September 12, 2009

As Seen On Television (part 2)

I got a note from fellow Grand Central author Tiffany Baker:

“I saw The Girl Who Stopped Swimming in my local B & N yesterday. The good news: It was prominently displayed on a table right by the cash registers. The bad news: The table was labeled "Strange and Unusual." I laughed out loud.”

Ha. That seems about right. I think I could make a case for all my books making that table...

Meanwhile, did you know that Target has an aisle called, “As Seen On Television.” They do. I discovered it last week while exploring the neglected back corner of Deepest Darkest Super Target. It was well beyond sheets, amd a goodly hike past Towels and Small Appliances. I had to get through Pet Needs and pass by Toys. And then there it was! “As Seen on Television.” A wonderland of the mildly bizarre.

Your garden variety insomniac will recognize most of the products on this aisle. They are from the Dark of Night Informercials, but not the WEIRDEST ones. Target stocks the infomercial products that that you might actually purchase in the DAYTIME after a good night's sleep when you haven’t been washing down Tylenol PM with hot-milk-and-campari for four straight hours and you enter a furry mental state where a machine that claims to give you buff abs in only ten minutes a day while you use the kinetic energy that comes from your sit ups to chop fresh herbs and garlic starts to look like a REALLY GREAT IDEA!

In other words, you won’t find Spray on Hair, a product that essentially lets you cover your thin spots with Hair-ish colored Silly String.

You also won’t, ALAS ALAS, find the magnificent Flowbee, the amazing product that turns your vacuum cleaner into a “revolutionary home hair cutting system.” Yes. Really. Flowbee sucks your hair up a tube and nips the ends off. I cannot express to you how happy it makes me to simply know Flowbee exists.

But not at Target. To put Flowbee into Target would be to mass market The Big Crazy. It cheapens lunacy. We need to keep our crazy on the 3 – 3:30 AM slot on Comedy Central, where it remains close kin to art, thanks. Target is more about THIGHMASTER, you know? They have things you might really use, like machines that allow you to dry your own fresh herbs.

Of course, they also have, “Strap Perfect” which I think pushes the boundaries of Big Crazy because it is such a horrifyingly named product. But it is actually, mercifully, only a type of exercise bra that goes under most shirts. Perfectly Target-worthy.

It was while cheerfully exploring As Seen On Television that I came across a machine-let called The Perfect Push-Up. It is just handles. They seem to do ...not much. They seem to just... make push-ups harder. My first reaction was, excuse me, but push-ups are FREAKIN HARD ENOUGH. And they cost THIRTY FREAKIN’ DOLLARS. SO there was NO reason to get these things. But I put them in my cart in a fit of Info-Madness. And you know what?

Completely worth it.

I’ve never bought a thing seen on television. (Well, not true. I had a weeping 3 AM brain melt once that ended in several hundred dollars worth of Victoria Jackson cosmetics. I choose not to remember this.) But these perfect push-up things? When I got them, I could BARELY knock out ten girl-ups on them. SO HARD.

But I kept working at it. Building up to 10 man-ups and 50 girl-ups on these things, and now when I go to bootcamp and we do REGULAR push-ups, I am knocking them out like they are NOTHING. I have NEVER had anything like Upper Body Strength. These things WORK. They really, really, really work, and I am dreaming of a next summer filled with cute sleeveless blouses, maybe even a tank top, and the ability to lift heavy objects. These things work so well, I am terrified I am going to start BELIEVING infomercials.

Someone needs to stop me before I find myself standing on bleeding feet I have scraped clean off with a Ped-Egg, trying to drink kale I have run through a JACK LALANE POWER JUICER while slowly asphyxiating in the rubbery punishment tomb of a Slimming Shaper.

It could happen.

Posted by joshilyn at September 12, 2009 8:06 AM

The PedEgg is MAGIC.

Posted by: RuthFischer at September 12, 2009 8:44 AM

I recently rescued a Flowbee from my grandmother's basement. I haven't used it but it makes me happy to know I could if I wanted to.

