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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

Monthly Archives: June 2002

Many of my readers (three of the seven) have expressed some deep concern regarding the last article.  It seems that my last attempt at ‘mot pour rire’ ended without a punch line, without a sense of relief and most of all, without a sense of humor.  This leads me to one very chilling conclusion: the other four of my readers were not paying attention.  In all seriousness, I have a logical explanation for the lack of wit in my last piece: Trish, my editor.  Of course that last sentence was a joke, Trish.  You’re not my editor anymore.  Trust me, if I had my way, I would go back, un-write that article, and replace it with a failsafe comedy, like a story about a monkey and a midget who speak with English accents.

Parental Advisory: What I am about to discuss is the editorial writer’s equivalent of an eleventh grader beating up a fifth grader in front of his girlfriend.  Basically, it shouldn’t be done, and when it is, no one is very impressed.  Here I am, in all of my glory, about to make fun of the bottom of the proverbial barrel: Infomercials.  Yes, the commercials picked last at all of the advertisement kickball games.  The commercials we only watch when we forget that it is actually possible to change the channel.  The commercials created by, for, and because of, idiots.

Granted, most of us are not idiots—at least not the people reading this article.  I’m giving you all the benefit of the doubt because you have successfully connected to the Internet without catching fire.  And if you’re reading this editorial in a blazing inferno, I commend your (flaming) dedication to The Nutshell…but you are still an idiot.  Anyway, I bring up this point about our non-idiocy because I think it’s important we establish that on our way to dissecting the Infomercial genre of advertising.

Now, most people think that the purpose of an advertisement is to convince the viewer to buy a product or invest in a service.  While under normal circumstances I would agree, this is not the purpose of an Infomercial.  The purpose of an Infomercial is, very plainly, to convince you that you are an idiot.  The eventual “purchasing of the advertised product” is a direct off-shoot of your self-determined idiocy.  I mean, let’s be serious here.  Who but an idiot would pay $9.95 for shipping “and handling” for an item that arrives at your door in six to eight weeks? I could walk to a couple states in that time (not to mention another “country”).

You don’t buy a product you see on an Infomercial because it is actually useful; you buy it because you believe that is it performing a task that is otherwise very difficult…like turning a screw.  We all know that turning a screw (or nut or bolt, whatever the case may be) is a fairly simple undertaking.

Step 1: Position wrench around bolt
Step 2: Turn
Step 3: Get on with life

However, after watching an Infomercial for Gator Grip, you would discover that, not only is a your everyday wrench far from ideal, but it is also tiring, annoying, heavy, and impossible to operate.  Operating a wrench according to the kind folks at Gator Grip consists of these steps:

Step 1: Find wrench in clutter of tools
Step 2: Fumble wrench, drop wrench on floor
Step 3: Grimace in pain, as you bend down to pick up wrench
Step 4: Fail miserably in your first several attempts to position the wrench
Step 5: Injure self with wrench
Step 6: Become very discouraged
Step 7: Explode in fit of frustrated rage

“Honey, can you screw in this light fixture?”
“What the hell?  Are you trying to kill me?  Gator Grip here I come!”

I don’t know where they get these actors.  My guess is that the Casting Director simply finds a bunch of people with eternal hiccups and asks them to perform tasks such as making a pancake, cutting a tomato, chopping garlic, or rolling up a hose.  I’ve never seen such frustrated people before!  I feel sorry for anyone who truly gets that flustered making a pancake.  As for the rest of us, The Normals, I just can’t find justification for even thinking about purchasing a majority of products advertised on Infomercials.

If people truly get that aggravated when making a pancake, I think they need to step back and question whether a Perfect Pancake is the answer to their problems.  My suggestion would be to invest that $19.95 (plus shipping and handling) on a couple anger management classes, instructed by a man they know they can trust, Ron Popeil.

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