Ralf Schulte and Alexander Brandenburger have found a new way to package and sell catharsis.
The two Germany entrepreneurs call it “Schimp-los” or (swear away), according to Reuters.
“Call” is the operative word here, because that’s exactly what you do—you call. And then you let it all out.
It’s a hotline, a swear-line (maybe a hate-line?) where for 1.49 euros a minute you can have your very own verbal punching bag. (Here's the website.)
One of their representatives—a real person—is waiting for you to cruse, scream, insult, demean, belittle, humiliate, and offend them.
Imagine the sales pitch:
“For only 1.49 a minute you can tell you boss to go F--- himself. Or tell your girlfriend how you really feel about Sunday morning shoe shopping. Our listeners are waiting. So call NOW!”
On Schimp-los’ Facebook page, a woman asks, “Is it possible to call from South Africa?”
Maybe Schulte and Brandenburger are really on to something.
But maybe the fact that there is a demand for a service like this—the very fact that Schimp-los’ exists, is a giant, flashing red light signaling how momentously disconnected some people feel from the rest of humankind.
There are priests, rabbis, and mullahs; there are friends, girlfriends, and boyfriends; there are psychologists and therapists, and even bartenders with sympathetic ears who will actually serve you alcohol if you pay them, and who will listen your woe-is-me tale or rage-filled diatribe.
Surely one of these civil servants will listen to you. And who knows, they might actually have some good advice.
But the really crazy thing about all this: absurd comedy predated absurd reality, as Spiegel Online pointed out.