The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 11: As Seen on In Rare Form

December 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm 5 comments

Ever seen an ad for the Shamwow? My reaction to it has been similar to what is described in this Slate article: a kind of bemused reaction to the spokesman, and an unusual compulsion to spend “28 bucks (including shipping) on a set of rags.”
Fortunately, I’ve been able to resist the urge to buy the Shamwow, and now the good people at Popular Mechanics have done the legwork of evaluating this compelling product:
So: Sham or wow? A roommate spilled a can of Coke on a rug, so the Shamwow testing began sooner than we’d anticipated. In the ad, pitchman Vince cleans up the exact spill we had on our hands, so we knew just what to do: Begin by letting the Shamwow soak with its own absorbent strength, then start punching and pounding that rag into the rug, wringing and repeating.

While the Shamwow’s initial desiccant powers failed to impress, a couple of rounds of pummeling took up not only the soda spillage but also the color of the cola. To those familiar with the ad, this should come as no surprise. As Vince says, “Lookitdis. Put on the spill, turn it over. Without even putting any pressure, 50 percent of the cola, right there. You follow me, camera guy? The other 50 percent, the color starts to come up. No other towel’s gonna do that.”

Now, we’ll leave it up to Slate’s analyst to comment on the camera guy confrontation, but Vince has a point: Most other towels won’t do that. The Shamwow really does work quite well when wet. Days after the soda spill, we over-watered a plant on a hardwood floor. (Where was our Aqua Globe?) The Shamwow bailed us out, repeatedly wringing dry, thirsty for more. As well as it did, though, the final wipe had to happen with a paper towel.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that some of the luster has come off the Shamwow. I should have guessed, seeing as it has yet to appear in one of Harriet Carter’s catalogs. Still, if you have a hankering to buy one, I couldn’t look down on you, knowing how close I came to making that buy.

Entry filed under: Commentary, Shopping. Tags: , , .

Change Gives Hope I Spy an Ex-Apprentice Contender

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ShamWow  |  December 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    well this is really insane stuff. I know this work for sure.

    • 2. lowdogg  |  December 12, 2008 at 11:36 am

      Wow. I’ve never had my posts called “insane” before.

      I’m pleased as punch.

  • 3. LeMare's Sis  |  January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I understand the compulsion. I, too, have resisted the odd desire for the shamwow. I love the part where he lifts up the wet rug and says “That’s gonna smell.”

  • 4. Jenn  |  January 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Forget Ron Pepiel- Vince is my man now. He could be selling used aluminum foil and I’d buy it if he held it up and looked at the camera sideways with one eye bigger than the other, headset blarring the glories of his shiney product. He’s the best! And Im pretty sure that I saw ShamWow in the holiday edition of Harriet Carter, or was it Fingerhut?

  • […] This post truly is a lamentation. I lament the fall of greatness, a fall that seems premature given the potential already demonstrated by this man, Vince, the marketer of the marvlous […]


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