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April 1, 2003

a testimonial

My career as a testimonial writer began with sleep apnea.  Let me explain.

I have developed what I believe to be sleep apnea, a condition that not only causes snoring, but prevents restful, uninterrupted sleep.  Since I live alone, I didn't know about the loud snoring until my neighbor from across the street knocked on my door one evening and asked if his little boy could see my pet grizzly bear.  As for the poor quality sleep, I figured that out for myself.  It feels as though my alarm clock is a porcupine with Halcion-tipped quills.  As soon as my hand hits the alarm button, I'm out cold.

In my desperation for relief, I conducted a Google search using as search words grizzly, Halcion-tipped quills.  The first response was an article about drug use among survivalists living in Idaho.  But the next response to my query was an advertisement for Breathe Rite, a reusable plastic clip that is clamped tightly on the nasal septum at bedtime.  This septum-clamping is said to stimulate certain nerves in the nose which, in turn, promotes restful sleep.  Naturally, I was skeptical.  But when I read the "product testimonials," I was sold.  Thousands of ordinary Americans were enjoying quiet, refreshing sleep and, by God, I was going to join them.

I ordered my Breathe Rite, and within 3 to 5 nights, I was experiencing the most profound nasal septum discomfort I had ever experienced.  I lost the return packaging, but I remembered the testimonials.  So I decided to write one of my own.

Dear Breathe Rite,

I recently purchased your nasal clamp and boy-oh-boy does my nasal septum ever feel like Robert Downey Jr.'s!  And I get the same amount of restful sleep as does Mr. Downey Jr.  As soon as the nasal bleeding and infection subside, I will look forward to resuming my normal abnormal sleep.  Thank you for making me appreciate the joys of a pain-free nasal septum.

James Durante III
Passaic, New Jersey

One month later, I received this letter from the Breathe Rite people:

Dear Mr. Durante III,

While we here at Breathe Rite are sorry to learn of your dissatisfaction with our product, we do recognize talent when we see it.  As you may know, over 90% of all positive testimonials are phony.  Our staff testimonial writer recently left for a job in government and we were wondering if you'd be interested in filling the opening.  It can be done part-time and, since you don't sleep much, you should have plenty of time on your hands. 

Please let us know if you are interested.

Breathe Rite
Las Vegas, Nev.

P.S.  To show our appreciation for your litigation forbearance, we enclose our patent-pending night-blindness device, See Rite.  Just follow the instructions for clipping them to your corneas.

And so it was that I began my night job as a testimonial writer or, more precisely, a writer of testimonials in Braille.

©  2003 by the beastmaster