Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays

According to numerous new outlets and his son's Twitter account, Billy Mays has died. This sucks.

Billy Mays made me want products I never even knew I needed. And not in a sleazy, "you're not cool if you don't have it" way. In a way that celebrated invention, ingenuity and hilariously extreme laziness (See: pants glue).

I have a theory. The nutritional value of ice cream is misleading because there's no metric for joy. This theory applies to the products sold by Billy Mays.

Earlier this year I bought a Steam Buddy, in large part because Billy Mays' name was on it. Yeah, maybe I could just iron my clothes, or go the dry cleaner as often as I should, or even buy a professional steamer and keep it in a closet. But it delights me that I have a contraption that does -- cheaply and well -- what I need it to do.

Last month a friend of mine got married, and instead of giving her hand towels or champagne flutes, I bought her a set of my most favorite As Seen on TV products. She loves them, and has the same look on her face each time she tells me she used one. It's the look we all get when we use an item Billy Mays sold -- a smug, twinkly smile that says you found a faster, better, more clever way to do something, and it was only $19.99.

In the end, Billy Mays wasn't great because he was a great salesman. He was great because either through his products, his personality, or his mere existence, he made people feel like this:

Photo courtesy of
LaurenFarmer, under CC licensing. Taken by Tiffany Arment

Billy Mays has died.

From the LA Times
Tampa police say Billy Mays, the television pitchman known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean, has died. He was 50.
More later.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Say goodbye to waterbras -- and hello to hair stuffing!

Are you humiliated by your natural flatness? Would you consider plastic enhancements to increase your sex appeal? Is your child's appearance just not "flirty" enough? Are you from Baltimore?

Then, my friends, Bump Its (Bum Pits?) are the answer for you.

Bum pits are basically the falsie of the hair world. You hide them in your ratty nest of a mane and voila! You no longer have to shout at your hair. Like this poor lady.

As you may have noticed, at about 37 seconds into the infomercial they call this child, modeling the Bum Pit, "flirty."

... Since we're friends here, I can openly admit that as a child I was a princessaholic. Every Halloween, every birthday party, and heck, usually every other day, I was rocking a princess costume. Thanks to this life experience and expertise, I can assure you that while I wanted very desperately to appear regal, glamorous and elegant -- if someone called me "flirty," or suggested I stuff something into my princess costume (and please note that a tiara is a crucial part of a princess costume) that would make it appear more "flirty," I would have alerted the authorities.

Stats: $19.99 + S&H for two large, two mini bang, and one "hollywood" Bum Pits.
Bum Pits volumizing inserts stay firmly in your hair. No matter what style you are bumpin'!

Can give you that extra "umph" when teasing just isn't enough. No, seriously, the first step to using Bum Pits is to tease your hair. Imagine if first step to use the slap chop was to chop your food with a normal knife.

Cons: People may mistake you for that alien from Mars Attacks.

Verdict: No thanks, hon.

Best informercial URL ever.

The graphic's not too shabby, either.

That is all.