Friday, 27 February 2009

"Snuggies, Sham-Wows and Hair-Bumps...Oh My!"

We leave Florida tomorrow and I'm going to desperately miss this place. I'm not even referring to the gut-wrenching trauma which is the airport 'good-bye' or the fact that these bi-yearly visits with my family seem to just race by and before you know it you're back in your kitchen, the post is piling up, the dishes even more so and your holiday seems like it was a lifetime ago.

No, i'm referring to the modern pop and consumer culture which I've been delightfully exposed to for the past two weeks. But where do i start? I guess infomercials is as good a place as any.

You can't really flip through a tv in the States without landing on some serious hardcore infomercials. You don't mean to stop - in fact you purposely try not to - but what happens is that land upon some freakishly hilarious or odd image which compels you to stop and take a closer, voyeuristic look. That's how I happened upon 'Snuggies'. You wouldn't be silly for assuming this product was some sort of nappie (diaper) or slipper. But how wrong you would be.

No, the good folks at this television network came up with a product that is half blanket and half diabolic bathrobe. Only it has a cowl neck (one should make an effort when draping oneself in a blanket/robe out in public after all - there's no need to appear slovenly, however much you desire comfort at the expense of dignity). It also delightfully happens to comes in bright, bright blue...the colour of a smartie. I'm sure there's an artificial additive it was modeled on but I'll have to get back to you with the exact E4 number...

At any rate, this monstrosity is fitted on overtop your clothes (at least I hope it's overtop the clothes) and can be worn at home while watching tv, brought along in handbag for when visiting friends and family who are frugal with their heating and you don't want to offend (though how you would not offend on some level whilst wearing this full stop is rather doubtful), or best of all, when flying on an airplane.

It was this last image which threw me. I am all for being as eccentrically garbed as you wish....within the privacy of your own home. But I fail to see how a sane person could board a 747, stow their luggage in the overhead compartment, then pop on the day-glo coloured 'Snuggie', sit back fitfully in their seat, buckle the seat belt and not put the fear of God into every other passenger (well that or cause a flight delay as cabin staff take it in turns to walk past row 37 and check out the freak in the crazy cloak). I just don't get it....

The other product I took a fancy to is a 'Sham-Wow'. I particularly feel drawn to the 'Wow' aspect of it. For although it resembles a piece of cheap orange cloth, the REASON it costs £19.99, and will CHANGE your life, is because it mops up absolutely everything! (Apparently if I had had this on hand the last time our bathtub overflowed and extensive damage was done to the dining room ceiling, we needn't have worried! It would have mopped up an entire small pond in one easy dab!)

So you see, I need a 'Sham-Wow'. Even the customer testimonials attest to their necessity in every home and the delight they bring families across the nation. No spill is too great. No pet's wee is too acrid. No car is too dirty for a "Sham-Wow". I actually regret not ordering one on-screen at the time because they were throwing in 2 more sets of 'Sham-Wow's for - you guessed it - the price of only ONE 'Sham-Wow'! Wow.

The last infomercial which caught my eye whilst here was slightly sinister. I say this because ever since I saw it, whenever I see a woman with a bit of lift at the roots, I find myself obsessively sneaking peeks and wondering (sometimes aloud) if she's wearing a 'Hair Bump'. I'm actually convinced that three quarters of the female attendees at the Oscar's recently were wearing one.

For those of you not in the know (get with it!) a 'Hair Bump' as far as I can gather is a black piece of fabric and plastic in the shape of false teeth which sit atop your head, underneath a section of hair, poised in hiding amongst dandruff, greasy roots and a bad dye job. It's apparently the fastest and quickest route to a beehive or a 60's do at best, but for others I can see it becoming a regular habit. Forget hair potions, professional blow drys and strategic haircuts...with a 'Hair Bump' you can have the hair from hell and still look like a Bridget Bardot sex kitten from the 60's.

I was expressly forbidden to buy one of these. I bet Amy Winehouse has one...has several in fact. Who knows where my music career could go if only I was allowed to 'Hair Bump' myself up to the stratosphere. It's just not fair.

At any rate, I shall stop wittering on. I just wanted to share with you one of the reasons I shall be sad to go. Exposure to informercials has made me realise two things:

1) I am not as mentally unbalanced as I might have thought. There are others, who suffer so much more greatly.

2) My whole life might take a more positive turn, if only I could incorporate more innovation into my regular, mundane lifestyle. If for instance I could take to wearing my "Snuggie" in public, (say down the street for my grocery shop, gaining much-needed notoriety and eliciting envy), whilst mopping my home from top to bottom with a "Sham-Wow" (thus ensuring Domestic Goddess status and a sparkling clean environment within which I could go on to create musical masterpieces), all while sporting gloriously high mileage on my crown, slaying all and sundry with my sex-kittenish looks, safe and secure that my "Hair Bump" aint' going nowhere and will ensure I retain some element of glamour in my everyday life.

Who knows what could happen (sigh)....

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