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March 20, 2009


"HI THERE!  BILLY MAYS, HERE!"  That famous, (or is that infamous?) introduction at the beginning of every television commercial Billy Mays does, really sticks in our memory; like an abused dog gone mad with its jaws "locked" onto your leg!

We've all seen at least one of the myriad of television commercials for products Mays is the spokesperson.  It started with one, then another, then another, and it became an epidemic of "Seen on TV-esque" products. 

In fairness, I have never tried any of the products, of which I will not plug in my blog.  They run along the lines of stain-removers, drill-contraptions, grills, insurance, etc.  Therefore, I cannot say that these products are of poor quality or of good quality.

However, I will say that I find it extremely insulting that these advertisers find the need to hire a spokesperson, and pay him (big bucks, I'm sure) to scream like a crazed gorilla during mating season, in order to sell their products.  His over-exaggerated hand gestures, and body movements give him an almost Walt Disney crafted Animatronic-gone-awry, fast-forward motion presence that's almost, ALMOST (sorry to yell/type) worth keeping his commercials on, with the Mute button engaged, of course.

American viewers, and heaven help any other nations whose airwaves are tainted with bad sit-com-like characters such as Mays, do not require someone to yell at the top of their lungs in order to pitch a product to them so they "get" the idea of what the product does.  This brand of "hard-sell" may have been the gimmick they used when TV was novel, and yes, we could all lessen our time in front of the television (or Internet), but is it too much to ask of the time we do spend, that it be a little more kind to our assumed intelligence?

Well, we do have the choice to change the channel, lest Mays appears on every channel!  Wasn't there some movie about a haunting of a house in which all the channels on the television only showed The Twilight Zone? Hmm. Oh, yes, it was called Saturday the 14th.

Remember Celebrity Deathmatch?  That mildly amusing claymation filler show they used to air back in the late 90s to early 00s?  I would be fibbing, if I were to say I would not watch if they brought back this show, and had a Deathmatch between Billy Mays and that Geek-ish man wearing the suit crowded with question marks---he knows how we can get free money from the government!  I'd seriously question that character.

How can one man cause such an irate stir amongst so many of us?  Why do we feel such relief once we've either muted his boisterous promotions, or powered-off the boob-tube?  I believe it's produced in this arrogant, obnoxious manner in part out of humor; yes, I really (now) realize Billy Mays commercials are 'poking fun' at the old used car salesman commercials that used to monopolize our television back-in-the-day.    This is just a "re-broadcast of an old show."  The other 'part' might be that advertisers used to believe that the more annoying commercials were more memorable, even though they invoked a negative emotion, we never forgot the ad, and usually could remember the product being pitched to us. 

This may have some plausibility to it.  While a commercial with an 'adorable puppy carrying a slipper to an even cuter baby' might be heartwarming, and sweet, we most-likely may not remember what this spot was trying to sell---what was the product?  Was it health insurance for dogs?  Was it for some new, comfy slipper that was nice enough, both your puppy, and your baby could play with it?  Who knows?  From experience, I realize that, unfortunately for Billy Mays, the Question Mark Suit/Free Money from the Gov't Guy, (Matthew Lesko) and the highly excitable guy selling the Sham-Wow!, all stick in my mind irritatingly so, and YES, I remember the products they are selling!  What an interesting Gay Male Porn would that not make.

My emotion gave into the 'warm, fuzzy' puppy without letting my logic in the door to see what was being sold, sort of like how some don't answer the door early on a particular morning when solicitors are out-and-about.  However, the fact that some actor in a scary mask is dancing around, may provoke me to change the channel, but not before my brain registers this creepy, annoyance as "Glad I don't eat fast food anymore."

Who knows why the human brain, for some of us, anyway, remembers the negative stuff to a "T", but the good stuff seems to have been pushed aside like the Long Form Taxes that should have been filed last year?  You know, that fifth-grade teacher that never hesitated to point out (in bold, red pen), that you forgot to dot your "i" or cross your "t", but failed to notice how well-structured or clever your poem was?  Certain things stand out for certain people.

Granted, I have no need for any of the above products, thank you very much.  Well, okay, perhaps the free cash from the government would be helpful. Hurry up with that stimulus!

While I admittedly keep the remote control within reasonable proximity,  mostly because of commercials such as anything Billy Mays or "Smiling Bob" for that 'All natural male enhancement' --- please don't get me started on THAT inappropriate insult, I do think there is a very sly reason behind all this fodder.  Cause enough "chatter" or get enough people blogging (eh, hem), whining, or hitting the mute button----get in return, instant celebrity.  Can't you just hear Mays doing this ad? "HI THERE!  BILLY MAYS FOR INSTANT CELEBRITY, JUST ADD WATER (AND VOLUME)!"

He's really quite hilarious in small doses, and seems to be able to laugh at himself.  See him making fun at himself here: http://www.asseenontvvideo.com/511712/ESPN360-Billy-Mays-Intro.html

I am not defending this guy, because his yelling of selling of these products still seems to send me into PMS about two weeks early!

Just trying to get to the bottom of another one of my neuroses.

Well, that's about it.  Time for me to see what all the fuss is about the rude husband on that reality show where they switch wives.  I hear/read he was a real son-of-a-b!@#$.