Since Ron Popeil first teased me with the Pocket Fisherman, I have been hooked by the television infomercial.
In taking the time to jot down all of my “as seen on TV” purchases over the years, I have compiled what I believe to be an exhaustive list, totaling 23 items. However, in taking various mental walks through the bowels of my home, that list seems to be growing by the moment. Oh…Oxyclean…forgot about that one! See what I mean? Make that 24. Darn you, Billy Mays!
I don’t know what’s a greater indictment of my weakness as a man – the fact that I have purchased 24 things off of television, or the fact that I have so many things cluttering my home that I have purchased off of television that I cannot immediately recall them all from memory. When I was a kid, every few months, my mom would go on a (what seemed to me at the time) “crazy” cleaning spree in which things were loaded into bags and a timer was set. We were permitted to keep anything we could remove from the bag and put away in the time allotted. It taught many lessons, but mostly it was an education in hoarding. “If you don’t use it, get rid of it,” she used to say.
But here’s the thing…I use pretty much all of the things that I have purchased from TV. With rare exception, I have been an overwhelmingly successful TV shopper. There have been some pretty monumental busts, however. So…here we go…the best and worst of the 24:
The Showtime Rotisserie Oven – Where Ron Popeil failed with the Pocket Fisherman and Spray-On Hair (GLH-9 is its actual product name), he knocked it out of the park with the Showtime Rotisserie Oven. Based on repetition of use, quality of product produced, and the fantastic free toss-ins (the solid and liquid flavor injectors, the grill gloves, the roaster basket), this baby is a can’t miss. Best Thanksgiving turkey ever!
The Sobakawa Pillow – What is a good night’s rest cost these days? Not $100, not $75, not $50, not even $30 like you may be thinking. For one easy payment of $19.99, you can rest your weary dome on a pillow of buckwheat hulls. I use it ever night – have for over a decade – and it’s glorious.
Space Bags – Triple your storage space with these easy to use plastic storage bags. These things are outstanding, especially if you have kids or limited closet space. Suck all of your sweaters into a flat rectangle come spring and store them until next season. Suck up comforters, T-shirts, blankets, anything. Store up all of the clothes that your kids outgrow in 1/3 the space. Caution, however, the travel bags are great for packing a ton into your suitcase for that big vacation, but remember there are weight limits.
The Lazy Man’s Car Wax – The theory is that you can clean and wax your vehicle in one step without having to wait for the application to dry. Wipe it on, apply a little elbow grease, wipe it off while still wet. Unfortunately it only proves a theory. Very streaky and leaves behind a tough to remove film.
The Simoniz Car Wash Kit – This baby is equipped with an extension rod topped with a rotating head of shammy strips, like you would find in the old-school drive-through car washes. This is great…if the water pressure from your hose was actually enough to spin the head. While dry – fantastic. The second the shammies get wet, they become too heavy to spin. The soap dispenser frequently clogs and the bug scrubber is too weak-bristled to have any real impact. On the positive side, the pressure nozzle does blast out the gutters pretty well.
The Pet Brush – Designed with rubber bristles to get deep down into the fibers of your carpet to draw up that tough to vacuum pet hair and dirt particles, the pet brush (can’t recall if it had a cooler name than that) delivers on none of its promises. It simply kicks up the old hair and dander that has electromagnetically stuck to the bristle from the first time it was used. Fail.
So there you go. If you have any questions on any products, let me know. From the Weider Crossbow to Mr. Misty, I’ve got an eclectic collection. And please, if there’s something out there that I simply must try, let me know!