Posted by: Melinda at September 12, 2009 9:43 AM

The Chop Wizard is great! And my Daughter swears by the PedEgg, but I always thought it seemed gruesome.

Posted by: Susan at September 12, 2009 10:08 AM

The PedEgg IS magic!!!

Posted by: pam at September 12, 2009 10:19 AM

The ads for the ped-egg make me retch. MUST they show someone's stinky, scraped, powdered foot-flesh actually pouring out of the thing? EEeeeuuwww.

Posted by: Brigitte at September 12, 2009 10:20 AM

I have never even heard of that one! Put a pic up so we can all find this magical device which will allow me to so sleeveless with carefree abandon!

Posted by: Allison at September 12, 2009 10:24 AM

YES YES that's why I do not HAVE one! Because of the cavity full of DEAD MITE-INFESTED flesh-rind they DUMP OUT on TV.

Posted by: Joshilyn at September 12, 2009 10:25 AM

You might want to go back and get the strap perfect to use with your tank tops and sleeveless shirts of your dreams. It's not actually a bra. It is little plastic thingees that make your bra straps come together in the middle of your back so your straps won't hang out on your shoulders showing outside your sleeveless tops. They are very simple and work very well. Congrats on the pushups!

Posted by: MelissaB at September 12, 2009 11:16 AM

The Ped Egg rules, especially when you lose your job and can't afford pedicures!

Posted by: SaltedWithShadows at September 12, 2009 11:40 AM

I work in retail and my store also has an "as seen on tv" section. Did Target have Smoooth Legs? Because it is teh awesome, and by awesome I mean gives me hope that one day I too can use items in my garage to make millions. It's a "magic" hair removal device that consists of...sandpaper. 600 grit sandpaper on a palm-sized pad. I love America.

Posted by: ellbee at September 12, 2009 12:57 PM

OMG. I've never seen a Ped-Egg commercial. That's just sick. I'm delighted to hear about your pushups, though. I must pay my As Seen On.,.store.

Speaking of visits, there's an award waiting for you over at The Turtle, Do come on by and pick it up, okay?

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at September 12, 2009 10:46 PM

Ped-Egg. Buy it! That is all.

Posted by: Kristin at September 13, 2009 1:05 AM

I just googled the PedEgg and threw up a little.

I am very jealous of your push ups... I once told my husband I could do some (because last time I tried, I could do, like 20, but I was also 20 years old...) and he said "prove it" and I could do about two. Weep.

Posted by: Heather Cook at September 13, 2009 6:52 PM

Oh, but the Flowbee? Totally worth it. So not crazy, unless you're talking crazy FRUGAL.

We inherited one from the inlaws, and I can make that thing sing! No one in this house except me has so much as set foot in a commercial hair-cuttery since 2000 or so.

If the Flowbee gives out before DH's hair finally does (and it is a close race at this point), I'm easily in for another one. At nearly $15 a pop for adult heads (and not much less for kids), I'll make my money back pronto!

Posted by: Mariela at September 13, 2009 10:14 PM

My husband does perfect pushups and my almost-one-year-old loves playing with them, spinning them around and around. And my husband does have some nice arms. But it is true when he brought them home, I was like, "What? You bought this in a drug store?!?"

Posted by: emily jane at September 13, 2009 11:04 PM

When I try to do push-ups, my dogs think I'm on the floor just to play with them and pile on. I spend more time laughing than exercising. I hope laughing uses up a lot of calories, LOL. I might get a pair of these but I'd probably spend all my exercise time trying to get them back from dogs. They prefer keep-away over fetch and anything reachable is fair game.

Posted by: LaurieB at September 13, 2009 11:25 PM

My all time favorite Sold On TV product was the Hula Hoe - the weeder with a wiggle. That is marketing genius.

Posted by: Tequila Cookie Chris at September 15, 2009 9:58 AM