Keep the credit cards hidden at 3 a.m. 0
I'm not sure when my fascination with infomercials began.
Maybe it was all those long, lonely nights spent nursing and rocking hungry or teething babies until the sun came up. I'm surprised my kids' first word wasn't Ginsu.
Perhaps it was all the nights I spent waiting for teenagers to come home.
With basic cable, there's not much on T.V. at 3 a.m. except televangelists trying to sell you pieces of the ark and companies trying to sell you everything from fitness programs to complete CD compilations of every song ever written by Conway Twitty or the Monkees.
Maybe it was all those K-Tel commercials I grew up with. Yep, we owned the record selector, the Veg-o-matic, the patty stacker and the chef's knife that cuts everything "so thin your in-laws will never come back."
We had many of the "songs that made them famous" albums featuring everyone from Don McLean to the Jackson 5.
It was pre-online marketing at its finest. Gizmos and gadgets I still find at garage sales were once lovingly ordered and shipped - and used two times at best. The joy came in the owning, not in the using.
So far, I haven't bought the Magic Bullet, but I would love to join the party in that infomercial, oohing and aahing at how you can create a complete four course meal in less than a minute.
In the middle of the night, everything looks good.
The Miracle Bra promises to restore your girlish figure - or your money back!
The miracle is how they can get your credit card number for a company that doesn't even exist.
They can convince you of anything when you're suffering from sleep deprivation. Logic and insomnia don't mix.
I've owned several of Suzanne Somers' thighmasters. Each one worked even less than the last one. I guess you actually had to use them.
I bought into the insanity of fitness guru Susan Powter's "Stop the Insanity" in the nineties.
And yes, God help me, I even spiked my hair. I haven't completely eliminated every photo taken of me during that era, but I'm getting there, one horrific print at a time.
I've sweated to the oldies, but I'm happy to report I never bought a Snuggie - a blanket with built-in sleeves that reminds me of a strait-jacket.
I also never owned a Chia Pet or a Clapper.
There were a few items too bizarre even for me. I never bought the Ronco spray-on hair, which apparently works fine until you walk in the rain.
And who can forget the Flowbee, a machine the cuts your hair and vacuums up the mess at the same time!
They get you all riled up with lines like "but wait ... there's more" and promises to double or even triple your order if you call now.
And "cleanup is always a snap" no matter how many vegetables you're juicing.
Everything takes 10 years off your age and is guarantee to remove unwanted odor, hair, age spots, zits, wrinkles ... and any available credit you have left on your Visa.
But if you call in the next 10 minutes, just think of all the money you'll save!