Getting wet and wild over burgers!

OK, I’m watching “Today” on NBC this morning and I’m in trouble. I’m running late and I can’t figure out if my slacks are gray or brown.It’s tough being colorblind when you’re in a hurry. So I’m squinting at these pants, trying to decide whether to wear blue socks or brown socks or to walk on the wild side and go sockless to the office.And it’s not even a dress-down Friday.Suddenly, I no longer care about my pants or my socks. Matt Lauer is airing a segment about the nuclear fallout from a spicy TV spot by Carl’s Jr. starring a scantily clad Paris Hilton sudsing up a Bentley to the tune of “I Love Paris in The Springtime.” For the record, I can’t imagine how this sorry riff-raff ever gets on the air. I obviously find such trashy, sleazy attempts to sell a product to be utterly loathsome.But that’s just me. So I try to avert my eyes and recast my focus on my fashion nightmare.Yeah, right.I never even heard of Carl’s Jr. But I have now. I watch the entire segment, figuring if my boss is annoyed that I’m late — well, tough!By the way, Carl’s Jr. sells hamburgers. Not as many as McDonald’s or Burger King or Wendy’s, but they’d like to.Enter the saucy Paris Hilton into the equation. The heiress, who seems to have taken the invention of celebrity to an even higher (lower?) dimension, appeals to those 18-to-24-year-olds whose volatile hormones love to zealously swallow hamburgers. So I have a message for the poor dupes running those parental watchdog groups. Sex sells! Carl’s Jr. is merely doing some savvy marketing.They obviously can’t match McDonald’s or Burger King or Wendy’s media dollar for media dollar. So they opt for the provocative big-bang theory. Indeed, the traffic to see the ad on a URL Carl’s Jr. set up crashed the site for several hours. How’s that for a media buy, baby?Many folks love to roam into the realms of frothy fantasy. And Paris Hilton is hot and edgy right now among some demographics (males ages 13 to 96).So advertisers capitalize on her charms. Do some companies dilute the standards of good taste to pitch their products?Hello there! Of course they do. The monastic approach is for monasteries. And you won’t find any monasteries with a Madison Avenue address. The core of the quarrel, of course, is that this racy commercial shouldn’t be airing on children’s programming, etc.But for those of us who are 12 and over, it’s empowering to know that there’s a hamburger option out there besides McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.And if we’re forced to ogle Paris Hilton in leather and lather while expanding our horizons, well, life’s a series of tradeoffs and compromises.