Friday, June 09, 2006

Hey where's Dana been? Oh let me tell you a story...

A certain friend of mine has never made a secret of her gullibility but no matter how many times she gets burned, she doesn’t seem to learn. One of the areas of her greatest vulnerability is advertising. Marketers are a crafty, soulless bunch and they just adore credulous simpletons like her. She’ll swallow anything if the pitch is even remotely plausible.

Recently, she swallowed something called “Mega Cleanse”. She was seduced and completely hoodwinked by the manufacturer’s claim that the product “would gently and thoroughly rid your system of dangerous toxins, giving you increased energy and bringing your body to optimum performance.” All good, right? She was as keen to have a pristine colon as the next girl, so she slapped down her $20 and went home to give it a try.

While strictly speaking, the manufacturer wasn’t lying, if she had been more astute (say, like an average 11 year old), she may have asked herself exactly how they were going to make good on their claims. As it turned out, that particular mystery was soon solved and not in a good way.

Within hours, she was transformed into a high volume methane factory and things only went downhill from there. For the next few days, she was no more than a blur as she sprinted to the can with such speed, frequency and single-mindedness that by the time the whole ordeal was over, she could qualify in Olympic time trials. She became so familiar with her bathroom that she considered having meals sent in.

Her cat Ivan was initially bewildered at her actions but as the awful truth penetrated his feline brain, he made a face as if to say, “What on earth is that dreadful smell?” and refused to have anything more to do with her. She knew things had become critical indeed if she induced disgust in a creature who regularly licks his own ass. He usually pushes the bathroom door open and leaps onto her lap as she is answering the call of nature, but this time he shoots to the litter box and spends hours digging furiously in sympathy or as futile attempt to exorcise the stench.

As she perched gingerly on her throne for the day, she reached for the box and read it more closely. You’d think that a supposedly reputable company would be more candid with their customers instead of irresponsibly hiding behind words like “gentle”. The unsuspecting public would be better served by a rewrite of the label: “Ingesting this product will cause you to shit yourself blind for the better part of a week and will earn you the open hostility of fellow bathroom users. Entire forests will fall to satisfy your need for toilet paper and you will never be able to listen to “Ring of Fire” in quite the same way again. Before using this product, we strongly recommend that you extinguish all open flames and remain in areas of ample ventilation. Preparation H may alleviate any discomfort or irritation but prudent consumers may also want to stock up on Preparations A thru G.”

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