I can remember the first time I saw the commercial vividly. I was scarred eternally, not unlike the first time I had a woman look me square in the eye, force a smile, and mumble "Don't worry, I heard it happens to a LOT of guys." While channel surfing a few months ago, I found myself landing on MTV. My favorite episode of The Real World Two was on. Tammi had purposely wired her mouth shut to lose weight and I was hoping it would stay shut forever. A commercial interlude began and I had to watch it when I heard my RCA beckon: "The following demonstration has been made suitable for television." I figured I'd watch the commercial. Big mistake.
A naked woman, covered only by two blue bars that followed her around covering her breasts, and her holiest of holies was prancing around the screen with a spray can. "First, spray Designer Impostor Spray on your arms, and then spray some on your (*beeps!*)" The woman, seemingly in ecstasy, went on to spray the stuff all over her body. If she were to spray shall we say, below the equator, this would not produce the ecstatic result she experienced elsewhere. I believe the correct word to describe the sensation that would result would be called "agony". Why? Let's just say that an alcohol spary comming into contact with thin epedermial tissue, the inside of your nose, your vagina, will cause a deep burning sensation. Little did I know that in just ten seconds, I would be huddled in the corner of the room, rocking in the fetal position, hand immersed in my pants.
Like all horrible things in my life, I saw it in slow motion. A nude man appeared on the screen, bottle in hand, blue bar on crotch. The voice-over triumphantly announced, "Available for men too!" The man, with a smug as hell grin, SPRAYS HIS CROTCH AND CHUCKLES! He laughs with this smirk on his face, as if it were the most euphoric and wonderful experience he had ever experienced. My brain overloaded and I must have gone into shock. My entire life passed before my eyes. Well, okay, not my WHOLE life, but an incident in particular that involved me and my precious cajones.
It was seventh grade, and I must have been around twelve or thirteen years old. It was back when I was in a tiny 5'4 boy. I knew that one day I would grow and grow and finally conquer that freaking sign that said "YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO GO ON THIS RIDE". Now I'm twenty-five. Hey, it's not that I'm still not allowed to go on certain rides, I just CHOOSE not to okay?? I could go on any ride I want, I just don't like waiting in line! Wait, I'm mixing up my traumas. Let's go back to my being twelvish.
My dream girl, Penelope Horowitz, had asked me over to her house on Sunday and study with her for an algebra exam. I could hardly sleep that night. I knew in my heart of hearts, that while perusing the subtle nuances of algebra, we would look up from the book, stare into each other's eyes, admit our undying love, have a torrid affair, get married, have children, and happily grow old together. I just had to make sure everything was right. Sunday morning, I spent two hours getting myself absolutely perfect for the big study date. Just when I was about to leave the house, I realized I had forgotten the key to getting a woman to think of me as real man. Cologne.
I backed into the bathroom and covered myself with my dad's English Leather. As I was lathering and singing along to "Islands in the Stream" on my radio, I wondered what if Penelope begged me to have sex with her? This was a real possibility. The prospect of her finding me "not so fresh" was strictly unacceptable. So in the middle of singing the Dolly Parton part of the chorus, I pulled out the waistband of my underwear, and did my final spray. "Islands in the stream...that is what we " I had never experienced such excruciating pain in my entire life. I had to cancel the date. I spent the remainder of the day holding my wounded huevos and cursing the day I had tried to spray myself "there". Penelope went on to date and marry my best friend. Oh Penelope, I miss you so... If you're reading this call me. I know that only I can make you happy!
Back in the present, the man in the commercial had made the same mistake I had made, yet suffered no ill consequences. It was the most unreal and unjust act I had seen since Marisa Tomei had won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. But unlike the Tomei tragedy, this wrong could be made right. I knew then why I had been put on this earth. It was to get that commercial modified. I wrote letters. I made urgent phone calls. I wrote this article. I boycotted using the product. Okay, I hadn't really used it in the first place, but hey, manufacturers don't know that. Yet every day that blasted commercial would come on time and time again. Hundreds of times, I saw that smug, sadistic bastard spray his crotch. Is there no justice in the world? The horror, the horror. But just as I began to give up hope, it happened. The commercial began the same way, bimbo dancing around in her Impostor glory. Same guy, blue bar on privates. But this time, he sprayed his CHEST, smirking and chuckling. Glory, hallelujah! Can I get an amen? There's no need to thank me. Just knowing that I might have saved one pubescent boy from making the same mistake I made is enough. All I ask for is a page in the history books documenting my selfless effort to make the world a better place to live. Or maybe a granite statue.
Drew Feinberg is twenty-something and resides in East Meadow, NY where he is currently a full-time philosopher. He enjoys watching movies and then bitching about them, joining crusades he knows he cannot win, and singing TV theme songs to anybody within earshot especially the "Facts Of Life." Drew and his partner-in-crime Jen are starting their zine "Marvin Nash'sEar" in the very-near future so they can rant as long as they like to make the world smile and/or think, preferably both. For a free subscription, just send a request, and the name of your favorite childhood board game to firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Journal of Substance, Wit,and Dangerous Masturbatory Habits