Sunday, June 12, 2011

As Seen on TV

As Seen on TV

I've said it before and I'll say it again – I'm a sucker when it comes to televised sales pitches. I can't help it; I really want to believe in new miracle products that claim to make our lives easier, cut the time we spend in the kitchen, or make us look younger. The thing of it is, most of the stuff being hocked is just a twist on an old idea.

For example, there are innovative furniture moving pads you place under the legs of furniture (only $19.99 for 16), making moving furniture a breeze! On TV, it looks as if they're gliding over ice. It made me want to buy them if only to join in the fun; they were swinging those chairs around like they were square dancing.

I wonder if folks knew about the moving pads that I used when I was younger. They were called cardboard, and you went to the grocery store to get it - for free. I will admit, there's a bit of labor involved; you have to cut it up. But, to be fair, they probably didn't work as well.

I was curious, however, about a new fashion break through called “Pajama Jeans”.

On TV, they look just like real jeans; and according to their maker, you can go out wearing them and no one will be the wiser. They're made of an exclusive and innovative fabric called “Dormisoft” that moves and stretches with you for a perfect fit. They had me hook, line and sinker; anything that makes me more comfortable is a must have to my way of thinking. Still, I wasn't sure about buying jeans from a commercial.

Enter the Walmart.

I went there last week on one of those dreary days we'd been having and noticed that there was a section called “As seen on TV”. Is it possible that it had been there all along and I hadn't noticed? No, it must have been new because I can smell a revolutionary, breakthrough gadget a mile away. I'd never miss a cluster of them.

I held my breath and hoped that Pajama Jeans would be there in all their splendor and comfy goodness. As if on queue, the clouds opened and the sun shone its golden rays through the skylight directly above the display. It really was a magical moment.

All I could think was please, please let there be Pajama Jeans.

And they were there; my heart was beating fast as I knew I'd just saved $6.99 in shipping and handling fees. A rush of happiness washed over me as I reveled in my good luck. Then I looked at the price tag and my moment of Zen came screeching to a halt. They were “only” $39.95. Um, what?

Now, I understand that they're made of a new and wondrous fabric called Dormisoft, but almost forty dollars for one pair of “jeans”? On the other hand, it was the most comfortable pair of jeans I was ever going to wear in my life, and I wouldn't know how I managed to live without them. Well, that's what the commercial said and we all know I believe just about everything that comes from the wise soothsayer that is the television. I threw them into my cart, when something else caught my eye.

Robostir; it stirs your pots for you.

Have we really gotten too lazy to stir a pot? Well, yeah, I kind of have. Wait, I should amend that – I've been lazy most of my life; so the thought of a robot stirring my pot was appealing. Besides, I've scorched my fair share of spaghetti sauce in my time so if Robostir saved just one batch, it was worth $10.99. And again, I'd saved on the shipping and handling; I'm so clever.

I continued to search this new display of “As Seen on TV” retail genius.

On the other side of the rack, I found a brand new product called “Easy Feet” - no more bending to clean your feet! You put them into a pair of what looks like slippers while over 1000 rejuvenating bristles clean and massage your feet. I pondered that one, but put it back on the shelf as I didn't think I could justify the purchase. I could just hear Matt asking me if I was really too lazy to bend down and rub soap on my feet (sadly, we've established that I kind of am).

I rifled through products that would grow an entire garden in one small space, found lids that were supposed to fit any pot in your house, and saw a pillow that fit the contours of your neck and cradled your head. It was a good thing we'd just bought new pillows or I probably would have been putting that claim to the test.

The next thing to catch my eye was something called “Spray On Foundation”. It's face makeup meant to even your skin tone and cover discolorations. I had to know what miracle I was holding in my hands; I was already imagining how it was going to magically transform the look of my middle aged skin.

According to the packaging, you shake the bottle, close your eyes, and spray a mist of color that will make me look like my face has been airbrushed. Now, really, there's nothing bad about that. If I didn't buy it, I'd never know the joy of going twelve hours looking fresh; like I'd just put my makeup on. It joined the Pajama Jeans and Robostir in my cart; I couldn't wait to try my amazing products.

When I got home, Matt took a look at my booty of wonder products, shook his head and said, “They see you coming. You know that, right?”

Well, I'll show him.

He'll eat those words as I prance around in jeans so comfortable I could sleep in them. Then, thanks to Robostir, I was going to make the best spaghetti sauce he's ever tasted; after I'd applied makeup that would make me look like a 25 year old.

Then reality blew in like a storm in Kansas.

I put on those jeans and boy were they soft. The thing is, they looked nothing like real jeans; at least not to my untrained eye. They looked like, well, pajamas. Worse, they were so form fitting, you could see my panty lines. Not willing to admit defeat, I decided that I probably just needed to break them in; I carried on.

Next I sat down at my mirror, opened up my spray on foundation, and sprayed my face. And my hair, the wall behind me, the shirt I was wearing and the chair I was sitting on.

I'm sure with practice, I'll be able to apply that makeup and look like a model. Until then, I'll use my hands to smooth the streaks running down my face.

It was time for dinner, and since one of the excuses, I mean, reasons, I'd bought Robostir was to avoid burning spaghetti, I assembled my ingredients. I put my AAA batteries in old Roby, positioned him in my pot, and just as Matt walked in, I turned it on.

Turns out, you're supposed to start on low, then graduate to high.

There was spaghetti sauce all over Matt, me, the stove, the ceiling, the floor, and the refrigerator. I seemed to be having a field day when it came to flinging products through the air. Revolutionary, breakthrough products, I should say.

So there I stood; makeup smeared on my face and in my hair, spaghetti sauce all over my shirt, and pajama jeans riding up my rear end, wondering what else in the world could possibly go wrong.

That's when Robostir almost launched himself across the room.

I could tell Matt was ready to laugh out loud; until he saw my face. I don't usually swear, but that day I yelled curse words I didn't even know I knew. They came tumbling out of my mouth like molten lava from a volcano, and were pretty much as unstoppable. Matt stood as still as a statue, probably in fear for his life.,

After my hissy fit, I put my chin up, marched right around Matt, went into the bathroom, and got in the shower – clothes and all. I stood under the warm spray for 20 minutes, peeling off my pajama jeans, and scrubbing makeup and sauce out of my hair. Then, I went into my room and watched my favorite show – TV infomercials and wondered if that foot scrubber would have come in handy after all.

I never learn.

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The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
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