Nearly all of us who live in The Villages are pretty happy here.
That’s a reasonably safe statement. Why wouldn’t we be happy? There’s plenty to do; the weather is great; and most of the folks who live here are genuinely nice. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say 99 percent or so of us are very contented. Of course, there are some isolated exceptions. For example, the people who produce that newspaper that’s delivered to our driveways in a yellow plastic bag seem a little disgruntled. They provide us with the gripe du jour, but that doesn’t deter many of us from thinking this is the best place going.
Our satisfaction is understandable: The Villages is run with amazing efficiency. It’s almost scary how everything clicks together so nicely. Since I spent a lot of years in the communications field, I am particularly impressed by The Villages’ marketing plan. It’s absolute genius. The Villages’ promotion and advertising appeal to a certain demographic — older folks who want to remain vibrant and active.
Television ads for The Villages are all top-notch in quality and presentation. They show happy folks enjoying themselves in a wide range of active living — golfing, tennis, pickleball, swimming, bowling, dancing, even water skiing. But, as my old pal Hamlet said, “there’s the rub.”
Lots of people in The Villages, including me, don’t do any of those things. I am much better at eating, sitting and drinking than I am at sweating. A number of years ago, when everyone in America was jogging, a good friend of mine said: “We are each endowed with a finite number of heartbeats and I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste any of mine jogging.”
Those of us who avoid running and leaping constitute a large part of The Villages’ population, but we’re totally ignored in the advertising. It is time to recognize The Villages’ Old Fat Guys — or “OFGs,” as we call ourselves.
I considered filing a class-action suit on behalf of OFGs to get us our just recognition in those TV commercials. There’s this nice lawyer on TV who says he’d be “honored” to help us out. I also thought about those “for the people” lawyers and almost asked them if they’d consider being “for the Old Fat Guys.”
After considerable thought, I decided against the lawsuit because: a) it would be expensive, and b) it’s a pretty stupid idea anyway. Instead, I decided to appeal to The Villages’ sense of fair play and insist that an Old Fat Guy be part of the TV advertising. I will happily volunteer to be the designated Old Fat Guy. We can even include my Old Fat Dog — OFD — in some of the ads.
Golf is very important to the success of The Villages, so certainly ads should continue featuring all those happy folks playing golf for free forever on our executive courses. But every once in a while, the golf ad should show an OFG driving by a golf course as he goes from Winn-Dixie to Publix to compare wine prices.
There’s not a lot that can be done to feature an OFG in the commercials that show people swimming or water skiing. However, the importance of water in The Villages could be illustrated in the ad by an Old Fat Guy mixing some water into his single-malt scotch.
As the designated Old Fat Guy, I would be happy to walk my Old Fat Dog outside a tennis court in one of the commercials. If a ball is hit over the fence, the OFD and I could walk slowly over, pick it up and throw it back to the tennis players.
One of the great selling points about The Villages is the live entertainment every night of the year in the three town squares. People dancing to the live music provide a wonderful element to any commercial. This is not my thing, but the film guys can get a shot of me sitting at Lake Sumter Landing’s Market Square enjoying a tasty beverage from the drink shack while dozens of Villagers line dance.