Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays Dies During My Hiatus

I know I just said a few days ago that I'm not concerned with celebrity deaths:

Up here, on this higher plane, I'm not worried, bothered, or disturbed by the day to day affairs of the world. This would include all concerns about whether famous people are sick, whether they've died, or what their legacy is.

But that was before Billy Mays died, which is something I need to comment on. For you see, Billy Mays was a sworn enemy of this blog. But it was a friendly thing, and we never meant to suggest that we actually disliked him in any way. It just was unpleasant seeing him on TV is all, and hearing all that shouting.

Billy Mays was mentioned a few times on this blog, the first time going all the way back to July 19, 2008, in a revealing post on my problem with rage. Because then, as now, I have lots of rage. In that revealing post, I said:

And beyond that, I have TV rage. Grandma rage. Internet rage. Chatroom rage. If I see couples dating rage. Rage at Billy Mays. Printer cartridge rage. Pipes leaking rage. Freezer burn rage. Lake algae rage. Greasy pepperoni rage. Garage sale dickering rage. Dead batteries rage. Pimple rage. Body odor rage.

Very revealing, isn't it? It looks like almost everything enrages me, and that's true. Including Billy Mays. But now that he's passed on, I want to make it clear that I was just having a little fun at his expense. Because he was just someone everyone hated to see on TV. In fact I couldn't get the remote fast enough. But now that he's passed on, really it was all in fun.

Next, on March 22, 2009, I mentioned Billy Mays, in the context of how worthless glory is. I went into the glory that a person can get from being in news articles, being on TV, and from receiving the key to the city from the mayor. Specifically on the glory that comes from being on TV, I said:

TV appearances are worthless, because now every pervert and thief knows your name, face, and where you live. And wait five minutes and you're keeping company with Billy Mays selling orange flavored soap.

I still can't see the glory in being on TV. And for the same reasons. Certainly you don't want every pervert and thief knowing your name, face, and where you live. Then I said that about Billy Mays, which, now that he's passed away, I should say was said all in fun. The fact that he sold orange flavored soap didn't affect a person's glory of being on TV all that much, since there really isn't any glory to it in the first place. Because if it isn't Billy Mays piping up with a sales pitch, it'll be some other guy. So it was all in good fun...

Then my last mention of him (before today) was just the other day, June 24, 2009, in an already classic post on "The Deadliest Hiatus," in which I skewered the show "The Deadliest Catch" (all in good fun), and had this to say, which included a reference to Billy Mays:

At this point the show went to a commercial and I lost interest. Billy Mays came on selling some kind of orange scented chamois so I went outside to cut weeds.

The implication was I would rather go outside and cut weeds than sit through a commercial with Billy Mays selling orange scented chamois, even if it meant that I would miss the "Deadliest Catch" crew bringing in the Great White Whale. And that's true. But now that he's passed on, let me say I was saying all that with tongue firmly in cheek ... firmly.

Also in that post (June 24), I mentioned him again, as I related the theme of "The Deadliest Catch" to my ongoing hiatus:

But looking back on the show, sometimes that's exactly how I feel about my hiatus. All is calm for a while. A few friends, like Charlie the Tuna and the Old Man and the Sea might show up and say hi. The tension is broken. I'm feeling pretty good about my time off. Then suddenly, as if from the depths of hell itself, I'm carried right into the gaping maw of the Great White Whale, or, worse, the gaping maw of Billy Mays -- such tension -- and I don't know what to do. It threatens my very existence.

That one comes across as fairly mean sounding, comparing the gaping maw of the Great White Whale to the gaping maw of Billy Mays, and even saying his maw is worse than the whale's. But seriously, I meant it only in fun. I was just ribbing Billy in a friendly way.

Yes, Billy Mays was a sworn enemy of this blog. But we truly treasured the friendly rivalry, and that's all it was. He was a spokesperson for some kind of orange cleaning product and needed to shout about it to catch our attention. Because whatever he was selling, we weren't buying. But we always hoped the best for him, especially now that we see how terribly things turned out.

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