Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

An Open Letter

June 26, 2006

Dear Billy Mays:

Hey, man. I hope you know that I’m a pretty big fan of the TV genre known as ‘infomercial’. I love me my Juiceman (did you notice he trimmed his giant eyebrows?), my Carleton Sheets’ ‘No Money Down’ scheme, my Super Steamer (why touch your toilet when you can blast the germs to infinity?) and my kitchen tools shysters (what am I gonna do with a quarter cup of guacamole?). But I’d have to say that I’ve not been the biggest fan of yours, kind sir.

First, I’m a little uncomfortable with all of the shouting. I know you’re a world-class huckster and all, but geez. I feel like I should talk to you IN ALL CAPS, SINCE THAT SEEMS TO BE THE WAY YOU’VE ALWAYS ADRESSED ME: “ORANGE GLOW!! IT TAKES OUT STAINS!!! REALLY BIG STAINS!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!!”

See what I mean? It’s so stressful. I heard that you even pitched your wedding vows in full voice. Nice. If you see your wife, tell her I feel bad for her. Come to think of it, just leave her alone, ok?

Oh, and that paint roller with paint in the tube? How could you possibly promote that with a straight face? C’mon! How in all the world would a person clean that ridiculous monstrosity?

But my larger concern is a more philosophical one. Ever heard of ‘planned obsolescene’? Do you really think that lightbulbs couldn’t last more than a month, and cars couldn’t run for twenty years? Some stuff that gets dirty, kind sir, needs to be replaced. Sure, your OxyClean (“THE STAIN SPECIALIST”) restores Aunt Maude’s dingy lace curtains to their bright whiteness, but who wants to look at those ugly things for another twenty years? Did you ever think that maybe they ought to be updated? Or that maybe they’re so tattered as to be nonexistent, only Aunt Maude can’t see them anymore? Dude: my mom makes draperies, and your constant cleaning of perfectly dismal curtains is cutting into her bottom line. Stop it.

… wait, where was I. Oh, yeah. I’ve totally changed my mind about you. Some kind friends gave me a small container of your OxyClean for Babies, which I accepted with a smirk. But when I encountered my first set of poopy clothes, I cast about for awhile before I gave up and followed the directions on the container. Wow. Now, I pretty much have a full-time soak station going, where stains are decimated (“WITHOUT ANY EFFORT ON MY PART!”). I mean, even when there’s still a smidgin of a stain, a run through the wash makes everything perfect.

So I’m waving the white flag, holding out the olive branch, and extending the right hand of fellowship (watch out, there’s some poop on it…). I was all wrong about you. You are a wonder-working magician, and you will change the world.

Your Friend Forever,

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4 Responses to “An Open Letter”

  1. kate says:

    Ah. I thought this was a nod to your compulsory middle-of-the-night tv habits, perhaps.
    Nothing like catching Leno and Conan, the SECOND TIME they’re airing that night.
    But the stain news is good! Hooray!!!

  2. Liz says:

    Hey man, when you were dog sitting and they were pooping and barfing on those tile floors with all the nooks and crannies… and you were complaining about how it was so hard to clean it up… DIDN’T I TELL YOU TO GET OXICLEAN!!!!!! Sometimes parents really do know best (even when they’re not you’re own parents, there is just something about wading through years of someone else’s poop that gives you a depth of knowledge.)

    Oh sometimes I just love being able to say “I told you so!”

  3. maria says:

    Amen, brother!!!

  4. WMS says:

    nice humble pie stains, buddy

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