Dick Maynard Column December 17, 2008

2008: Not the downer you imagined

2008. For most people, the year just past, when categorized as to its place in history, will most likely be placed in the “crummy” category. ’08 will be remembered for bailouts, 401k’s gone south, plus “I’m Candidate Sleazy and I approved this message.” All combined to make 2008 a year that deserves not be remembered but flushed down the gurgler of history.

Still, in an attempt to be a “glass half full” kind of guy, let’s remember for a moment all the good ’08 brought our way. According to walletpop.com, there were some real “uppers” in the Earth’s most recent trip around the sun and, sadly, you most likely had no knowledge of the great strides that occurred, improving the quality of life last year.

Like the vibrating mascara applicator. Think I’m kidding? Both Estee Lauder’s Turbo Lash and Lancôme’s Oscillation debuted in 2008. Don’t talk to me of recession. Not when, at one point, Lancôme had 21,000 back orders.

To the mascara application ignorant, the device appears to have much in common with a battery-powered toothbrush. But what do I know? And to the uninformed it would seem, should the mavens of mascara really want to bring change to the world of makeup, the mascara itself would vibrate. Then again, maybe they’re saving that “new and improved” quantum leap forward for next year.

The vibrating mascara applicator was but one of the Earth-changing events in 2008 contributing toward a more civilized lifestyle in society. The year past may possibly be best remembered for the introduction of three-ply toilet paper. How we survived this long, forced to
endure the suffering and indignity of one- and two-ply defies imagination. Thank goodness for Northern Tissue. The company rode to the rescue with three-ply “Northern Ultra Plush.”  True, the three-ply was more expensive, but as we’ve always known, it does indeed cost a little more to “go” first class.

2008 was also the year the beautiful people among us, those with way too much disposable income, became bored paying but $4 for frappacinos, lattes and macchiatos, and discovered Acai (pronounced Ah-Sigh-EE) a health drink from Brazil’s tropical rainforests selling for $7. P.T. Barnum would have been so proud.

Not that it necessarily qualifies as a health drink —beer’s more accurately described by my peer group as the “staff of life” — but the Budweiser folks pushed lager and pilsner boundaries to even greater heights in 2008 by introducing Bud Light Lime. This new brand goes head to head in competition against Miller Chill, also a lime-flavored brewski. In terms of taste bud appeal, beer with a hint of lime has to rank right up there with figgy pudding of, “We won’t leave until we get some” fame.

And you thought 2008 such a downer.  True, it possibly didn’t measure up to 2007, the year of Coke Zero, Hannah Montana, Google maps, Vitamin Water and Webkinz.

But the 365 days just past must be judged on its total body of work. After all, a year bringing us Guitar Hero III and Rock Band 2 just can’t be all that bad.

Dick Maynard can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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