Under The Tree, As Seen On TV

December 27, 2009

I have never bought anything advertised on television. The closest I came was the Time-Life Soft Rock Classics DVD set, which I assembled through other means, because I had a lot of the music already but not the dollars for the whole deal.

Maybe it’s because of early disappointment. When I was a kid, I sent away for a full-sized Inflatable Batman, and it never arrived, and the $4 I included in that envelope was gone forever. As I got older, I tended to buy things I could fondle first.

This Christmas, we received three As Seen On TV items as gifts. And my initial scoffs were quickly proven wrong.

The first came a few days before Christmas, when the inlaws came down to give the kids (their step-grandchildren) their presents. And there was something for me: Tow Truck In A Box.

The timing was perfect. Someone had tried to back the minivan into its spot after a six-inch fall of slushy snow over a flash-freeze of ice, and had gotten a front tire bogged down in the sinkhole where that tree stump used to be. After a couple of hours of trying to rock it out, I decided to wait until Christmas Eve when my brother was due, so we could push it out. Hey, the guy fought a train and won, so a minivan is no big deal.

Tow Truck In A Box is a set of four aircraft-grade aluminum plates with bladed ridges. You’re supposed to put them under your tires — linked together or alone — and use them to get traction and drive out. So I tried them. And fuck me if they didn’t work right off the bat. I had to adjust them once or twice, but in five minutes I was free of the ice and slush and good to go. The plates? Not a scratch.

Next up was The Magic Bullet. This is a cup-sized blender that you sort of tap to make it work. I’ve only used it once, to make a smoothie on Christmas morning. It was lightning quick, and did the job nice and fast. We have a blender attachment for The Food Processor Of The Gods, but it takes forever to haul all the components out and set it up. This thing is quick and easy. I doubt I’ll use it often, but when I do, I’ll like it.

And finally: Slap Chop. I’ve been laughing at Slap Chop infomercials for a long time, and so have you, but now that I have one, I’m happy with it. It isn’t some piece of TV schlock, despite its cheap plastic construction. It’s a simple mechanism and it works, and I like using it, because I hate food prep, but I like to make food. I used it tonight to add veggies to my frozen pizzas, and it took all of 30 seconds.

Two minutes after I opened it, I dumped some mixed nuts on the dining room table, slapped, and said “You’re gonna love my nuts.” You may think I was riffing on Vince’s infomercial, but really, I’ve been saying that for years, which may explain why Inflatable Batman never showed up.


One comment

  1. Remember with the Magic Bullets. Short bursts. Long grinds will burn the engine out. I use mine probably only a few times a year. But it works great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: