Where Have You Gone, Mr. Microphone?

(first published in Blog Day Afternoon)

Ron Popeil  sells a lot of crap. His company produces a rotisserie oven that can turn a double-wide into an Old Country Buffet. It sells a dehydrator which can rid food of all that pesky moisture and a sausage maker for people with their own … I don’t know, pigs? Popeil has cured baldness with a spray can full of “hair” and in 1979 he alleviated unpleasantness caused by the common zit.

As part of a well-rounded curriculum, we were forced to take health class in high school. The result was a national obesity epidemic. In health class we learned about hygiene. Basically, forty kids sit through The Importance of Showering because one kid in class really stinks. The section on skin care caught my attention. Rather than bore you with detail, I’ll summarize the conclusion:  “You’ll NEVER get laid with a zit on your face!”  Uh, oh. I was the Fry Guy at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Enter Ron Popeil

In 1979, Popeil’s company, Ronco, created a product called Mr. Microphone. This name was chosen over Mr. Douchebag, since it was a microphone and not a feminine hygiene system. Mr. Microphone tapped into a radio and turned a schmo into a sex magnate. As the commercial demonstrated, getting laid was as simple as cruising the street and dictating intentions to hapless pedestrians.  “Hey, good-looking, we’ll be back to pick you up later!” Ah, yeah. Chicks dig assertiveness. Zit, schmit. Mr. Microphone was the ticket to a bedroom full of many beautiful ladies.

Skeptics may doubt the effectiveness of Mr. Microphone as a cure for common acne. But I can attest to the fact that I never had a Mr. Microphone yet my bedroom was never filled with many beautiful ladies. Coincidence?

I don’t think so.

In the Ronco ad, the guy lurking the streets for babes was perched in a convertible, presumably to help dry his Hair-In-A-Can. If Popeil had placed the ad on contemporary TV, the hapless loser would probably be seen in a Honda Civic with a lot of stuff welded to it.

I’m not sure when this happened, but at some point in history a subset of humans started to turn Honda Civics into Honda Civics with a lot of stuff welded to them. Since Civics are not noted for a smooth ride, these same humans added low profile tires for additional discomfort. I’m told this is called, ”tricked out,” a Peruvian phrase that means “BUTT STUPID.”

Tricked out Honda Civics are supposed to be race cars. (Well they have a lot of racing decals.) The theory holds that an inexpensive Honda with $20,000.00 worth of accessories can be converted into something with absolutely no re-sale value. On the plus side, the insurance company will provide you with a check for $6,000.00 in the event that your $26,000.00 piece of shit gets totaled. Happy motoring.

I wish I did own a Mr. Microphone. While my wife would frown if I stalked women on the street, that product could serve me well despite my now pimple-free complexion. When a tricked out Honda Civic pulls beside me at a street light, I’d grab Mr. Microphone and shout, “Hey good buddy, THAT’S A STINKIN’ HONDA CIVIC!!!”

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