a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Amanda's Musings: Dear Extenz...

(image originally uploaded hopeandmegan)

Dear Extenz Customer Service Representative,

Despite my love, respect and deep admiration for the comedic genius known as Chevy Chase, a girl can watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” only so many nights in a row.

So it was then, in the wee hours of the morning a few months back that I flipped on the boob tube, saw your company’s infomercial about “male enhancement” and gave you a holler.

Usually, I would just scroll through my collection of trashy reality television episodes or reruns of something like “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” but alas, my DVR was depleted. That night, not even Cousin Eddie could hold my meager attention. Unfortunately for both you and me, the uber-happy middle-aged couple featured on your program did.

As a reporter by vocation and a nebby-ass by nature, my curiosity was immediately piqued when the way-too-exuberant Ken doll spokesactor said something about how Extenz really came through for him with its promises of “male enhancement.” His equally enthused girl-piece nodded in eager agreement, and that’s about the time I picked up my cell and dialed.

I guess I’m writing to apologize. For the record, I wasn’t crank calling you. There was simply no succinct definition of what the product was gonna do. And ashamedly, you weren’t the only customer service representative who has received a past-midnight phone call from me.

See, I’ve never been a good sleeper. I wouldn’t call it “insomnia” as much as “lack of talent.” And trust: It sucks being bad at something that billions of people do completely normally each and every day.

When I recently expressed my concern to my dad over whether those phone calls could be considered a sort of neurotic obsession, he let me in on a secret: I’ve always sucked at sleeping. He said as a kid I would insist that someone sit in the room with me until I fell into a slumber – even holding my arm up at a 45-degree angle to ensure that Mr. Sandman wouldn’t be able to enrapture me so easily.

“Yeah, you would just fight sleep, Mand,” he told me. “It wasn’t like you were scared of a monster in the closet or something. You just hated going to sleep.”

Flash forward 25 years and it’s much the same. And with nothing on television and no one to talk to, my bedroom can be a pretty lonely place at that hour.

You were very informative. You basically confirmed what I thought, and told me a few things about the pills I wasn’t aware of. I know you were upset when I told you that I didn’t want to sign up for the free trial – you know, since I have neither a penis nor a boyfriend at the moment.

But I didn’t think our brief verbal encounter was all for naught. You made me laugh – without really meaning to – and that was just as helpful at that moment as your explanation of how the drugs work.

I never expected anyone to say to me, “Well, we are referencing the penis, ma’am.” But you did, and I laughed. And somehow, someway, I was able to get a few winks shortly thereafter.

Warmest Regards,

Amanda “please don’t file harassment charges” Gillooly

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