Tuesday, September 30, 2014


In a previous issue of West of Denver, I wrote about the need for a re-write of American English. In thinking about our language and its various components, "words", if you will, it is my fondest desire to see one particular word be forever erased. In a manner of speaking, this one particular word turns our society topsy-turvy, keeping us on an always-in-motion treadmill, grabbing for a brass ring that is agonizingly just beyond our reach.


My interest in this word sprung from the frequent use of "perfect" in the media. Truthfully, when I read today that Kim Kardashian's "selfie book" will feature "the PERFECT pout" (I'm not lying), my mind went into overdrive. Take a day out of your life and think about the many ways that the media use the concept of "perfect." I spent a day recently listening for this word and its various manifestations. I listened and watched the media talk about the perfect vacation, wedding, honeymoon, house...and on and on. First of all, from my perspective, nothing is perfect. Thus, placing a "perfect" label on things which are inherently imperfect is illogical. But the media presses on.

I've noticed that the things that the media dishes out as "perfect" are normally costly items. Indeed, I've never heard them talk about the perfect trash can, coffee maker, pillow or dog food. It always seems to be things which require a substantial outlay of cash. Given the fact that the media's sole purpose is to generate revenue for its sponsors....hmmmm, this has to be the connection.

So folks, let's all band together and erase this meaningless word from our vocabulary.

It makes perfect sense.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


In my previous sermon I took Germany to task over the roughness of its toilet paper. I meant no disrespect toward Germany or its people in the article to which I am referring. Quite the contrary, I truly admire those who can use German toilet paper without being injured.

While on the subject of toilet paper, in one of the German towns which we visited, in the hotel where we stayed there was a most interesting toilet paper dispenser hung in its usual spot in the bathroom. Being taken by the ingeniousness of its design, I sat in said bathroom for an extended stay, marveling at a true, harmonious blending of functional design and artistic creation.

To those of my two readers who may be thinking that there is a punch line coming, it isn't. I was truly 100% taken with the design of this toilet paper dispenser.

Here is a picture of the item in question:

You will observe that this attractive item not only holds an "active" roll but also a backup. That's important to us guys because we always catch hell from our wives when we leave the roll empty. This eliminates that possibility and, as such, saves marriages.

After spending a fair amount of time examining this device, I looked for a name, phone number, website or anything else which would direct me to its manufacturer. All that I found was the word "Ille" embossed in inconspicuous letters on the item. I quickly grabbed a pen and jotted down this name for future use.

Upon arriving home yesterday after a marathon 10-hour flight with 350 of my closest friends, I perused the Internet, searching for the word "Ille". Much like the discovery of the New World, "Ille" appeared on my Google search.

I had found it.

"Ille" is a paper company in Germany that, in fact, sells the product in question. The product is called the "Wave Willy Toilet Paper Holder". In my opinion, that's a pretty lousy name for such an elegant product, but that's what it's called nonetheless.

I wrote to the company requesting whether they had dealers in the U.S. (they don't) and if they ship to the U.S. (they do). They cost about $30 each. Another $30 apiece for shipping will get you your own Wave Willy Toilet Paper Holder for the princely sum of $60 each.

Despite being smitten with the design and functionality of this product, I've decided to take my chances catching hell from the wife about leaving the roll empty rather than shelling out $60 for my very own "Willy".

Despite my decision to not purchase one, I still think that it's a heck of a great idea.

Readers, enjoy your day.


September 16, 2014

Mr. John Hangel
General Motors
Chevrolet Truck Division
873 GM Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48201

Dear John:

I thought that I would drop you a letter and catch up with you and provide you with some new insights for your pickup truck product line. First of all though, on a personal note, I hope that you, Marge, Andrea and Brittany are doing well. "A & B", as I like to call them, must be 14 and 16 now (?). Seems like yesterday since their Christenings. I take great pride in being their Godfather.

To get to the point of my letter, I must communicate to you what I feel is a fantastic idea for your new line of pickup trucks. Like the approach of all pickup truck advertising, the one that is used by Chevrolet is, honestly, anything but unique and I fear that your brand is being lost amidst the clutter of the other brands which are fighting for uniqueness using what is, in my opinion, a generic approach. Specifically, all pickup truck brands feature truck owners and pickup truck enthusiasts as rough, tough, rugged males - construction men, cowboys, athletes - and, by association, your trucks, take on this spirit of roughness.

This is a lame approach.

And, yes, I am being harshly critical here. If you do not wish to read on, please disregard the remainder of this letter and we will consider this matter closed.

Should you continue reading, the insight that I am herein offering is absolutely unique and will provide your brand with the separation that is needed to make Chevy trucks standout from the rest of the pack. This insight comes from some observations that I have made while the wife and I were in Germany during our recent vacation.

By the way, we had a lovely time and Germany is quite amazing.

What I observed there (which may be of use to the positioning of your products) was a degree of roughness which makes the use of cowboys and construction workers in your advertising seem rather tame. While there, both the wife and I experienced this phenomenon several times a day and both of us agree that this facet of life in Germany redefines roughness and would be a suitable association for Chevy trucks.

The idea to which I am referring is not only real, but very believable and direct.

Accordingly, I feel strongly that your new advertising approach should incorporate the slogan:


John, I truly hope that you will consider this new positioning for your trucks. The wife and I have experienced toilet paper in Germany and can assure you that there is nothing rougher in the entire world.

I await your call to discuss this proposal. Best to you, Marge and the girls.




Readers, enjoy your day.