Oh, now I get that 'words can hurt you' Geico ad

Took me long enough.

Despite seeing a particular Geico ad dozens of times, I have to admit I never got the punchline.

Until yesterday.

A man is talking to a woman in a waiting room, and there's familiar exchange about everybody knowing about saving money on car insurance.

"Well, did you know that words really can hurt you?" he asks.

Cut to a scene on a ranch where a frantic woman runs yelling, "Jesse, don't go!"

"I'm sorry, Daisy," he says. "But I'm a loner, and a loner's got to be alone."

He rides off on his horse, as she wails, but then suddenly there's a sound like a gunshot and he falls off his horse.

WTF? Who shot him? What did this have to do with "Words really can hurt you"? Some kind of cosmic payback for hurting her with his words? Every time I stupidly found himself watching the dopey thing again, I knew I must be missing something.

Then it hit me.

(Reminds me of a T-shirt I saw: "I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, then it hit me.") 

If you haven't seen the ad, watch it first, to see if you get the joke.

For those still similarly stymied, let's spell things out step by step.

First, Jessie is riding off.

As he rides, the words "THE END" fade in across the screen.

"THE END" gets more, well, "solid," as Jesse's head is clearly positioned in front of the "E" in "END."

Then Jesse apparently smacks his head on the letter "E." (Could be "THE END" for Jesse, too.)

And that's how words can hurt you.

I had mistakenly regarded the words "THE END" as irrevelant, and now I almost find the joke hilarious.

More of a "BOING" sound and letters that shook more would have helped. Or maybe the "E" could have cracked.

Another mystery of life solved.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com. Follow @petemucha on Twitter.