Thursday, February 7, 2008

Give Yourself the Finger

DID YOU KNOW THAT LACK OF PROPER MASSAGE can bring on problems? Well, it can. Apparently. That's why you (probably) need a Vibra-Finger! It has a novel design that allows localized massage know..."needed areas." Also, it's hygienic and costs only $9.95. Upon first glance, it may not be obvious what the Vibra-Finger is for. I mean, it doesn't exactly say. It just tells you, parenthetically, that this Vibra-Finger is "full length." Which, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb, brings to mind only dirty uses for this finger that you plug into the wall. Because I read the big words first and the highlighted words next, I ended up a little confused when I found out that this paucity of massage could create "soft, irritated gums" resulting in loose teeth and bad breath.

What the? So you put this in your mouth? Really?

It wasn't until I found the other ad for the Vibra-Finger, which clearly spells out what the Finger is all about. It leads with the headline Dentists Recommend Daily Gum Massage and inserts (ahem) the words "gum massager" between the Vibra and the Finger.

Even though the product resembles a human finger hacked off and attached to an electric knife handle, this ad reassures with the promise of increased and improved circulation, and that the experience is "cleansing and refreshing", also that the product makes a gift that is both "different and useful." One of the bullet points beneath the product title reads "Sanitary -- Fits in Your Hand", which seems to imply a causal relationship. As if anything that fits in one's hand is automatically far more sanitary than products that are larger.

Most outstanding in this particular ad, however, is the creepy clip-art doctor in the upper right corner, who finds it necessary to tell me that the Vibra-Finger is for my "personal use."

A couple of thoughts on this. While this ad has the clearest language describing what the Finger is used for, it is the most salacious, I think. Because the creepy doctor's words supersede all. FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE. I feel like he's about to wink at me and add, "You know what I mean by personal use, now don't you?"

As if I need to be told! As if I might be tempted to share my finger with others! Or I might pilot this mechanical finger into the mouths of visitors to my home or strangers on the street. Or as if, at a party say, me and my hippie buddies would pass the Vibra-Finger around like a hookah, taking turns putting it in our mouths. Only later to realize, "Oh shit! This thing isn't for public use! We're doing it wrong!"

Now, put those images out of your mind, completely out of your mind, and only look at the product as I repeat a few words from the boxed text, the part announcing the "special gift offer", where the ad encourages me to buy "one for myself and one for a friend." Okay, now, imagine it's your birthday party and you're opening gifts. And one of your friends excitedly pushes their gift into your hands. "Open mine next!" You agree and when you open the box, you see this item inside.

Responding to your stunned silence (and the silence that has descended upon the entire party), the gift-giver says, "It's a gum massager!"

More silence.

"I have one too! It's fantastic!"

A few days later, when that same friend asks you, "Have you used your Finger yet?" How do you respond:
a) by running away.
b) by laughing uncomfortably and then running away.
c) by throwing up.
d) by saying, "What is your fucking problem, man? What the fuck did you give me a vibrating finger for? That's the creepiest fucking thing I've ever seen!"
e) by moaning and pointing at your groin.


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