Disclaimer: This entry is not politically correct. Under no circumstances should it be taken seriously.
He wore a splendid suit and his signature smile. Hallowed by the spot lights, he stood still on the set. Scratch that; almost still. Unbeknownst to most of his surroundings, he fiddled with the bottom feathers of his wings. To the casual observer, it might read as annoyance targeting the buzzing squad of make-up artists and hair-dressers. I knew better. I always wondered why he stressed out before public appearances. He was scrumptious; a flash of teeth and a gleaming eye was all he needed to erase any mishap. And he was a wonderful spokesperson so he didn’t even need any of this: that was why he was the salesman and I was the producer. I shrugged.
While the powders made his baby blues pop and the sprays fixed his sandy blond curls, I turned my attention to other issues.
“Meredith,” I bellowed. My plum witch of an assistant teleported by my side. She was holding a rodent in a tight grip. I looked it up and frustration flowed over me.
“It’s a female.” I stated.
“Is it? Really?” She turned the poor beast upside down to examine it. The rodent’s nervousness matched my assistant’s. “I’ll change it.”
“And please hustle the team together in five.” I dismissed her with the flick of a hand and sighed. As if I could show naked women on this channel. At least, I could show a man from the waist up.
A loud crackle filled the studio and I spun on my heels to face our brand spanking new crowd. At least something was on the right track: this fake crowd bubbled with realistic excitement. Well, as realistic as infomercials went.
“Have they been fed their product reviews?” I asked about while checking “crowd summoning” off my list. I received a “yes” from somewhere up in the tiers. I crossed another item off. I scanned the crowd a second time, just to double-check. It had the right ratio of Americans versus minorities and a fifty-fifty male-female composition. Perfect.
The team jittered around me. I hate dwhen they were nervous; they underperformed.
“How are we doing with human rights activists?” I asked around.
“Charmed!” Kudos to the tall blond whose name I can’t care less to remember.
“And the animal rights?”
“The Cherubs are running a little behind,” answered another woman.
“Pop them a couple of heart-shaped cinnamon candy each and speed this up.”
“Are we sure we want to do this? It’ll take a week to calm them down.” I hated it when they argued.
“Not my problem. Get it done. Recording charms?”
“Spelled and ready to roll but we’re missing one camerawitch.” The woman had taken a step in front of the line to speak. I glared at her, she walked back.
“Weak link.” I sighed. “Clone the best one available and get her on set.” Clones were never as efficient as the original but they could at least handle the wide shots. “Lights?”
“Mixed.” The list went on and on until every last detail was settled and every incompetent PA fired. By then, it was fifteen minutes to the opening credits. Plenty of time. I walked over to my winged husband for a good luck kiss.
Cue in the music. I thought into my headset that relayed every order to the rest of the team. Stand by camera two and we are live in five… I finished the countdown with my fingers so the love of my life could follow, then pointed him.
“Good evening ladies, gentlemen! I must admit I’m quite surprise to see you here tonight, of all nights. You’re sitting at home punching through the channels, desperately searching for entertainment. You know me, I usually wouldn’t interrupt. But tonight, it’s my duty.”
Move on to camera three for a close-up.
“Hi, I’m Cupid and I’m about to turn your life around.” He winked as if he was flirting with the camera. Damn, I love dthis man.
Back to camera two, pan to follow him to the table, stand by for “Love” subtitle.
“If you are watching me right now, you fall under one of the two following categories: the loner or the loser.
Loner, you think you’re better off alone and that loved ones are for the weak. You’ve been burnt by, you’ve never known or you’ve never heard of Love – and that capital letter is… well… capital. You’re a celibate which explains why you are listening to me on Valentine’s evening.”
Camera three, close-up
“Don’t you change that channel, you cynic! I’m telling you: you don’t want to miss tonight’s special offer.”
Camera two, American shot
“If you’re a loser, your better half is out to “work” tonight. We all know what that entails. Wake up! I’ve got better options for you!”
He walked while talking and was now standing behind the table where a white piece of fabric covered a rectangular box. Switch to camera one, American shot to include the top of the table. The camerawitch framed it a tad too tight for my liking. I’d have to scold her later.
“Tonight, I have the unique pleasure to introduce an exclusive, romance-revolutionizing product. A coven of witches and I got together and devised this groundbreaking solution for all your heart’s woes: the werechipmunk.” He theatrically pulled on the white drape to reveal a cage and its inhabitant.
“Our process is simple: we take a normal chipmunk and magically enhance it so it can were to human form on demand.”
And cut to four. It was a close-up of a woman in the crowd.
“Wait a minute. Why would I want that?” She said, voicing the concerns a fair share of our watchers would have. Back to one.
“Don’t you worry.” Cupid answered. “By the end of this infomercial, you’ll not only want it, you’ll need it.” He gave camera one a blinding smile and just like that, every American celibate watching was now prepped to buy. As easy as taking candy from a baby. And, in both cases, it is for the victim’s own good.
“Let’s start by reviewing the incredible value of the chipmunk form, shall we?
First and foremost, in its chipmunk state, you’re new mate can be ignored without hurting its feelings. No need for small talk. No need to listen to the classical “I had such a bad day” speech. No need to hear how you’re not as sexy as you used to. Just keep it fed and it’ll be on cloud nine. Who could do that with a real person?”
Switch to camera 5 and pan. The wide shot drifted through the crowd to show how thoughtful everyone was. Not one of the fake spectators raised a hand. Back to camera one.
“I thought so. Another question, if you please. Have you ever wanted your companion to lose weight? You don’t know how to say it, you stress, you hurt: it’s a whole ordeal. With the chipmunk, there’s no need to pay for exorbitant gym sessions: just place a spinning wheel in the cage and let it have a go. Results are guaranteed in a couple of weeks, tops! No arguments required!”
