Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Twelve Ways You're Wiping Wrong

I'm pretty good at ignoring ads. On TV, I zone out somewhere between "suicidal thoughts" and "anal seepage;" I'm not interested in what the pill that starts with F does and I doubt my doctor cares about it either. Online, although I admire the way my screen fills with advertised items I might actually be interested in, I hardly ever take the bait. It helps that I don't want to buy stuff much anymore. I'd buy that stuff if I did, but I don't.

I am not immune to the sirens lurking in the shallows as I guide my ship through my Preferred Content. I bow to the cleverness of the marketing fairy that has detected the flick of my retinas toward this doo-dad or that sweater. It is a remarkable achievement in the business of extracting my money, and I salute it--but not to the point of clicking on it.

So when the little ad popped up in the right margin, I gave it the nanosecond it deserved, and then went back to my important solitaire game. I'm not a clickenheimer. If there's a teaser that promises to explain to me twelve ways I'm wiping wrong, I'm not going to look. I'm happier going to my grave thinking my way was A-Okay. But this time, something made me glance back once. Then twice. Apparently I was one click away from finding 19 clever gadgets I couldn't live without.

This in itself is not appealing. You wouldn't believe the number of things other people think are necessary that I'm quite able to live without. I still look at a real map if I'm trying to find a place. I even drive a car that would totally let me crash if I wasn't paying attention. I finally gave in and got a crappy phone but I don't carry it much and it doesn't have any Naps on it. So I set my brain on Ignore. But.

There was this picture. One of the gadgets I couldn't live without. And it was not only stupid, it was impossible. It was a glowing hot knife that toasted bread as it sliced. I went back to my game and thought: who the hell needs a knife that toasts bread? If you're too lazy to drop a slice of bread in the toaster, you're too lazy to buy unsliced bread.

I'm a bread slicer from way back. My mom made all our bread and you had to slice it if you wanted any. Everyone in our family produced uniform slices. There's a trick. (You turn the loaf on its side. Oh shit, now everybody knows.) But most people aren't that good at it, and would rather not bother.

I continued to Ignore. Until it hit me. Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute. How can a knife, no matter how plugged-in and gleaming, toast bread? That's not possible. Is it?

Is it? Oh hell. I clicked. I didn't want a knifey toast slicer but I had to see how it worked. And there they were, one after the other: the 19 gadgets I can't live without. And I got all the way through them without finding one toasty slicey knife. It isn't possible. They made it all up just to get the people to click who wouldn't have clicked for any other reason.

Yep. The toasty bready slicey knife is something to solve a problem nobody has, using something that will never work. Don't anyone tell Donald Trump, or he'll order five billion of them, and make our veterans pay for it.

22 comments:

  1. You can still find real fold-out maps??? When looking for one for my area for plotting my garage sales, all I could find was a book of various segments of my area. I had to copy them on my copier, then tape those together, and voilà... I had a flat map!

    I rarely even see ads anymore. We don't have cable or satellite -- just Netflix. The only time I see televised ads is on bar TVs, and I wonder how all those interruptions don't put people off TV altogether. I don't get magazines anymore because even the articles seem to be shilling something. I have ad-block on my computer. Sometimes that means that I can't access a website because they can detect that I have it, and that's how they make their money. I just figure that I can google some other, more lenient website for the information I was looking for.

    My only exposure to ads is the newspaper (I only get that because I have parrots and they poop. A lot.) I take out the ad inserts unread, and have learned to self-censor while reading the newspaper so as not to become totally suicidal. This includes censoring ads.

    I figure that if there is anything that I want, it will eventually turn up at a garage sale at a ridiculously low price, and I am willing to wait.

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    1. Yeah. I see some ads on TV but I don't watch a ton. Mostly my ads show up online. Facebook and such. Hardly ever for something I wouldn't conceivably want--although I keep seeing ads for Makeup for Mature Women!

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  2. It seems it IS a real thing - https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/a15885/diy-knife-cuts-and-toasts-bread/

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    1. WHOA! You must admit that hacksaw job doesn't look much like the toast in the picture. But still. Huh. I'll give everyone an easier way to see it.

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  3. If I did have one of those electrified knives, I just know I'd drop it in a sink full of water some day. Not the hairdo I'm going for.

    I've FINALLY learned that the picture they show you for any of those clickbait items is ALWAYS at the end, if it's there at all. I think I've finally learned that. I hope I've finally learned that. Curiosity is a terrible thing sometimes.

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  4. Wherever you go and whatever you do it seems like there is someone trying to get your attention in order to sell you something you couldn't possibly need. I just want to know what we have done to make it that way?

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    1. I tend to think that the Industrial Revolution is to blame, as it is for most things. People no longer lived close to the earth, doing things for themselves, and bartering with others in an exchange of talents. They went out into the cities to work for others in order to make -- and then spend -- money. Since other people also needed money, but may not have wanted to actually work for it, they had to scam the worker-bees into parting with their money, possibly in the interest of "saving time." And, lo, advertising was born.

      That's my theory, anyway.

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    2. I look to my own life for answers to that and I'm still not sure. I'm uninterested in buying much anymore, or getting gifts, but when I was younger I'd pick up this doo-dad or that knick-knack just because. What changed? Hormones?

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    3. What changed? You hit satisfaction saturation and no longer needed doo-dads or nick-knacks.

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    4. Yup. Or I already bought everything.

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  5. I am fussy about my toast. And that toast looked overdone round the edges to me. Hooray for another lover of paper maps.

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    1. I love when people mount big maps on their walls. The state, the country, the planet, geology maps, road maps. But I'll look at an online map too before I go somewhere because I seem to require that spatial element in my head; I'm all unhappy when I just have a device that tells me to turn left in a hundred yards. Or cubits, or fathoms, or doubloons, or whatever y'all call it over there.

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  6. I don't see how turning the loaf on its side will get uniform slices. If someone slices crooked they won't automatically slice straight because the loaf is turned. It might work to straighten up the loaf if you turned an unevenly sliced loaf and then cut a straight edge to it, but the slice you got would be uneven. Thank heavens for pre-sliced bread even though the unsliced is tastier somehow.

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    1. It's because homemade bread has that muffin-top thing and if you slice top down, it tends to separate from the rest of the loaf, and also you can't see past it as well to cut it straight. Or something. I guess if it were all squared up it wouldn't matter.

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  7. Hey!
    I wanna know at least 9 ways I'm wiping wrong!

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  8. I admit that I have clicked a time or two only to find that the original item or photo or whatever was NOT there. Liars!

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    1. I fought this toaster one for a long time. But.

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  9. From the photo, I thought it was a knife that uses light saber technology. A Jedi knife!

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  10. Dear Murr, maybe you can help me. "They" have discontinued carrying my Favorite Bread of All Time, Oroweat Winter Wheat bread. It is available NOWHERE in the city of Portland. I am devastated. I've been eating this toast every morning for 60 plus years. What can I do?

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