De Vos: What to choose? (column)
March 9, 2017
Last weekend my wife said, "You ought to stop with the political drivel. You're alienating your three remaining readers. The guy won. Get over it."
With a quiet sob I admitted she was right; it's time to move on. There are lots of other significant things happening today. For instance, people are forever stopping me on the street, begging to hear of the latest in talking urinal cakes or the lucrative career opportunities in cryptozoology.
When it comes to American elections, too often there is no Good, forcing us to choose between Bad and Ugly. But that's just so un-American because we live in the land of choice.
We even raise our kids on choice. General Mills makes 15 different types of Chex cereal and 20 types of Cheerios. There are 28 types of Quaker Oats. Apparently "Made from Oats" was more appealing to Mr. Ed than Mr. Preschool, so cereal barons branched out, adding things like dark chocolate, honey, cinnamon, berries, apples and heaps more sugar.
Choosing underarm protection can make you break out in a sweat. There 37 different Axe deodorants listed on their website. Descriptions of their products seem to be written by lunatics. Even I could do it. Listen to this balderdash: "Axe's Gold Temptation mixes your wild with your sophisticated side," while "Dark Temptation gives you a blast of sweetness and spice that'll keep you on your toes." Those are not descriptions of Donald and Hillary; that's product puffery posted on their website, a website that continues on with another 35 bilious, stench-quenching descriptions.
Old Spice cranks out 18 different deodorant scents, but raises the bar with a marketing department made up of bedlamites on psychotropic drugs. Even I could . . . well, never mind. One of the 18 deodorants is called Krakengard. Now remember, I don't make this stuff up. According to Old Spice's website, an underarm application of Krakengard will help you dodge dangerous women, avoid the shoals and parallel-dock your yacht into a tight parking spot. That'd be real nice in Fraser where on-street yacht-parking is still unregulated.
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Moving east from Fraser to the spa in the Ritz-Carlton in Bal Harbor, Florida, you may get befuddled choosing betwixt ten exotically-scented bath salts like Neroli Bergamot and Moroccan Blue Tansy. Trying just one fabulous bath salt per day, an oceanfront room would run slightly over nine grand if you opt out of the valet parking. Spa fees are additional.
Choice is good but overwhelming choice is paralyzing. Grocery store toilet paper aisles are jammed with people leaning on their shopping carts, staring slack-jawed at towers of tissue. Little thought balloons dance above their heads: "How does a nine-pack of 300-sheet rolls relate to a six-pack of 418-sheet rolls? Is a 500 sheet roll comparable to a 318 square-foot roll? Why square feet? Do people wallpaper with it? Extra wide? Double-ply? Quilted? Floral design?" Really?
Laundry detergent names must target the semi-literate. How else could you explain Ajax, All, Bold, Era, Wisk, Surf, Fab, Ulta, Gain, and Zest? Cheer, with five letters, makes a bold appeal to the intelligentsia.
Let's see, what for breakfast? I know! I'll have Quaker Oats Dinosaur Eggs. It's a fun cereal and dinosaurs come roaring out of the warm oatmeal. Use a fork to help find them!
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