Geico commercials have effectively used animals -- a gecko and a pig -- to convey their low-cost auto insurance rates, but neither animal has caused problems among students or prompted teachers to ban slogans, catchphrases, or lines from the classroom. Until now, that is. In one of the "Happier than a..." series of commercials from the auto insurance provider, a camel wandering through an office obnoxiously insisting that someone tell him what day it is -- "Hump Day" -- has prompted a sloganeering fad amongst middle schoolers in Connecticut. And said fad has teachers banning the mere utterance of "Hump Day" in the classrooms of one school.
And if you think the camel's fellow office-workers in the commercial are sick of hump day, or at least the verbal prodding to announce the midweek hurdle, you can then imagine how teachers at Vernon Center Middle School feel after the slogan caught on.
The Inquisitr reported Oct. 5 that middle school teachers had had it up to the figurative "here" with their students using the "Hump Day" line from the viral Geico commercial. It got so bad amongst sixth grade boys that some were even disrupting class, so teachers told students that use of the term or mimicking the camel would henceforth be banned from the classroom.
And, of course, there were those who couldn't resist at least one more "Hump Day" shout-out and ended up visiting the principal's office.
One student, Brooke Lewis, told WSFB in Hartford, "Everybody's walking around in the hallways and saying 'It's hump day' in that weird voice."
The Geico camel commercial, the source of "that weird voice," has garnered nearly 16 million views to date on YouTube. The voice is that of actor Chris Sullivan, who has had more impressive roles in movies like the upcoming "Animal Rescue" (with the late James Gandolfini) and HBO's "The Normal Heart" (which stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, and Matt Bomer). Still, his parts in those movies will probably not produce lines as quotable as the Geico camel...
But what has the teachers annoyed most is that the use of the slogan or the saying of "Hump Day" isn't relegated to just Wednesdays. The students are saying it every day. Says Lewis, "Sometimes it's the counting down to when it is."
Another student, Jacob Ruggiero, said he didn't think it was so bad if it could be kept to the hallways, but admitted that the kids do it every day. His father, Mike Ruggiero, finds that a bit much.
"OK, that's getting out of hand," said Mick Ruggiero, of Vernon, who agrees with the teachers ban. "Just keep it to Wednesdays and we'll be all right." He also notes that it is all "kind of silly" and that there were more important things to worry about at the middle school level, but "obviously you don't want the kids to be disruptive."
Still, the Geico camel commercial being mimicked is probably somewhat better than, say, if the students had decided to mimic the Geico pig, Maxwell. Imagine dozens of students suddenly bursting into a chorus of "Weeeeeeeeee!" in the middle of class.
And it could be worse. Some of the kids could be twisting the "Hump Day" phrasing into something sexual (a double entendre for the word "hump"), which would make it a lot more obnoxious than it already is.
But sixth grade boys wouldn't be doing anything like that, now would they?