Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dear Off!

Email I just sent to Off! I will keep you updated as to their reply.

Dear Off,

I have always been an enormous fan of your bug detraction products and paraphernalia. I've undoubtedly had an affinity for your bug sprays and creams and gels. Sometimes, when we are heading out the door for a trip into the Rockies, I say to my wife, "Honey, did you bring the Off?". And here's the wacky thing - she always does!!! It's like we're totally on the same length of wave. (That means we think a lot alike)

I am writing you today because I have a question regarding one of your products: the Off Clip-On Fan. In theory, I love this product. You have combined the force of moving air with the force of repelling bugs. That's two forces in one! Most repellents barely have one force going for them. Add one more force and you could rid the world of bugs forever! (Which ultimately may be bad for business)

So my wife and I recently went on a trip to Island Park, Idaho. This is a mosquito infested, larva-coated, smorgasbord of itchy bites. My wife strapped on her kerchief and Off Clip-On and headed out to read a novel. I, on the other hand, lathered every inch of my body in Off repellent (with deet). Seeing the repellent in my hand, my wife also sprayed a bit here and there for bonus protection and coverage. A little bit like a bug insurance policy, minus the $50 co-pay.

We then waited for the feeding frenzy, and boy did it come. Swarms of mosquitoes surrounded our bodies like Japanese bombers attacking Pearl Harbor. Nevertheless, the Off and Off related accessories held strong. Not a single mosquito penetrated our Off force field! Off saved our lives that day in the forest. Saved... our... lives. I owe you my life - Off employee reading this email in your cubicle.

Anyway, here is my question: Not a single mosquito bite, but how much can I attribute to the spray and how much can I attribute to the fan? My wife wore the fan and was not bit. I did not wear the fan, but sat close to my wife and I also did not get bit. Or, now I am shooting fish in a barrel here (metaphore for "shooting from the hip"), but was it the combo of the two?

The next day, I wore the clip out jogging, which proved the be highly uncomfortable and a bit showy, like "Look at me! I can afford a mosquito clip!" Suddenly, much to my dismay, I was bitten... by a mosquito. The fan clip had failed me. (Failed in the sense that it did not protect me. However, it did not fail in the sense that it was keeping my upper left thigh rather cool and refreshed)

So you tell me, person sitting at computer, free from any sort of mosquito infestation and under zero risk of obtaining the West Nile Virus: Was it the clip or the spray that protected us from the swarms of blood suckers that dreadful day in the depths of the forest?

As 'Product and Merchandise Tester' (PAMT) for the Dollar Tree chain of stores, I know a thing or two about what makes a good product tick. Most people think that the only qualification a product must have to be sold in Dollar Tree stores is that it is a "thing". That could not be further from the truth. Dollar Tree merchandise goes through a vigorous process of tests and trials before it hits our shelves. I poke every stuffed teddy, I squeeze every turkey baster, I shake every sparkly pen. Some nights, I leave the office with such sore fingers from all the coloring (in the coloring books), I can barely open my car door.

In spite of my history in product testing, I can not get my finger on this Off Fan Clip thing. I have limited knowledge and skills in the repelling of insects and perhaps that may ultimately prove to me my demise. I hope not.

Thank you for your time and your anticipated response to my query,



Tammy said...

Abe I just posted a link for you on Facebook regarding mosquitoes and who they attack. It even talked about researching it and how they put volunteers into body-size foil bags for two hours to collect their body odors. Maybe next time you can sign up to be a research donor.

Anonymous said...

Collect enough of these type letter and you could do a book... Oh yea, it's been done. "Letters from a Nut"

Cheeseboy said...

Dear Anonymous. I am well aware of Letters from a Nut" and I would like you to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with copying a good idea - especially when you are blogging EVERY DAY! Thank you for pointing that out though.

Cheeseboy said...

One other thing Anon - Just because an idea is not original does not mean it is easy to do.

Tyler and Lyndsay said...

I am curious to see their response! I have to add one reasoable motive as to why you got bit jogging... I believe that when Cathi was wearing the clip she was still & stable, allowing the repelent to create a nice bubble around her- or a shield from the monsters. As you were basking in the Idaho air and sprinting through the forest, the repelent was quickly evaporating and leaving little windows of opportunity for the evils things to bite cheeseboy. I sound like a total nerd, but that's just my thought.

Lori said...

Hey, you've given me a great idea! You may have to send another letter off to the Off company with what I have to say. They would invent a "clip on" that resembles a mini bug zapper. You know, the ones we used to have in the good old days that let you know everytime a mosquito was killed with that beautiful sound of a bug being electricuted. Now that would be a seller! And, you would know if it was actually working or not!

Tammy said...

Sorry Lor but haven't you heard those electrified bug zappers actually end up bringing MORE bugs?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't being critical about "letters from a nut". I have read them all and wish there were more. Let us know what they say when you get their answer to your letter. Also I think they should invent a wire hanger that hold out the fan five feet infront of you when jogging so you are always running into the scent. They could also put a little red blinking light on it for jogging in the dark.

Cheeseboy said...

That's okay Anon... no hard feelings. Your idea is brilliant btw.