I was introduced to infomercials a few days ago. I have to admit, I had never before felt as deprived of the good life as I did after an evening of watching infomercials. One may wonder why anybody would spend an entire evening watching these endless shows of screaming people and the truth is I was 1) mesmerized by their excitement and, 2) too lazy to change the channel.
My epiphany came on a recent trip to Georgia. The day of driving was over and all I wanted to do was lay around the hotel room and be lulled into mental oblivion by the TV. The first thing I saw was a commercial for a genuine, real life, honest to gosh, real McCoy, certified, shiny fifty dollar gold piece. The announcer informed me that to possess one of these gold-clad coins struck exclusively by a mint I never heard of would make me the envy of the entire county. Such was the huge demand for this remarkably detailed and authentic gold-clad coin; the company had placed a limit of five per person. I was further surprised to discover that the mint was selling these rare fifty dollar coins for a mere nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents. I was even more excited to find that, if I called in the next ten minutes, they would double my order! Well, I certainly wanted to be the envy of the county so I reached for the phone only to discover that my bride had snuck off with all of the credit cards a few minutes earlier. She had locked them in the car as a preemptive move. Being far too lazy to go get them, I reassured myself that I would call and get a couple of coins the first chance I got.
Settling back in front of the TV, I was overjoyed to find another infomercial with yet an even more incredible and exciting product that I just HAD to have. This one was a rag of some sort that was so great it would change my life. It would, the announcer shouted, be such a life saver I would want one for my house, my cars, my boat, even my golf bag. I was thrilled to find that it too came at the very low price of $19.95 AND, if I called right away, they would send me TWO rags of wonder (pay extra processing and handling of course). I was so jazzed at the prospect of having these rags; I almost got off my bed and went to the car for the credit cards. I said almost.
Well, the evening went on and I watched infomercial after infomercial. I saw everything from magic dust mops to some machine that will, in a mere ten minutes a day, give the user “rock-hard” abs, or something like that. The last product I saw before switching off the lights was some such nutrition pill that promised to “enhance” my life. I was pretty sleepy by then so wasn’t real sure what they were touting except they kept saying “enhanced” over and over.
It’s no wonder I had nightmares.