Nancy Roman


Exaggeration is pretty standard in Marketing. “Puffery” it’s called.. Of course you are going to say your product is the best. Even regulatory agencies say that a certain amount of Puffery is perfectly acceptable.

But with so many products and so many messages all screaming for our attention, it seems that Puffery is getting a bit crazy.

This week, I’ve seen internet ads and marketing emails that may be just a tad inflated:

Even though I am only a few months away from retirement, I still open the emails that promise me great jobs. Just curiosity and habit, I guess. And I received one the other day offering me “Terrific Controller Jobs in Your Region.”  And among the terrific jobs listed was this Controller position: Receptionist for an Electrical Contractor.

And most of the emails I receive guarantee I will Fall In Love… with makeup, clothes, bus trips, chocolate (well, chocolate is very lovable, so that one isn’t Puffery).  Today an email promised me rompers and jumpsuits that I will absolutely love. Well, I haven’t got the coordination to use the ladies’ room in a jumpsuit. And there’s just something about a 63-year-old in a romper that makes me think, “maybe not.” tries very hard to flatter me. “Jeepers, Your profile is getting attention!” they said yesterday. Well, I jumped right over there to see my multitude of admirers. My page had gotten ONE visit.

And marketers are trying to help me take advantage of unique opportunities. “Perfect Weather for Free Shipping!” Well, free shipping is very nice, but I’m not sure what weather has to do with it, or whether they can guarantee weather that’s perfect.

If they can’t entice me with bribes (20% off, buy one get one half off –  keep trying guys – how about 40% AND perfect weather?), they sometimes resort to threats. “Last Chance to Subscribe!!”  Um, really?  If I decide to subscribe next week, you’d say no?

And then there’s the hyperbole just to get you to click on the article. There is so much to read on the internet – they really have to grab you and lure you to come on over.

Today I saw this one:

“This Simple Trick For Butternut Squash Will Change Your Life”

Now I like butternut squash as much as the next person. So there may actually be a few scenarios where a butternut squash could change my life.

– I could cut one open and find a four carat diamond.

– I could trip over one and break my hip.

– I could add some arsenic and take care of some of my less desirable relatives.

– I could find one that would multiply like a biblical miracle and I’d never have to cook again.

– I could plant the seeds and get a Jack-in-the-Squashstalk vine, and I could climb it and steal the Giant’s chest of gold, or his favorite pig or whatever it was.

– Or –

– It could be a very very attractive and special vegetable, and I could fall in love with it, and leave my husband, and run off with it, and become Mrs. Nancy Butternut.

Now THAT would change my life.

 butternut love


  1. I love the life changing Butternut Squash. I suspect your scenarios are much more exciting than the actual story.


    • The actual story was about putting the squash in the microwave for a few minutes to make it easy to peel. BORING. My live-changing interactions with the squash are much better.


  2. Love the squash! 🙂


  3. Haha.. You’re humourous and that’s not puffery at all 😛


  4. Very Good!


    • Thanks! I’m looking at butternut a whole different way.


  5. The closest I’ve ever come to wearing a jumpsuit is shortalls (remember those?) and regular overalls. My kids laugh at old pictures. Yeah and their sloppy basketball shorts with the tall socks (and no one is actually playing basketball!) look so stylin. Maybe the butternut squash is some new great beauty secret. You know, like the recent advertisements of where a 57 year old women did “this” and now she looks 27! Amazing! 🙂


  6. Deborah the Closet Monster

    Ooooh, but I needed the belly laugh from that squash listing! Bwahahah …


  7. Lol. Why do they even make jumpsuits? I thought we learned our lessons in the 70s!!!


  8. Butternut squash will change a life? I like your scenarios. Hilarious as usual. 🙂


  9. You could dress up your Butternut Squash in a tiny onesie with a matching little knit hat and pretend its your secret love child (which is the ‘vision’ I got when I saw the picture of you with the squash in your arms!)


    • That’s exactly the image I had in mind when I drew this!


  10. Love this, and your illustration. Falling in love can be such a pain, and it looks like you’ve been left holding the buttersquash baby!


  11. I, too, saw the butternut squash headline, but didn’t bother to click. “Mrs.Nancy Butternut” gave me my chuckle for the morning.


    • The article was about microwaving the squash for a few minute so you could peel it easily. My suggestions are SO MUCH BETTER.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. There are so many “One (amazing, silly, funny, odd) little secret that will change your life” out there that I had to give up reading them, in favor of eating, sleeping, and changing out of my pajamas. Oh, and have you noticed that these “secrets” have all been discovered by a housewife in YOUR town??


    • Yes, there are an extraordinary number of wrinkle-free people in my town.


  13. Another hilarious post! I would love to find a life changing vegetable or fall in love with one, but butternut squash doesn’t quite do it. I love your illustration though. 🙂


  14. If I could find a butternut squash that could be taught a trick, I would quit my day job and take that show to the road! TO. The. ROAD!


    • I ate one tonight. I feel a little like a cannibal.


  15. Funny….I kinda had you pegged as more of an acorn squash gal. But I’m sure you and the butternut will be very happy.


    • I am drawn to the acorn squash too, but I don’t want to be unfaithful.


  16. Yes, the butternut squash got my attention too, especially about the arsenic and less desirable in-laws. Hilarious.


    • There are so many ways squash could change your life!


  17. yes… you never know when you are going to trip over a winter squash and have your life changed dramatically.


  18. I also like Butternut squash, I do not see it changing my life. You found ways in which it might, I am impressed.


  19. Squash is right up there as one of my favourites, too. However, I have to say I have yet to meet a vegetable that was life changing. I guess I will have to keep looking.


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