It’s the late 1990s and my wife has attended a Candle Partylite Party. Women sit around passing round candles, oohing and aching and then forking out large amounts of money for scented candles, plus accessories. But why should women have all the fun. Why can’t the men? Got me thinking . . .
“Okay guys, if you could come in off the patio where you’ve been standing around downing beers as though the more you drink, the larger your egos and various body parts will grow. Dennis, Phil, there’s mouthwash in the bathroom and Tony, your wife called to say she’s taping the wrestling, so please, let’s try and control the shakes. All right, great. Welcome, everyone and excuse me while I position myself on this table with my legs apart, burp to make bits come up and sweat in a manner designed to earn respect in the male community. It’s simply that we’re here this evening to talk about manly things such as sawing, chiseling and mowing and anything less than traditional macho behavior might affect sales so …. burp, excuse me while I adjust myself. Thank you.
Okay, Barry, Terry, John, Hank, thanks for making time in your schedule that normally involves getting home late from work, grabbing the sports pages, eating dinner in front of the game and falling asleep with a six-pack on your belly. I know it’s a sacrifice for you to be away from your home life. However, I hope to make this evening a rewarding one, worth the spending of vast sums of money on items that you won’t need but that will make you feel good to own.
Okay, so what have we got on offer tonight? Well, the first thing I have to make you feel materially deprived is this beautiful circular saw. If you don’t have one of these, you might as well consider yourself a lesser species, since the owning of an electric saw is obviously a rite of passage for white males. That’s in addition to big fat cigars, the smoking of which significantly increases the risk of lung cancer and depriving small children of their fathers, though at the small price of imbuing a male with a sense of achievement as compensation for the lack of a healthy sense of self-worth.
But let’s talk saws. This one’s special. Throw out your Black and Deckers, this is the newest model, the one with two hundred speeds and the handy replaceable blades. Just the forty-two easy-to-follow steps to dislodge that sucker from its glue-like casing. Happily there’s a low OSHA expectation of the loss of just one digit per five years of use, down from the two and a half digits you’ll find on most other brands. And the two hundred speeds are there so you can select exactly the speed you need. The saw is designed for cutting wood so speed 57 is the one you’ll use most often but it’s good to know you could cut plutonium, iron sheets, hard plastics and human flesh if you needed to by just rotating that dial on the end there. This one’s on offer tonight and comes with four free rakes and a trowel. Jerry was going to demonstrate it this evening but he hit speed 157 by mistake and chopped down all the trees in his backyard. They’re still trying to dislodge it from the neighbor’s oak. So I’ll just pass round the brochure.
Okay, drills. Who hasn’t lain awake at night wishing they had a bigger, better drill? I know I have. Didn’t you just love Armageddon? My drill’s four feet long and I wear a harness to wield it but it can never be too big. You need the biggest, most powerful drill on the market and we have it here. Joe’s just bringing it round in his pick-up; he’ll be here in a moment. In the meantime, let’s talk lawn mowers. I know you’ve all been remodeling your homes for the past five years, adding anything from five to ten rooms in the hope of adding value to your property while sleeping in wood shavings, giving your kids asthma and leaving your wife with a dirty bowl in which to do the laundry for a family of five. But …. some of you still have a patch of grass at the back, that piece of nature you’re still clinging to in the vain attempt to convince yourselves that you haven’t annihilated all living things from your backyards. Yes, Jack, that’s the piece of browny green vegetation that’s not covered with climbing frames and sharp jagged pieces of metal left over from the other pieces of electrical gardening equipment that broke within days of purchase and have left your children limping and learning to write left-handed. Forget the kids for the moment, though, and think of your lawn. You need the ‘Roller-Roaster’. If you look through the window there into my yard, you’ll see mine. I know you can’t see the lawn any more. But you gotta have one. It’s obviously of a size to harvest corn in the Midwest but you need the coverage. It’s all about coverage. I know Bill there went for the standard model last time when he should have bought the ‘Turbo’ and regretted it. Deeply. You actually had to drive it forwards three feet, didn’t you, Bill? So embarrassing in front of the neighbors.
Finally, electric sanding machines. We all need them. We’re nobodies without one. Your deck, your dining room table, your hardwood floors, they’ll need sanding down at some point in the future. And you can’t do it without this beauty. It won awards for causing just two fatalities in testing; it’s just beautiful. Pick it up, Rock. Actually let me say that again using some well-worn macho phraseology that implies familiarity with heavy tools and gives the impression that I’ve been using this equipment all my life instead of piling it up in the garage and hiring contractors to do the work. Here goes: Grab a hold of that puppy, Rock, and fire it up! Actually don’t do that. If you hold a sanding machine in the air and turn it on, you’re going to vibrate at 3000 shudders a minute which could do something nasty to that chili you just ate. So, yeah, just pass it round, but don’t touch that big red switch. Yes, that’s the one. Whoa, steady, Bill, I said don’t do that, man. Are you okay? Could someone pick up his bottom lip? Thanks. Okay, just keep passing it round. Good. I know, isn’t it a beauty? I’m sorry, Tom, what was that? Can you display it? Well, I guess so. Yes, I suppose it would add to the country décor in your house … in a quirky kind of way. Thanks for that suggestion, Tom.
So guys, thanks for listening. Bob here will give you the books outlining the service agreements that basically tell you that you should receive the items within a couple of months, maybe years, barring any unforeseen circumstances such as a change in a company’s stock market value that might require the loss of some orders or an extended delay in shipping, say a decade or so.
I’m just off to find Joe. I think he may be having trouble with that drill………”