“Hi honey! How was your day?”
“Swell! Nothing brightened my day more than wearing my new Costman’s tie: you’re not a man until you shop Costman! And can you believe I got it for the low, low price of $12.49 paid in three weekly instalments?”
“Sure, whatever Stan. Did you pick up potatoes on the way home like I asked?”
“I went one better, darling. I picked up some of those new Purturtoes© you’ve been hearing so much about.”
“Oh for Christ’s sake Stan, not again. And I have never once heard of those.”
As Stan poured the Purturtoes out onto the kitchen table, Maria put her head in her hands and wept for her lost happiness. She’d married Stan five years ago, when he was just starting out in retail. She couldn’t have predicted how the job on the Buying Channel would change him. She tried to tell her friends, but most people kept their distance these days for fear of aggressive marketing. Nobody understood the horror of being married to an infomercial salesman.
“Why buy potatoes, when you can have Purturtoes!©” enthused Stan.
“You don’t have to sell them to me, I’ll manage,” said Maria. “And you don’t need to say ‘copyright’ out loud every time you say the name.”
“They contain half the salt of a normal potato, twice the fat, and triple the taste! They go great in omelettes, or mashed with our tie-in Purturtoe Masher, only $3.25 if you order in the next 15 minutes!”
“Stan, stop. Taste isn’t a universally accepted unit of measurement. Plus we’re having stew tonight, you know that.”
Stan looked dejectedly at the questionable pile of ‘food’ on the table. Some of the Purturtoes were moving.
“Ok, I guess. Can we at least watch TV while we eat? There’s a three-hour special on the Buying Channel on cordless blinds. Don’t you hate how we still have cords on our blinds like suckers? Well not for much longer!”
“I was really hoping we could just watch a movie or something?” pleaded Maria, trying to find the TV remote. Fortunately, the remote emitted a high-pitched wail every moment that it wasn’t on it’s stand, thanks to a Buying Channel upgrade.
“You could have used the GPS I installed in everything electrical we own too,” suggested Stan. “Can you believe they were going at 3 for 2? It would’ve been rude not to!”
Maria stormed into the bathroom, trying to get away for a while. From here she could hear Stan in the kitchen loudly reciting the side effects of the headache pills she’d left on the side. It was too much. Stan had changed, and she didn’t want this anymore. He was constantly offering her deals on things she’d never heard of and didn’t need, and he’d developed a habit of talking to walls mid-conversation as if there were a camera there.
Stan came in looking concerned. “What is it? Was my pitch too strong? I’m only trying to get you the deal you deserve.”
“It’s this, Stan! I’m sick of it! I don’t want any of these deals, I couldn’t give less of a shit if I tried! Leave your work at WORK, don’t bring it home with you.”
“…are we still having stew? If we ordered those blinds they come with a free HomeTec patented slow cooker?”
“Make your own dinner. I’m going to lay down for a while.”
“Ok honey. How about we go to the bedroom instead? It’s been a while, and nine out of ten of our in-house experts say sex is great fun. If you go down on me in the next 20 minutes, you’ll receive 11 minutes of cuddling and a subscription to Good Housekeeping! This is a one-time offer, so act fast.”
“I’m questioning why I ever married you right now.”
“Come on babe, that’s not fair. Now we’ll come straight back to this after a word from our sponsor,” said Chris to the shower curtain.
Maria ran into the bedroom and started throwing items into a suitcase. “Here’s a one time offer for you. I’m leaving. I’ll be at my sister’s until you think of a way to apologise to me.”
“Actually, there’s something I want to say now,” replied Stan. “There’s never been a good time to tell you this, but…Maria, I’m cheating on you. It’s been about two months now.”
“Yeah, she’s the latest model of woman on the market. I thought to myself, why should I be settling for last year’s wife when the new one has so many upgrades? Ever since I started using the ‘Linda’, I’ve never looked back!”
“Do you love her?”
“I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase!”
“You are SUCH a dick.”
“For the price of only one fancy meal and a hotel bedroom, she’ll ride me until I can’t walk and even throw in a few sentences worth of ‘you’re not like other guys’. But wait, there’s more!”
“You have to be shitting me.”
“I gave her a one-time offer of sex without protection, and for being such a dedicated customer she received a free newborn! The free gift should arrive in about seven to eight months from now.”
“I can’t…I can barely look at you right now. You’re disgusting, and I hope you rot in hell,” spat Maria, slamming the door so hard on her way out that it shattered their Break-B-Gone opaque door panels, which Stan insisted were the height of door panel technology.
“Maria, I know you’re mad, but have I got a deal for you!” he shouted after her. “You would not believe the package deals I’ve got going on divorces right now. If you pay for the lawyer in the next two hours, you’ll also receive a free blender.”