FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

Bass-O-Matic - Dan Aykroyd[4]

Late night and often not so late night television is saturated by commercials for mail order products. Well, not so much mail order as telephone products. “Call now at 1-800-YOU-SUCKER”

The variety of products available is amazing, running the gamut from soup to nuts, though I really can’t recall either soup or nuts being offered. I suppose the closest to the latter are the ads for solutions to ED. Now exactly why Ed is a problem I have no idea. The only Eds I have known were upstanding gentlemen, and had quite good posture when erect. Why they would ever need an everyday pill so they could achieve this erect status whenever they desired sounds silly to me. When I want to stand I just attach the block and tackle of my portable crane to my shoulders and winch myself out of my seat.

I am constantly amazed that some of this merchandise is marketable at all. Odd devices that serve many uses are touted as bargains at $19.99.

“Purchase this remarkable safety pin for only $19.99. It’s unique design includes the entire text of the Consumer Product Safety Act written on its head!” Harrumph! As if reading that would save you from getting pricked.

“Be one of the first 5634 viewers to call and we will send you, at no extra charge, your free gift of a roll of belly button lint removed from our company president!”

I won’t torture you by demonstrating but the volume of the voice overs is always amplified enough so that, if you were reading these commercials on line, they would be in all caps.

Too, the announcers are practically breathless in their recitations and speak so fast that if they were reading this sentence, in print it would appear like thusly :

Tootheannouncersarepracticallybreathlessintheirrecitationsandspeaksofastthatiftheywerereadingthissentenceiprintitwouldappearthusly

Often the commercial will be an infomercial, wasting an entire half hour of your time instead of just 30 seconds. If you are old enough you should be able to recall TV commercials in the early days were generally one minute long. On occasion they may have been longer, as this Betty Furness Westinghouse commercial will illustrate, all 2:29 of it

One of these infomercials I have witnessed, usually as I channel surf right past, is for something called a Nuwave Cooktop. This innovative method of preparing your meals apparently was developed by bands such as Depeche Mode, Blondie, A Flock of Seagulls, and the B-52’s in the 1980’s and only recently licensed for sale to the general public.

Speaking of the B-52’s

“Call in the next ten minutes and for the price of one, $19.99, you can get TWO tactical thermo-nuclear bombs and, as part of this special offer there are no shipping and handling charges and these weapons will be delivered to your door by one of our specially equipped B-52 bombers!”

If like me, you believe many of these products are shoddily constructed of inferior materials, or how else could they be so inexpensive, then your concerns are confirmed that now you can buy two for the price of one. I mean TWO thermo-nuclear weapons for $19.99? Must have been constructed by Muslim terrorists being paid the minimum wage and forced to work overtime for free. Sort of like the Walmart of nuke building.

I’ll tell you a secret. I once fell for a Dragon commercial. That’s the program that allows you to talk and your words will be transformed into text in your computer instantly. Since I have never learned to type I thought this was just what I needed to increase my output. I called, worked through some phone prompts and, for the discount price of only $79.99 I soon had myself an order for Dragon and been charged nearly $200.

It took a few days to get this glitch reversed and my order completely cancelled. Thus, I had to return to my old ways of typing each letter one finger at a time, frequently the middle one, and can write less than desired.

Aren’t you glad?

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Comments

  • Charles Marshall  On November 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    You are on a roll today Dave. As always, I enjoy your blog.

  • Little_Minx  On November 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Another column with newspaper potential. Well done, UMOC!

  • toadsly  On November 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    So, you don’t think the vacuum pump thingy will mske my thingy bigger?

  • Devildog  On November 3, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Looking forward to your best of blog book coming out!

    • Little_Minx  On November 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      The best of Reg Henry’s columns will be coming out soon.

  • Devildog  On November 4, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    It may be stupid to spend so much money on elections but not one major, contested election will be decided because one candidate had over the other a significant money advantage. So much for teeth gnashing, so much for Citizens United. There are “special interests” on both sides; that’s the way it is and always will be-and that’s not as bad as taking away the right to contribute (with disclosure).

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