Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Please, Somebody Gag Them (a rant)

I don't know what it is with these two. I'm sitting here working quietly, wearing my noise-cancelling headphones while making sure my transcript exactly matches the audio backup. The only reason the TV is on is for updates on the financial mess. When their voices pop up on the TV, it is worse than any irritating sound you can think of, like nails on a blackboard (Mommy, what's a blackboard?), a kid's first violin or clarinet lesson, or perhaps the sound of a cat puking.

The first one is Cathy Mitchell, the grandmotherly-looking lady selling those things that seem like a good idea at the time but wind up on your yard-sale table next spring.

The first time I became aware of her was when she sold some funky half-whisk/half tongs thingie to grab eggs out of boiling water or flip omelettes, and I thought back then that you had to be pretty inept if you couldn't lift a boiled egg out of the water with a slotted spoon. I agree that omelette flipping is tricky, but I don't need a special gadget to do it.

Later, I remember her selling some weird gem-studding gadgetry. I suppose I could find the name of it on Youtube or Wikipedia, but I don't want to.

Her current pitch, Pasta 'n More, is downright silly, opening with a flustered-looking lady hauling all of her pasta stuff at once to the counter -- crash! (Really, now, unless your kitchen is a block long, who does that?) and later burning her fingers to "test" the pasta. Any person with a modicum of intelligence knows how to get around a pasta test without second-degree burns. (By the way, has anyone noticed the person cutting the veggies actually stabs him/herself with that blue knife?)

So, okay, Cathy Mitchell's commercials irritate me more over what she's selling, not the personality herself, but her perky voice is forever associated with them and therefore disliked.

Can you guess who the other one is? Oxy-Clean, the Ground Auger, Orange-Glo, Kaboom!, and the Ding King. That guy. Billy Mays. His voice shoves itself into my consciousness even when I've got my computer audio cranked to top volume. Other than the Oxy-Clean, I won't buy anything he's selling out of sheer principle. As soon as I hear his voice on the TV I'm flipping somewhere -- anywhere! -- else. At night, when the TV is turned low, you can still hear Billy Mays in the back of the house when his commercials air.

What amazes me most is this guy has made a million-dollar living by screaming at people. It just isn't right.


--V said...

Dad was watching a race this weekend, and Billy Mays popped up selling God-knows-what. I think it may have been insurance. Everyone groaned at the same time. My mother asked, "Why does he talk so loud? Is he hard of hearing?"
"No, Mom, he's just obnoxious."

I do buy oxy-clean, but I've never bought it from him. I waited 'til it hit the stores. I figured any cleaning product that good wouldn't be sold solely on TV.

Coffee Bean said...

You last three posts had me laughing out loud! I love it! Hmmmmm... reminds me of my, "Big Fat Greek Wedding," but instead of windex... at your house it can be Drano! I'm going to remember that though.

Our water heater went out last week... we got a new one and now it is leaking even more than the old one. Finally got the plumber out today and the water heater is defective (Whirlpool) so we have to go through them... AAARRUUGGG!!