Waspish Wednesday: Receive Free Sn*ggle Sample (Then Vomit)

Wow! Sometimes I really have to wonder how I get on various mailing lists or get certain targeted ad campaigns. (Although, as we shall discover, I did eventually get a hint about this one.)

I mean, I understand why 80 percent of the FaceBook ads and AOL ads I see are for dog food or dog training or donating to the ASPCA. A little less clear is why I get ads for “Hunky Men!” or “Male Singles in Your Area Want to Meet You!” But, since I generally check “single,” in the categories asking me if I’m married, divorced, widowed, or single, I can sort of see that, too. (Most of those forms don’t follow that up with, “Oh, and by the way, are you a lesbian? Cuz we were just assuming you were heterosexual.”)

Be-that-as-it-shouldn’t-be, I was quite amazed at what slithered into my email inbox today. The subject line/headline is, “Receive a Free Sample of Snuggle(R) Fabric Softener!”

Yes, really.

Let’s start of with this question: Is there anyone on the planet who actually likes Sn*ggle? Even before I was chemically injured and developed multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), I — and all my friends — loathed the Sn*ggle bear. Any time an ad came on with that noxious pipsqueak of a teddy, we wanted to throw something heavy at the TV. My favorite picture of the Sn*ggle bear was drawn by my friend Peggy Munson, for her page, Welcome to Camp NoStink. If you can view images, I definitely encourage you to check it out, because it’s hilarious.

If you can’t, here’s my best effort at doing the drawing justice. [Image description: A cartoon that looks as if it was drawn on a computer. An impressively realistic-looking brown grizzly bear snarls, with mouth open, holding the “Sn*ggle bear” by one ear. The Sn*ggle bear has the happy, vacant expression of a stuffed toy. It is holding a box that says, “Fabric Softener” under one arm. The other arm has been severed, with a bloody stump at the shoulder socket. The disembodied arm is flying through the air. Blood squirts out of the socket, the amputated appendage, and the Sn*ggle bear’s ear that is hooked on the grizzly’s teeth.]

Of course, this is nothing compared to the fact that Sn*ggle fabric softener is one of the worst toxic offenders and creators of misery for people with MCS. The problem with scented fabric softener is not only that it reeks of toxic chemicals that make me sick. It also, because of the adhesive properties created for these fragrance chemicals, adheres forever (really — you can never wash it out) to everything it touches or fumigates. Also, because it’s used in dryers, which are vented to the outside, it is forcibly blown at anyone who is nearby. Interestingly enough, some of the chemicals used in dryer sheets are dangerous when heated!

If you really want to hear a person with MCS rant about what makes our lives hell, mention fabric softener.

The email says, “Does your laundry need a little boost of freshness? Sn*ggle Fabric Softener comes in a variety of fragrances to put that extra ‘Ahhhhh’ in your clothes. . . . Just answer a few questions & we’ll send you a Free Sample!”

“Ahhhh” is right. But, I don’t think the tone comes across just so. It’s more like, “Aieeeee! Augh! Ack, ack, koff! Koff! Koff! [Vomiting sound].” And then a quiet moan of misery for the next day or several as the migraine settles in.

But for “Gift fulfillment” you must answer questions from Lifescript Advantage Women’s Health. This turns out to be your contact information, age, member registration, survey questions, and “completion of question asked in conjunction with this promotional offer.”

I googled Lifescript Advantage and found a page with a rotation of six advertisements articles on various topics. The first shows a picture of the same woman in two poses (and two outfits!). In the first pic, she is smiling happily (and wearing a yellow V-neck sweater). In the second, she is hanging her head with a big frowny face (and wearing a blue V-neck sweater). The caption is, “Up or Down? 10 Warning Signs of Bipolar Disorder.” I kid you not. We all know that if your mood changes (to match your sweaters), you must have a major mental illness, right?

The next one shows a headless guy in a snazzy suit holding a red rose out to you. (For me? Really? Aw, you shouldn’t have.) The caption is, “Is Mr. Right All Wrong? 7 Tips for Telling if He’s a Dream or a Dud.” And this relates to women’s health, how?

Then there’s the picture of a sausage held above a plate of bacon, which says, “Bacon vs. Sausage? Which is really healthier? Plus 8 other diet-friendly food swaps.” I’m going to guess, “Neither, but they’re both delicious!” (Now I’m hungry!)

There are two that actually seem to relate to women’s health, and they are, of course about (big hint: lots of PINK! BRIGHT PINK! REALLY REALLY PRETTY PINK BOWS!). Yes, breast cancer. Breast cancer, which is at epidemic proportions because of what? Carcinogens in our environment. Carcinogens such as benzyl acetate, chloroform, and limonene, among many other toxic chemicals found in fabric softener. (Yes, chloroform. You’ve heard of it? The stuff that’s used to knock people unconscious?)

However, the most disturbing, jarring, and all-out bizarre advert is the one of former President George W. Bush, wearing his little flag lapel pin, standing against a blue background, grinning as if he is still the President! Agh! Agh! Agh!!! No, no, no, noooooooo!!!!!

Okay. I’m alright now. Just needed to take a few deep breaths into a paper bag with my head between my knees. And check my calendar.

So, why am I being assaulted presented with a photo of the worst thing to happen to the planet since, well, I dunno, the discovery of pesticide? “Bush’s New Campaign,” it says. “Ex-President Launches Initiative to Improve Women’s Health.” Really.

Really? Really? Bush. Improve? Women’s? Health?!

