I cannot take it any more.
I’ve had enough.
I can’t stand it.
Yep, you guessed it. Election time.
The television commercials are commanding the air waves. The candidates are posturing for your vote. The “spin masters” are twisting the news every which way. The news is filled with poll results, and the talking heads spend hours debating which candidate for President will win in November.
Last night I spent an hour trying to find something…anything…else to watch. It was either “The Situation Room” (what is a “situation room”, anyway?) or “Crossfire” (A military show I think). Other than that, I really had only one other choice. I made my stand. I didn’t become another statistic for the news shows. I watched, and recorded, my favorite TV commercial and replayed it for an hour. Here it is:
Now, why would I want to watch an INFOMERCIAL instead of something else. Well, that’s easy. I need to get a life.
No, actually, that’s not true. I have one. What I meant to say is that I find it, well…fascinating.
Take, for instance, the fact that this infomercial is undoubtedly one of the cheesiest, low-budget commercials you will ever see. Notice the set. It consists of a counter top and a colored backdrop. Price? $150 including materials. “Vince”, the host with the funny accent, took a standard blue polo shirt ($7.36 at Walmart, “The low price leader”…copyright 2008 Walmart, Inc. Benton, AR, all rights reserved. <—just being careful…they like to sue people) to an embroidery shop and had the words “Sham Wow” embroidered onto it. Price? $20. Next, they had to buy a glass bowl for catching the liquid contents of the ShamWow after being squeezed. Price? $5 at the Dollar Store. Notice, however, that Vince is a bit “clumsy” in squeezing the contents of the ShamWow into the bowl. I am guessing he was just nervous. He is, after all, just a rookie. (They couldn’t afford Billy Mays, the bearded guy who has hawked everything from “CLR—Calcium, Lyme & Rust Remover” to “Oxy Clean” to the “Hercules Hook”. He was MUCH too pricey. Plus, he got some “Mighty Putty” in his hair and had to shave his head.) The problem, however, is the repeated liquid spills bubbled the formica counter top which later required repair. Expensive mistake Vince. Cost of repairs? $300. The producers were NOT impressed.
The next thing I notice is that the company couldn’t even afford to get ol’ Vince a skin-tone microphone. Instead, they bought a big honkin’ cheap mic from Radio Shack and made do. Vince seems oblivious to the fact that the big black thing wrapped around his head is VERY distracting and makes him look like the guy at the carnival who tries to get you to spend $30 throwing rings onto coke bottles so you can win the $4 stuffed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuffed animal. But alas, Vince sports the Radio Shack microphone with pride, even as he addresses the “camera guy”.
This leads me to my third observation. When have you ever heard a guy in a commercial speak to, yet alone refer to, the “camera guy”? Isn’t this a television faux pau? Oh poor Vince, he must have really had a rough time filming this commercial.
So adding up all the expenses of making this commercial including Vince’s clumsy mistake, we can see the producers spent a total of $482.36, plus Vince’s take for his pitch-man work: unlimited ShamWows and a new microphone for any future gigs he’d get as a result of his first infomercial.
But the manufacturer of the ShamWow is smiling all the way to the bank. They are selling German-made (?) shammies faster than they can make them (in Germany? And that makes them better? If they were made there, wouldn’t they be called “ShamVerks” or something more German-sounding? I have a hard time believing that someone named Klaus would call his product “ShamWow”, but I digress).
Americans eat up this type of product. They see it as the answer to their spillage problems. It will make life easier. Yes, the ShamWow is the hope for the future:
Hank: “Gladys, get me the phone. I just watched this ShamWow commercial, and it’s amazing. When I spill my denture cleaner on the carpet, I can just sop it up with ShamWow!”
Gladys: “You mean it’ll soak it up…even through…the carpet??”
Hank: “Yep, just saw it with my own eyes. Plus, you can roll your wet blouse in it and wear it right away!”
Gladys: “I cannot tell you how many times I’ve needed something like that! Here’s the phone! Order it now and put a move on it! They’ll probably sell out!!”
Hank: “Yeah, they probably sold ‘em all…to the camera guy.”
The listener is encouraged to “call now and get this SECOND ShamWow free!” but you always have to call “in the next ten minutes because we can’t do this all day”. But, uh, they ALWAYS say that. What’s up with that? Yet people run for the phone, hoping the ten minutes haven’t yet expired.
Yes, Americans are hungry for anything “good”. That’s why the election season is so wacky. (How’s that for a segue?)
How can a candidate promise “Change you can count on” but not only have nothing specific to propose, but no experience to prove his ability to do so? But alas, the crowds gather and rally around a slick motto and smooth delivery. The stadiums fill, people faint, and the news is all abuzz of the candidate promising “change”. Nothing specific, just “change”.
For those of you thinking this is a political rant for a certain candidate, think again. The other side consists of a guy who, for years, made his opinions, values and decisions known, only to reinvent himself to get elected. Looks like HE is into “change” too.
All of this can cause one to become disillusioned and give up on the system. Not me. No sir, I’m not giving up. When you can’t beat ‘em, JOIN ‘em! I’m announcing my candidacy for office. Yes, that’s right.
EARTH TO DAVE! ANNOUNCES:
(drum roll please)
VOTE DAVE FOR 2008!
I promise that I will CHANGE the way things are done in Washington!
I promise that you will see a CHANGE right before your own eyes!
I promise that whenever you buy a soft drink in a vending machine, you will find CHANGE in the coin tray.
Yes, that’s right…Vote Dave Buck for…uh…you know, CHANGE.
If you think this is just a columnist blowing smoke, think again. My candidacy is already gaining steam. People are talking and word is spreading fast that there is now a THIRD viable candidate in the race. Don’t believe me? Just watch this recent news story from Channel 3 here in Atlanta:
See? My candidacy is taking off!
And now, you can join the revolution. Vote “Dave” in November. Just write my name on the ballot. If you use one of those electronic voting booth thingies and don’t know how to write in my name, just hike yourself up onto the booth and say the following very loudly:
“I WANT TO VOTE FOR DAVE!! I DEMAND A DAVE VOTE! YOU GOT THAT, CAMERA GUY?!”
When I am elected, I will use my newfound authority to issue a Presidential Pardon on your behalf. Of course, those things do take time, so while you wait I will see to it your prison food is made better.
Now THAT’s change you can count on! “You’ll be saying WOW every time”.