} We, as Supreme Authority in the field of predictions, foretellings, and
} good bets on the stock market, have regretfully to inform you that
} putting a man on the moon (several, actually: alas, I had to watch
} their childlike skipping from the deck of my otherwise peaceful summer
} residence in hyperspace) and making deodorants with effective
} half-lives of 87 minutes were both part of the same marketing strategy.
} The responsible multiplanetary, SpamCanCorp Ltd (of which I am an
} honorary director and whose per diems keep me in long lunches at
} the Restaurant at the End of the Universe) carried out this highly
} successful plan quite a while back -- when Ban was a word for both
} one of the few mortal products sold to sanitize a hygienically
} confortable but socially insecure populace, and for the proposed
} end of a highly lucrative arms race.
} Our VP for strategic planning (now retired on the very satisfactory
} bonus earned from a similar scheme involving cheap handguns, burglar
} alarms and movies about serial killers) had the simple but effective
} idea of co-marketing two products against which North American humans
} had few defences: the desire to climb to the top of the highest visible
} peak and do really silly tricks, and the desire to stand at the centre
} of attention and make everybody love you.
} Of course once a human does either of these things successfully once,
} what do you do for an encore, and how much are you willing to pay for
} the same thrill all over again? We decided the cost-benefit of
} underwriting another first-man-on-the-next-planet expedition was
} unattractive; and besides, timeshares on Mars were an up-and-coming
} market our Board didn't want to break out too early.
} Our creative team had the unoriginal but effective idea that the next
} best market enhancement was to just, sort of, shorten the life of the
} product somewhat. After you get everyone hooked on that nice gentle
} scent and clean feeling at 9 AM, you just engineer it to tail off at
} 11:35 AM, just before that date with the truly interesting guy/girl you
} met at your last aerobics class.
} You have no idea how this generates sales -- how many bottles of the
} stuff get left behind in office washrooms or lost at the back of desk
} drawers. You have even less idea how rich that VP got on replacement
} purchases, even before the thing with the handguns.
} Shame, you say. Immoral. A waste. But our former VP drives a
} Galaxy-Class Porsche and holidays in another dimension with much better
} Being an immortal and all, with an image to protect, I personally go
} for more ethical development schemes. I could interest you in a project
} to preserve the heritage features of threatened Black Holes, if you
} had a few extra quadrillions to put up and were willing to wait a while
} for return on investment.
} In any case, you don't get insider information for free. You owe the
} Oracle a new deck umbrella and a round of well aged green cheese.