January 09, 2004

Throw another catalog on the fire

Apparently it's all about catalogs this week. Today I received the Walter Drake catalog; exactly how I got on their mailing list is a mystery, because I have never bought anything from them, nor am I likely to. Amid the various items that depress me because they evoke images of desperate, futile thrift (such as Tupperware-style containers specifically designed to store a stack of Ritz crackers) are some mysterious objects indeed. Let's explore them together, shall we? [Cue cheerful filmstrip music.]

My mind is almost unable to simultaneously register all the things that are wrong with the Lemon and Lime Ice Cube Trays. They produce lemon and lime wedges...embedded in ice. Firstly, isn't sitting uncovered in the freezer going to make the lemon slices a little less than fresh? Then we have the product description: "Add a Splash of Lemon or Lime Anytime!" Um...do I not have the power to add a splash of lemon to my drinks without first sticking the lemon into a cube of ice? It seems like there is a superfluous intermediate step being introduced here somewhere. And in my experience, simply dropping a slice of lemon into your drink doesn't really add a lot of lemon flavor; one has to squeeze the lemon. But it seems to me that my ability to squeeze a lemon would be severely impeded if half of my lemon were encased in ice. Furthermore, the description also trumpets, "Ends sticky serving!" This product seems to promote sticky serving, as far as I can tell, since I expect most people are going to retrieve these mutant lemon-and-ice-cube hybrids by picking them up using the exposed bit of lemon as a handle. And you still have to cut the lemon at some point to get the slices into the ice cube tray, so even if you manage to get the cubes out in a non-sticky fashion, you're still getting sticky, you're just doing it sooner. You haven't contradicted The Law of Stickiness Conservation or anything.

Whew. That was the dumbest product ever. And I'm going to follow it up with the dumbest advertising claim ever. Go look. I'll wait. Okay. Yes, that's right, you won't have seen this particular product on TV, but you might have seen something similar and thought, oh, I'd like to get that, but I wish it weren't being advertised on TV. This product is for you.

You have to admire the honestly of that "Almost Seen on TV" sales technique, though. Here's another fine example of truth in advertising. "Each glove costs less than 3 cents". That is absolutely correct. Each glove costs 2.99 cents. Or to look at it another way, if you buy 99 gloves at 3 cents each, you get the 100th glove for only 2 cents.

Posted by Francis at 03:42 AM

Does making a glove big enough to fit over any hand, which fit smaller hands very poorly as a result, really count as one size fits all?

Posted by: SES at January 11, 2004 02:37 AM