One of the many facts which the internet knows about Chuck Norris is that in an average living room, there are 1,242 objects which he could use to kill you, including the room itself. Not to be outdone, Pierce Brosnan has shown that he can break your heart with a tin can. Appearing in advertisements for a pan masala brand, the animating spirit of James Bond and Remington Steele has distressed millions. “Class never goes out of style,” says the ad, whose irony is not being missed by fans.
An encounter with the inexplicable invites speculation about a back story. Money is generally the safest bet, something you can bank on to account for all sorts of unexpected behaviour, such as the willingness of an actor who has played Bond to assume a Teja-like guise and reach for the pan masala. Maybe someone foreclosed Brosnan’s mortgage? Maybe he needs to pay for a rare and exotic habit, which is certainly not pan masala? Maybe this is a revenge comedy, a correction of historical wrongs, and a cash-rich masala king has paid top dollar to have a Western icon perform like a monkey in a circus. The empire chews back, so to speak.
But really, the masala king is a calculating businessman. The buzz around his brand generated by the ad campaign is picking up pace. The brandname is a trending hashtag on Twitter, buoyed up by an amazed, baffled and mirthful public. The ads have been reprised many times over as parody, delivering free publicity, and the puns about pans refuse to die away. As for Brosnan, though he disguised himself with a white beard, he has the eyes and they gave him away. He has made the supreme sacrifice, for which compensation can only be inadequate.