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“I’m here to clean the carpets. Most of the world is carpeted. And, one day, we will do the cleaning.”

January 29, 2012

I confess to having a weakness for the glorious tripe that is Maury. Watching Mr. Povich wade through humanity’s underbelly one DNA/Lie Detector test at a time is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. But, though I normally watch it alone, I’m always a bit creeped out by the virtual company that I keep. I can’t see the other people whose eyes are glued to the screen, but there are the commercials to clue me into the viewership.

Title loans. Vocational schools. Shady personal injury attorneys. You get the picture. It makes you wonder what horrible turn your life has taken that you find yourself amongst a demographic that would call on the services of payday loans or the Mike Slocombe Law Firm. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum from what you see when you wander into afternoon soap operas, where you get bombarded by cat food and tampon commercials. YOU HAVE TURNED DOWN THE WRONG AISLE AT THE SUPERMARKET.

There was always a similar strange element comics — not so much today, but once upon a time, it was there. No title loans or vocational schools, but career self-improvement was ever on display, whether it was electronics or other worthwhile blue-collar fields. The above ad, for the still-going Duraclean, fits right in. Kind of. Well, not really. It made you wonder if the comic book reading public could be divided into kids on the one hand, and adults with acute career path dissatisfaction on the other.

While being able to retire at 50 is an admirable goal, if I might poke a little fun at the Duraclean ad… The picture looks like a Last Known Photo, one you’d see on an old Unsolved Mysteries segment. The van looks like the “dangerous loner” model with a business name tacked on the side for cover. Put amongst the rest of the x-ray glasses and superhero chachkes, it’s a tad out of place, like fishing tackle in a romance comic. I’m sure Duraclean is a fine, upstanding business, and not a front for a religious cult. Nevertheless…

It’s a bit odd. Like others of its ilk. But I’ve never seen Duraclean on Maury. So there’s that.

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