The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer – brilliant, apart from the bend

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Great Amazon review threads: the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt, Tuscan Whole Milk and the Bic For Her ballpoint pen.

Every so often the thread of comments beneath a product on sale at Amazon takes on a life of its own, usually to lampoon something absurd. Most recently, and fitting that bill, is the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, a plastic frame, with bend, designed to easily chop your banana into equally sized pieces.

Most of the more than 2,500 reviews are gushing. This is typical:

What can I say about the 571B that hasn’t already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone?

(Somewhere along the line the 571 was donated a B by commenters).

Another:

I can’t believe how much time I used to waste with a ruler and a pencil, marking my bananas to get those perfectly uniform sizes.

More inventive work on characterisation:

For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. “Use a knife!” they say. Well…my parole officer won’t allow me to be around knives. “Shoot it with a gun!” Background check…HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed. No longer consumed by seething anger and animosity towards thick-skinned yellow fruit, I was able to concentrate on my love of theatre and am writing a musical play about two lovers from rival gangs that just try to make it in the world.

Handy advice on the model:

Some will try to sell you a 569, 570 or 571A but they are cheap versions of the real deal 571B. At home I still have an old 134 series A (the cast iron one with the screw to set the width) which I use for special occasions.

Not everyone is happy.

I tried the banana slicer and found it unacceptable. As shown in the picture, the slice is curved from left to right. All of my bananas are bent the other way.

The 571B joins a proud canon of creative Amazon reviews, including the hilarious BIC For Her Ballpoint Pen – as previously noted on this site.

Then there was the spectacular Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee – for which the most popular review is:

This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn’t have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn’t settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women

Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the ‘guns’), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

It even inspired a video endorsement, in the style of Pocahontas.

And, the original: Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gallon.

The Whole Milk review thread, which began in 2006, when the idea of purchasing Italian milk on a books site in the US seemed even more daft than it does now, has inspired in the reviews a series of sonnets, soft erotica, and a kind of mashup fan-fiction.

Such as this, from “Marty McFly”:

I was well aware that the Delorean needs plutonium to operate, but I was kind of in a bind. I was stuck in the year 2006 and didn’t have the funds to purchase plutonium. As a last ditch effort, I ordered a gallon of Tuscan Whole Milk over the internet and poured it into the Mr. Fusion. Low and behold, it worked! The flux capacitor began glowing brightly and the engine started on its own! I successfully travelled back to 1985. Simply remarkable. And now the Delorean only needs to get up to 33 mph in order to time travel. This makes time travel easy as pie, even in dense residential areas.

Thanks Tuscan Whole Milk!

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