Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

P.T. Barnum T.V.

Sunday morning television is proof that there's a sucker born every minute.

First is an infomercial for the Rug Doctor. Rug Doctor, the carpet cleaner that most of us rented in college to clean the beer stains off our dormitory carpets. Now you can have your very own.

The Rug Doctor is the size of many European cars. Where pray tell, am I supposed to store this behemoth?

Eternally cheerful info-Guy slowly moves the cleaner over a patch of very soiled carpet, leaving a wake of clean. I mean "slowly." At the rate he's moving that thing, it would take all day to clean a closet.

"The key," he says, "is injection, abrasion and suction."

Sounds hurty, I think.

"I don't know what the means," says obligatory, too-stupid-to-live info-Bimbo.

Click goes the remote.

Once again, as a sad testament to the gullibility of Spanish speaking people, a very low budget infomercial on TeleMundo touts the power of talismans. Blessed by Jesus, the Dali Lama, and pretty much everyone short of Saddam Hussein, these miracle talismans will guarantee health, wealth and love. Order now and get a bonus astrological charm.


Overly white, somewhat over-fed, people twang (Texans?) enthusiastically about a buyers' club. Via this buying club they are able to buy loads of crap at wholesale prices. (Uh. Can't you do that at Sam's or Costco?) The catch: the infomercial avoids the issue of cost. Instead you are invited to call for a free informational brochure and to schedule an appointment at their club.

If they won't tell you have much it costs, you shouldn't ask.


I'm back on the carpet cleaner infomercial. Info-Guy is doing the usual "squirt stuff on a white carpet" demonstration.

Info-Bimbo gasps in horror as chocolate sauce hits the carpet. "Yes, but I have children and they do this," she says, pressing her toe to the brown goo and giving it a gentle grind.

My J-man wanders into the living room and takes in info-Bimbo's comment. "Your children should be beaten," he cheerfully tells info-Bimbo.

I say nothing, struck by the horror that info-Bimbo has added to the world's load of stupid people. Aren't we at capacity?

Info-Guy then runs wonder contraption over the stain, veery slowly. Voila. Pristine white carpet.

"Uh-huh. Here's the real test," I say. "Leave that shit on the carpet for a week. Let the children who should be beaten really work it in and gravity pull it deep into the fibers. Let it harden up. Then run that sucker over the mess at the kind of pace a busy mom would use."


Yawn. Happy Monday.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005