The Upper Hand

So... I'm working in the home office, enjoying listening to my favorite old 80's album (one can never get enough of Kool & The Gang) and munching on some Cheetos.  Then... the doorbell rings.  I think, "Wow!  Someone is here to see me!  Alright!"  So I matt down my bed-head, throw on an old T-shirt, check my morning breath, and prepare to greet my visitor.  Mind you, this is exciting in the world of those working at home alone.  Office politics consists of me arguing with my dog about whether or not he should have table scraps.  I have worn out my welcome at the SportCuts, getting a trim every two weeks and gabbing with the big lady who shampoos my head.  Actually having another human being come visit ME is a thrill.

 So... I open the door.

 Standing before me is a nice fella with a big gold tooth.  The tooth is decorated with the image of a daisy.  He's wearing a ball cap on his head and a big white bandage around both his ears.  A big van is off in the distance, and it drives away, the driver waving to him.  He waves back.

 "Hello sir!  Mighty nice day out, isn't it?"

Me... "It sure is!"

 "Well sir, I won't take up much of your time, I just wanna show you this amazing product"  He grabs my arm and pulls me out toward the driveway.  Like an idiot, I follow.

 "How many times have you been bothered by these unsightly stains in your driveway?  Oil spills, rust marks, mildew..?"

 "Well, they don't bother me much actual.."

 "Let me just show you what 'Upper Hand' can do!"

 So the guy gets down on his hands and knees and sprays a ton of this "Upper Hand" stuff on a rust spot in my driveway.  He scrubs it with a brush, sprays some more 'Hand' on it, then wipes it clean.  The stain is gone.

 Now... there are two ways to react in this situation.  The right response (Response #1) is, "No thank you.  I'm not interested.  Have a nice day.  Good luck with that bandage on your head.  Nice daisy in the tooth, too"

 The wrong response (which I gave) was.  "Wow!  That's pretty cool!  What else can it do."  I might as well have a t-shirt on which reads "Come to my house.  I buy worthless crap!"

 So... he proceeds to wash the window of my truck and wipe his hand all over it, showing me that it's now "Body Oil Resistant".  I am amazed.  Hell!  I never knew how great "Body Oil Resistant Windows" could be!  Never know when you're gonna' have some lubed-up, Vaseline-covered, bodybuilder come over and start rubbin up against your windows.  Can't live without that!  So I still have that idiotic "I am gullible... I like shiny things and flashing lights" look on my face. 

Then, he says "You know when you're drivin' at night and drive into all them bugs... well.. when you do that, them bugs and their juices gets under the paint, so when you wash your car, you run the risk of chippin' your paint." 

 I stare blankly.

 He goes on, "Now watch what happens when I spray 'Upper Hand' on it."  He starts to spray & rub. "Now just look what's happenin'.  Upper Hand is 'emulsifyin'  them bugs and turnin' 'em into goo.  Now you can wipe 'em off there just like you'd wipe off some water."  I look at my truck.  The spot he just wiped a few times is bug-free and clean.  The cleaner is pretty darn powerful.  Now, after his whole talk on bug juice and emulsifyin', I'm thinkin this guy is freakin' Sir Isaac Newton.

 Then he asks, "You got stains on any of your clothes?"

 Now... anyone who has seen me attack a plate of baby-back ribs knows that this is a leading question.  I say "sure".

 So he pulls out a pen and draws this huge mark onto his shorts.  He then sprays a bunch of "Upper Hand" on the spot... wipes a few times, and the stain is GONE!  Now I'm a skeptic of street magic, and I still wonder if Evil Keneivil really jumped the big gorge, but I'm thinkin' this stuff is "the real deal".

 So... he cleans a few more spots and windows and gives me the pitch.  "Now  I'm guessin' you spend a bunch of money on cleaning products.  How much do you think a three year supply of cleaning products would be?"

 I say... "Oh... for EVERYTHING?  probably a hundred bucks or a hundred fifty."  (Yes... I AM an idiot).

 His reply?  "Think more like 300, Scott.  But... what I'm prepared to do is give you two 32 ounce bottles of "Upper Hand" concentrate for only $42."  Can you believe it?  This stuff will last you YEARS!"

 I ask him if the stuff he's been using is concentrated or diluted?  He says he only has 1 ounce of the concentrate in his big 32 ounce spray bottle.

 I tell him I'll buy it, but he'll have to come back after he makes his rounds in the neighborhood.  In addition (now HERE'S where I get shrewd) I tell him that when he gives me my two bottles, I'm gonna' make him dilute my stuff and then take a stain out of my driveway with it to PROVE that I'm gettin' the good stuff.  He agrees.

 One hour later, Daisy Tooth comes back with two bottles in hand.  I open the door with a spray bottle full of water in mine.  He puts about a thimble full of concentrate in my spray bottle, walks into the driveway, sprays my stuff on it, scrubs the spot with his brush, and the stain is gone!  I hand him my check, and he and his buddy drive off in their van.

 I walk into my house feeling like some sort of cleaning machine!  Bring on bug guts!  Bring on mildew!  Bring on ink stains!  Bring on dirty carpets!  I now have "The Upper Hand"!  I walk into my bathroom and spray a bit of the stuff on a mildew spot in my shower.  I rub it with a soft sponge.  Nothing.

 I spray more of it, and scrub a little harder.  Still nothing.

 I spray what feels like a gallon of this stuff on the spot and scrub it with a hard brush with the force of Schwarzenegger after five cups of coffee.  Still nothing.   Actually, I think the force of my brushing was removing the grout from my shower.  Now I'm a little miffed.  So... just for grins, I go out to the driveway to try it there.

 When I get into my driveway, I notice that the spots that Daisy Tooth had scrubbed had this gray dust around them.  I inspect closer.  Sure enough, the guy was using a wire brush to remove not ONLY the stains, but parts of my driveway as well.  I just couldn't tell when it was wet.

 Next I go over to my window on my truck.  I rub my hand all over the glass.  THERE ARE STREAKS ALL OVER IT!  So much for "Body Oil Resistant!"

 I look more closely at the bottle.  The ingredients are basically water, and some organic cleaning agents.

 I've been had.

 So... can I interest anyone in two bottles of the best cleaning solution known to man?  I'll make you a deal.  $50 for a three year supply.  Just gimme a call.  My wire brush is ready!

 I hope all is well with everyone else.  Take care of yourselves!

-Scott