Don Hertzfeldt

Earlier this year I was requested to write a piece for a company that basically deals in women’s lingerie. They actually make a piece that hooks to bra straps, but that’s not important. I almost feel bad for saying, “women’s,” when it could be a man, or someone transgender, or part zebra, or whatever category you identify with – ah, what a beautiful age to be alive in, but that’s not important at the moment, either. So, I was asked to write an emotional, thoughtful bit of writing that largely spoke to women, and it was a success. Riding the momentum of that success, I was commissioned to write an ad campaign for a vacuum cleaning company. The outcome of that venture did not turn out as fruitfully, as I am not at liberty to say what company it was for. I am however able to share with you the ideas I pitched, because no one in their right mind is going to use them, or otherwise reveal their existence. Enjoy. This is for real.

Are you tired of stepping on glass shards, and human bone fragments when walking around the house? Purchase one of our vacuums; they know how to keep a secret. The ___ is quiet enough to push through a Buddhist temple without disturbing another brother’s meditation. From psychopath to Zen master, the ____ is a perfect fit for any lifestyle. Buddhism is the one true religion.

“I want my kids to help out around the house more, but I’m concerned about the destruction they might cause in the process. Is there nothing out there that can help teach these little monsters some responsibility?”

“Why yes there is! The ____ can take a beating and keep on cleaning! Let the kids accidentally suck up liquids. Let them toboggan on the thing down a hill. Let them terrorize the dog with it. Let them chuck a baseball at it in a futile attempt to play catch, because their neglectful father is avoiding them once more, by pretending to work overtime at the office. Let it become their best friend. Then see how willing they are to do as told when you threaten to toss their friend off the roof.”

“If only the ____ was around when I was considering an abortion.”

“Mom, where’s daddy?”

“Daddy’s dead, dear. His lifeless corpse is rotting under the ground, and you will never see him again.”

“I’m sad, mommy. Will I ever be happy again?”

“You’ll be happier than you’ve ever been in your entire life. I bought you a new father!”

“Really?”

“It’s the ____, and unlike your human father, this dad cleans, is quiet, doesn’t drink, and will never try molesting you while your asleep. The ____ works with you as an extension of your mind and body, never placing you in an uncomfortable position, and always satisfying your needs.”

“I wish dad died years ago!”

“He did, spiritually, when he learned I was pregnant with you.”

“What would happen if you died, mommy?”

“You’d be raised by a condom dispenser that only accepts casino chips.

“Aw, but that’s no different from now. I miss Las Vegas.”

“We’ll go back, sweetie, when the heat over your dad’s suspected murder cools down.”

Is the wife giving you shit for not cleaning up the house more often?” Our vacuums can ease that problem. Get a divorce, and dress the ____up in a wig. Sure, it’s not a person, but since when did your wife ever suck like this?

The only thing awaiting us after death is an endless vacuum devoid of meaning. Try one of our vacuums. They’re far less depressing.

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