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Listeners Sold Us On What's Special To Them ... And They Sure Got Specific

Burnt toast
Chelsea Beck
Burnt toast

When we asked listeners to write commercials for the little, not-for-sale joys that enhance our lives, we noticed something interesting. There were a few themes that came up often — but then, there were also a few contributions that genuinely took us by surprise.

They were commercials for things and experiences that literally none of our 2,000 other ad writers brought up. But they resonated just the same.

A day after we announced five of our favorites — and released the audio versions that aired on All Things Considered -- we can't help returning to the golden trove of Ads for Nicer Living for just one more post.

Consider these the honorable mentions: a celebration of some of the great entries that caught our eye — the ads that, quite literally, were one of a kind.


From Melissa Morgan of Fremont, Calif.

The lush touch of luxury at your fingertips. Perfectly designed to sumptuously caress every curve and soften the edges of even the hardest surface. Anciently evolved, yet modernly minimalist. Experience moss, the all-natural, non-vascular Persian carpets of the plant kingdom. With a legacy of understated elegance which has outlasted millennia, moss adds a subtle touch of chic to every occasion. Filled with velvet-like opulence and the classic look of emeralds, the cracks in your sidewalk have never looked better. Moss: nevermore a drab slab.

Burnt Toast

From Jaclyn Schillinger of New York City

Oh no!
The toaster
Still on.
The bread
Still in.
Ohhhhhhhhh yes.

Fa la la la la la la
Fa la la la la la la
The mistake just teases
because its CRUNCH just pleases ...
And that never ceases
to amaaaaaze me.

Fa la la la la la la


The beauty of the imperfection.
Leave that toaster on a smidge too long and
try it for yourself today.

Talk To The Person About The Thing

From Rose Szabo of Richmond, Va.

This public service announcement reminds you that it's time to talk to the person about the thing. Got a minor complaint that's growing because of how long it's gone on? Wanting to ask an important question about your future? Curious whether someone you love feels the same way as you? If you know it's important to you, and you know something needs to be said, now is the time to say it. Talk to the person about the thing. Be kind, be specific, and be quick about it. Life is short. Talk to the person about the thing.

Your Friend Called To Cancel Plans You Already Forgot About

From Stephen Lee Thompson of Chicago

Life can be so complex. Work! Family! Friends? Who can keep up?

Well, thank goodness! Things just got much simpler when Your Friend Called to Cancel the Plans You Already Forgot About.

Brought to you by Disorganization and Positive Reinforcement, Your Friend Called to Cancel the Plans You Already Forgot About has more than 100 years of satisfied customers ...

All the way back to your great-grandparents!

**Sounds of a telegraph**

Old-Timey Woman: What does it say, Harold?

Old-Timey Man: Why! The Joneses can't make it tonight.

Old-Timey Woman: BULLY! We're not even dressed.

Your Friend Called to Cancel the Plans You Already Forgot About!


Also from the makers of Your Friend Called to Cancel the Plans You Already Forgot About, try: Lucky Guess and That Was a Close One.

Disorganization and Positive Reinforcement: You can trust us ... because it happened that one time.

Felix Mendelssohn's Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream

From Don Greenfield of Wynnewood, Pa.

**Door slams**

Him: Hi, I'm back!
Her: (lifeless): Hey...
Him: Boy, you sound really down — is everything OK?
Her: I dunno, I've just been droopy all day.
Him: I know that feeling. But I know just what you need. Try listening to the Scherzo from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream!
Her: Mendelwho? What's a Scherzo?
Him: Don't worry about any of that — just listen to it!
Her: Well, I guess it can't hurt.
Him: Come on, try it ...

**Music begins**

Him: There, I see a little smile on your face already.

**More music**

Him (humming to the music): Dum-diddle-iddle-um-tum-tum ...
Her (starting to giggle): Hey, stop that!
Him (continuing to hum): Dum-diddle-iddle-um-tum-tum!


**Both begin laughing**

Her (through the laughter): This stuff is great!
He: Works for me every time!

**More music and laughter**

Narrator: Felix Mendelssohn's Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream: raising spirits since 1842!

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.
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