Friday, August 1, 2008

I've got far too many possessions to fit into my tiny apartment, so last week I ordered some Space Bags on TV. In the commercial they look amazing. In real life . . . well, I'll let the instructions speak for themselves.

Congratulations! You're the proud new owner of a SPACE BAG, decluttering your home with cutting-edge technology. Your possessions will be safely stored away in seconds provided you follow these simple rules.

1. Carefully remove your new SPACE BAG from its colorful outer box.

2. Now that there's a hole in your SPACE BAG, you'll want to repair it. For this you'll need scissors, duct tape, eighteen feet of plastic wrap, a bucket, six gallons of everyday tap water, a liter of Jose Cuervo and margarita mix.

3. Put something large into your SPACE BAG, like whatever you were going to store in it before you ruined it. Seal the patented zipper lock. Use the patented zipper slider mechanism to make doubly sure it's sealed. If all this looks familiar, it's because your space-age SPACE BAG is just a big version of those cheesy sandwich bags you buy at the Dollar Store.

4. After the bag is sealed, press your vacuum cleaner hose to the valve nozzle. The bag should rapidly deflate. If it doesn't, ask yourself the following questions. Did I seal the bag properly? Is the vacuum on? Are the SPACE BAG folks ripping me off, selling me a giant sandwich bag for $9.99? Of course not! That's why we gave you two SPACE BAGS for FREE, charging just a nominal $9.99 shipping and handling fee for each.

5. Once you've gotten the bag to deflate, you've got to move quick to find the hole. Hold it next to your ear and listen: the leak will hiss like a snake. If you put snakes in the bag, toss the whole thing in the trash and make yourself a margarita.

If you can't locate the leak, cover the SPACE BAG with plastic wrap. The patented vacuum action will suck the plastic wrap into the bag. Or put the BAG into a bucket of water and see where it seeps in.

6. After you find the leak, cover it with duct tape. Yes, now you've got a strip of duct tape on something you've owned for eight minutes. If you're one of those fancy pants who doesn't like their possessions covered with duct tape, think about taking advantage of our limited three-day warranty, but remember we don't honor that warranty if you mishandle the bag, and a leak is pretty much proof positive that you did.

7. Eventually you may actually get the bag to shrink with your possessions inside. Congratulations! Now take special care in putting it away. Our workers do their best to build a quality product, but after eighteen hours in a factory even a disciplined Chinese mind can wander. Don't put anything on top of your SPACE BAG, and don't slide it around on an ungreased shelf. If there's a choice between dropping your baby and dropping a SPACE BAG, remember babies can heal themselves.

Store the bag deep inside your closet and resist the urge to look at it again. Scientists know nature abhors a vacuum, and this one's not going to last long. Tomorrow, when you discover your bag has puffed back up to full size, just thank God we're not cloning corn.


David said...

Too bad about the Space Bag.

So how're those Ginsu knives working out?

Yet Another Steve said...

I don't think there's anything on the Space Bag box that promises they'll stay flat. I've always assumed (and experience has confirmed this) that they're useful to get stuff flat just long enough to cram a cupboard full of about eight times as much as it would normally hold. Then, overnight the bags re-inflate as much as they can, forming a mass with the approximate density of a black hole (so be careful they're not in position to force the cupboard door open as they expand, because if they do, you'll never get it shut again), but at least all the stuff you put away is out of your hair and your life -- probably forever, unless the building is razed, in which event the simultaneous full expansion of the Space Bags will likely wreak widespread destruction.