CI 9/21/97 -- Geeks Need Women!
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 97 04:18:01 -0700
Subject: CI 9/21/97 -- Geeks Need Women!
CERTIFIABLY INANE September 21, 1997
(c) Patrick C. Ross
Geeks Need Women!
Speaking of "Ben Hur," anyone who is online knows that our world's great
convenience, e-mail, is being choked to death by a force-feeding of
solicitations, such as MAKE $$$ FAST!!! or LIVE FOREVER!!! Those seem
credible enough, but I'm sure BEAT THE IRS!!! is a scam. I'll admit,
however, that I didn't know what to make of a recent junk e-mail titled
SUBLIMINAL RECORDINGS SEDUCE WOMEN!!! Could anyone be enough of a sucker
to fall for such a gag? I mean, I ordered one ten years ago from a flyer
stuck on my car and all the tape did was make my cat howl. Still, I was
curious and read the e-mail. Well, the first few lines anyway. After all,
I recalled PR's Rule # 717: Junk e-mails are not only unsolicited, they're
longer than a Bill Clinton State-of-the-Union address.
According to the company, TechAmore, for only $19.95 plus $7.95 shipping
and handling I'll receive a cassette of pleasing new-age music. Unbeknownst
to my date, the tape will feed her subliminal messages that say I have the
looks of Alec Baldwin and the charm of Cary Grant (before he died,
hopefully). The e-mail warns that federal officials (damn, those party
poopers) are looking to "outlaw" TechAmore's "revolutionary" product, "so
you must act fast." There's even a disclaimer that the product is intended
for "recreational use" only. I don't want to consider what a "professional"
use of the product might be, although I'm sure lobbyists would know what to
do with it. I figured the product might be legitimate, though. After all,
something beyond money had to explain how Larry King kept landing child
A little online sleuthing led me to the company's headquarters in
Teaneck, New Jersey. TechAmore's owner was out with the product conducting
"field studies," the PR director told me, but he said "I'd love to talk"
with you. We shook hands, and I realized I had been buzzed.
"Sorry," he said, showing me the hand buzzer. "The boss is a big
practical joker, and it's sort of contagious. Glad you're here, though.
We could sure use the publicity."
"Sales are slow, 'eh?"
"Oh, on the contrary," the eager aide replied. He was twentysomething
years old and dressed like he had just returned from Lollapalooza. It
didn't appear he'd rolled in any mud pits, though. "Sales are right through
the roof," he said, stealing a quick glance at the wall clock behind me.
"The Internet is the perfect way to reach our target audience."
"Geeky white males with thick glasses and severe insecurity regarding
I was offended. My glasses aren't that thick. "So why do you need
"The boss is taking the company public. We're holding an initial public
offering next week."
I scribbled in my notebook. "Let me ask you a blunt question. Do these
tapes actually work?"
Another peek at the clock. "Oh yes, they're really amazing."
"But I thought this whole subliminal nonsense was debunked years ago,"
I said. "You know, the old scam about theatres inserting a flash message
saying 'You really want to go by some artery-clogging buttered popcorn'
right in the middle of 'Ben Hur.'"
The PR director stole another glance at the clock, then stood. As he
did so, he casually lifted a whoopie cushion off of his chair and tossed it
in a growing pile of like gag products. "Oh, video messages were disproven,
yes. But the human ear has a much greater perceptual range than the eye.
Believe me, our tapes can give you whatever you want. You'd like a
beautiful girl to give you a pedicure while singing the theme to 'Green
Acres'? You got it. You want her to bark like a dog? Well..."
"I think I get the picture," I said. "Seems a bit degrading to the
He walked into his boss' empty office and made his way to the man's
desk. "Believe me, it's not. The subliminal message repeatedly informs
the women that the acts that they are about to perform are perfectly
natural. They feel no shame during or after their actions."
I was about to reply when I saw the PR director begin to run his tongue
along the surface of the boss' desk. "Um, what are you doing?"
He mumbled while continuing his chore. "Since my phoss gave me this
great cathette thape lasth week, ebery thay phromptly at wone o'clock I lick
his desk unthil iths clean. Dhon't worry. Iths ferfectly natural."
I tried to recall how much money was in my savings account.
"When did you say that initial public offering was again?"
© 1997 Peter Langston