So The Bono emails me the other day and asks me to help him save the world by doing a product review.
Actually, I contacted him first.
Let me back up a bit. This might be more succinctly conveyed through the use of dialogue:
Me: [clacking away on computer] Cool!
Dr. Mom: What?
Me: I just got this email saying that Red Envelope is looking for bloggers to do product reviews for Father's Day gifts. You know about them, right?
Dr. Mom: Yeah. That's where your sister got that baby handprint kit that she gave us.
Me: Yeah--I know, I know: I ruined Mother's Day...
Dr. Mom: I didn't say that...
Me: But at least we helped fight AIDS in Africa...
Dr. Mom: How's that?
Me: You know, because of The Bono.
Dr. Mom: ???
Me: The Bono. The singer from U2? And philanthropist?
Dr. Mom: Just "Bono."
Dr. Mom: It's U2's guitar player whose first name is a definite article.
Me: Whatever. Red Envelope is that thing that The Bono does where some of the proceeds from sales of any product with the word "Red" in it go to fight AIDS in Africa. *
Dr. Mom: Just "RED." No "Envelope."
Me: I'm pretty sure The Bono copyrighted the word "red," and now every time you buy something with that word in it, the country of Africa gets a cut.
Dr. Mom: Like Big Red gum?
Dr. Mom: Red Lobster?
Me: Now you're gettin' it!
Dr. Mom: [shakes head, returns attention to book]
I knew that The Bono would be getting in touch with me soon (we've never met, but I figured that he's read my blog, because clearly he's a reader), but I was afraid he might have some hesitation because of my reputation.
You see, if blogging is like punk rock (which it totally is; check it out--DIY spirit, no rules, message/energy trumps talent--just think about it), I'm the Fugazi of mommybloggers: stubbornly refusing to charge more than five bucks a show, snubbing major record label deals, rejecting anything that smacks of selling out. And I was afraid that might make The Bono assume I would not be into doing product reviews. So I decided to go ahead and email him first. There's no time for dilly-dallying when it comes to saving the children.
I emailed Red Envelope and asked to be put in touch with The Bono; and I got a response almost immediately. The Bono was very gracious and we quickly agreed that he would have a set of Bose in-ear headphones sent to me, post-haste. As a warm personal gesture, he signed the email not with his stage name, but rather with his given name, Jake from Promotions. I believe that's an Americanization of the Irish Jake O'Promotions.
So without further delay, here's my review of the Bose in-ear headphones:
As I examined the earphones, I didn't have great expectations. I knew that Bose had a good reputation, but I figured these would have the same limitations other tiny audio equipment has. I've gone through a number of earphones, and they have all sucked in one way or another. The ones that go inside the ear are invariably uncomfortable and/or fall out of my ears. The ones that go on the outside have either uncomfortable ear-hooks or cumbersome...uh...overhead connecting arch-thingys. But the Bose earphones come with a selection of squishy little covers that you can choose from so they fit nice and comfy-like all up in your earholes. You can hardly tell they're in there.
I read the product literature. "Lifelike sound," it promised. What the hell is "lifelike sound?" I wondered skeptically. Would I feel like I was in the forest with little birds twittering around me? I set my iPod to shuffle and...
Holy shit! The first song was a track from Beck's Guero, and I could hear everything. The bass kicked, the guitar jangled, the synth shimmered, and the beat banged like an 808. I could almost smell Beck's breath (wheatgrass and Cristal).
Next up was Dead Kennedys. The guitar sound was raw and massive. It felt like Rock Against Reagan in 1983 all over again. It was all I could do to refrain from moshing in the kitchen.
Then Dee-Lite took over... Remember when you went to your first rave and you were all, I don't know what I'm doing here, I don't even like techno and I feel really old...and then pretty soon the music crept up on you and you could hear every note in the song, and the bass rattled your ribs and all the buzzy noises tickled your spine and sent little bolts of electricity through your body and you couldn't stop dancing? And everyone in the warehouse was your new bestest friend?
About that time my wife walked in the kitchen and was all, what the hell are you doing dancing in the kitchen--the kids are trying to sleep, and where is your shirt anyway, and you better stop grinding your teeth.
By then, the music had changed and it was Lady Gaga. Remember when you went to your first Pride circuit party? So, yeah. Lifelike indeed.
I put the earphones in Dr. Mom's adorable ears, which made her dance like this.
"The bass is incredible!" she yelled, pawing at the air like a demented Hello Kitty.
After I took the earphones back and reminded Dr. Mom that they were mine mine mine and anyway I had to take this reviewing business very seriously--you know, for the children of the world--I went about the business of cooking dinner. Although the box the headphones came in says they are not the noise-canceling variety, I couldn't hear the clanging pots and pans, the kitchen fan, the smoke alarm, the baby monitor--nothing.
After dinner I went to the gym and continued my shuffling research. Same thing. I was in my own little world. Even the classical guitar music that I normally click past at the noisy gym came through like I was in a concert hall, and I couldn't hear the annoying Top 40 they play there, or the inane chatter of the muscle queens, or the guy who kept staring me down and moving his mouth while tapping the back of his wrist as I did my 200th rep on the thighmaster thing.
So I guess that covers it. These earphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, have incredible bass response and overall great sound quality, and if your dad (or babydaddy) doesn't hate music, and is not an idiot, he will love them. And you can feel good knowing that you are helping The Bono save the world.**
Here's a link to the Red Envelope Father's Day stuff. And here's the secret code you can use if you want to get ten percent off. Ready? 10offred
Now go buy some stuff for Dad.
*"Jake" wants me to tell you that Red Envelope has nothing to do with the whole "RED" thing or The Bono. But they do work with Komen for the Cure, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Association