His true calling: And we didn't even know Gene Weingarten could count to 800

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, January 31, 2010; W32

Here's the latest in my Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the plight of the beleaguered customer service representative.

Dawn dishwashing liquid

Me: I once read on your package what to do if you accidentally drank the product, and I remember thinking, Wow, nobody could be that stupid. I mean it's blue and the consistency of motor oil.

Rachel: Ha-ha.

Me: But just this morning I was fixing myself a cocktail of Curacao and blueberry juice and accidentally used a little Dawn.

Rachel: Oh!

Me: The bottle says to drink a lot of water, which I did. And I feel fine, but I'm frothing at the mouth a little, especially after I did my jumping jacks. My question is, can I use this stuff that's coming out of me to wash the dishes?

Rachel: I don't see why not.


Advantage heartworm medicine

Me: Your product says that after applying it to my dog's skin, I need to make sure he can't lick it off for a half-hour.

Dianne: Right.

Me: The only time my dog is not licking himself is when he is eating. So every month when I put this stuff on, I have to give him a bowl of Italian sausages and Swedish meatballs so big they take half an hour to eat, even though he's horking them down as if he's preparing to hibernate. So now he weighs 211 pounds.

Dianne: What kind of a dog is he?

Me: A beagle.

Dianne: Oh, my. Can't you put it between his shoulder blades?

Me: His tongue can reach that. His tongue can reach the top of his head. The only part of him he can't lick is his tongue.

Dianne: Oh, my.

Me: I need to get some diet meds, but what if I have to put 'em on his skin?


Pilsner Urquell beer

Me: I am upset that you have named an alcoholic beverage after an underage boy.

Vladimir: It's not named after Steve Urkel.


Vladimir: Hello?

Me: People have actually asked you this before?

Vladimir: All the time!

Me: Well, I was going to point out that Urkel used to say, "I've fallen, and I can't get up," which is not a good idea for beer advertising.

Vladimir: It's not. But that's confusing our name.

Me: Yeah, it's unfair. It would be like confusing "iceberg" and "Eisenberg," and blaming the Jews for the Titanic sinking.

Vladimir: Exactly right.


Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Me: Can you settle a bet?

Karen: I can give it a try!

Me: How is your product pronounced?

Karen: WAHR-sester-shirr.

Me: Oh, we know that. It's the second word we're debating.

Karen: You mean "sauce"?

Me: Yeah. It's not "sowse"?


Giant mini marshmallows

Me: I have a great marketing idea for your company. I see you're in Landover, Maryland.

Dee: Uh-huh.

Me: Well, the only other thing in Landover is the Redskins, the giant patsies of the NFL. They play like elderly women. Are you seeing what I am saying here?

Dee: No.

Me: I see a billboard with a picture of one of your marshmallows and next to it a picture of a Redskins player, with his face ground into the turf and his butt in the air, and the caption would say, "Landover Marshmallows." And under the marshmallow, it would say, "We're SUPPOSED to be soft and squishy."


Me: Hello?


Me: Okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking the Redskins would sue. Don't worry about it, they'll lose! It's what they do!

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