I recently went on vacation to Hawaii and came back sicker than I’ve been in years – fever, laryngitis, and cough that sounds alarmingly like a death rattle.
I blame the three sick tourists I was on an enclosed bus with for twelve hours as we covered the entirety of the Big Island nearly two weeks ago. But that would not explain why none of the other people I traveled with got sick, only me.
I’m on day 2 of the modern miracle known as antibiotics and I’ve still yet to entirely unpack my suitcase, let alone stop coughing for five minutes. Believe me when I tell you that I have tried every remedy people have given me for this cough and this sucker will not play along. I think my cough is mocking me.
I had great plans to hit the ground running after this vacation, but I think we all know that God laughs at our plans, joker that He/She is.
So I’ve been forced to do nothing, basically, until this thing I’ve got decides to vacate the premises. And the fact that I can sit here and write while coughing my head off makes me think of the late great Garry Marshall, who, in his first book, called Wake Me When It’s Funny, said he became a writer because he was a sickly child and needed a job that he could do from his bed, if he had to.
That resonated deeply with me and here we are, fever, cough and all. (What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation with Garry…)
So the thing about being up at all hours is you get to partake of the phenomenon known as the infomercial on TV during the wee hours.
I believe that Cher may have started this phenomenon with hair products in the early 90’s, but don’t quote me on that. It could have been Tony Robbins, Peter Lemongello, or the Thigh Master. I really have no idea.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that in addition to being utterly fascinated by the concept of the infomercial, I myself have partaken on at least two previous occasions – the aforementioned Tony Robbins (on cassette tapes, no less) and Windsor Pilates (on VHS tapes). And I will tell you that, regardless of how many years ago these two purchases were, I did actually use them and benefit from them, so I lean in favor of the concept of the infomercial, if the products are good.
Of course, some of the stuff they sell late at night is just ridiculous, even to the untrained eye. That curved piece of plastic you are supposed to ride and twist on like a surfboard will not give you washboard abs. It is more likely to give you a trip to the ER when you fall off the damn thing.
I still would very much like to own some of those TimeLife music collections, particularly the 70’s singer/songwriter ones. Oooh, and the complete collection of Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. That looks like a good one, too! Or I could just be saying that, because I am hopped up on ineffective cough syrup. Hard to tell, at this point.
Anyway, the past few nights, I’ve been watching a couple of infomercials that have me intrigued enough to consider buying them. With no shortage of irony, I will tell you that one is a workout regimen, and the other is that Copper Chef cooking pan (in the new extra-large edition) with a host of accoutrements.
I would like to point out that the necessity for a pan that can hold six chickens or 200 meatballs (yes, they said 200 meatballs) is rare, and I know that, but they do such a good job of cooking mouth-watering and artery-blocking food that I am still tempted.
And as for the workout videos, those are a combination of Pilates and Yoga called PiYo, and the attraction for me is that there are no other gizmos or gadgets required – just you and your body on a mat for 30 minutes a day doing this stuff. And of course, the testimonials were over the moon.
I tell ya, whoever put that infomercial together did a great job, because the testimonials were from people far heavier and in worse shape than I am, which kind of makes you feel like you would actually do this and get good results.
Of course, this is all theoretical, and I am waiting to see if I still feel the same way about these things when it’s not three in the morning and when I know I am cognitively sound, again. But it’s entirely possible that sixty days from now, I will have a new, lean and toned body…or a bunch of stories about some great food I cooked in bulk quantities. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide.
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