According to the ads on the Internet, the women who live in Pawnee have exceptionally white teeth, make a ton of money from home and lose weight faster and easier than you and me. The only problem is that none of these women actually, you know, exist.
According to the ads on the Internet, the women who live in Pawnee have exceptionally white teeth, make a ton of money from home and lose weight faster and easier than you and me.
The only problem is that none of these women actually, you know, exist.
That would include “Kelly Richards” in Pawnee who says in her Internet testimonial for some sort of get-rich-quick scheme, “I actually make $5,000-$7,000 a month from home.”
There is also “Becky Thompson, an ordinary mom from Pawnee” who “discovered a clever trick to get a celebrity smile for less than $3.” Oddly enough, in the next Internet ad, “Amy,” a “Pawnee school teacher and full-time mother” also “discovered a clever trick to get a celebrity smile for less than $3.” Amazing!
There must be something in the water in Pawnee.
I put on my investigative reporter hat and went to The Style Connection beauty parlor to meet an actual Pawnee woman.
“If we were all rich, would I be down here taking down my own curtains?” asked owner Stacey Thornton, as she took down her curtains in the shop so they could be cleaned.
She examined the ads and said none of these “Pawnee women” looked familiar. What a surprise.
When we click on certain Web pages, the page reads our IP address and adjusts its advertisements to show a local person, usually a woman, from wherever we are. Up here in the State Journal-Register newsroom, it’s always Pawnee, which is about 19 miles south of Springfield.
It’s called geo targeting. Software determines the location of the person clicking on the Web page, then delivers different content depending on that person’s location. If the same Web page advertisement is called up from a computer in Pennsylvania, the person on the keyboard could be seeing these very same women doing the very same wonderful things — except they will be from Allentown or Schenectady.
But on my computer, it is always Pawnee women whitening their teeth and making a fortune at home. Not Virden women. Not Ashland. Not Elkhart.
Examining the ads at the Snelling-Chevalier Real Estate office in Pawnee, Bobbi Chevalier and her mother-in-law, Gail Chevalier-Zini, and Kathy Baker-Bowen found them “hilarious” and “bizarre.” Of course, they have never heard of any of these women who are purportedly from Pawnee.
But even if the women don’t exist, this is great publicity for Pawnee. According to the Internet, Pawnee’s women are all thin, have great-looking teeth and are wealthy.
“The bars (here) will love it,” says Bobbie Chevalier. “We might have a lot more truck drivers coming to town.”
Pawnee women overcome life’s obstacles, too. The fictional “Becky Thompson” says in her ad that “I smoked for eight years, drank two cups of coffee a day (only way to stay awake at work), and loved a glass of red wine to help me sleep at night.
Furthermore, I would be lying if I said that I brushed my teeth 3 times a day every day.”
She has a boring job, can’t get to sleep at night without alcohol and has poor dental hygiene. Yet, says good old Becky from (ahem) Pawnee, “I’m an optimist and always look for the silver lining in any situation.”
You have to love that, too, about the women in Pawnee where (with apologies to Garrison Keillor) all the men are strong, the women good-looking and their children are above average.
State Journal-Register columnist Dave Bakke can be reached at (217) 788-1541 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.