Coffee commercials used to be such cozy and homey affairs, what with kindly Mrs. Olson dropping by with her can of Folgers, or girlfriends spending a rainy day indoors with their Cafe Viennas.
But then Taster's Choice started an ongoing series of seductive commercials in which a pair of neighbors use the instant coffee to meet and engage in some flirtatious bantering. To date, the elegant brunette and her roguish, sandy-haired neighbor have exchanged teasing words and jars of Taster's Choice, but have yet to consummate their flirtation with even a shared cup of the stuff.
Well! Percolating minds want to know -- what happens next? The third of the planned eight episodes won't air till fall, so in the meantime we asked readers to come up with their own versions of where this relationship is headed.
A couple of the scenarios we received would make poor Mrs. Olson blush! Here are two of our favorite entries. Keep watching for that next episode, and see if the actual commercial can top these.
"Percolating Minds in Hyperspace"
By Brian Cary Sokolow, of Baltimore.
Scene: One of those all-night, upscale New York markets.
Close-up: The last jar of Taster's Choice on the shelf. Two hands, one male and one female, both immaculately manicured and rich in emollients, clutch the jar simultaneously.
He raises an eyebrow, the left one.
She smiles demurely, suggestively.
Scene change: Inside her place, obviously, with delicate porcelains, antique French fans, ferns. They indulge their seething passion for the freeze-dried love elixir, first in impossibly tiny demitasse cups, then mugs and, finally, great, glass-bottomed beer steins replete with hideous gargoyle faces.
Last scene: Outside the fashionable brownstone, the lamplights glisten in the now rain-wet streets. Paramedics buckle restraining devices and administer massive quantities of caffeine antidote intravenously to both the man and woman. Their red eyes lock, silently saying what words cannot: "Juan Valdez Is God."
By Frank Jones, of Timonium.
It's a windy, thundering, lightning, raining night. Wet streets glimmer in the glare of the street lights. Tony is backing his way into the vestibule of his apartment house, shaking his umbrella, a bag of groceries in his arm. As he turns, he comes face to face with Sharon.
Sharon: "Ohhh. Hello."
Tony: "Surely you're not about to venture out in the face of this beastly weather?"
Sharon: "I have an unexpected guest, and I'm out of coffee again." (Tony takes her arm gently, and guides her to his door.)
Tony: "It's virtually an unpardonable vice to be out of Taster's Choice on a night like this. That's why I always keep an emergency supply." (That signature smile lights up his face as he ushers her into his apartment. Her eyes appraise the surroundings, resting briefly on a nicely framed Picasso print. Tony shields the groceries from Sharon's view and lifts a jar of "Taster's Choice" from the bag. At the kitchen doorway he turns with the jar in his hand.)
Tony: "Such a rotten night. Won't you share a cup with me?"
Sharon: "How sweet of you. But my guest, remember?" (She accepts the coffee and turns, allowing her hair to delicately brush his cheek. At her door she favors Tony with a fleeting look over her shoulder. Back in her apartment, her guest looks up astonished.)
Mary: "How could you possibly stay dry in this brutal downpour?"
(Sharon leans back against the door, clutching the jar of coffee to her.)
Sharon: (dreamily) "Did Picasso's blue period predate the rose period, or was it the other way around?"