ball shaving as the earth dies

    My friend Jeff Kay, the man behind The West Virginia Surf Report just wrote to tell me that he too has discovered, through the Amazon Associates program, that someone in his audience has purchased one of those new ball-shaving contraptions. And, like me, he’s a bit freaked out by it. There’s no way I can explain it to those of you who aren’t bloggers, but there’s something really traumatizing about it. It’s like the guy, whoever he is, wants you to know he’s out there, lathering up his sack. He knows that Amazon is going to tell you, and he just sits back and enjoys himself. Jeff and I have both been violated.

    OK, so part of me wants to start a support group for bloggers who have been informed that “a ball-shaver is watching.” A bigger part of me, however, now that we’ve come this far, just wants to stop fighting, jump into the stream of popular culture and turn the rest of my audience into ball-shavers. (Sadly, I think our nation is headed that way anyway.) Now that Jeff and I have one ball-shaving reader each, I feel this competitive streak rising up in me. (Maybe I’ve finally found my sport.) I know it’s wrong — I know I should be joining with Jeff to suppress ball-shaving – but I can’t get by the fact that this might be my one and only opportunity to annihilate Jeff in head-to-head competition. I feel like drafting a declaration of war and launching a full-on battle of the ball-shavers.

    All it would take on my end are a few well-placed comments, and I know I could surge into the lead. It couldn’t be too hard to work in a reference to “wonderfully smooth balls” in every post, could it? OK, let’s give it a shot — here’s a post that I was thinking of putting up later tonight. Let me know what you think.

    I worked all day in the garden today, pulling weeds and putting plants in the ground. It was grueling work, and there were several times that I had to stop, go into the house, and get a cool, refreshing beverage… Speaking of cool and refreshing, that reminds me of just how much better my life has gotten since I let go of those wiry little tethers that held me prisoner to my Neanderthal ancestors, and leapt into the future with my Phillips Norelco BG2020 Men’s Bodygroom. I feel like I am walking on the surface of a planet where my balls feel great! I cannot tell you how much smooth balls have changed my life. Seriously. I don’t want to overstate the significance of this device, but, if the Pentagon really wanted to end the hostilities in Iraq, they’d drop them from planes by the millions… If only we’d been able to get to the 9/11 hijackers in time…. Oh, and best yet, having hairless balls makes it SO much easier to put pants on! If you’re like me and you’re sick and tired of having to wrestle on your pants each morning, just try this product for a week and see how it can change your life for the better.

    [This post was brought to you courtesy of the Phillips Norelco BG2020 Men's Bodygroom for World Peace Initiative.]

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      23 Comments

      1. be OH be
        Posted May 21, 2006 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        What do you take us for, Mark?

        Everyone knows you’re making up the story about someone buying that contraption so you can create a groundswell of excitement over it.
        Within a year you’ll be riding around in your new gold-plated Cadillac laughing at all of us self-esteem challenged readers that you convinced to shear our sacks.

        My guess is that it was Mr. Maynard in the bathroom with the Bodygroom.

      2. mark
        Posted May 21, 2006 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        Ball grooming is like a gateway drug. The real money comes once I’ve got you all hooked on ball shaving and move on to asshole bleaching and cosmetic taint resurfacing.

      3. ChelseaL
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        Well, here’s my question, in absolute seriousness: Do you get a little kickback from Amazon whenever someone buys any A’zon product through your site?

      4. Ted Glass
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I think that the standard rate is something like 4%, Chelsea, so my guess is that he’d get something like a dollar per ball shaver.

      5. Collin
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it’s not two readers? Perhaps it is one extremely hairy reader who visits both you and Jeff and he killed the first shaver he bought?

      6. ChelseaL
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Ted.

      7. mark
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I think it’s something like 4.5%, Chelsea. It doesn’t amount to much. On average, it’s probably about $2 a month. One month I did well. During that month my friend Dave bought a camera through Amazon and I got a cut of it. I got $14 that month, enough to pay for the hosting of the site. I should probably encourage people to do their buying through my Amazon link more, as it would help if this site didn’t cost me money in addition to time, but I feel like a whore for mentioning it… If I ever did make actual money with the site, I’d invest it in special projects for the good of humanity. For instance, if I made tons on cash on ball-shavers, I’d do something like start a non-profit to either provide them to our men in uniform, or educate kids as to the stupidity of the world they’re growing up in. (I haven’t decided which yet. Maybe it would be a mixture of both.)

      8. mark
        Posted May 22, 2006 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Or, Collin, maybe it’s 100 readers who have pooled their money to buy a communal ball shaver!

