Kicking ones self may someday become an Olympic event. When that happens, I promise to smile brightly and remember all the little people when they place my image on a box of Wheaties.
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As a recovering infomercial addict, I experience good days and bad days. With most compulsive behavior, therapists advise avoidance as a necessary step toward becoming clean and sober. Never one to follow the pack, history taught me to keep a memento of the past around to serve as a reminder of how far I came in life since those tawdry days.
You Are Getting Sleepy
I stand before you a fallen woman. Nothing but hitting bottom could have brought me to my senses. I consider the purchase of entrepreneur Joy Manganos Original Miracle Mop my personal low. I fell for the hype of the products crack marketing staff and touchy-feely personality of the inventor-spokesperson.
Impressed by the reported fact that the woman faced a problem by creating a viable solution, I bit. Something should have sent up a warning flare but at two in the morning, I probably would have ignored the fireworks. Even after dozing off that night and waking to the realization that I just electronically transferred the ridiculous sum of thirty-two dollars and eighty-four cents (including shipping and handling) to Ms. Manganos bank account, I felt a strange kind of elation. I owned the secret knowledge that in two to four weeks, my floors would shine while my hands would remain pristine.
I would like to take this moment to ask everyone to take a good hard look at the people who make their living touting various products and shilling for the info-man. As a rule, not a hard and fast rule but a rule, most of us would not care to share ten minutes in the company of these happy, peppy people. I have it on good authority that the resumes of successful applicants for open infomercial host slots must contain the words, lie, cheat and steal. Beware of the ultra bright smile pasted upon the faces of borderline celebrities.
Deeper and Deeper
Sharing the news of my most recent purchase with my mother brought about gales of hysterical laughter. I still hear her response to that jubilant announcement ringing in my ears.
Honey, I cannot believe you fell for that!
Sobering up, I agreed that watching Joy Mangano drop a raw egg, shell and all, onto a tile floor and mop it up with the Miracle Mop fell under disgusting. We marveled at that odd display and wondered why the woman failed to grab a paper towel to sop up the majority of the goopy mess before attacking it with her weapon of choice. If nothing else, she could have called upon a favorite pet to slurp it up before wielding the mammoth mop head. Not our Joy, she performed a tour de force with one hand, smiling all the while.
In retrospect, I realize that doubting the sanity and voracity of the host/inventor might have saved me a few dollars and several blood blisters. Instead, I remained mesmerized by the perky ladys courageous effort while dismissing the fact that she just finished evenly spreading potential salmonella across every inch of her pseudo kitchen floor.
The Weeks Flew By
Murphys Law reads, Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The medium sized cardboard box awaited my return home in the midst of what meteorologists dubbed The No Name Storm. Peeling back the sodden layer of what once surely resembled compressed paper, I grappled with two equally soaked mop heads (one attached to a PVC pipe by one of three odd pieces of black plastic apparatus) and a second white PVC pipe with a wall hanger affixed to the tip. Safely sealed in clear cellophane, I found the packing slip, invoice and single-page instruction sheet.
My end of the construction process required inserting the black-tipped PVC pipe into the black plastic pump assembly. Even a simple task requiring minimal effort sometimes results in a great deal of pain. In the case of the Miracle Mop, I managed to pinch the meaty part of my palm in-between the two sections of the pump mechanism when inserting the handle. The close fit of the two sliding pieces requires a two-handed push-pull maneuver to disengage the locked device.
Have I mentioned that my darling Equal Half is hard of hearing thanks to years of working on and around airplanes? By the time I gained his attention, the mop pinched a crescent shaped groove into my hand. This experience led me to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Miracle Mop was not all Ms. Mangano and her American Dream company claimed.
Speaking of Claims
The B-side of the instruction sheet restated those on-air claims about The Original Miracle Mop:
· The Original Miracle Mop Wrings Out With a Simple Twist of the Handle.
· Plumper Mop Head is Highly Absorbent and Will not Scratch any Hard Surfaces.
· Soft Cotton Mop Head, has approximately a 300 Foot Continuous Loop.
· Machine Washable and Bleachable, Plus the Mop Head is Replaceable.
