I am an infomercial junkie. I have dieted, smoothed wrinkles, whittled my waistline, sliced cheese, listened to Irish bagpipe music (okay, I admit the CD might have been a mistake), cleared dangerous ions from the air while I sleep, and rotisseried a chicken. None of which would have been possible without a simple phone call, a credit card, and shipping and handling.
The products sound so appealing. They use words like amazing, revolutionary, and ingenuous.
I ordered Hercules Hooks™. When the wires arrived, they looked too frail to hold up a hand mirror, so I got rid of them as stuffers in my Christmas stockings. I put them in Debbie Meyer Green Bags™ and tied them with a red ribbon. As far as I know not one of the “golden” hooks tarnished or developed mold.
I was tempted to buy the revolutionary odorless kitty litter box, but I didn’t own a cat. Thank heavens, because I read the inventor was indicted for murder. The defense said “the Boy Scout leader, and kitty litter entrepreneur had a secret drug problem that led him to cross paths with a drug dealer and a prostitute, and eventually stab them to death.” Maybe smelling too much cat poop pushed him over the edge.
I heard children can inherent proclivities towards certain addictive behaviors — like alcoholism and drug use. I just didn’t know it applied to infomercials until I walked into my daughter’s home. The Bug, my grandson, grabbed my hand and escorted me into the family room as a broadcast for the Smart Clip™ aired.
“Grandma, you’ve got to see this,” he implored. “You know how Mom’s always losing her cell phone?” His voice was passionate. “Well, she can peel and stick the clip on her cell phone, and then just slip it on her purse like this.” He slapped the imaginary clip on the invisible cell phone, and hung it onto the strap of the make-believe purse on his arm (we won’t even go there). “Look, no more lost cell phone.” He flung his hands in the air over his head signifying success. “Don’t you think this is the perfect gift?”
Okay, so maybe he saw a need.
The next time he came over and he started telling me about these “amazing” Space Bags™. “Grandma,” he said, “you can store anything in one-fifth the space it takes up in your closet. You just pack the bag, slip your vacuum hose into the turbo valve, turn it on, and voilà, (what six-year-old uses the word voilà?) it shrinks. You can stack the bags or slip them under your bed. I’m telling you they are amazing, Grandma. They’re waterproof so you won’t have to worry about a flood.” Those advertising madmen really sold him. We live in sunny California.
Now this nasty gene is affecting more of my posterity. The Worm, my granddaughter, wants a Pillow Pet™ for her birthday. We’ll see whether her parents cave in or not. The Bug had wanted a leopard spotted Snuggie™ for his. His dad bought him a yellow bathrobe, flung some black paint on it, and told him to put it on backwards.
I am cured of infomercials. I’ve got to suck it up and do it for the grandkids. But there’s always the county fair.
- Family vacation Chevy Chase style
- Let me introduce you to my family
- Weekend at grandma’s
- Play ball
- I am woman, hear me roar