Ambrose Bierce, he of The Devil’s Dictionary and “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge”—which has lured adolescent writers into the dream sequence/surprise ending dead-end for over a century now—was also a book critic. A critic who produced the single greatest review ever. One sentence, nine words:
“The covers of this book are too far apart.”
I never thought I’d read another critique of such brisk majesty. One that communicated everything you could possibly need to know about the work of art or product in question. One forged from a hardy dram of contempt, then quenched by the critic’s unwillingness to waste more than a breath spewing his disdain.
Too many critics spend their reviews trying to impress the reader with their own wit and/or comprehensive grasp of the medium in question. Nowhere is this more grating than in the no-man’s-land of the Amazon customer review. I don’t require your five-paragraph summary of Victorian erotica leading into how it relates to the current crop of urban vampire novels. Really—is this the best use you’ve found for your M.A. in English Lit? If so, I would suggest you make a career one-eighty and seek your destiny as, oh, a soldier of fortune.
But sometimes—sometimes!—a reviewer produces a work both pleasingly brief and achingly poignant. And today, the National Evil found a critique every bit the equal of Bierce’s classic. Maybe superior, as this one requires less than half the words Bierce required. Without further ado:
“Pubic hair in packaging.”
Need I (or the reviewer) say more? (To be fair, now, the product in question wasn’t sold by Amazon itself, but by a third-party vendor.) Evil won’t reveal the identity of the item—I leave it to you to find this little miracle for yourself.
In the meantime, however, here’s the logical follow-up. Say you found a pube in your packaging. How much would the product you ordered have to be worth for you NOT to return it in horror and disgust?