Friday, April 5, 2013

The Banana Slicer is Mightier than the Inflatable Toast

It's Friday!  It's time for a good laugh!  After a frustrating day at work, I need one.

I am a fan of actor George Takei on Facebook. If you want to learn how to be a Facebook Superstar, study this man.  Many people know him as the actor who played Mr. Sulu in the 1960's TV series Star Trek, but, in a future few in the 1960's envisioned, he is now a Social Media giant.  A social media giant at age 75, that is.  To those of us not of a "certain age", you have no idea how good that makes us feel.

His posts are authentic, mostly upbeat, and almost always relevant.

Today, though, he was actually posting something I had already blogged almost four months ago:  Amazon reviews.  Specially, Amazon reviews of certain  - well, unusual products.

The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is about to have its 15 minutes of fame.  And I was there first, reporting about it back in December.  Take THAT, George Takei!  (Please enjoy my post - I made sure all the links still work.)

In a way, I felt bad for the manufacturer of this banana slicer. There he is, trying to sell a product which is designed to - well, slice bananas.  And people are posting sarcastic, glowing reviews such as these:  (quoted from actual reviews):

I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed.

And how about this gem:

this is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My husband and I would argue constantly over who had to cut the day's banana slices. It's one of those chores NO ONE wants to do! You know, the old "I spent the entire day rearing OUR children, maybe YOU can pitch in a little and cut these bananas?" and of course, "You think I have the energy to slave over your... bananas? I worked a 12 hour shift just to come home to THIS?!".... The minute I heard our 6-year-old girl in her bedroom, re-enacting our daily banana fight with her Barbie dolls, I knew we had to make a change.
Now, THESE are the people who should be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, not me.  (I promise to blog about my progress soon.)  If I had half of those writing skills....

But, as it turns out,  the manufacturer is thrilled with the attention their slicer has received.  And, apparently, Amazon is beginning to realize that these reviews drive traffic to their site - especially when George Takei posts on Facebook about it.

There is a lesson here for business owners, business bloggers and social media experts, but you'll have to find it for yourself.  I'm too busy laughing.

Here are some more of my favorite products on Amazon.  I hope they become favorites of yours, too.

Inflatable Toast
The Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife (darn, would have made a perfect birthday gift for my son.)
The Three Wolf Shirt (stop making fun of this shirt! My spouse loves them!)

Do you have a favorite Amazon review?


  1. Hello! Alana, I actually OWN the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer! I laughed over that amazon ad, which has been floating around FB for some time, and my dad saw it and he bought me one! Your quotes above made me laugh all over again. I love George Takei, and I just became his friend on FB (3.8 million!) because of you. Thank you, your post made me laugh and I'm still laughing! Good work!

    1. Wow! And now, I can ask an actual user: does it work better than slicing bananas with your bare hands?

  2. GREAT post, Alana! I took a double-take when you mentioned the three wolves t-shirt. The company that makes those is in the next town over from me! I had no idea they were the butt of Amazon review jokes, so I went on Amazon to see for myself, and the first review I see is hysterical! Thanks for a laugh!

    1. My husband really does love these shirts! He owns the Three Wolf, the wolf with the American Flag, and one he bought in Hendersonville, North Carolina that depicts a wolf dressed in Native American traditional dress and costume. I would have loved to have quoted from the review you are talking about but I am still crying from all the laughter.

  3. Lol, there are some crazy items out there these days.

    1. Who would have thought that product reviews could be a new genre of writing?

  4. Too funny Alana, can't wait to go read more silly reviews. Super fun post, perfect for a Friday.

  5. I couldn't bear to hurt anyone's feelings with a bad book review. I often write them, but always delete the parts which would hurt. I've never thought of reviewing anything like a back-scratcher though. Maybe I'll give it a try.


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