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I Heart Infomercials (Pt. 3)

Continuing this highly uncharacteristic strain of integrity and mental fortitude (don’t worry, I’m seeing a doctor about it later today), here’s the next batch of infomercial reviews, served piping hot and fresh from my lil’ noggin to yours.

And because my brain is much like a runaway train in that any derailing whatsoever could result in mass destruction and devastating casualties, rather than trying to back up to explain what this is all about, I’m just going to refer anyone out of the loop to this and this.

All right, (clap) let’s do this!

Simplicity Compact Fabric Shaver (, $7.99)

According to the product description, this little contraption is designed to remove pills and fuzzies from sweaters, blankets, carpet, Andy Garcia’s back, etc.  So I decided to test this theory out on a favorite sweater I’d worn since the mid-90s that had developed some pesky fuzz-nubs in some rather “titillating” locations.  (Let’s just say I looked cold all the time.)  Anyway, because of this, I hadn’t been able to wear it since back in ‘ought-3, so I was delighted to find that such a device existed to remedy my problem.  However, after the shaver had its way with my poor sweater, the pills had become mangled, raggedy tassels.  (Which, also, were not a good look for this particular location.)

I’ll be honest, I was pretty bummed out.  This sweater had been with me through bad haircuts and good times and all the unholy awkwardness of my teenage years.  We’d seen things together.  Done things together.  Horrible, unspeakable things.  And, frankly, I wasn’t ready to let go of that bond just yet.  But, after the shaver did its dirty work, it was clear there would be no miraculous recovery for my sweater so, with a quivering chin, I took it outside to the garbage can, cradled it lovingly in my arms and told it that it was a good sweater, and then put it out of its misery.

By shooting it.

Kind of spooked the neighbors a bit, I think.

Verdict: Granted, it was my fault for not testing the shaver out beforehand, but you live and learn.  Maybe it’d work better (or at all) on some different kind of fabric, but I’m too bitter and resentful to ever try again.  Fool me once, shaver. That being said, if you’re prone to developing sentimental attachments to garments or despised the movie Old Yeller for robbing you of your sweet childhood innocence, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this device.

Next up…

VuPoint Digital Film and Slide Converter FC-C520-VP-BX2 (, $102)

I bought this as a gift for my parents last Christmas.  I distinctly remember standing in the checkout line, congratulating myself on being such a thoughtful daughter as I imagined the hours of nostalgic joy they’d derive from poring over our old family slides, digitizing the treasured photos of our youth for future generations to cherish.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know how well the slide converter actually works because, as it turns out, my parents have zero interest in that scenario.  Apparently, they’d much rather spend their free time (and children’s inheritance, might I add) jet-setting off to exotic locales, braving the great outdoors, hosting lively parties, and generally being total parental deadbeats.  Kidding, Mom and Dad! (Hah, like you guys read this blog anyway…)

Verdict: This is a great gift for sentimental, loving parents who actually cherish reflecting on their family’s precious memories.  Or, if you’re just a bitter child with an axe to grind.  (How come you never went to any of my school plays, huh, Mom and Dad??)

Whoops, sorry about that.  Moving on!

Swiffer WetJet (available at most retail stores, $8 for starter kit)

In the beginning, there was darkness and disorder.  Muddy shoe prints, dried coffee stains and mysterious sticky spots commiserated conspiratorially out in the open.  Stale crumbs lurked in the shadows, menacing passersby.  Roving rival gangs of cat hair rioted in the streets.  The broom crouched in the corner, quaking in its bristles.

Who could save this lawless land?

And then, just as nearly all hope had vanished, the Swiffer WetJet moseyed into town.  Bringing with it its long, righteous arm handle of justice.

And peace and order were restored to the kitchen.

The end.

Verdict: The Swiffer WetJet is the only reason our apartment hasn’t been condemned for major Public Health and Safety code violations.  So I recommend.

Up next on the chopping block…

Fling-ama-String Cat Toy

My oldest brother put me onto this cat toy, which hangs on a doorknob and whips a string around via a battery-powered elastic conveyor belt.  He’d bought one and raved about the hours of endless entertainment it provided (I’m assuming for his cat) — and, since I’m all about neglectful parenting, I jumped at the prospect of wearing out Roxy and Talula’s fluffy little backsides without having to actually interact with them in any meaningful way.

And it worked great for the first few weeks.  Every time they started getting unruly or obnoxious, I just turned that sucker on and—bam!—they’d gravitate to it like pod people to the mothership, fully prepared to trip their tiny cat minds until either the battery died or they collapsed from exhaustion.  But now, much like Pokemon, slap bracelets and leg warmers, the fad has apparently passed and my cats are so over it.

Verdict: This thing has gotten rave reviews all over the Web and won awards by people who apparently give out awards for that sort of thing, so I’m going to assume my cats are just finicky jerks and heartily recommend this item to any and all cat owners.  However, one word of caution:  Prior to purchasing, you will need to come to terms with the fact that owning this item means that you are, in no uncertain terms, a cat person.

That was a hard step for me to take because it’s generally viewed as being about as cool as wearing a fannypack or collecting commemorative plates.  And, especially unfortunate for Chuckles and me, we didn’t have any other serviceable door in our apartment to attach it to except our front door — which means, this convoluted contraption shrieks “WE’RE CAT PEOPLE!” to every poor sucker who enters our home.  The only thing more obvious would be if we had a six-foot-tall cat tower in lieu of a sofa in our living room or matching T-shirts with their faces screen-printed against a rainbow backdrop.

Anyhoo, that’s enough reviews for a while.  There’s still plenty more where that came from, but even I’m sick of this project by now, so I can only imagine how spiteful and vindictive you guys must be at the prospect of another infomercial post.

Maybe we’ll pick it back up again sometime down the road, but I think we could all use a “break”.

You know, just to kind of clear our heads.  See where we want this to go.

Maybe date other blogs.

Kidding. Katie and I will hunt you down if we find out you’re cheating on us.




Yeah, my cat Ming has now decided she’s too mature for that toy. She let me know by casually leaving the room when I turned it on in hers, then she promptly vomited on our bed. However, what she’s NOT too mature for is cellophane candy wrappers and twist-ties…oh, and ankles.

You know, it’s really hard to pretend like I’m actually working when I laugh uncontrollably at my desk. Do you mind? kthanxsbye


I had a friend whose cat LOVED those weird little pokey teethy rings under milk jug twist-off lids…and hair ties, or rubber bands, or whatever people call them these days…

I’ve also heard that more discriminating kitties like eating Katie’s toes…

Sorry about your sweater :-(

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