Wednesday, July 13, 2011

As Seen on TV

I have always had an odd relationship with commercials.   Maybe I watched too many Nick at Nite episodes of Bewitched.   Darren Stevens's advertising career  did always make  quite the impression upon me.  I used to sit in my bathtub at three-years-old and make up commercials for soap.  "Use dial,"  I said, flashing my toothiest grin to my rubber ducky.  "Get out of the tub, freak," said my older sister from outside the door.   I think this commercial obsession stems from the inherited,, dangerous, dysfunctional genes which lurk in my family.  The  same genes that create a compulsion to make things appear better than they truly are. 

  I am a salesperson's wet dream.    As a child, I would only eat name brand cereal.  Obviously Toucan Sam knew his shit, whereas Fruity Joe, the "Loops of Fruit" mascot, probably was a peeper or a child molester.  I tried to explain to my mother why the generic brands couldn't be trusted, and usually she was swayed--or more likely she wanted to do whatever was necessary to get me out of the grocery store quickly before I said or did something which would be mortifyingly embarrassing to her.   As an adult, I still am highly suspicious of generic brands even though I know they are in most cases, exactly the same.   But, whereas Dove has commercials with blue gunk sinking into pearls thus symbolizing the moisture being absorbed into my skin, generic brands only have sad golden lettering on the bottle.  No contest. 

"Good Gracious, Johnny!  Generic cereal?  I don't want my children to grow up to be hippies!"
If such is my relationship with commercials, you can just IMAGINE how I fare with infomercials.  They're commercials on steroids; complete with cheesy black and white "reenactments", pseudo science, and semi-famous B-level celebrity endorsements.   I love them like Katie Couric loves her own voice.  I actively seek out infomercials to watch.   I'd switch from a celebreality show on VH1 to a "Magic Bullet" infomercial in a hot second--to switch from a Law and Order: SVU rerun, it would have to be a good infomercial like say, the "Jack Lalane Power Juicer".

Without infomercials, how would you know what is missing in your life?   For example, I've never had any trouble cracking an egg, in fact every bowl comes with a "free" egg cracker--it's called the rim.  But when I watch the black and white reenactment of someone struggling to crack an egg or biting into a muffin with some eggshell lodged in it, I instantly, and with ever fiber of my being covet the advertised gizmo that easily and perfectly cracks eggs with just the touch of a button.  Or, for example, my hair is very naturally thick, but when commercials for the "Bump-it" show happy cheerleaders with big, voluminous hair, I want to purchase a "Bump-it" so that I may be a happy cheerleader too!  And I don't think I've ever made homemade guacamole, but with the "Magic Bullet" doing so would be sooo easy, I'm sure I would do it all the time!  AND it takes up no more room on my than a coffee cup!  

The Bigger the Hair...The Smaller the Hips!

Recently, at a swanky dinner party which I held (pip pip), my delightful Irish coworker, Claire, was talking about a product she saw in Walmart.  This product made her hate all that is America.   This product is basically a sandal with brush bristles in it, which you then suction cup to your shower floor.  You then stick your foot into the bristly suction cupped sandal, and run your feet back and forth over the bristles in order to wash them.   On the box it cheerily proclaims, "Never struggle with bending over to wash your feet again!"  Claire snorted, disgusted, as she recounted seeing this tag line.   "Sweet Jaysus, you Americans!   How difficult is it to bend over and clean your own feet?!"  And while everyone at the table heartily agreed, that night, as I showered, I noticed my leg slightly cramped up as I attempted to lift it and wash my feet. 

But while I'm a sucker for almost everything, there is nothing I am quite as big of a sucker for as for hair products.   I physically ache with longing for "Wen Cleansing Conditioner" whenever the models flip their bouncy locks during the infomercial.   When Chaz Dean explains that shampoo contains sulfates which weigh down your hair, thus making it necessary to apply conditioner to combat the damage sulfates cause, but in so doing, causes your hair to lose volume... the logic seems so airtight I feel like someone just told me it's easier to iron your clothes before you put them on.  Suddenly  my routine of using Pantene Shampoo AND Conditioner seems medieval.   And while I haven't broken down and bought "Wen",  yesterday I did buy an As Seen on TV hair product.

This little gizmo, called "The Hollywood Styler"  helped me to achieve Bohemian Curls simply by aligning the three silver nobbed heat settings.   I was so happy with it, that as I used it this morning I hummed hot, girl-power songs to myself  like "Pretty Girl Rock" and "Bad Romance".  And while it was probably more expensive than any curling iron device should be, can you really put a price on self-esteem?   Well, you can at least put an "As Seen on TV" sticker on it. 

1 comment:

  1. You are best. I remember that bump-it you had while we were in DC that you loved. You bet it's worth it. haha