In terms of his domestic policy, a Mother Jones article on Bush “waging war on women” reports:

Who has Bush placed in important posts involving women’s health, education, and employment? Well, darling, according to Bush appointees, when you get PMS, pray. If your husband beats the crap out of you, just agree that wives should be submissive to their husbands, and besides, as everybody in the Bush administration knows, women beat up men just as often as men beat up women. Oh, and if you get breast cancer, it’s your fault because you had an abortion—a conclusion that particularly startled people who study the disease.

Elsewhere, Bush imposed the “global gag rule,” which meant that any group receiving U.S. funding for family planning was banned from mentioning abortion, even when medically necessary. And how is women’s health in Afghanistan and Iraq, after Bush started the wars there? Not so good, I’d think, if any news was allowed to leak from the front lines. And all the environmental destruction he caused that is continuing to unfold? Good for women’s health, huh?

Well, there’s just too much to list, obviously. Right at the beginning of his presidency, NOW put out their “Bush Whacker” campaign round-up of W’s record on women’s rights. This is the harm he caused before he even became president.

So, yeah. This seems about right. When you know who the chemical corporations are snuggled up with, it makes sense that they run a “Women’s Health Issues” website with pictures of bacon, George W. Bush, and “9 Reasons Men Cheat.”

– Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum, SDiT

P.S. The weirdest thing of all was when I uncovered the address of who sent me this particularly nauseating slab of spam. It came from Free_SnuggleSample [at] homosexualse [dot] net. So, someone does realize I’m a lesbian. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

5 Responses to “Waspish Wednesday: Receive Free Sn*ggle Sample (Then Vomit)”

  1. 1 wendy October 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Oh my goodness, you have been assaulted on all fronts.

    Fabric softener, perfume…oh aromatherapy…Gag!
    I was seeing a medical massage therapist and the case she put around her head rest and sheets were washed in fabric softener (they hadn’t been before, one reason i continued to go to her.) I asked if she had any unscented sheets, she said no, they seemed to need something…well. you don’t need my business!

    Oh, I always mark Married in those boxes, and still get the ads for Big Hulky Men in my area…Or best of all Single Christians…uh, yeah…not so much, even if I was single. (and I have “spiritual” on my facebook page…should probably change it to atheist…just to see some people drop me as a friend….really I don’t know what I am. I lean more toward Unitarian universalist…but, my hubby is Buddhist, so interesting house.)

    Do not get me started on Bush! Vomit, gag, cough…ugh, I used to like seeing the letter W since my name starts with it…but I really wanted to take a razor to those stickers. Especially when they are right beside…a NRA sticker and Pro-Life. …and of course it’s on a Hummer! Oh yeah…you are pro-life, you are killing the planet you stupid fool.

    Now, bacon or sausage which is healthier…depends on what’s in it…that’s a very up in the air question….and for me..probably bacon, most sausage has onion or garlic in it….and I’m Fructose Intolerant. Yes, I know everyone thinks eat more veggie, you’ll feel better…not so much…I’ll end up having toilet duty constantly, in pain….and gaining weight. WTF?

    So you caught me on a soap box today too.

    I guess, all lesbians, are supposed to in love with the snuggle bear and want to smell like …pew!

    oh, stepped in an empty elevator the other day at Duke Hospital, and was over whelmed by the smell of perfume….Ah…the door closed. I covered my face with my shirt and held my breath..still almost passed out, and we only had to be on for one floor! That woman (I’m assuming, it smelled feminine) had to really stink to think she had to wear that much to cover it up!

    Happy Days and Pleasant Nights.

  2. 2 Nergler October 6, 2011 at 2:50 am

    My friend (also a lesbian) gets ads for Russian mail order brides on her Facebook page. Go figure…
    Fabric softener is beyond disgusting. I occasionally send my sheets and towels to an outside laundry, and no matter how much Seventh Generation unscented they use, there is always a slight whiff of fabric softener–the part
    about it sticking to the dryer

  3. 3 Nergler October 6, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I meant to say the part about it sticking to the dryer makes sense, but the comment window shut down unexpectedly. As for Bush having anything to do with women’s health, I can’t think about that right now or will have nightmares.
    My favorite protest sign ever was during the Bush years–it said “my bush for president…”

  4. 4 Sharon Wachsler October 6, 2011 at 4:40 am

    LOL. My favorite sticker was when poppa Bush was running, and I was in Queer Nation. We had stickers that said, “We Can Lick Bush If We Want To.” Ah, the good ‘ol days. . . . (‘Course, we were wrong. He got elected. No comment on the other part, except those *were* the good ‘old days.)

  5. 5 Karyn October 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’m sorry but I was laughing through your write up about snuggle. Pre-MCS and I mean way pre-MCS I used snuggle. I loved snuggle and whats that really smelly laundry detergent in the green box. Oh man I shudder at the things I did not know then. This was also all pre- animal when I was first living in my own apartment with no roomates.
    I just can not believe there was a time when I was that nieve!
    I stopped using the stuff long before my MCS began but it was more about price than about what it smelled like. Its all pretty sad to me that this kind of crap is even allowed to be on the market.
    I get a bunch of spam in my gmail account thats for products for men of all things Boy and its not kid safe subject lines either. Its kind of sad that kind of thing happens. I wish there was a way to stop all the crap you did not ask for but its sorta like snail mail. I still cant get idiot companies to remove me from their mailing list from when Met was in my life. I even wrote telling them how they were magnifying my grief and if they had any sort of compassion that they would do the right thing and lose my name and address. Still the catalogs keep coming.

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