Good Column

When I lived in an area that readily delivered the Washington Post, one of my favorite things to read on a weekly basis was Gene Weingarten's column in the Post Magazine. He is pretty good. Here is an older article...

Gene's True Calling
. . . is, alas, calling

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, July 20, 2008; W32

MORE TODAY from my continued, Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the plight of the beleaguered customer service representative.


Me: I have a complaint about these products. They're not soft.

Robert: I'm sorry?

Me: Your package says they're soft, but they're not. They smash just like any other bulbs. I've smashed 12 of them already.

Robert: Sir, "soft" white does not refer to whether the bulb will smash. It is not shatterproof. It is coated to reduce glare.

Me: Oh.

Robert: Why are the bulbs breaking?

Me: I'm a juggler.

Robert: You're a juggler?

Me: On a unicycle.

Robert: Well, even our bulbs with a shatter-resistant coating are gonna crack on you, man.


Me: Listen, I am looking at the box, and it shows a woman swabbing under her eye. On the back, a child is being swabbed next to her nose and on her eyebrow. There is a picture of a Q-tip being used to clean a laptop keyboard and a bathroom tile.

June: Yes?

Me: I think you know what I am getting at, young lady.

June: No, I'm sorry, I don't.

Me: I think you know very well.



June: Well, if you look on the package, it states not to put it in your ear canal.

Me: Aha!


Me: And if everyone stopped using it for that, your company would go bankrupt! I know some overcautious sissy old doctors say it isn't good, but so what? That hasn't stopped the cigarette companies. They don't say, "Buy Marlboros! They're great for cleaning your gutters!" Now, do they?

June: Right.

Me: I think you should own up to it. Have a new campaign: "Q-tips. Plunge proudly into a wax-free tomorrow!" Or, "Here's a tip from Q-tips: Stick it up your ear!"

June: I can input your call.


Me: I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your product. It's got a rich taste and is great exercise for my jaw.

Joanna: You are eating the product yourself?

Me: What do you mean?

Joanna: These are dog treats.

Me: What?

Joanna: I'm glad you like them, though!

Me: I do. What are they made of?

Joanna: Uh, can you hold the line a second?

Me: Sure.

Lisa: This is Lisa. Can I help you?

Me: I was saying how much I enjoy your Beefy Sticks. I asked what they are made of.

Lisa: Sir, they are made of dried steer penises.

Me: Auuggghhhhh! Auuggghhh!

Lisa: It's okay.

Me: Hold me, Lisa.


Me: I have a complaint about your product. I keep cutting my face up.

Jim: How can you cut your face with aluminum foil?

Me: I am not a fancy man, Jim. I brush my teeth with a bar of soap. I use twine to hold my pants up. And when I shave, I don't use a mirror. I got me a sheet of Reynolds Wrap on the wall over my sink. But I can't really see what I'm doing, so I nick myself. Can't you make it shinier?

Jim: It's not made to be a mirror, sir.

Me: Don't see why not.

Jim: I just don't see why you're using it that way.

Me: It also makes a lousy damn potholder.

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