The biggest hazard of a squeezy sinus which keeps one awake at night: infomercials at 3am.
First it was those never-stick Miraglide pans I bought, swayed by the chance to be among the first hundred callers and receive a bonus Miracle Corer. The promoter of Miraglide pans conducted his demonstrations of the products in front of an audience of local head chefs in San Sebastian. One of the chefs, from a restaurant with two Michelin stars, said he had prepared a special birthday feast for Queen Sofia and both infantas using only Miraglide.
Do I have to tell you that the never-stick surface of those pans scratched, clogged, burnt and – as was inevitable – stuck? Oh, and a bonus about that bonus: Miracle Corer’s handle snapped off at the first apple. Somehow I never raised the resolve to take up money back guarantees and so on. The people who sell Miraglide and Miracle Corer seem to have us 3am insomniacs and shift-workers pegged as spineless ditherers.
But what could go wrong with Fabriguard? It was made by Unipont Corporation and had been developed by them in close conjunction with the Fibre Board of Canada. Fabriguard was personally recommended by the manager of some German opera house, who applied the product to the chairs in the royal boxes.
I thought things prudently through, waited several days before ringing the toll free number and mentioning the code word which would entitle me to a complimentary bottle of Unipont Spot-Off, as recommended by the Fabric Board of Canada.
Well, Spot-Off left a bit of bleach mark on my viewing chair, an armchair which I had treated with Fabriguard, which had not only stopped working but which eventually glued in stains which normally would lift off with the wipe of a moist towel. I did nothing about it, what with the exhaustion from being kept awake by sinus…and a certain spinelessness, if truth be told.
Over the coming months I was tempted by products like InfiLadder and GojiGlo, but restrained myself.
Also, I watched fewer infomercials, preferring instead to buy extra bandwidth to watch YouTube videos. You can’t get into much trouble on YouTube – unless you subscribe to a channel which says Michelle Obama is a Jewish male working for the New World Order. Even then, there’s no temptation to reach for the phone.
The mistake is to watch a convincing infomercial and follow it up with internet research and YouTubes on the subject. Well backed products know how to get strong positions on Google and YouTube. Which is how I ended up buying Sure Science, Level One. Then Level Two, because of a special offer at the time of purchase…
Look, I won’t try to describe how Sure Science works. Or how it’s supposed to work. But before you call me stupid…
What can one do in a world of uncertainty where various Nobel Prize winners state that a product is everything its makers claim? Not talking about those stupid Nobels they give out in Norway, which are like Emmies or the Maze Master medallions you used to get at the Royal Easter Show. Talking about the proper Nobels, like they give out in Sweden!
I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll take it from the very start.
Imagine you are sitting up, it’s 3am, your sinuses have not let you get a good sleep in weeks.
You are shown images of glaciers going plop, villages sliding away on mud, kangaroos stranded on knolls above surging waters, that sort of thing. Now, of course, these things have always gone on, but not all at once or in quick succession with some kind of medieval chant as backing music. Don’t tell me it’s because we haven’t always had television. I know that, but…
So somebody tells you something is very wrong out there while in there your sinuses are trying to burst your skull. You’d have to be at least in a receptive mood, right? Now what if someone on screen tells you that 97% of people who ought to know agree that stuff is going 86% wrong? And how if it’s possible to explain and monitor all this with something called Sure Science. And by subscribing to Sure Science you can at least be one of the people who, well, sort of, well…care.
And won’t the testimonies of seventeen winners of proper Swedish Nobels (and, okay, one or two dreggy Norwegian Nobels) get you thinking along certain right lines?
So I bought Sure Science, starting with the first two levels.
It’s a hard product to describe.
Sure Science is a console and it’s a calculator, but whenever it tells you something definite it qualifies with plus-or-minus just about the whole amount. So you don’t really use it so much as embrace the spirit of it. It’s sort of an informational tool that’s highly scientific but mainly for embracing. It tells you something bad happened because of things people like you did. But it then tells you that the opposite bad thing happened because of the same things people like you did. You’d think people would have to do the opposite things to get the opposite effect…but it’s always the same things you’re doing. Worse, it’s all stuff you like doing.
Sure Science, unlike you, is not for profit, for mere gain. All of the money tipped into Sure Science goes into more Sure Science and into what it calls “Solutions”, which constitute a sort of mega-charity which shuns tokenism and patching to concern itself with root causes, which are always vast and giddy-making. “Solutions” represent how things should be, without fixing how things are. They are like expensive, uncomfortable designer furniture which nobody wants to sit on or use, but which everyone is expected to admire. If you know what I mean.
So you feel guilty, convicted even, but you don’t know how to stop these vast things happening. You just keep subscribing to more and more levels of Sure Science. The problem with doing that is that Sure Science keeps talking about stuff which hasn’t happened yet which will be worse than even Sure Science originally thought. Worse! Which does not mean that Sure Science miscalculated, just that it…well, it was sure before and even surer now.
So everything which hasn’t happened yet will be worse than they thought, though what they first thought was correct. And as the time draws near…things will be worse still, as Sure Science gets even surer about how bad things will get. Got all that? Remember, it’s done by Nobels, so it’s complex.
Your unease grows to constant anxiety, the problem is too large, you subscribe to higher and higher levels of Sure Science…Eventually, anything posed as a solution to any negative based on Sure Science is okay, though never enough. Really, it’s much more about keeping up your Sure Science subscription, more than any mere solutions. You can’t solve, but you can care. The solutions are like some super-expensive incense you feel you need to burn…to Sure Science!
But every startling new product has a short life. A never-stick Miraglide pan is in the rubbish after a year, while your granny’s old cast iron pan is blacker and better and more useable than ever, isn’t it? Even after a hundred years, if you keep the rust from it.
I don’t know how I fell away from Sure Science. Maybe it was the better sleep I was getting as my sinus condition improved. Maybe it was noticing that lots of things which were supposed to happen just did not happen. Or maybe I remembered in a trickly way that, really, these things had always been going on.
Also, I recalled that the only seriously bright scientist I had known used to put on his coat first and then remove the coat hanger. That got me thinking about all those Nobels.
I applied for a full refund under the Sure Science unconditional guarantee. Not like lazy me, I know, but I roused myself and actually did it.
Do you know why Sure Science refused me a refund?
I complained that little of what they predicted had happened, and that the world was much the same, in its up and down way.
They said the actual state of the world consisted of conditions and events, which were not the same as simulations and models, which alone were covered by the guarantee. When I pointed out that in the fine print Sure Science had indeed guaranteed what they called effects, they agreed that effects reflecting simulations and models were covered, as opposed to conditions and events, but Sure Science said they only guaranteed future effects, and when effects actually became current they were no longer future effects but present effects. Since there were no quality defects with the models and simulations for which I had paid….
I’m not sure that’s exactly what they said on the Sure Science helpline, but it was something like that. At the end of the conversation, I knew my money was toast.
How do you argue?
After that, during another bout of sinus, I bought a Samurai blender which couldn’t puree a banana. Don’t know if it’s worth the trouble of trying for a refund. They’ll just send me another Samurai.