Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It’s a question of standards, pure and simple. What exactly are they? Who sets those standards? And who decides whether those standards have been met?

Standards are important. Without standards, it’s chaos. Anything goes, don’t you see.

“Is that beef up to USDA standards?”

“The lowest one, yes.”

“And what standard is that?”

“If it’s dead, it’s okay.”

That is not good enough. Not for meat, not for anything. Gadzooks! The poor animal could have been plowed into by a car. One could be eating a license plate along with one’s steak.

In other matters concerning shaky standards…

Recently, it was Chanukah. There were presents exchanged, I myself being the recipient of some very fine ones. Which brings us to the issue at hand.

One of my Chanukah gifts was brashly touted as

“The World’s Greatest Nose Hair Trimmer.”

Candidly, I had made known my interest in such a gift. I needed one. With advancing years, one’s hair begins growing in places other than the traditional ones. Aside from the awkwardness and inconvenience, this new hair adamantly refuses to play by the rules. Or, at least, one rule.

Normally, hair grows extremely gradually. One could curtail all other activities and watch it and see nothing at all going on, such is the imperceptible nature of its advancement.

This new hair, on the other hand, arrives, not in increments, but fully-grown, suddenly, and in startling abundance. One day, one’s ears are just cartilage. The next day, one wakes up, and they’re hairy, spider-web-like strands descending from one’s earlobes like tonsorial tinsel. Inside, it’s a forest.

Nose hair, I shall refrain from going into. You could be eating at the moment. Suffice it to say, nasal foliage can go from “zero to 60” with shocking rapidity.

One finds oneself in need of a trimmer. One is not proud, and one requests said accessory for Chanukah. One’s loved ones comply, presenting one, gift wrapped and beribboned, with

“The World’s Greatest Nose Hair Trimmer.”

Hyperbole is not unheard of in advertising. I believe the term itself dates back to legendary ad man Vincent Hyperbole, who originated the strategy, which now and forever bears his name.

The problem is not with hyperbole per se. Since, as the cowboys say, this is not my first rodeo, I take exaggerated claims with an understandable grain of, “Yeah, right.”

The problem is my new nose (and ear) hair trimmer is a replacement for my old nose (and ear) hair trimmer.

And my old nose (and ear) hair trimmer, promoted in its day as

“The World’s Greatest Nose Hair Trimmer”

Does not



Forgive the outburst. I am simply, and, I believe understandably, distraught.

My nose hairs laugh at my old nose hair trimmer. My ear hairs guffaw. I can easily hear them. They are chortling inside my ear.

And now, here is my new nose (and ear) hair trimmer, making precisely the same claim as my old nose (and ear) hair trimmer, that claim being that it is

“The World’s Great Nose Hair Trimmer.”

I mean, what is a nose (and ear) hair trimmer enthusiast to do!

Make no mistake. I am genuinely appreciative of the gift. It was need-sensitive and extremely thoughtful. However, faced with the fact that the claim of my new nose (and ear) hair trimmer is precisely the same as the claim of my woefully inadequate old nose (and ear) hair trimmer,

I am not

In any way


And, I believe, with just cause. As I have been burned very seriously before.

I make this offer. And I do not make it lightly. People who know me know that I am not in the habit of putting myself out there. There are, of course, not a lot of them, as I am not in the habit of putting myself out there.

It is my unshakable proclivity to avoid contentiousness and shun, as often as is practically manageable, responsibility. Call my coward. Call me chronically uninvolved. I don’t care. That’s just the way I am.


Should “The National Nose (and Ear) Hair Trimmers’ Association” ever choose to assemble a non-partisan commission, to determine what, by unbiased and standardized evaluation, truly is the world’s greatest nose (and ear) hair trimmer, I am

Definitely and unequivocally


And so is my nose.

(As well as my ears.)

This matter must be settled once and for all.

The uncertainty is damaging to all concerned.


Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; at least you know it's hyperbole and designed to get you (or a loved one) to buy the darn thing. I suspect purchasing a nose or ear trimmer is a touch embarassing, but if it's the "World's Greatest" who could NOT buy that?

The ad deception I detest is the Listerine/Lysol kind, "kills 99.9% of all germs." When dealing with microorganisms it's either 100% or nothing. I find the choice to say that a product mostly works when completely works is the only level of works that is needed, is just not right.

yours in ranting,

Klinger said...

Sounds like whoever gave you that great gift nose you to well.

Aika tanaka said...

That's why in my country we have here what we call "Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines", they study an advertisement first before airing it on tv :))

Anonymous said...

Well, did the new trimmer work or not? I'm on the edge of my seat here!