All humanitarian, all the time

By Mir
November 2, 2005

I believe I have just one mission on this planet, and that is to serve others. I comfort babies, I help old ladies across the street, I buy girl scout cookies purely because it helps those adorable tykes raise money, I let people send me free stuff!

Okay, I confess: I buy girl scout cookies because I like them.

But letting people send me free stuff, that’s completely altruistic. It makes them happy and I like to do my part in helping others, no matter the sacrifice to myself. It’s just my cross to bear, I suppose. If I have a flaw, it’s that I care TOO MUCH.

(I have no idea why my grandmother used to call me Sarah Heartburn….)

Anyway, I am certain that you all read Marvo at The Impulsive Buy, right? NO? For shame. I am a little bit in love with Marvo. I have proposed to him several times, and yet he always skirts the issue–no doubt because he fears he is not worthy of my fabulous self. Just another way in which being selfless and perfect can be a detriment. Men are intimidated. Alas.

Or maybe it’s just that he lives 5,000 miles away and is scared of me. It could go either way.

But! I still love Marvo. And I often comment on his site. In fact, after I commented on his review of the Mad Dog Energy Bar, I was contacted by Jocelyn, self-titled “Doggette of Fulfillment,” asking if I would care to sample and review the bars as well. I jumped at the chance, both because I was flattered and because free is my very favorite price.

I knew there was no way I could hope to compete with Marvo’s review, though, and I told Jocelyn that. She seemed unconcerned, and sent me my very own box of Mocha Mania bars! It arrived today, all the way from CANADA, which I hear is in another country. My mail lady had to come up and ring the bell because the package required a signature. You have to understand that 1) I live on a rural route, so the mail carriers tend to get in a snit if they have to–GASP–drive down your DRIVEWAY and SPEAK to you, and 2) it was abundantly clear that she was convinced a package from Canada requiring a signature could only be SOMETHING ILLICIT. Like maybe drugs. Or milk in a bag.

Back inside, I ripped open the box and spent a fair amount of time admiring the packaging. I like the dog’s teeth. I also like the extreme cheesiness of the “kick in the ASSpresso” tagline. Because being a humanitarian does not preclude being a child. Heehee!

Marvo rated these bars a 3 out of 5, and one of his complaints was the “strong coffee taste.” I’m a coffee fan (he is not), and I have to disagree with him a bit here; first of all, I don’t have a problem with a coffee taste. Second, I didn’t find the coffee flavoring all that strong. I thought it was pretty mild. The chocolate and peanut tastes stood out to me more than the coffee flavoring.

For an energy bar, I thought it was quite good. I definitely got buzzing on the caffeine (or was it the guarana and ginseng? I have no idea) in pretty short order. There was an aftertaste which didn’t thrill me, but given that most other energy bars I’ve tried taste like particle board, I figure it’s a small price to pay.

Bottom line? Me likey. Thanks, Jocelyn!

Now–believe it or not–around the same time that Jocelyn contacted me, I also received an offer of a free Swiffer CarpetFlick. I may not be quite the Swiffer devotee than some people are, but I do love anything that swears to help me pick up messes quickly (see also: Bounty; Mr. Clean Magic Erasers; and Men Hoping To Get Into My Pants). Part of me suspects Swiffer to be part of an evil empire bent on overtaking the world, Borg-style, one jointed aluminum handle at a time. First there was Swiffer Dry… followed by Swiffer Wet… followed by whatever they call that spray-handle version which spawned a million impersonators… followed by Swiffer Dusters… and YES I OWN THEM ALL. It’s a well-known fact that if you keep buying cleaning implemements, your house will feel cleaner even though you still mostly just leave all of them in your closet.

So! The CarpetFlick sounded pretty good. And–again–free sounded good, too. It arrived on Halloween and I was SO EXCITED to get it out and try it tonight. I spent some time trying to decide what to dump on the floor; then I remember that I have kids! So I checked out Monkey’s favorite snacking spot in the family room, and sure enough, there was plenty of crap on the carpet already! So I put together my new CarpetFlick and grabbed a cartridge…

flick.JPG… and realized that my Flick had no compartment door. See the little lighter-orange piece on the side, there? That’s the little hatch where you insert the flypaper, I mean, the special cartridge that grabs all of the gunk. Without that door, there’s nothing to keep the cartridge from just shaking right out of the device while you push it back and forth. And my free CarpetFlick was hatchless. I was convinced I had just missed it, somehow, but even after shredding every piece of packaging that it came with, I still hadn’t found the missing piece of plastic.

And so, I have not Flicked. I am Flickless. I wish to Flick, but I was stymied. My life is so hard.

Should you have need of my assistance, and feel the need to, say, send me free things, please know that I am here for you. But given that I am so willing to put myself out just to help you in your time of need, please include all necessary components of whatever you decide to send to me. Like the hatch panel on your carpet cleaner. Or all of the zeroes on your money order. Because I really, really want to help.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh, my. Things a person should never do: Drink and drive; mix pop-rocks and coca-cola; attempt to use a new Swiffer item late at night after a long day. My apologies to the nice folks who sent me the Swiffer!! As my 7-year-old was kind enough to point out to me this morning, my Swiffer is NOT incomplete. It is not a plastic hatch door, but a piece of the cartridge itself that flips up to create its own door, if you will. Thank goodness I have her to show me how to use complicated machinery. We have to go now, because she’s going to drive us to school, but I promise to test the Swiffer (now that I know how to use it) later today.


  1. Kris

    It’s a bitch being flickless.

  2. Heather

    Wow. That’s quite a talent you have for free stuff! You’re certainly a much better shopper than I! ;)

  3. Marvo

    Yes, I fear I am not worthy of your fa-bu-lous self. Also, women in glasses intimidate me because they can see what I actually look like.

  4. Amy-GO

    If you really like the Swiffer thing, will you be changing your name to Flicka? *ducking*

  5. Nothing But Bonfires

    Oh, free is definitely the best price! Except when you’re sent the ANTI PANTI, which is a circular piece of material with an adhesive back that you stick onto the inside of your pants if you don’t want to wear underwear. It comes in six different colors! LIKE YOU’RE GOING TO SHOW IT TO ANYBODY.

    Anyway, that’s what I was sent for free today. I’m so jealous of the Swiffer activity and the coffee chocolate goodness.

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