Originally created 10/03/04

TV tempts me with products I didn't know I needed



Dawn! A new day! This could be the start of something average.

- Ziggy

It's 4 a.m. The pup is up and so am I. We've been out for his pre-dawn walk, and now we're watching TV while waiting for the newspaper.

This is not your regular TV programming, either. Gone are the reality shows and crime dramas.

They're replaced by a host of product pitches and business opportunities tailored, no doubt, for the sort of person who watches pre-dawn TV - the sort of person who is interested in the cash flow business, or selling real estate notes or ordering figurines off the Internet and selling them at flea markets for big money.

"What would we do with all that extra cash?" I ask the dog, who does not appear to be taking notes.

Other channels quickly provide the answer - we'd spend it on infomercial products.

Time-Life is on three channels simultaneously selling nostalgia from my youth with recordings of the greatest hits of the 1970s. The value of this music by groups even I had forgotten is being touted by two salespeople much too young to remember it.

More sinister is the offer of a set of stainless steel knives worth $840. It is a veritable cavalcade of cutlery, but I can take advantage of this special television offer and get it all for three payments of $13.33.

I get light-headed just thinking about it, or maybe that's just the effect of the super air freshener, which makes everyone in the room feel better, according to the TV.

This health theme continues with a very pretty bottled water machine that looks like it belongs in the kitchen of people with too much money.

These are really nice-looking people, too. They're much prettier than any of my friends.

Maybe that's because they've already shaped up with something called Hop Sports. This program offers a variety of successful workouts that involve jumping around. It looks a little bit like hopscotch, but a man identified as a "professional sportscaster" explains its many cardiovascular benefits.

For sculpting, there's the AB Lounger, whose salesman tells me its "jackknife" technology provides the full range of motion required to give you sexy abs.

Next up is the EZ Strider. It doesn't have jackknife technology, but then it looks like it works on your rump. I might add, the rumps of those shown using it don't need a lot of work.

Finally there is a long commercial for videotapes of Girls Gone Wild. These seem to feature multiple images of young women revealing much about themselves while behaving badly.

I start to cover the dog's eyes with my hand but notice he is now sleeping. At this time of day, I conclude, he has the right idea. It's the safest thing to do.

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.