Would the world be a better place if household products worked exactly - and I mean EXACTLY - as advertised?
Let's see... You're stressed out, but instead of taking an aspirin, you open a bottle of jasmine-scented body wash and out pops a cartoon princess. She taps you with her wand, and your stress disappears, just like in the commercial. You're so captivated by your reflection in her shiny crown, you spill body wash all over the kitchen floor. But, before the princess hears you say one of your secret words, hundreds of singing sponges run out from under the counter and soak up every drop. One of them even wipes a smudge off your shoe.
You turn to your spouse and say, "Let's see the stupid cat do that!" The princess snickers, as your spouse glares at both of you and says, "Leave Muffins alone! He's not stupid! The new cat food increased his IQ to 143, and he's teaching advanced algebra at the community college tonight." You want to make a comment about the cat's thick accent, but you're distracted by the commotion coming from your daughter's room. You race upstairs, and everywhere you look, you see birds and pixies and tropical flower petals. You point to the can she's holding and say, "What have I told you about spraying air freshener up here? Don't you know what that stuff does?" She flings the empty can past the princess's head and says, "Let Professor Muffins clean it up! He likes birds, and pixies probably taste good too." The vision of that arrogant cat picking up all those flower petals makes you smile, so you go back downstairs, yank the algebra book from his paws, and send him upstairs with a butterfly net and a few of the sponges who sing off-key. Then you spend the next three hours playing poker with a French dude who sashayed out of the potpourri container. You can't understand a word he's saying, but the princess holds her crown so you can see his cards, and you're winning big-time.
Is this the life you want? Sponges and princesses following you everywhere you go; talking cats snacking on pixies; Frenchmen being fleeced in your living room? Is this what you want? Of course it is, but it's not going to happen. Advertising isn't real, so there's no need to get our hopes up. Alas.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org