Archive for Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Must-have products?

March 18, 2009

It’s late at night, I can’t sleep, and some guy named Vince, wearing a headset that appears to be serving no purpose, wants me to purchase this amazing shammy that will improve several facets of my life.

Yes, I speak of ShamWOW, the product that comes from Germany and for $19.95 will do wonders for cleaning your car, your boat, your RV, a kitchen spill or assisting you as you step out of the shower.

I wish I had a boat and an RV to clean, but I don’t. And I’m not sure how many people would use it as a shower mat.

It probably serves a great purpose of absorbing that water as you step out of the shower, but would anyone be decorating their bathrooms with ShamWOW shower mats?

Yes, the mustard-colored shower mat would really complement my ketchup hand towels and relish trash can.

Now, I’m not saying this product isn’t practical and wonderful, but Vince makes me not want to buy this.

I mean, do Olympic divers really use these things?

And he asks the “camera guy” whether he’s following him during a demonstration.

Well, first of all, how do you not know his name, Vince? One would think you would be on a first-name basis with your crew.

Second, Vince tells me I’ll be saving $20 a week on paper towels if I purchase the ShamWOW for a mere $19.95 one time.

Maybe I’m not the average paper towel consumer, but $20 a week? Holy cow, that’s a lot of trees.

Vince actually was the topic of conversation among some friends and me recently.

We were questioning whether we’d actually purchase the product, and one friend later noted it should be called ShamHOW, as in “How did I come up with such a horrible product?”

Part of me wouldn’t mind purchasing one just to see whether it worked, because if it did, what a handy product it would be.

And Vince tells me about these items, unlike Billy Mays, who tends to yell about his helpful products.

But sometimes these infomercials set me off.

The Snuggie for example, I’m sure, is wonderful to wear during cold Kansas winters.

However, when the commercial conveys this sense of helplessness unless you purchase this product, I can’t watch.

For example, a regular blanket makes it so hard to answer the telephone, if it were to ring, because you would have to reach out an arm from under that blanket and into the harsh elements of your living room to grab the phone.

Solution: put the phone by you, also under the blanket, so that you don’t have to reach for it.

But wait, what if someone does call? I then would have to put the phone to my ear, which would expose my hand and arm to the cold air in my living room. Maybe it is practical. I certainly could get a lot of use out of it when watching television or reading a book. And they work really well at football games, too. There will be some cold football nights in the fall I’m sure. What if I don’t have a Snuggie? I surely would be far less tolerable out in that cold air.

What’s that number again? Maybe I do need one of those Snuggies. And if I order now, I’m sure they’ll send me a second one.

Wait a minute, it’s March. It’s going to be in the 70s and 80s on a regular basis soon. Those nights watching TV likely soon will come with open windows, letting in the comfortable fresh air.

OK, the Snuggies can wait at least until next winter.

Whew, that was close. I almost purchased a must-have item.

— Shawn Linenberger is news editor at The Mirror.

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