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"Put down the hammer."

(Got this in email. It appears to be real, and even if it isn't, it's still funny.)

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best webmail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from the curse? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy!

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bull . And that's a promise I will keep. Always.


Wendi Aarons

Austin , TX



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Oh god, that's wonderful.

I'm cross-posting.
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
She had me at "inbred hillbilly with knife skills." :)
Feb. 13th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
omg she had me at 'f-16 in my pants'
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Too funny, and mirrors a discussion I had on my flist a while back.

'Happy period', indeed. :P

*gets out chain saw and revs it just for fun*
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
It's funny because it's, sadly, true. :)
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Haha! Those were my exact thoughts, well, close enough, when I came across that little message attached to one of my Feminine Protectors. I thought it might have been like a fortune cookie with different messages with each Feminine Protector. But alas, they all wished me to have a happy period. :P
Feb. 14th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
The fortune cookie option would be much more fun. Plus it would employ a few more writers in this world. :)
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
*dies* I have to buy some now (I stole some from mom to tide me over), and I will certainly be remembering this when I arrive in That Aisle and face a decision! LOL
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Love the icon. :D

Yeah, that's always a fun shopping experience. Wings? Thin? Ultra-thin? Argh...
Feb. 13th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
This is a thing made of total awe. I hope against hope that the mail is genuine.
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
She does have a way with words, doesn't she? I imagine it got back to the company one way or another. :)
Feb. 13th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Happy Period?!?!?!

I gave up swearing for Lent, so I can't say what I'm thinking. Other than: "Thank heavens I have a DivaCup and will never buy this company's products, so help me."

(Tiny F16 in my pants!!! Heeeee!!!)
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I dig my DivaCup as well--though some extra protection comes in handy at times. (Whee, TMI.) Luckily I never got the lame fortune cookie variety!
Feb. 14th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)

I've never had the hateful-period problem. Sure, there've been symptoms on occasion. When I was young I used to get cramps, and for PMS sometimes. (But I've noticed that has a lot more to do with the stress in my life - when things are good, I don't get PMS.) But I've never hated having my period. To be honest, I've always rather enjoyed it. I find it interesting, even though its purpose has always been null and void for me.

All this teeth-gnashing about it has always struck me as counterproductive. It's like hating the fact that we piss. There's no getting around the fact that you have to piss every day, so what's the point in hating it?

Besides, as a gardener, I really appreciate the free fertilizer every month!
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Okay, I must look up the gardening thing. That's a new one on me.

I'm actually in agreement with you for the most part; I just admired her humor and way with words. I have a vehicular-homicide type of PMS day once in a while, but usually it's nothing too awful. I even like some of the features of my cycle, such as the heightened sense of smell for a short time, or the ability to eat like a pig for a few days and not feel gross. Appetite is fun to have!
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
I don't know that you'll find all that much research on it. I discovered it on my own due to two things. First, noticing the bags of "blood meal" on the fertilizer shelf in the gardening store. On asking, I found out that it was exactly what I thought it was - dried cow's blood mixed with some other nutrients. Second, reading in one of Jeanine Parvati Baker's books about how, when she was on her period, she would walk among the plants in her garden and let the blood drip onto the soil. (This all happened when I lived in Santa Cruz, CA, which is rather conducive to the granola-hippie way of thinking.) I decided to try it. I soaked my blood rags in cold water, poured the water out around the roots of my herb garden. And found that every time I did that, my plants would shoot up at least four inches within a few days. So I've been doing it for years, and my planty friends are very very happy. :)

And yes, appetite is lovely. Never been one to dislike my body, and certainly never had the view that it's "gross" or ugly in any way. Thank my Spanish father for that one - he used to get royally pissed off any time he heard women carping about being "too fat". Said the weight obsession was why people in this country were so miserable and had so much heart disease. Turned out he was right.
Feb. 15th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
Interesting! Your method sounds much more time-efficient than walking around dripping on the plants, though. (And what would I tell passers-by, anyway? "It's all right; the blood on my feet is nothing to worry about!")

My mom used to teach natural childbirth classes (Oregon--almost as hippie as Santa Cruz) and has buried more than one placenta in the yard in her time, so I guess it makes sense.

Your dad sounds awesome. The weight obsession *is* pretty lame. But if I could choose one health issue on which to change people's minds in our culture, it would be to revere getting enough sleep. Sleep is a health essential, not just a luxury!

Feb. 16th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Oh, yes! I read Sleep Thieves a few years ago, and was aghast at how perverted our culture's attitudes about sleep really are. The author revealed that, unbeknownst to most people because the media never talked about it, both the Exxon Valdez and the Chernobyl disaster can be laid at the door of sleep deprivation. And every year it gets worse, what with the 24-hour mania that our world is getting stuck in. ARGH. To my mind, there is nothing more essential and healthful than getting enough sleep. I guess that's one reason I'm not a career woman - there's no way I'm gonna endanger my health because some corporate asshole expects me to hand over my whole life to a job.
Feb. 18th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read The Promise of Sleep a few years back and was similarly aghast. I especially wish high schools would learn to start later in the day than 7:30 or similarly ungodly hours, as teens need way more sleep than adults.

Those exec assistants that are supposed to be available 24/7--yeah, that's screwed up. Not for me. Politicians and doctors often keep those insane schedules too, frighteningly.

Feb. 14th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
I loathe it when my feminine hygiene products try to philosophize to me...

There is a Vagisil commerical currently running here that makes me smirk (Vagisil is the same company that often uses the phrase "down there" in their ads). The set up is this: Pretty girlie, all dressed up suddenly sees her reflection in the mirror. Low and behold, you know she is NOT feeling FRESH DOWN THERE. The voice-over discusses how some days you have an "itch" and an "odor" that can be rather "embarrassing". The reflection changes and suddenly the girlie is dressed in a dark gray hoodie with it pulled up over her head, no make-up, bags under her eyes looking all forlorn and homeless-- or like Charlie from Lost and his hoodie of DOOM. Subtext: Come on women! A hoodie can cover many things, but I doubt covering one's head helps with itch and odor "down there"--Get Vagisil and be SEXAH, yo!

Whenever I see a woman in a hoodie, I know her secret. I point her out to Kevon, whisper "FemItchStench!" and give him a knowing look.
Without that advert I would have never known that a dark gray hoodie had such gender significance.
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Haha! Wow, there must be an itchy epidemic around here. We've got girls in hoodies everywhere. And here I thought overalls were the established Garment of Blah for teen girls.

I remember seeing douche ads as a kid and having no idea what they were talking about when the daughter confided to Mom about a "not so fresh feeling." I suppose the words "down there" wouldn't have helped much, though. To paraphrase a parody article from a different topic long ago, "Down where? Your feet? The basement? Mexico?"
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
*laughs helplessly*
I love it! And inspired by you I shall post something very similar on my journal :-D
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yay! The world needs more well-crafted lunatic letters.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )