By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, February 27, 2011; WC3
Another installment in my Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the plight of the beleaguered customer-service representative.
Yogi ® herbal tea
Me: I don't like tea, which is why I like your tea because it's like what most tea isn't.
Mercia: Um . . .?
Me: If you see what I mean.
Mercia: I think you are saying you have a more discerning palate than most people?
Me: Yeah. So how much of it should I drink at a time? It says it helps you relax, but when I get too relaxed, I get nervous.
Mercia: I ... Okay, well. You want to listen to what your body feels like.
Me: Now how wet should I make the tea?
Mercia: I think I need help with that question.
Me: How do I know when it's wet enough?
Mercia: If you put the teabag in first, it will submerge, so it will be wet enough.
Me: How many bags do I need to make a pitcher?
Mercia: It depends on the size of the pitcher.
Me: Well, Whitey Ford, he was a little guy. A crafty little southpaw.
Mercia: I ... don't .... uh.
Me: Isn't your company owned by Yogi Berra?
Pepperidge Farm Soft 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Me: You know that little slotted plastic disc thing that cinches the bag closed? Does it have an official name?
Lynn: I call it a little plastic clamp. I'm not sure there is a more technical name.
Me: I'm going to suggest a name. I'll give it to your company for free. Do you have paper and pencil?
Me: Okay, here it is. Write down an exclamation point, then an ampersand, then an asterisk. ... You with me?
Me: Okay, then an at-the-price-of sign, then finally another exclamation point. That's the name. Because that's what people say when the thing breaks the second time they try to use it. Is there a more flimsy, negligible product on the face of the Earth?
Me: Okay, maybe the frill from the top of a cocktail weenie toothpick.
McCormick ® spices
Me:I have a book from 1864 titled "The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners" by Miss Eliza Leslie. It says that the best way to remove a cinder from your eye is to place under your eyelid the eyeball of a lobster. In fact, they used to sell lobster eyeballs at apothecaries for that reason.
Me: I had a cinder in my eye. But I don't eat lobsters, so I found the thing that was closest in shape and appearance to a lobster eyeball, which was a McCormick® peppercorn.
Wanda: Oh, no!
Me: It didn't work! It made things much worse.
Wanda: You definitely should not put pepper in your eye.
Me: I was just thinking you should put that warning on your jar: Do not put peppercorns in your eye.
Wanda: I will pass along your packaging suggestion to marketing.
SodaStream® home soda maker
Me: I am very dissatisfied with your product.
Felicia: What seems to be the problem?
Me: I used it, but my bike tires are still flat.
Felicia: Well, have you tried troubleshooting? I can walk you through ... wait, what?
Me: It wouldn't inflate my bike tires. Or my basketball.
Felicia: It's not supposed to be used for those purposes. It's for making seltzer or soda.
Me: Really? I like seltzer!
Felicia: Great! That's what you should use it for!
Me: If I inhale the gas from it, will it make my voice all funny and squeaky?
E-mail Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat with him Tuesday at noon.