CULVERT, IOWA (AP) You're watching TV late at night down in the den. The rest of the family is upstairs sound asleep. You've got the volume turned way down as you listen to just one more repeat of stale news. Then, out of nowhere you are suddenly thrust into the receiving end of the loudest infomercial assault known to Western civilization: "HI! I'M BILLY MAYS FOR OXICLEAN!" shouts the television.
The cat, who moments ago was sleeping peacefully on your lap is roused by the startling noise, digs his claws deep into your leg as he makes a dash for the hall closet. The neighbor's dog from three doors down starts barking and several porch lights come on. From upstairs comes the dreaded "Turn that thing down! You're waking up the whole neighborhood!"
Ahh but there's sweet news coming from Culvert, Iowa today. Billy Mays ruptured a vocal chord on the thirteenth take for a new even-louder OxiClean infomercial. The director of the production kept badgering the soundman to increase the volume. "I've got the damn knob all the way up already!"
Eventually the director had to coax Billy Mays to yell even louder into the sensitive studio microphone. Three, two, one .. and Action! "HI! I'M BILLY MAYS FOR OXICLEAN!" Just then a large chunk of Billy's vocal chord shot out of his mouth and hit the director right in the face before falling to the floor. It bounced and vibrated on the floor for several seconds until finally settling down.
An ambulance was called while Billy sat speechless---for the first time since 1962 when a group of classmates taped his mouth closed with duct tape. Worst of all, the soundman "accidentally" stepped on Billy's vocal chord in the confusion, destroying any chances that surgeons would be able to re-attach the thing and give Billy his voice back.
Billy's wife Sandra, a somewhat attractive woman in earmuffs, appeared later before reporters: "I am appealing to everyone in the country---if there is anyone who has a vocal chord they can spare, PLEASE think of donating it to Billy. If he doesn't get his loud voice back soon who is going to sell that OxiClean? Our garage is so full of the stuff, Billy Junior can't get his bicycle in there."