The Flexseal Screen Door Boat

Why can't I look away?
I have seen many late-night ads for Flexseal, and one thing always stops me dead: the screen door boat. This is one of the most brilliant bits of commercial showmanship on the air today. I'm willing to bet there are kids today who will remember the Flexseal screen door boat decades from now, the way we old folk remember 80s ads like "Where's the beef?"
Flexseal is a sort of aerosolized rubber. It sprays on like spray paint, and hardens to create a seal which is famously waterproof. The ad shows people using Flexseal on ordinary things like cracked plant pots and leaky gutters. 

I don't honestly have the faintest idea what I would ever use Flexseal for. And I live in a rural area in a part of the nation that gets a ton of rain. But if I have something leaking, I just, you know… repair it. Or put a tarp over it. Whichever suits the situation best.
And then we get to the screen door boat! They take a regular screen door (we are assured it is not some kind of trick screen door) and start spraying on the Flexseal. I guess if you spray enough of this stuff on window screen, it makes it watertight. To the extent that they replace the bottom of a rowboat with this Flexseal-covered screen door. And miracle of miracles, the boat not only floats, it stays bone dry inside!
Granted, you could accomplish this same thing many other ways. In fact, I can think of at least two other "As Seen On TV" products that could do the same thing. (Space Bag and Seal-A-Meal). Let's face it: if you think about it, it's not really that big an accomplishment to make a screen door watertight. I could do it with some sealant and one of my aforementioned tarps. You could do it with candle wax. Fiberglass. Spray foam insulation. Honestly, the mind boggles.
But that doesn't keep it from being an arresting sight, as the announcer paddles awkwardly around in a half-circle. It's a screen door! Covered in Flexseal! I have to admire the showmanship, even as I'm rolling my eyes at the corniness and silliness of the stunt.
I tell you what they need to do: team up with the folks behind Magic Mesh, the "instant screen door." That's a match made in Heaven!

Facial Flex | Why, Why, Why?!


It seems all our posts here leave us wondering why? Why would someone invent this? Why would an investor spend money to bring it to market? Why would anyone in their right mind purchase it? And, then we see videos of people like Lisa Robertson “modeling” this particular product on air at QVC and we are left wondering, “Why on earth would she volunteer to do that on national television?” Better yet, why on earth would she do it knowing that it can be seen forever with the assistance of YouTube?

What am I talking about? The Facial Flex, of course. It’s this amazing little device that helps you avoid the knife and strengthen those facial muscles the old-fashioned way: exercise! Stop! Don’t laugh. You can exercise your cheeks and neck. Just watch Lisa.

And, for just $29.95, you can tone your way to a tighter jawline just like Lisa. In fact, in the YouTube clip, Lisa has a caller report that she uses the product every day in her car as she drives to work. Can you imagine the looks she gets from her fellow commuters? Ha! Poor Lisa can’t even respond verbally. She just nods and points. The medieval, I mean amazing, contraption in her mouth prevents her from doing much of anything else.

Don’t feel too bad for poor Lis, though. Top hosts on shopping channels like QVC and HSN make well, and I mean WELL, into the 6 figures.

Oh, and yes. This particular clip made the rounds of all the talk shows, news outlets and late-night laughs the week that it originally aired. 

No Toy Ads Before Movies!

If this is the newest trend, we’re going to have to start skipping previews.

And I love previews, so that sucks. But if crap like this is going to be advertized before the movie or the previews begin, you can count us out. Last night my best friend and I took our daughters to go see The Lorax. While our kids loved the movie—and what kid wouldn’t, with its bright colors and big song numbers?—the two of us had some real issues with it. But that’s another post.

Before the film itself, we were subjected to something utterly horrifying that pissed us both off to the point that we were glaring at one another above our daughters’ ecstatic, grinning heads—a commercial for these ridiculous Dizzy Dancer toys from Hasbro. Apparently part of the Fur Real franchise, these stupid animal toys with fluffs of fur on their heads were pinches of plastic shaped like tops that could spin on your hand or pencil or whatever.

The things were annoying enough as they were—with spinning on various surfaces being called “different tricks,” and a really annoying super!perky little girl narrating the entire commercial—but to have the plastic pieces associated with a movie that’s supposed to be about saving the environment was a double smack in the face to those watching the movie: Save trees, kids! But buy our plastic useless crap, too!

I sincerely doubt that the Lorax would approve of Dizzy Dancers—and especially not of the plastic they are made out of, the trees used for their packaging, or the consumerism their product and commercial promotes. In fact, with all of the mockery of the plastic in the film, you would think that they’d have chosen another children’s film to open up with this commercial…which frightens me.

I really don’t want our kids’ movies—or any movies—being led into with products like this. In fact, I was pretty pissed when we started seeing commercials for Gatorade and cars as it is; it’s one thing for local companies to buy ads but it’s another to get giant companies selling their wares in your face when you just PAID to see a movie. Stick to the previews!

