The Billy Mays Economic Indicator
CNBC.com News Editor
How long is this recession going to last? That's the $64,000 question.
Well, look no further than your television for the answer.
Infomercial guru Billy Mays, known for his signature yelling and, um, beard, used to hawk the Ding King, the "body-shop secret" that would help you bang out the dents in your vehicle like a pro.
Then everybody stopped buying cars.
Mays pitched the miracle of Oxiclean: This 2 ½-pound tub will do 75 loads of laundry!
Then everybody lost their jobs and suddenly, no one gave a $#!+ about the red-wine stain on their shirt.
Then, this summer, the clouds rolled in and the Billy Mays indicator seemed to hit rock bottom: There he was on TV, trying to sell me low-cost health insurance.
I was never completely comfortable with Mays's transition from my tub to my doctor's office.
That was right before the bottom fell out of the market and the economy started hemorrhaging jobs at the rate of half a million per month.
But, wait! Don't answer yet.
You also get—not one—
But THREE cans of hope!
Check him now: Mays is hawking Mighty Mend It, a fabric glue that can hem your pants, reaffix the pocket on your jeans … even repair your torn American flag!
"Just apply. Gently touch … and mend it!" Mays cheers as the flag is restored just before the big finish: Mays and the flag in a wind tunnel.
"It has the strength to withstand storm-force winds!" Mays brags of Mighty Mend It, but we all know what he really means: the economy. Mays will help us hold it together until the storm passes.
And the economy's red glare!
The flag rippling in air!
Gave proof on this infomercial
That our economy is still there
Oh say does tha-at star spangled pro-du-uct ye-et wa-ave …
O'er the la-and of the free
And all for just $19.95.
Call now. And when Billy starts offering you things you don't need again, you'll know the economy is back on track.
- Quotable Billy: "The best things in life are free — and $19.95." – Billy Mays, in an October 2008 interview with Portfolio magazine. "Life's a pitch, then you buy," Billy Mays, in an October interview with BillyRules.com.
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