Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. Children, it is the last hour…
– 1 John 2:15-18 NASB
We used to listen to Paul Harvey News and Comment on the radio every day when I was growing up. I remember his familiar greeting, “Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for news!” And there were always “pages” to the news: after a while, Paul Harvey would say “Page two.” It was kind of neat. For a period of years (long after I was in Kindergarten) I thought that his closing at the end of each broadcast was “Paul Harvey, Pood Day!”
In addition to the news, Paul Harvey used to advertise a wide range of merchandise. There were variations over time, but many of the advertisements were staples of the program — you heard them each day, learned the descriptive phrases that Paul Harvey attached to the products.
Paul Harvey was a master salesman. The products he advertised were indeed of good quality. At one time I heard that Paul Harvey would use each product personally before agreeing to advertise it. This got my imagination going and I began to wonder what a day in the life of Paul Harvey would look like. I typed up the following essay and sent it in to Paul Harvey, fondly hoping that he would read it on the air. Of course he couldn’t do that, and I never received a reply.
Brothers and sisters, it is the last hour — the world is passing away, and also its lusts. Look at the man who has bought all the right products and ask, what will he do on that Day? Let us not hew for ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. Let us remember that we are not citizens here — not even dual citizens. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are strangers, foreigners in this life, like all the men of faith who went before us. Let us live in a way that shows that we believe these things.
With that introduction, here is the letter.
March 27, 1990
Dear Paul Harvey News,
Based on numerous observations of advertisements during your program, I have constructed what a typical day of your life must be like, titled:
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL HARVEY
One snowy morning, Paul Harvey is up early Schwinning on his Schwinn Air-Dyne, which maintains his cardiovascular fitness. Today, he has dry eyes, easily corrected with a couple drops of gentle-as-tears Murine. Suddenly, he catches a whiff of consistently perfect Bunn (B-U-N-N) coffee brewing. He hurries to shower, almost wishing he had a scalp problem so he could shampoo with T-Gel and T-Gel conditioner, the ones with Nu-tar. Comfortably warm water comes from his State Industries non-self-destructing, self-cleaning water heater. He gets dressed, washes his hands at the Moen (M-O-E-N) faucet, and proceeds downstairs to breakfast. In the kitchen, the dry air is moistened by the Bionair Clean Mist Humidifier. He greets his wife and pours milk on his Whole Wheat Total, reading the morning paper by electric light made inexpensive by the Electric Information Council. As his wife runs the Royal vacuum cleaner–for which they recently traded in Mother’s old Hoover–he is reminded of the day a month or so ago when the caring professionals from Service Master cleaned all the upholstery in his house, including the Monsanto Wear Dated Carpets for a Lifetime with locked-in Stain Blocker.
Paul Harvey is now done with breakfast, so he brushes his teeth and gargles Viadent mouthwash with sanguinaria. He pats on a little Neutrogena hand cream to make his hands bridelike. It’s time to go, so he dons his Red Wing shoes and picks up his Stanley Steel thermos containing Rainsoft (all-one-word)-filtered water. He kisses his wife goodbye and goes through the garage past a rack of Master Mechanic tools to his Buick, insured bumper-to-bumper by Allstate, a part of the Sears financial network, and accomodating four Goodyear tires (and an Interstate battery with a phone number); and to which, of course, the Great American Road belongs.
At the office, a Polonis space heater (just six inches by six inches by six inches) soon warms the chilly room. After the noon news broadcast is done, he travels home.
As he pauses by his house to retrieve his mail, he notices how nice the Olympic Stain looks on the wooden mailbox post. He enters his home and converses with his wife for a while, then comes outside to shovel snow off the sidewalk wearing Wells Lamont Grips Plus gloves with Lanolin. Now, it’s time for supper. His wife is serving lean beef, with fewer calories than a dressed salad. The meal is so delicious that Paul Harvey overeats! Good thing he has Double-Barrel Digel handy, containing a full day’s supply of calcium!
Later that evening, he listens blissfully to the entire range of sounds the human ear can hear on his magic music box, the Bose Acoustic Wave Machine–which he paid for by Discover Card, the card that pays him money back; up to 1% annually!–while eating Jolly Time Popcorn, the kind with extra big kernels. Then it’s time for bed on the Simmond’s Beautyrest once more so he can do it all over again tomorrow.