If theaters want our money, they should keep prices affordable and work on getting more of us in the doors—not scare us away with tactics like this crap. You can believe me when I say that if this happens again, we’ll simply wait until the previews are over—or, better yet, wait until it’s on video.

Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel | Um, Why?

No, seriously... why?

I was digging around online, trying to see what was going on in the area the next few weekends when I came across the Michigan Home and Garden Show. Yea. It's always fun to get out of the snow and experience spring just a little bit early, right? I was excited. Images of forsythia and lilacs danced in my head. I was daydreaming about patio stone styles and wistfully thinking about Trex decking products when I saw that Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel would be performing.

Yes. He/she/it is the headline entertainment for the show. Oh, Michigan. How low have we sunk? Is this truly entertainment? The PETA implications notwithstanding, why would you want to see a squirrel in waterskis? Does that sound interesting to you?

We gave the world The Supremes and The Temptations. Madonna and Bob Segar. Eminem and Kid Rock. We gave our best and yet, at the Michigan Home and Garden Show, we get Twiggy? I am at a loss. I am confused. I am horrified!

Not to mention, who in their right mind would think to themselves, “Hey, I know what we can do today. Let’s catch us a squirrel and teach it to waterski. Now, that would be funny. We can make millions. Those dumb*sses in Michigan would pay big bucks to see that.”

To his (or her?) credit, Twiggy actually has a cult following, a YouTube channel and a website. If you log on, you can see his tour schedule for the 2012 season (is there a season for waterskiing squirrels or are they referring to hunting season?), information about water safety for the younger fans and links to his sponsors. Yes, he has real, live sponsors. I wonder if Twiggy tweets … too much? 

Bumpits – Add Volume to your Hair


Have you seen the ads for these items where you add these plastic pieces with a bunch of bumps into your hair to help you get more volume.  The idea is that you lift the hair, place the Bumpit! on your scalp, and then place the hair on top.  It gives the allusion that you have more hair than you do and you have this amazing volume that others are envious of!

These are advertised as the thing that you need if you want to be able to create some of the hairdo’s of the past as they require you to have about five heads worth of hair to get the desired look.  Instead, you can just stick these in and you will be rocking that look in no time indeed.  You can also get them in different colours so it will blend in with the rest of your hair and no one will ever suspect that you did not grow another few heads worth of hair since you last saw them.

When you are ready to create your new styles, you will need to equip yourself with the Bumpits! as well as some bobby pins or other pieces of hair equipment to help everything stay in place for the duration.  Even though these have little teeth on them to keep the hair and clips in place, depending on how thick your hair is, you may still find that these start to fall out and you lose the volume that you wanted.

Eggies | Do You Really Need Help Boiling an Egg?

Another "As Seen On TV" Winner

My cousin posted a FaceBook update that read, “Used my Eggies for the first time. What a perfect hard-boiled egg!!!!!!” So, of course, I had to check it out. My first thought was microwave eggs, which is gross just to think about. First impressions are not always right though. Eggies are boiled in water, just like regular hard-boiled eggs. The twist is that you crack the eggs into the plastic Eggies containers, seal and then plop the container in the boiling water. The benefit, according to the manufacturers, is that you do not need to “spend hours peeling” the shells off. Really? Hours? I never knew it took that long. Oh, wait. It doesn’t.

The kinda gross bit is that the hard-boiled eggs end up with a flat end, quite unlike a normal heard boiled egg. As it cooks, the egg fills the plastic container and cooks with a flat top. How do you make a deviled egg when the finished product stands up straight instead of lying on its side? It doesn’t save any time or improve on the product at all. Mother Nature made a nice little package for the egg; why mess with it?

I don’t know. It is just so easy to put some eggs in a pan of cold water, bring it to a boil, take it off the heat and let them sit, untouched, for 20 minutes. Perfect every time. And, easy to peel as well. There is no need for extra plastic do-hickies in my kitchen junk drawers.  

Cami Secret – What Secret are you hiding?

Do you have tops that you know would be great for the office if it wasn’t for the front going down too far and showing off cleavage?  I know that I have tonnes of these in my wardrobe because bar star clothing only has one issue in it when it comes to the office – cleavage!

Enter the Cami Secret!  It’s a piece of fabric designed to look like a camisole that you insert in the front of the low cut shirt and attach to the bra straps, and voila, bar clothing is now office appropriate!  What a great way to increase your wardrobe by only spending a few dollars on this great option!

While I could see this working well for shirts that are maybe just a tad too low, but if that shirt is quite a bit too low, like belly button low?  You are going to need to attach a few Cami Secrets to cover up all that extra skin!  And that is going to just look silly and foolish and your co-workers are going to wonder about the wisdom of wearing that shirt to work before or after you attach the fabric

I don’t know about you, but my bra straps have a hard time staying where I want them to.  So what happens when I attach this bit to my straps and then they fall down around my elbows?  Is the cami going to stay in place or is it going to migrate or just come unclipped and bunch around my belly making me look bloated or pregnant?