· Specially Designed for Cleaning those Hard to Reach Places, Including Corners.
· Also Works great as a Dust Mop.
· E-Z Grip Locking Handle is made of a Lightweight, Durable Plastic.
No less than 27,800 web sites also display the same list of claims. Very few of nearly twenty-eight thousand sites mention the fact that while The Original Miracle Mop may be available for sale with prices ranging from ten to twenty dollars, American Dream no longer produces the item.
Taking those seven statements one by one, let me share my experience with you.
The Original Miracle Mop Wrings Out With a Simple Twist of the Handle. It could be me, it very well may be me, but a simple twist of the handle releases a minimal amount of liquid. A Schwartzenegger-inspired twist of the handle wrings out approximately half of the fluid absorbed by the thirsty mop head.
Plumper Mop Head is Highly Absorbent and Will not Scratch any Hard Surfaces. The plumper mop head is highly absorbent and, silly folks, constructed of cotton rope. Cotton may do many things but it does not scratch hard surfaces. Amazingly, I find this statement true but deceiving. The mop head may not scratch floors but the mop head assembly (black plastic in the case of my very own Miracle Mop) can dig a sixteenth of an inch deep groove in your linoleum if you mop with any energy at all.
Soft Cotton Mop Head, has approximately a 300 Foot Continuous Loop. In the past, this mop frustrated me enough to consider pulling it apart and measuring the continuous loop. Instead, I choose to take Joy Manganos word for it, while I keep one eyebrow permanently raised.
Machine Washable and Bleachable, Plus the Mop Head is Replaceable. Assessing this statement after choosing to not measure the 300-foot continuous loop, Id venture a guess that machine washing the Miracle Mop head might precede a visit from the friendly Maytag repairman. Should the 300-foot continuous loop claim register as fact, the weight of one completely saturated mop head would cause my washer to dance across the laundry room when attempting to complete the first of two spin cycles.
As far as the bleachable claim goes, bleach devours cotton. This explains the inventors choice to package The Original Miracle Mop with a second, replacement mop head. Planned obsolescence is yet another attribute Ms. Mangano failed to elaborate upon in her late-night spiel.
Shining a little light on the plus in that statement, the mop head may very well be replaceable but not by anyone at this address. A heavy spring-loaded metal clip supposedly snaps out in order to swap the old mangy mop head for its identical twin. In our experience, that clip flings itself across the room and heads for freedom once released. Snapping it back into position requires two fit individuals, a vise and a variety of hand tools.
Specially Designed for Cleaning those Hard to Reach Places, Including Corners. Yes, I agree with this claim but only in rooms with round corners. The bulky mop head is great at pushing dirt and debris into corners for easy retrieval with a paper towel. Unfortunately, it fails to latch onto the errant fuzz and dirt taking up residence in my kitchen and bathroom corners.
Also Works great as a Dust Mop. Finally, a statement I cannot argue with and one that tells it like it is. Then again, while I agree that the Miracle Mop works great as a dust mop, the same can be said for chasing a bath towel around the floor with the business end of a broom.
E-Z Grip Locking Handle is made of a Lightweight, Durable Plastic. Truer words were never spoken. The E-Z Grip Locking Handle outlasted the rest of the Miracle Mop. The locking device never failed to click into place, even after the handle fell off and the disk holding the mop head in place cracked in half.
So, How Do You Really Feel About The Original Miracle Mop?
Considering the fact that the mop never performed well, it still amazes me that I hung onto it all these years. That first painful experience of having my hand pinched by the locking mechanism was simply the forerunner of multiple identical episodes to come. Up until today, our Miracle Mop served only as a device used to swab out the garage and workshop. Today, I ceremoniously wrapped all the components in a color coordinated black plastic garbage bag, placed it curbside for scheduled pick-up and waved as the nice man tossed it deep into the bowels of the trash truck.
Afterthought: I imagine my Miracle Mop crossing over into another realm where it meets its companions for eternity, other useless household items. In the distance, clear as a bell, it hears the clink of coins piling up while Joy Mangano laughs all the way to the bank.
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