Infomercials, aka, Legal crack for kids

“Set it and forget it!”

Who could resist the allure of an at-home rotisserie that you didn’t have to hover over??

I grew up during the 80’s and 90’s during a time where the TV was full of all kinds of crazy products with the cheesiest and catchiest of jingles that had me running to my mom and topsytugging on the bottom of her shirt insisting that I absolutely HAD to have them. HAD TO!  But Mooooooooooom! I really want a Slap Chop, Chuck Norris’ Total Gym, Moon Shoes, and Spray on hair. MOM!! I NEED a Topsy Tail! How else will I ever get my hair to look like that?! BUT MOOOOOOM! They’ll throw in a second one for free, all we have to do is pay separate packaging, handling, and shipping! It’s a good deal, mom! Come ON! I NEED THAT SCOOBY DOO CHIA PET, MOM! Fine! Then get me the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica series! It’s educational! I’ll use it for the rest of my life! Ugh. FINE. Then what about Muzzy? It will teach me French! And Spanish!

My mom had it easy. It was the simplest of things to just flat out say no because all of the added fees were OUT OF THIS FUCKING WORLD, and you couldn’t get most of this nonsense in stores. Too bad so sad for me.
Well, in the interest of full-disclosure, I DID get a pair of Moon Shoes. They sucked ass. Maybe that’s why my mom wouldn’t blow $20 for P&H on other junk I begged for. Even once an “As Seen on TV” store popped up, everything was still so outrageously expensive, there was no way people were going to spend $45 on a frickin’ Thigh Master, and they went out of business in just a few short years.

In a stroke of sheer genius, I suppose Walgreens saw this as their golden ticket and by the time I had my own kids, every ridiculous thing that came on TV and insisted that you “CALL TO ORDER RIGHT NOW!” could be found on their shelves. And at a relatively affordable price, too! Well, at least… when you compare it to “4 easy payments of 15.99!” it is.

The magic slushee maker, the beaders, bedazzlers, weird little dot creator kits, cake pops, pillow pets, blankets with arms, shake weights, foot callous cheese graters for feet- you name it, and there is some ridiculous whose-a-whats-it out there insisting you MUST spend the 19.99 to have it in your possession. I don’t think my family watches an exorbitant amount of TV, but these commercials and their obnoxiously catches jingles get stuck in my head for days on end. It’s a pillow, it’s a pet, it’s a pillow-pet! The kids with their spongy little brains want EVERY SINGLE ONE. I swear there must be some kind of subliminal messages hidden in each ad, because the little buggers just won’t relent.

For six years, I managed to keep infomercial products OUT of my house. My feet might be rough, but no one will be coming across a Ped-Egg filled with my foot shavings that I accidentally left out on the counter, and my kids didn’t have laser light shows in their rooms when they were supposed to be sleeping. And then came Christmas.

Parker had been begging for a damn Flashlight Friend for months. He even convinced penghimself that he was scared of the dark just so he would have a legitimate excuse to be asking for one. But I need one, Mommy! I’m scared! I need to see in the dark and I won’t be scared anymore!
The child has NEVER been afraid of the dark for a day in his life. Curse you, infomercial! He simply would not relent, and began sneaking into my bed at night, claiming it was because it was too dark in his room. Sneaky shit. He knew Thomas and I hated it when he sneaked into our bed and slowly but surely took over, ruining our precious sleep. SUPER sneaky! I still wouldn’t give in to his demands, but he begged so much that we figured if we put it on his Amazon wishlist for the rest of the family, it would get buried in the hundreds of other things, and come Christmas morning when he didn’t get it, we would be able to say “Hey! We put it on your list! Not our fault!”- but that damn eye-blinding mofo sucked someone else in, and soon enough, Parker had, in his possession, a stuffed penguin with a light in it’s belly.

The child has been to Disney World 3 times. He’s been to Busch Gardens where the characters from Sesame Street pulled him (and only him) on stage and sang happy birthday to him. Basically what I’m saying is that the kid has had an EXTREMELY exciting and full life thus far- and still- I have never seen him more excited for anything than when he got that frickin’ stuffed animal with a flashlight on its stomach. Really?! I don’t get it! Subliminal messages, man; it’s gotta be.

I figured with the shrieks of joy and absolute glee he experienced from the moment he opened the gift until bed time (not to mention the fact that he refused to let it go) that this obnoxiously bright new ‘friend’ of his would be his new BFF. No way was he going to put this thing down!

Into bed he went, Flashlight Friend attached to his hips, and out went the lights. Not even 4 minutes passed before he was calling to me and Thomas from his room.

He couldn’t sleep because his new Flashlight Friend, the one that was supposed to cure his fake fear of the dark, the one that he begged and pleaded for for MONTHS- was staring at him. Yes, he really said that! Flashlight Friend got carried downstairs, and Parker went to sleep. In the dark.

I think this is what happens with most junk that comes from infomercials. The incessant repitition slowly drills its way into your brain until you are completely convinced that you absolutely cannot live without it, so you cough up the cash, get it, and quickly realize you didn’t really have much of a use for it after all. My mom knew that, and I know that now- but spongy impressionable little kids do not. Poor Flashlight Friend didn’t stand much of a chance.

Hopefully the same thing doesn’t happen to the Flippeez hat I bought him. WHAT?! I’m weak!!!

Posted on December 27, 2013 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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1 Comment

  • Oh my goodness. We say about Emry all the time, that when he is an adult, he is going to be an INFORMERCIAL PRODUCT HOARDER. Everything that pops up on a commercial.. HE WANTS.. it is like it CALLS to him. It is UTTERLY INSANE.

    We joke, but I seriously think he has a hoarding problem in his future.

    We almost got the penguin light too… but, that’s because I love penguins… and… well.. . I’m a penguin hoarder.. DON’T JUDGE!

    Happy New Year!