Project 77

Predatory Christianity, A.K.A. "Adopt A Jew"
I usually stay away from the religious stuff, because it's all so earnestly wacky, it doesn't really count as a crappy infomercial or consumer product. It's like its own thing, you know? But I just couldn't give a pass to Project 77, which may be one of the most insulting, if not outright reprehensible, things I have seen advertised on television.
I stumbled across the Project 77 infomercial in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, which is when the Discovery Channel gets religion. It's usually four hours of Joel Osteen or whatever, but this Sunday it was something very different. It was a half-hour infomercial for a product that can essentially be described as "Adopt an African child, but it's a Jewish person, and you're trying to convert them to Christianity."
I'll just pause here for a moment to let you digest that tidbit. 

There are several facets to the Project 77 come-on. It's a surprisingly complex set of products. First you have Sid Roth, the man behind it all. Roth is a Jewish guy who was converted to Christianity through the Love of Our Lord and Savior, or whatever inappropriately capitalized phrase you want to use. 
Roth has received a suitably crazy-pants prophecy: we are currently in a supernatural window of time when Jewish souls can be converted to Christianity and saved, just before the End Times start. (That's right: buckle down for a year of wacky prophecy and overheated rhetoric.)
To this end, Roth has written a book which is designed to convert Jews to Jesus. (I should mention that throughout this infomercial, Roth is illustrating his point by cutting to entry-level actors portraying incredibly insulting Jewish caricatures.) How, you may wonder, do you get the book into the hands of a Jewish person? 
That's easy: you send Roth $77. Every $77 you send him will "sponsor" seven Jewish people. Or you can send $777, which is enough to "sponsor" 70 Jewish people, what Roth describes as "an entire neighborhood of Jews." I don't know what it is about that phrase that sounds so Holocaust-y, but it really gives me a shudder.
I suppose Roth has a mailing list of Jewish people, and he just ships these books out blind. Imagine what would happen if, oh I don't know, some Muslim dude started shipping copies of the Koran to Christian people. 
"Act now, before this supernatural door closes again!" Roth urges. You get a tacky Bedazzled keychain, plus a list of the names of seven Jewish people to pray for. Order today - a smug sense of self-righteous satisfaction is included FREE with every order!

Why Pajama Jeans Suck

Ok. I am all for comfort, but some clothing items just go too far. The Snuggie. Wearing slippers to the grocery store. You get the picture. There should be some amount of modern decorum in your attire, whether you leave the house or not. Sure, if you are staying home sick, wear your pj’s and that oversized cardigan sweater with pockets big enough to hold an entire box of Kleenex and a year’s supply of cough drops. But, walking to the mailbox? Running into the grocery store? Dropping the kids off at school? No. You need something that, at the very least, will not embarrass your kids for life. Enter Pajama Jeans, right? Wrong!

That’s what the manufacturers would like you to believe. They claim that these jeans are so comfortable that you “will want to sleep in them” and they are proud of the fact that there are “no buttons or zippers”. First of all, wanting to sleep in your clothes is totally abnormal. You sleep in pajamas or the nude, not in jeans. Furthermore, going through life with a zipper to pull up makes you completely oblivious to any and all weight gain. You can turn around only to realize that you put on 20 pounds over the holidays without even realizing it. Zippers are good. Zippers control you mentally and physically.

Oh, one last comment, any clothing item entitled “Skinny”, a la Skinny Jeans, that comes in a 3XL is not a good thing. I am not knocking people who happen t be a little larger, but, let’s just say Skinny Jeans are not doing you any favors after a certain size. *ahem*

Forever Lazy? As Seen On TV ....

I’m sorry, but how has “lazy” become a selling point? I may not specialize in sales copy, but even I know enough to realize that promoting a product as “lazy” may not be the best choice. Unless of course, you are marketing your product to coach potatoes. Maybe they appreciate blunt honesty? Maybe they do not consider the term “lazy” to be derogatory, more like a state of mind.

I mean, if you thought the Snuggie was bad (and all those copycat versions out there), trust me, this is waaaayy worse. In fact, it takes the concept of wrapping your body in polar fleece to a whole new level of slacker.  Not only does the Forever Lazy allow you to plop on the sofa, in front of the TV or with a good book (yea, right) all day but it also helps you … how does one put this delicately… relieve yourself without actually undressing. Yes. You read that right. People have now become so lazy that they choose products that make urinating and defecating less of a nuisance, less of a hassle. We all love a good pair of slip on shoes, but this is ridiculous.

Of course, you are probably assuming that no one in their right mind would make such a purchase. Come on. I know you are curious. You don’t want to read any further, and yet, you do. It is one of the most popular items currently available at, right up there with Pajama Jeans. *shudders*