Monday, January 09, 2006


On the weekends, I occasionally nap on my futon and before napping, I like to watch television for a few minutes. I don't have cable, so weekend pickings are slim, to be kind. Mostly it comes down to some sporting event or a third-rate movie from the '80s or infommercials. Invariably I pick the infommercials. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that I'm fascinated by infommercials and can't stop watching some of them.

For instance, that rotisserie oven one -- that's my favorite. I'll never buy one, but I'm fascinated by the different things you can cook in these ovens, and I love it when they show off the knife set and say things like, "Do you know how much you'd pay for just one of these knives? DO YOU KNOW?" And then they pluck some number out of thin air, something crazy like $200, and then they say, "If you call today to order a rotisserie oven, we will give you not one of these knives, but an ENTIRE SET OF KNIVES for free."

And just when I'm ready to pick up the phone and call, because people, a couple of my knives are held together with scotch tape, the announcer ratchets up the excitement. He says, "And that's not all you'll get if you call TODAY. We'll also throw in the flavor injector. The knives and the rotisserie oven are all good and stuff, but it's the flavor injector that gets me every single time because the food *I* cook tastes all the same. The infommercial people then spend the next 10 minutes injecting various kinds of meat with lemon or basil or garlic and then, they bake the thing in the rotisserie oven, and slice it open with one of the knives, and show off something that I can only call a thing of beauty.

Yesterday, though, I hit a new low. The above infommercial is my preferred infommercial; I must have seen it about 80 gazillion times (but have yet to actually spring for those knives, the oven and the much-coveted flavor injector). I usually skip financial infommercials and anything involving excercise. But yesterday, there was one guy (who kind of looked like a rat -- his face ended in a point at his chin, his hair was puffy and slicked back, and his eyes were narrow, and his cheek-bones were alarmingly high for a man) promoting his 'two-part herbal digestive cleaning system' and he actually used the word 'fecal matter'. In fact, he used it many, many times, and somehow, managed to keep a straight face when a caller asked, "I'm so tired, will this product help me?" And this guy answered, "Well, do you have kids? Yes? Okay, well, are your stools bigger or smaller than your kids?" And the caller KNEW THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION to the millimeter.

I nearly died.

Anyway, there was also a doctor, Jan Barron, who was a paid endorser, and she went on and on about fecal matter, and toxicity to the organs, and all the while, I'm thinking, "She looks like someone from 'Dynasty'." In fact, she even dressed like someone on "Dynasty" -- white gilt hair, a sparkly jacket with the huge shoulder pads that I *thought* were back in the '80s with big hair, blue eyeshadow, and legwarmers. Looking like a relic of the '80s, it was impossible to take her seriously as she discussed about dandlion 'rute' and how inportant it is to cleanse your colon and oh by the way, you do this, you will lose 15 pounds JUST LIKE THAT. Of course, the topping on this whole trainwreck was the breathless, "Call now! The first 100 callers get a STEEP DISCOUNT," never mind that at no time did Dynasty!lady or rat!man ever say how much the "two-step herbal digestive cleaning system" cost in the first place.

It was amusing, but not quite up to par with the aforementioned rotisserie oven. I like visuals (nothing like taking out some aggression by stabbing a turkey with a SolidFlavor Injector filled with cranberries, for instance!), but in the case of the "two-step herbal digestive cleaning system," maybe it was a good thing there were no visuals.

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