October 19, 2005


In April, I announced the compilation of a Side Salad Enemies List. As I explained at the time:

I'm not the kind who exact tolls or contemplates elaborate schemes of revenge. But that doesn't mean that I can't harbor great cesspools of hatred for various persons and entities. I'm a human being. I'm imperfect. I have personal fatwas tumbling through the laundromat dryer in my head, just like the next guy. And so I've decided to feed that weak link in my nature by putting it on display here so that others may learn and gain enjoyment from my example.

Enemy No. 1: Matthew Lesko.

It felt good to do it. It felt right. It felt pure. So in July, I went after the Fantanas. The response was enormous. Billions of TV viewers, haunted by the hypnotic adver-chant rose up in anger to beat these plastic spokesbitches into carbonated oblivion. Or something like that.

Today we add another name to the roll: Sabine Ehrenfeld, that annoying woman from the Overstock.com commercials.

sabineehrenfeld20.jpgYou know her. She's the one who does the less-than-subtle "It's all about the O" commercials against an all-white background. (I almost forgot, according to one commercial, it also can be, at intermittent times and for unpredictable amounts, "all about the gold.") These things carpet-bomb the tube, pelting shows with seven, eight, 43 repetitions per half-hour episode. They're toxic and soulless and as entirely addictive as crystal meth.

:::pausing to wretch:::

There. I'm better now.

She came into my living room over the weekend again with a second round of ads that were as equally annoying as the first.

They start out innocently enough, with her parading through an all-white kitchen in an all-white outfit.


This woman couldn't be any whiter unless she was Edgar Winter. Or Johnny Winter, for that matter.

Things turn as soon as she saunters over to a living room set, whereupon she absentmindedly forgets she's wearing a plunging neckline with a gold medalion dangling in the middle and commences to...


...showing us her O(verstock) face.

As if the sexual underpinnings weren't overt enough, she sits back in her chair and...


...brazenly exposes a naked shoulder.

I mean, come on. This kind of thing would work if it was 1978 and you were a gap-toothed and radioactively hot Lauren Hutton. But it's not. And you're not. And there isn't any way I'd click on your site full of secondhand, dollar-store, found-under-a-table-at-a-flea-market crap if you were the last quasi-naked Sabine on earth.

Unsurprisingly, the spots have generated a fan site. And, always on the lookout for the truly esoteric mass-destruction tools among us, the ever-vigilent NPR even did a profile of her.

Thankfully, Slate's Ad Report Card skewered the ad series:

5) It's all about the mesmerizing babe. The moment you've been waiting for—the lowdown on the Overstock hottie. I talked to her by phone last week. (Jealous much, gentlemen? Ad Report Card talks to all the fine ladies.)

The lovely Sabine Ehrenfeld (pronounced "Sa-BEAN-uh") was driving back from a snowboarding trip with her children, on her way to casting calls the following day. Still, she found time to chat in a delightful and disarming manner. I learned the following:

In addition to German and English, Sabine speaks French and Italian. She is proficient in basic tactical pistol skills, because she thought it would be a fun thing to learn. She also has a private pilot's license and 350 hours in the air. After reading the Richard Bach book Biplane, she was inspired to fly solo—in an old-style, aerobatic tailwheel plane—from California to Montana. With camping gear in the back so she could land along the route to sleep and refuel. I am not making this up.

Overstock.com's Simon was looking for "a 38 year-old brunette" to play the part (that's Overstock's demographic—about two-thirds of their bargain-hunting customers are women) when she saw Sabine (who is in fact 41) on television (in a Kotex ad). It was love at first sight. Sabine is gorgeous, but in a non-threatening way. Men find her approachable, women think she's friendly. "We didn't want someone that the gal in rural Minnesota couldn't relate to," says Simon. I guess she means the Minnesotan gal who flies aerobatic planes and speaks four languages.

Welcome to the Salad Enemies list, babe.

Posted by Jeff at October 19, 2005 06:53 AM

yes yes yes and yes.

maybe she and the creepy quiznos baby will elope on a deserted island. and stay there.

Posted by: jolie at October 19, 2005 08:54 AM

Women think she's friendly? Hah. Not this one.

Welcome to the list Sabine (pronounced "Sa-BEAN-uh") you're the reason I DON'T (and never will)buy from the O.

Posted by: Amy at October 19, 2005 09:18 AM

I'm a 38 year-old brunette; no one asked me if I wanted to do it.

"It's all about the C" (Cessna)

Posted by: cessna at October 19, 2005 11:53 AM

Ohmigod no.

In fact, what jolie said.

Posted by: Margi at October 19, 2005 02:46 PM

That Overstock stuff is cr.ap too. I ordered two solid-wood end tables from them only to see upon delivery part of them were made with particle board!

Posted by: Kat at October 20, 2005 10:01 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?