All it takes is a few quick tweets before my blogging brain goes into overdrive.
It started last night as I butted in on a Twitter conversation between my friends Sarah and Erin. Although not a requirement for butting in on Twitter, I felt a little better because I have met these two lovely ladies in real life.
It started like this:
Erin: Ditto! RT Sarah: I never buy if pitch includes 1 What if I told u 2 Risk Free Trial or 3 This will go fast so get yours while u can.
I jumped in and admitted to buying many things over the years that were “As Seen on TV”. Other tweeters got in on the conversation telling me how they had bought at the “As Seen on TV” store at the local mall. Most of them were gag gifts. I politely responded. No really. This was no gag. I bought into the infomercial hook, line, and sinker.
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Fadra seems like a bright girl. I just don’t see her doing that.” That’s why I’m here to confess. I want you to learn from my mistakes. And they make for some pretty funny stories.
It started way back when I had a lipstick obsession. I’m mostly over that now. I worked at a drug store and the only way to look halfway decent in a blue polyester short sleeve smock is to wear some knock out lipstick. Unfortunately, said lipstick requires multiple applications over the course of a day and I just didn’t want to be bothered with that.
Enter Lasting Kiss. The year was probably somewhere around 1994. Internet was around but not in the way you youngsters know it. We couldn’t just go online and find unique and interesting products to buy. We had to watch late night TV. We had to watch 30 minutes worth of an infomercial to really feel like a product just had to work. It just had to. I mean, it had a money back guarantee so what was there to lose?
Lasting Kiss was a product designed to allow you to apply your lipstick once and have it stay on ALL DAY. Sounded good to me. Of course, I never gave much thought as to how that would happen. I called. I ordered. The product came and I was so excited. I applied the lipstick color that I had chosen. Then I applied the sealer. Then I went to work.
My first clue that this wasn’t a good system should have been that “sealer.” It looked like, and felt like, clear fingernail polish. In retrospect, it probably was. A few hours into my shift, I noticed that my lips felt weird. I looked in the mirror and the “sealer” had dried on my lips and contracted my lips. Meaning, that when I moved my lips, as lips are naturally designed to do, the entire surface of my lips cracked and bled. It was awesome. And by awesome, I mean hideous.
I took advantage of my 30 day money back guarantee and got a full refund (less shipping and handling, of course). I guess I should have thought twice about ordering it but I thought for sure it must be good if Hot Lips Houlihan used it. If you look hard enough, you might still be able to find Lasting Kiss. Let me know how it goes.
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE…
The Product: The Principal Secret
I bought the Principal Secret skin care line back when it was available exclusively through TV and cost hundreds of dollars. Victoria Principal had GREAT skin so it must be worthwhile, right?
Returned for full money back guarantee. Turns out Victoria Principal has had plastic surgery.
The Product: Smart Mop
My husband and I attended some sort of fair where we got sucked into the live demonstration of the Smart Mop. We bought it. It worked.
I have no idea where that mop is now. I think the mop head got sort of dry rotted despite the “machine washable” claims. Or we just got tired of it. I’m sure it went the way of the yard sale.
The Product: ShamWow
If I had actually seen Vince, the ShamWow spokesman, before I purchased my ShamWow, I don’t think I could have purchased said ShamWow. But since we always seem to get taken in at these local fairs, and it always seems to be some woman with an Australian accent making it seem like the coolest thing ever, we handed over our $20 bill and walked away with a complete set of ShamWow.
I’d rather call it ShamOkay. It’s not as magical as you think and I’m more comfortable reaching for a paper towel anyway. They are currently buried under my kitchen sink and somewhere in the garage.
The Product: KnitWit
I’ve saved the best for last. This product, I have photographic evidence of. I’ve always longed to be a crafty person. I’ve been known to make some awe-inspiring centerpieces at Thanksgiving. But that’s usually where my craftiness ends. I still envision knitting a giant Afghan that will be passed down in my family for generations. That’s where the KnitWit comes in.
Here is the KnitWit pitch (I even kept their actual font because it adds so much to the pitch):
KnitWit® afghans are made with an ingenious little gadget that lets you pop-off round or square flowers so quickly that you can finish a large afghan in less than 48 hours!
48 hours? Are they talking some strange time warp alien version of 48 hours? I still have my KnitWit in the closet. I think I’ve been working on it for about 15 years. Granted, I’ve taken a few breaks. I only work on it every few years so as not to stifle my creativity. I’m making progress. I’m hoping to have it ready for my children’s children.
Take my advice. If you have seen in on TV and it’s advertised as “As Seen on TV”, it means “this is most likely a piece of crap that we’ll mark up 400% because there is always some sap watching TV late at night that buys into it.” That sap would be me. You’re welcome.
TRUE CONFESSION TIME. Let’s hear what you’ve bought. Success stories are welcome but highly unlikely. I won’t judge. Oh wait, yes, I probably will.