Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, November 16, 2021


What do celebrities talk about when they go out on dates? If they’re Chicago television luminaries, they talk about the dollars and cents behind syndication deals, like Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey did on a mid-’80s date:

“I don’t know what to do,” she told me. “The ABC stations want to syndicate my show. So does King World. The problem with syndication is that if your show isn’t successful, you’re off the air in three months. The ABC stations own themselves, so they can keep you on. Which way do you think I should go?”

I took a napkin and a ballpoint pen, and made some simple calculations.

Line 1: How much I made in a year for doing a syndicated television show.

Line 2: Times 2, because Siskel made the same.

Line 3: Times 2, because Oprah would be on for an hour, instead of half an hour.

Line 4: Times 5, because she would be on five days a week.

Line 5: Times 2, because her ratings would be at least twice as big as “Siskel & Ebert.”

I pushed the napkin across the table. Oprah studied it for 10 seconds.

“Rog, I’m going with King World,” she said.

And the rest is history.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 11:27:28 PM
Category: TV, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback


So everyone and their mother has heard about the DKNY leather pants on eBay (and if anyone hasn’t, they will):

These were not cheap leather pants. They are Donna Karan leather pants. They’re for men. Brave men, I would think. Perhaps tattooed, pierced men. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say you either have to be very tough, very gay, or very famous to wear these pants and get away with it.

Again, they’re men’s pants, but they’d probably look great on the right lady. Ladies can get away with leather pants much more often than men can. It’s a sad fact that men who own leather pants will have to come to terms with.

The quirky buyer’s remorse story made for primo joke-email and blog fodder, and the buzz grew as only Internet detritus can. The sizzle sold the steak, so much so that some think it’s an exemplary piece of marketing finesse.

Here’s the thing, though: The pants sold for only $102.50. That’s peanuts, considering they cost over twice that. Granted, the seller wasn’t looking to make a killing — he just wanted to ditch the pants. But for all the rage his prose created, you’d think it would have translated into more bids, and an inflated sale price. Not so.

So before Mr. Leather Pants Regret gets annointed a viral marketing genius, let’s pay heed to the tangible results. The ad can be as catchy as can be, but unless it pulls in the dollars, it’s not doing its job.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 11:00:35 PM
Category: Internet, Advert./Mktg., Fashion | Permalink | Feedback (1)


Every week, my workplace offers up quickie massage sessions. A couple of professionals come in and administer 15-minute backrubs to all comers — fully clothed, of course. This ain’t a bordello!

There’s a new masseue on the scene, and this note that was emailed out earlier this week regarding her services amused me:

Denise will be located in the Human Resources Area - back the hallway, the last door on the right. She would like to remind you all to please not wear any perfume on Wednesday - her asthma is really bothering her this week. Also, please wear a smooth shirt.

Kind of picky for an office perk, isn’t it? I’d have to plan my wardrobe and grooming for the day around a quarter-hour rubaround? She’d have to have the most magical of magic fingers to warrant all that hassle — and, having taking advantage of one of her visits, I can tell you, she ain’t.

So, obviously, I didn’t get an office massage today. I happened to be wearing a smooth shirt (not like I ever wear anything else, really), but I was Eternity-ed up. I wouldn’t want to give Denise olfactory overload.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 10:03:38 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback


This morning, I opted to go to work unshaven, as I do at least once a week. (Yes, I’m a wild man.) As I usually do when I go this route, I splashed on a bit of Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men, which I can’t do on a shaving day because I need to apply alcohol-free aftershave balm instead. (Yes, I’m a somewhat fussy wild man.)

I thought I had applied a modest enough amount of cologne. I could smell it on me, but I didn’t think it was excessive. And I didn’t get any feedback at the office about being over-scented.

And yet, on the way home tonight, I could still smell the Eternity on me. After some 12 hours, you’d think the potency would subside. But even now, as I write this, the scent remains.

Good thing I like it.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 08:25:56 PM
Category: Fashion | Permalink | Feedback (1)