Tuesday, December 07, 2010

P.M. Pensées:* Nose Tape!

Those "as-seen-on-tv"-style ads—the cheapo daytime buy-now-only-$19.95 ones—always have the funniest depictions of the "problems" they're solving:
"Problem": Carrying a pot of boiling pasta from the stove to the sink.

Depiction of the "problem": A grimacing housewife straining under the weight of the pot, attempting to heave it over to the sink, sloshing scalding water all over herself.

"Solution": Their special wire-mesh "chef's basket".

Depiction of their "solution: A smiling, happy housewife effortlessly lifting a "chef's basket" full of fresh-boiled pasta out of simmering pot, cheerfully whisking it over to wherever it needs to be.
I'm dubious. It seems to me that using one's bare hands to lift a heat-conducting all-metal basket full of hot pasta directly from a pot of  boiling steaming water is a recipe for mommy-burned-her-hand-so-we'll-be-eating-dinner-from-the-Emergency-Room-vending-machine-tonight. But what do I know? Clearly the strategy works. Similar logic is used to sell everything from bunion scratchers to... well, just about any bit of silliness one can imagine? Are there limits? Is anything too silly? Too absurd?
"Problem": Glasses tend to slip down one's nose.

Depiction of the "problem": A harried worker attempting to make an important business proposal; his glasses keep slipping; repeated exasperated attempts to keep them in place; at last, they fall to the floor, cracking. The proposal is a failure. The deal is lost.

"Solution": Nose tape!

Depiction of their "solution: Upon applying our special patented double-sided nose tape (only $19.95, plus shipping), he proceeds with confidence, wins the deal, the promotion, a big new house, a sports car. His life is perfect!
(Hmm, actually not a bad idea. Nose tape... Nose tape! I'm gonna make a million!) What else? How far can it go?

* Our series title was overly constrictive. Does musing just happen in the morning? Hmm? Musing is 24/7! Twenty! Four! Seven! So now we broaden our series to include "P.M. Pensées", which are just like "Mornin' Musins'" except that they happen later in the day and are Frenchier-er.

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