time!"
At this point the whole "quoting Return of the King" falls apart, because then she'd have to toss out a mithril vest and make jokes about killing Frodo, and obviously she never tossed me a mithril vest, she's just a creepy mouth lady in a YouTube video. I'm not insane. But do you see what I mean? My God, just look at the photo.
This one obviously tops the grossness scale. It's going to be a while before we find a commercial to beat this one, and for that, this ranks pretty much at the pinnacle of grossness. Like using your mouth to pull raw room-temperature chicken out of Ke$ha's bathtub drain, or maybe your dentist suffering a quick and unexpected bout of projectile vomiting while he's leaning over your forced-open mouth. That's gross, right?