      9. cufarley
        Posted May 23, 2006 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Here’s the direct Amazon link, btw:

        http://tinyurl.com/qtzu3

        The product is now listed at #1 in Health & Personal Care.

      10. Tony Buttons Esq.
        Posted May 23, 2006 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        That’s just about the meanest thing I’ve ever seen. You’ve come here and purposely provided a link that would take away MM.com’s 4% commission and hand it over to Amazon. (By sending people directly to Amazon, you aren’t saving potential customer’s any money. You’re just taking money away from this site.) Wait. Is that what you did? Or did you just redirect the traffic so that it went through your Amazon Associate’s account instead? If that’s what you did, you’re not only stupid and spiteful – you’re a prick.

        Smooth balls brings out the worst in men.

      11. mark
        Posted May 23, 2006 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Better for Amazon to have the 4.5% than me. That’s OK with me… If he is, however, directing people toward his account with that link (I’m not smart enough to tell whether he is or he isn’t), I will find a way to get even, if it is the last thing that I do.

      12. sandy
        Posted May 23, 2006 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard that you need to shave before having a vasectomy. Perhaps you can find a local urologist to hand out cards plugging your website with the intial consult. Though they probably don’t need your kickbacks, maybe you can bribe them with advertising on your website.

      13. mark
        Posted May 23, 2006 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Hmmmm…. Great ideas, Sandy.

      14. danandkitty
        Posted May 24, 2006 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        “move on to asshole bleaching and cosmetic taint resurfacing.”

        What do you mean MOVE ON to?

        Joke… really!
        just kidding!

      15. ChelseaL
        Posted May 24, 2006 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        OK, Mark, here’s my other question. (Think carefully before answering:)

        If you can put those few dollars toward the betterment of the planet or even your community, do you want to discourage purchases from *any*one? If a person did want to buy a product you found objectionable or worthy of scorn, would everyone be better off if he or she bought directly from Amazon, thereby benefiting only that company?

        Unrelated question: Are you planning to sell original work at the SAF?

      16. be OH be
        Posted May 24, 2006 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        More importantly, is Clementine exhibiting at the SAF?

      17. mark
        Posted May 27, 2006 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Chelsea, I don’t really care what people buy. Someone bought “Mein Kampf” through my site once and I didn’t refuse the 50 cents, or whatever my commission was, even though I found the idea of owning it a bit creepy. This ball-shaving thing just rubs me the wrong way though, especially as it

      18. mark
        Posted May 27, 2006 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know about artwork. I may bring a few small pieces. I doubt that Clementine or Linette will though.

      19. ChelseaL
        Posted May 29, 2006 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        M,
        Thanks for answering that. I hope you won’t mind if I respectfully say, I think you’ve drawn something of a false analogy. That is, would these fellas use the time they saved by not, you know, grooming, to improve the world in some way?
        My guess (and an educated one, at that) would be, No. In fact, it would be, Not Even Close.
        I might go so far as to suggest that these body-dysmorphic individuals ARE in a small, strange way working toward the greater good if they buy these devices through your site, and you pool your kickbacks for something truly world-enriching. (Note that I allow for a different view of certain behaviors.)
        If I was less of a prudish old lady, I’d venture into a discussion, perhaps, about why people shave what they shave. I mean, you wouldn’t stop shaving your face because you thought you could use those few minutes for something more globally purposeful, would you?
        I remember hearing that men in Italy shave their legs. So you’re not going to call Italian men adolescent and narcissistic, I hope. At least, not within earshot of them.

      20. ChelseaL
        Posted May 30, 2006 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Sorry. I meant “false conclusion.”

      21. mark
        Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, of course, Chelsea.

        It doesn’t make logical sense. I guess it was just the straw that broke the camel’s smooth, hairless back.

      22. ChelseaL
        Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        M,
        That’s very gracious of you. I sorta know what you mean. I have a similar feeling about the American mania for cloud-white teeth. (Though I think about that as insecurity on the part of the client and greed on the part of the dental industry–for the most part. There are always exceptions.)

        What bothers me a little is the idea that you (and Jeff Kay, for that matter) are snickering at purchases people make — in some cases with an eye toward giving you a small portion of Amazon’s profits. See what I mean?

        Now. Are you planning to run for mayor of Ypsi?

      23. mark
        Posted June 3, 2006 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think this City, as much as I love it, is ready to embrace my vision for the future, Chelsea. It’s sad, but true.

        And, I do see what you mean.

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