by Robert Smith
The following people, places, and things are all rousing successes, which leads to an obvious question: Huh?
What do some of these people even do? Why would anyone buy these products? Who could eat that? The only thing that breeds success in America these days is to be safe, bland, and somewhat ineffective – but always comfortingly inoffensive. We say: Give us heath care with the words “U.S. Hot Damn Friggin’ Health Care Program” on the label as long as it’s worthy. Dare to challenge us, make us curious, give us nutrition, give us hope for a better future … or at the very least, try to entertain us, even a little.
Our official list of head-scratching successes follows, proving that luck is the biggest thing that can ever happen to a person, thing, or company:
The Greatest Wonder Claim Ever: “Lifetime limited warranty.”
Wonder Products That People Actually Buy (Or Once Bought): ShamWow; Armour Potted Meat (second mention in the DMR!); Rose Brand Pork Brains With Milk Gravy; Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (frozen PB&J planks for those who just can’t master the complicated art of making a sandwich); Mott’s Clamato; the vending machine “toys” known as Hand Or Leg and Stretchy Pests; the children’s medicine happily called Save The Baby.
Old-School Wonder Foods That People Still Ingest: Pickled eggs; milk; plankton; durian; tripe; digestive biscuits; anything prepared in Albany County, New York.
Sports Wonders (Players Who Can’t Hit, Score, Or Play Defense, But They’re Rich & Always Have Jobs): Jason Collins of The Atlanta Hawks; Nick Punto of The Minnesota Twins; Darko Milicic and Jared Jefferies of The New York Knicks; Jake Delhomme of The Carolina Panthers; Rich Aurilia of The San Francisco Giants; Geoff Blum of The Houston Astros.
Thespian Wonder Of Wonders: Matthew Broderick, the luckiest person in the history of the free world.
Wonder Company Names That Must’ve Taken Months Of Thought To Come Up With: Mr. Subb, General Media, General Tire, Yummy Fruit Company, National Amusements, and our all-time favorite, Volume Services, the food vendor company at the old Yankee Stadium (“Honey, are you hungry?” “Baby, yeah! How I could go for one of those Volume Services hot dogs!”).
Entertainment Personalities With No Actual Discernible Talents, But There They Always Are: Tom Bergeron; any of the sons of Harry Carey; any of the offspring of Joe Frazier; Monti Rock III; Valerie Bertinelli; anyone from the casts of Survivor, Deal Or No Deal, The Amazing Race, and so on; Stacey Keibler; New York Governor David Patterson; Curtis Sliwa; Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss; ESPN’s Rob Stone; and, these days, Lindsay Lohan, who is in the newspaper every day but hasn’t seemed to appear in a film in what feels like five years.
People Actually Have Purchased “Pop” Music By: O.A.R., Train, Nickelback, Michael Buble, Paramore, Emily Rossum, anything produced by Richard Perry, John Mayer, Shwayze, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Peter Cetera.
Every one of these people, companies, places, and things are luckier than you and I will ever be. C’mon, let’s clip some coupons and head for Boston Market!
Robert Smith is a published writer and editor – several times for magazines and newspapers that either went out of business or drastically reorganized after he left. Serves you right, schmoes.