Monday, October 11, 2010

You can't make this stuff up...

I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving Day, not the least of which is commercialism, which provides endless entertainment and comedic material. I offer you three examples from my recent experience:

I was at a friend's house the other day and she offered me the choice of a cup of tea or another hot drink: "Inca" (just add hot water to brown powder, advises the jar). I read the label: "Instant coffee substitute." I try to imagine the conversation that led to this invention. "It's brilliant! A substitute substitute coffee! Our slogan could be: 'It's just two degrees away from the real thing!'"Perhaps the makers of Inca should consider making a substitute for coffee whitener too.

I was passing by Wendy's (ok, I was in the drive-thru) when I saw a sign boasting of their "hand-torn lettuce." Well, that's a relief. There's nothing less personal than lettuce that's been cut with a knife, or, God forbid, a machine! Why, hand-torn lettuce takes me back to my childhood, when mom tore lettuce with her bare hands for our sandwiches. If Wendy's is tearing my lettuce by hand, they must really care about me - just like my mom. Wait a minute... mom always washed her hands before making anything to eat. This lettuce-tearer is a stranger, and I have no idea of his or her hygiene practices. Suddenly I'm not so hungry, and wish more than anything for lettuce neatly chopped with the clean, albeit impersonal, blade of a knife.

I was browsing in the Dollar Store and saw a battery-operated rotating nail file for dogs. I was intrigued and a little afraid at the same time. I picked it up to look more closely, when I saw a little red square with white text inside in the upper right hand corner of the box. I'd seen this symbol before - the one that says, "As seen on TV." Only this one was slightly different. It read, "Similar to TV." It might as well have added in fine print, "You're paying a dollar. What do you expect?"

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