The Ottumwa Courier

Columns

July 29, 2013

Late-night TV blues & reviews

OTTUMWA — Calling all responsible shopping units. Nocturnal subject spotted watching infomercials in the wee hours of the morning.

Subject appears to be incoherent and has his credit card out. He’s leaning back in his Barcalounger with half a sock on and Cheetos sprinkled all over his shirt. We’re going to need some backup. Sir, please put the credit card down!

Sir, I’m going to ask you to turn the TV off and put the credit card and phone down. You’re not thinking clearly, sir! Where’s my backup!

It’s a battle of wills: your sanity against a wall of nighttime infomercials and ads using every trick in their arsenal to get you to part with your money.

Shaun T must be stopped!

I wrote earlier on these crazier-than-crazy infomercial workout videos for only a few easy payments of $19.95, like Insanity.

Well I was flipping around the channels and the Insanity instructor, Shaun T, has expanded his role, refusing to be typecast like some entertainers.

Not satisfied only being on 36 times a night, Shaun T branched out with a video called “Hip Hop Abs!” They know how frustrated  you are trying to get that six-pack. But this is available for a limited  time! It’s Hip Hop Abs!

They’ve developed this new strategy that if you move your body rapidly, you’ll burn calories and work your muscles. It’s not just insane, it’s Hip Hop Abs! And it’s on all night, on every channel!

And it gets even better, according to the informercial, because you are so lucky to be watching this:  You now have only 12 minutes to call or you’ll blow this never-to-be-offered again deal ... at 3 a.m. on a  Wednesday.

It’s a $400 value for only $79.85, and tonight, just three easy payments of $19.95! Did I tell you about the Nutrition guide, the Hip Hop Calendar, the Measurement Card and Tape Measure? Did Shaun T say a 30-day money back guarantee? Well good luck with that.

When I watch these workout video infomercials, I just wish these people who were trying to do sit-ups and crunches the old-fashioned way weren’t  so out of shape, disheveled and frustrated while performing so poorly in black and white film. Gosh they don’t seem to be having any fun at all.

This Shaun T guy must be an absolute genius! He’s the hero of the Beachbody fitness infomercial empire.

Still, there are voids out there. Just Hip Hop Abs? That’s it? I mean I don’t mind exercising, but does it have to be to synthesized lip-sync, drum machine music? That’s our only choice? No Hard Rock or Classic Rock Abs?

Alright, Mr. Insanity, Mr. Hip-Hop Abs guy ... Shaun T ... if that’s even your real name. So there’s no Disco Abs either? Talk about people who were moving their bodies rapidly and burning calories! No Hair Band ’80s Abs and no Grunge “I’m going to wear a flannel shirt and hate my life” Abs?

Don’t you see my point? This is ab discrimination!

So to prove my point, I’m coming out with “Bluegrass and Country Ho-down  Abs.” It’s just four easy payments of $19.95.

I’m not going to let this Shaun T guy just corner the market. I’m gettin’ in the game!

The Pocket Hose

We’ve all fought with regular hoses, straining to get them rolled up again or unkinked. You feel like Indiana Jones fighting for your life while just trying to water your plants. But not with the $10.95 Pocket Hose!

Now this product is amazing. The lightweight hose can fit into a tiny space but expands from its accordion design and grows into a thick, long hose.

A word of warning: Dogs love the Pocket Hose too. If your dog likes to chew, it’ll go right after it. Thanks Master, you didn’t have to buy this chew toy for me!

But, this “accordion technology” is the future. Think about the possibilities. Pocket Fire Hoses and Pocket Cars, great for parking, are just around the corner.

Instant 20/20  glasses and Zoomies

The instant 20/20 Adjustable Dial In Eyeglasses commercial starts out with a crabby old guy complaining to his wife, “Honey, I can’t find my glasses! Where’s my glasses! I can’t find my glasses!”

But after he gets the $29.99  20/20 glasses, his marriage is bliss again.

Then they show another guy by the pool with these thicker-than-thick rimmed glasses dialing in the focus to check out some young women in bikinis.

That’s when he gives a smirking, goofy look to the camera and says, “They’re not fashionable, but they really work!”

I’m sure the young women in bikinis are saying, “Hey, who’s the creepy guy in the thick-rimmed glasses? Call security.”

Related to this are the Zoomies, the only compact and hands-free binoculars that resemble something out of a Terminator movie.

The same crabby guy is seen in this commercial too. This guy needs lots of glasses because he keeps losing them and blames his wife!

Try wearing these during a presidential visit or to the police station when you have a question. See how that works out for you. These would be great on a first date too.

Our nation’s spy agency, the NSA,  may put you on their red-flag list. On the positive side, you’ll be able to see the SWAT teams coming for you.

Fortunately, most people fall asleep before succumbing to these sales pitches.

Code 4: All clear. Subject is getting drowsy, attempting to put his credit card away. Subject has resisted the sale one more night. Whew! That was close!

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