Stop the presses! We can’t go to print yet! Andy, hit the pause button there, thanks. This latest issue is missing a description. No, not for the Himalayan Walking Shoes; that was a little late, but it was a hell of a thought-provoking article… good job, Benes. What we are missing here is the description for the Comfort Wipe. You know, that thing you use in the bathroom…you put toilet paper on one end and wipe…yeah, the Shit Stick. I’m missing the description for the Shit Stick. Where is it??

Do any of you maggots realize the stress running this catalog brings me? I assure, you do not, for you are not a rotund old man who feverishly gnaws on unlit cigars and chances are you’re not wearing this fancy badge my wife made me when I got this promotion.

Harriet Carter catalog

Guys, I’m not saying that your jobs are easy. I’m sorry for flying off the handle like this, and even though we are regarded as junk mail that just turns up in your mailbox at random, we still have deadlines, people!

Now, where is the Comfort Wipe description?

Comfort Wipe product description

Well, if you have it, give it here. Alright, let me just give this a quick once-over…

….

……

Dammit, Jenkins. Stand right there. Okay, everyone, listen up! I want you to hear this. The incomparable Mr. Jenkins here has written us a perfect example on how to not write a good catalog product description.

Ahem…

"Tired of endlessly reaching behind you for sanitary purposes? Maybe you are unable to reach your rear because you are overweight or were cursed with T-Rex arms. Perhaps you resemble more a dwarf than an actual human being…"

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Is something funny, Jenkins? Tell me, what is the name on the side of this building you’re standing in at this moment? Is it "Hammacher Schlemmer"? No. What is it, then? That’s right, "Harriet goddamn Carter. Distinctive Gifts Since Nineteen-Fifty-Fuckin’-Eight"!

Yeah, I know you lost your hermit crab, and I’m sorry about that. I let you keep those framed pictures of his shell all around your office, didn’t I? He was camera shy. I get it. But he died like, two months ago! So if you bring up your deceased hermit crab any more as an excuse for not doing your job right, I want you to find a quiet place and concentrate really hard, and maybe, if you close your eyes tight and focus, you might actually hear me not giving shit.

This job has given me an ulcer, Jenkins, and you are the reason why I am out of Pepto.

Now, listen here: I’m giving you one more chance, and then, if you can’t give me a decent description, I’m going to show you the door. That’s a promise. I’ve seen this business chew up and spit out the most talented product description writers this world has never even gotten to know. Hell, if Sharper Image were around at the time, Hemingway’s lights would have gone out well before The Sun Also Rises.

Now, pay attention: here is your last chance, kiddo. For the fall catalog, if you can’t write me an evocative, "I-need-this-item-or-I-will-surely-die" product description, you’re finished. Washed up. No catalog will ever touch you when I am done with you. Not even the Burpee Seed Catalog will look at you. By next Friday, I want a beautiful, poetic, lyrical description of item #3322: Rubber Bed Sheets. Available in all sizes, from twin to king. Can you do that, or are you going to go over to your desk and type me up your resignation? The choice is yours.

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