The crowd clapped enthusiastically in response. We were putting up an amazing show.
“That’s just the tip of an iceberg of loveliness! But I know what you crave. You want to see the human version of your potentially beloved chipmunk” As he talked, Cupid gently pulled the rodent out of its cage and petted it. Go camera three for a full body frame, stand by camera one for a waist up.
“The werechipmunks come in a variety of color and persona so you find the partner you need. Trust my bow!” Cupid hunched over the rodent and murmured the magic word. Then, he set it on the floor and took a small step back. The air crackled around the chipmunk and a thick cloud obscured it. Go camera one.
Shazam! In place of the cloud stood a naked piece of “tall, dark and handsome” treat. I gave a moment to the watchers to take him in – from the waist up only.
Camera 5. In the crowd, a quarter of the men turned away, a quarter was stunned and the rest was split between jealousy and drooling. The women were blushing, some more shyly then others. I let it run only a second or two. Back to camera one.
“Oh! And they come in a variety of sizes, too!” Cupid winked again. The feminine giggles doubled and behind their soft harmony I could hear a concerto of tumbling coins. Cashling! Most lucrative Valentine’s Day ever!
“I think I’ve talked enough about both male and female options and for all you know, I could be lying. What you need to hear now are some product reviews by real customers. What do you think, sir?” Cupid motioned toward the spectators. Camera four. A chubby man was standing in the middle of the crowd.
“Hi, I’m Jeremy. My ex-wife always wanted me to do my part. You know: chores. We argued like crazy. ‘You should wash the dishes. How about some grocery shopping?’” He punctuated his annoyance with a heartfelt grunt. “You know what? It’s the chipmunk natural instinct to rack up food supplies. So for me, it’s no grocery shopping ever again. My werechipmunk just loves to do it for me!”
We cut back to Cupid who thanked Jeremy and pointed to the next “satisfied customer”. We were done with the preliminaries and gaining momentum toward the grand finale.
“Hi, my name is Angel. My boyfriends were never the romantic type. Well, they were for the first few weeks but it didn’t last for long. Then, I heard about this product and learned a simple truth: chipmunks love to sing. I bought one werechipmunk for the Alvin line, not hoping for much. What a surprise! Now I’ve got serenades at my window and I’m regularly lulled to sleep. He is perfect. Thanks Cupid!” In my back pocket the cute and cuddly lovers.
“Hey there, the name is Troy. I like variety. Actually, it might be a psychological disease: perpetual cheating disorder. I got problems with my girlfriends and paying up ladies to get what I need is plain hard on the budget. The werechipmunks are affordable; I got one for each day of the week! They’re like girlfriends with no notion of cheating. All my problems are solved! Plus, they never have headaches!” Macho macho men, I own the wallets of macho men.
“Good evening, I am Miss Burberry. I guess you could say I’m a socialite. These days, it’s a full time job. You cannot even think about going to a ball with a less than perfect date or worse, alone. Of course, the models are all taken. So you have to work to keep an OK man and spell him to look stunning. Pricy and strenuous. Werechipmunks are cheap, gorgeous and easy maintenance. I’m making everyone jealous.” Mmmm, more! More big bucks from the upper east side, please!
“Evening y’all! Got troubles with women. Lovin’ them, they ain’t lovin’ me. Ain’t my fault, either. Got a bunch of the inflatable stuff. Borin’ the hell outta me. This here’s made from living thing. Y’all know what that mean? Werechips are creative. Inflatable stuff, even charmed, ain’t going to surprise ya any time soon. Werechips will. Might even teach y’all a trick or two.” Oh yes, I like that: one killing thrust into the competitors.
“Hi!” The woman blushed and paused. The suspense was delicious. “I just meant to say… chipmunks… well they’re like smallish rabbits, right? And rabbits… they hump a lot, right? Well…” She blushed so hard I thought her face was going to blow and let the last bit all out in a breath. “Chipmunks do too.” Ah! That was good. Not the soundest argument but good TV. Back to camera one. My hubby smiled. And now, for the last hammering sprint.
“Order your werechipmunk now!
Easy to store, groom and feed, the werechipmunk is fully compact until you need it to service you with any of its multiple skills.
The werechipmunk comes with its pet cage, a pound of litter, two pounds of high quality dry food, a training wheel, an urban and an evening change of clothes. All of that for only 5 payment of $24,95! And if you call the number at the bottom of you screen now, we throw in a pair of handcuffs for free.” When the number appeared on the screen, our phone lines started shrieking. I felt waves of pleasure wash over me with each ring.
“If your werechipmunk does not give you entire satisfaction, were it to its natural form and ship it back in its original pet cage. We will replace it free of charge or give you a full refund. You’ve heard right: a…” And loop two times from “pet cage…” to the end. The phone wouldn’t stop ringing despite all the additional secretaries the witches had summoned. I shivered in satisfaction.
“Thanks for watching. I am Cupid and I approve this message.” And, fade to black…
Cupid said good bye to the rest of the crew. They were finally all gone. I should have kicked them out but it really wouldn’t have been nice, even for me. All alone at last, my husband melted his lips into mine stirring up the memory of tonight’s sheer ecstasy. What a perfect evening!
We parted to keep our hands off from each other. We had to go home. The morning news crew would be here soon. He took my hand and we started walking.
“I’m glad we can offer a love solution to all those pitiful souls out there.” He murmured.
“I’m glad it clears your schedule a bit so we can actually spend time together.”
“Me too!” He bowed for a quick kiss. “We have to fix their defect before we ship any of them, though.”
“Right. The teeth-fixing spells really cut down on our profit.” He glowered at me, silent. Oops, wrong answer. Time for the sheepish voice. “And there is nothing sexy about a human munching on wooden table legs.”