Madge the Manicurist Busted for Misrepresenting Soaking Agent

Jake from State Farm—Next to Fall?

Jim Nolan
2 min readApr 21, 2024
Hear story read by Jim
Illustration by Isabella Bannerman

Will Jake from State Farm follow the tragic footsteps of Madge the Manicurist?

For many decades Madge advised her clients with rough-skinned hands to use Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid, claiming it “softens your hands while you do dishes.”

New customers, believing they were dipping their chapped fingers in some luxurious green emollient before buffing, were shocked to discover that it was Palmolive. Indeed, they tried to extricate their fingers from the bowl, only to have them forced back into it. Madge’s own admission, “You’re soaking in it,” was entered as evidence at her trial. Madge is still on the lam after failing to appear in court for sentencing. Some say she continues to work in salons, never staying long in one place before moving on. Her soft hands are a giveaway.

That approach might be the best course of action for Allstate’s Mayhem guy as well. Spreading trouble everywhere he goes, he went one step too far recently, messing with Larry Bird in his own home. Forget the legal system, worry about Larry. Remember the ending of Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons? Now, that’s mayhem.

Jake from State Farm, who in commercials appears when the words, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” are spoken, does not appear to do so when summoned in real life, despite repeated attempts. Could there be a more obvious case of false advertising?

At least Progressive’s Dr. Rick gives good, useful advice to young homeowners turning into their parents. However, some question whether Dr. Rick’s PhD degree in Parentamorphosis is a real thing, as no citation can be found online. This could spell trouble for him.

The only brand mascot to use the legal system to his advantage is, of course, the Geico Caveman. His historic suit against the insurance company for maligning an entire group of people based on their ancestors’ choice of shelter was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, rumored to be in the low eight figures.

It’s easy to sympathize with these spokespeople for simply trying to make a living. For not only the public, but the companies that employ them, can turn on them. The Hamburgler, for example, stole one too many hamburgers from McDonald’s, which pressed charges. Sadly, Mayor McCheese, also implicated, testified against him. The Hamburgler’s novel defense that he was hired to burgle did not convince the jury, whose deliberations were catered by, yep, Micky Ds.

The decision is now being appealed.



Jim Nolan

Jim’s humor writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Funny Times,, McSweeneys Internet Tendency, and on WBFO public radio.