Watching an informercial usually elicits one of two reactions: 1) Omg, I need this!; or 2) What kind of idiot would buy this? You'd think most people would have reaction #2, but a product has an undeniable appeal when it's sold to you via infomercial at 3 AM in the morning. For some reason, it sounds exactly like what you never knew you needed.
While some infomercial products really seem like good ideas, others are so ridiculous that it's hard to imagine millions of people ever bought them. Below are 5 items that far too many of us bought. Perhaps some of you have these items sitting in your home this very minute1. Meatball Magic
Meatball Magic was pretty much pointless right from the start. First, if you're too lazy to just mix together the few ingredients and roll out meatballs by hand, then you should just avoid cooking altogether.
But even if there was an easier, lazier way to produce meatballs, this device is not the one. First, you have to gather together 3 pounds of meat and lay it out on the counter in an even layer. Then you press the Meatball Magic over the meat and slice around to remove the excess meat from the sides.
The next part is where most customers end up totally disappointed. See, the directions tell you that all you have to do is move the device around in a circular motion for 9 seconds to get perfectly rolled meatballs. But the rolling action takes far more than 9 seconds.... perhaps 2 minutes or more.
In all that time, I could have easily rolled out a dozen or more large meatballs by hand. And I wouldn't have a ridiculous, redundant device that I'd have to wash afterwards.2. Flowbee
Apparently, the very first generation Flowbee was a great idea. I assume back then, it was made in America, hence sturdy, reliable construction that met industrial safety standards. Soon enough, people started complaining about the flimsy parts and questionable wall sockets.
I'm going to assume that at some point, these starting being manufactured in China - that would explain the subpar construction and safety issues. Still, even with the original Flowbee, these aren't any better than buzzing your own hair off with a pair of cheap clippers. That means you get an all-over one length cut that's no good for styling.
But let's say you're cool with that because you have zero interest in style. The next issue is your vacuum. Unless you have a really powerful, late model vacuum, expect the whole process to take a lot longer than expected.
The only good thing I can see about the Flowbee is that the hair gets sucked in between the spacers, hence no mess on the floor. But once again, the spacers have been problematic in the newer Flowbees, so even that feature isn't what it's cracked up to be.
In short, today's Flowbee is a smaller, weaker device with problematic power sourcing. That doesn't sound like something I want to use on my head.3. The Chillow
Now, I sympathize with menopausal women who are constantly hot and sweaty when they sleep. A pillow that stays cool all night sounds great for this late-in-life dilemma. But the Chillow is way more work than it's worth. As you can see, one side is the shiny, cool side where your head goes. That makes sense, but why it it all floppy like it's got nothing inside?
Well, that's because you're supposed to fill it with water. The advantage is you can chill or freeze it, but do you really trust the idea of laying down all night on something full of water? Plus, you'll have to fill and chill this thing each and every day. Once again, a great idea in theory, but not quite "as seen on TV" when you try it out at home.4. Epilady
Looking at it from this angle, you have to ask: why would anyone use this on their skin? Of course, the commercials just show Epilady -a clever combinaton epilator and lady - as an ordinary, harmless electric shaver.
What they promise you, though, is hair free legs, underarms, what have you, for weeks at time. That miraculous effect is achieved by removing the hair from the roots.
Women threw common sense to the wind, buying into the implausible claim that removing from the roots would be painless. Those who have tried the Epilady will tell you that it's essentially a yanker of hair, which hurts - a lot. Granted, it's cheaper than going to the salon, but there's no way this is painless.5. The Slap Chop
This is slightly more helpful than kitchen gadgets like Meatball Magic, but once again, if you can't just break out the knife and cutting board you have no business cooking. I've actually seen these in action in people's homes. They're good for small things like garlic, or pre-sliced veggies, meaning you have to get out the knife anyway, so....
Seriously, this things is so limited in it usage. You'd think you could just position it over half an onion and go to town. Nope - way too big and thick. The Slap Chop is basically another case of people throwing common sense to the wind, thinking a $10 device can do the work of a full scale food processor.
By the way, these things are a pain to clean if you don't have a dishwasher. I'll just stick to my stury, old-fashioned kitchen knife, thank you very much!