Spray It On And It Just Works

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

One night, many moons ago, Mary and I watched Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a fine movie about two con men working the resort area of Europe. It was their profession and they were good at it. We have con men and women in Canada too but we elect ours.

It is a funny movie. (I like the scene where Steve Martin wets his pants at the dining room table, but then I’m a little odd as you probably know by now) Strange though, it wasn’t the movie that captivated me and kept me awake all night, it was a commercial.

Well technically it was a commercial but they played the damned thing at least nine times. I thought it was the start of a series. It was for Flex-Seal, a liquid rubber product in a spray can and possibly the greatest invention in the history of mankind.

Now get this! The shill, I believe that’s what they call commercial actors, took a rowboat with no bottom, installed a screen door, sprayed it with Flex-Seal and took it out on the lake. It floated. What a boon this stuff is to today’s society (Although I’m not sure of the need for a screen door in a rowboat. For one thing, if some scuba diver knocks on the door, as soon as the boater opens it, the water is going to rush in and both the knocker and knockee will be a statistic).

You can see the multitude of uses for this product today, but can you imagine what a wonder it would have been in the past? The Titanic would never have gone down. A can or two of Flex-Seal and the most modern ship of its time would have sailed into New York on time and as dry as a Poilievre speech.

Granted, James Cameron would be out a million or two bucks from the movie, Leonardo di Cappuccino would never have frozen to death, although I could have accepted that if he had gone down before he played a gunfighter in the movie The Quick and the Dead. Even more important, we connoisseurs would never have seen Kate Winslet without her undershirt and that would be more than most of us could bear. Come to think about it, I don’t know if we did see her topless, perhaps it is the power of imagination. (I was once watching a film clip of Margaret Thatcher and… perhaps some other time.)

I was trying to think of some other uses that would benefit mankind but I came up blank on too many more. Had I gone ahead with one brilliant idea I could be in serious trouble with the Children’s Aid Society. It occurred to me that spraying a baby’s bottom with this stuff would pretty well do away with wet diapers and changing bed sheets in the middle of the night. I’m sure the CAS would find something to crab about, but even Galileo had his detractors.

I must admit I was torn at the time whether to send away my $19.99 plus shipping handling and no doubt a few crippling taxes. If I did it right away they would send me two cans and even though nothing was leaking at that moment, with my shaky medical condition, one never knows.

The problem, as always whenever something new hits the market is, ‘Does this stuff actually work?’ It sounded wonderful and I’m sure it is. The man fixed a leaky roof, big gaping holes they were too, a cracked eaves trough and a whole bunch of other stuff. It looked so easy, just shake the can and spray it on. My problem is I seem to recall other miracle products that were somewhat less than a cure-all for my particular ills and problems.

Most of you are too young to remember my column about the sauna pants I bought in the 70s. They were over-sized vinyl shorts with a tube in the side. The idea, as I recall in flashbacks of sheer terror, was the user blew them up (they went from the waist to the knees). The tubby person then did a series of exercises. What the instructions didn’t tell you was, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE EXERCISER SIT DOWN IN A RECLINING CHAIR.

I did and I couldn’t get out. I had to sit there like a dummy until the kids got home from school to pull me out. It’s hard to act like the all-knowing patriarch of a family when you are stuck in a chair like a big blue Smurf.

(Image Supplied)

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