Seeing is Believing...Sort of
Slice-O & Veg-O-Matic
Several years ago, I found myself strangely fascinated with infomercials. It was a fairly new trend in television and I had only recently installed cable TV in our home. I never really watch television (on purpose) but stumble upon the remote occasionally and am compelled to scroll through 250 channels to see if anything looks interesting. Apparently, nothing ever did back then, except the infomercials.
I watched with slack-jawed amazement at every new plastic contraption that might..no no.. for sure - would make my life easier and nearly every item offered a promise I could barely resist. The last diet that I would ever suffer, the one exercise missing from my (non) routine all those years.. that one missing link that kept me fat (and really, they said, it isn’t my fault I’m fat). I knew they were lying. I knew the products were overpriced and flimsy and plastic crap manufactured in some wretched human sweatshop in some wretched faraway place that wasn’t America. I knew the models were airbrushed. I knew I would only use it once or twice and eventually shove the thing in a cabinet with the rest of the crap. I knew. Still.
Yes, I Have These Too
I own a Boflex. I own Zumba DVDs and silly shaker weights. I own the Most Comfortable Slippers in the Universe (they aren’t). I own 25 rubber lids that will fit any bowl in my kitchen (they don’t). I (used to) own powdery foundation that made me look flawless and much younger (pretty much true but over-priced and messy). I own a set of cassettes that promised to free me from guilt and make my life nirvana-ish (it didn't). I own a vibrating mat that turns any chair into a spa masseuse (it also plugs into a cigarette lighter in the car). I own countless exercise videos. I joined Weight Watchers, Nutri-Systems, and Slim 4 Life (I'm still fat). The final straw was an electro-shocking mechanism meant to fool my fat into thinking I had done sit-ups and push-ups (nearly pain free, they said). That particular purchase was more for fun. I knew it wouldn't really work. My daughter finally forbade me from watching infomercials. It was kind of an intervention thing, except really, it was just me feeling guilty and stupid. Three easy payments of $9.99 for the Free-Me-From-Guilt-cassette tapes hadn’t done the trick. Basic reality, finally, could not be ignored. I stopped watching television completely.
Walk of Shame
Then, the worst possible marketing concept ever created took hold at my favorite discount store. An entire isle dedicated to As Seen On TV was placed strategically near the checkout line. The same line that is always 25 people deep on a typical Sunday morning, giving me ample time to gaze at the sweat-shop products that had driven me mad only a few months ago. I spotted the Slice-O-Matics immediately, right next to the camouflage . Snuggies
I was already deeply attracted to the Slice-O-Matic and there it was. I resisted for several Sundays before I relapsed. Think of the salads I could produce, the tasty and perfectly sliced cucumbers arranged attractively around a mound of julienne carrots. Healthy foods--finally something that would really, really work to transform even a hardcore fattie like me into a healthy eater. I'm kidding. It is the irresistible homemade French fries that pushed me over the edge. I’d always wanted to julienne something but had never before attempted it. All my foodie dreams were about to come true. I nearly licked the box. Just to ease my guilt a little I bought my husband the Camo Snuggie and stashed it away for Christmas.
I refused eye contact with anybody as I hauled my new $19.99 kitchen essential into the house with my other groceries. My grand kids were visiting and it was a perfect excuse to whip up 17 bowls of slightly overcooked but perfectly sliced and delicately greased potato chips. I used real salt. And Parmesan cheese. I still remember those chips. My tongue was scalded for a week because I have the self-control of a heroin addict when it comes to hot, fresh, homemade potato chips.
In the meantime, while the Slice-O-Matic has proven to be mostly a piece of crap, it is fun, if only because it is so awkward and flimsy. It was a great idea, the French Fry Fantasy Maker just isn’t made very well. About what I expected for $19.99. That said, making half a bag of potatoes into potato chips is satisfying, even with the Slice-O-Matic.
If you watch the video, you will see that today was the final day for my As Seen On TV Slice-O-Matic. The lightweight pulling arm, which moves the blade back and forth for slicing just wasn’t sturdy enough for a big ole’ Idaho spud. I can’t believe it has lasted this long. I’ve had it for a couple of years and used it three or four times.
My video also includes a demonstration of a recently discovered product, the Veg-O-Matic, which I lucked upon while cleaning out mom’s garage last weekend. I didn’t fully appreciate the good fortune of my discovery until today.
Three bowls of various fried vegetables later.. I give the Slice-O-Matic a mixed review and the Veg-O-Matic a fat thumbs up. The Veg-O is sturdy and the directions are funny enough to make the whole purchase (or find in mom's garage) a huge win.
If you click the link to the Slice-O-Matic site and watch the video there.. you’ll just have to trust me that the contraption they used in their video was glued to the counter and Styrofoam potatoes used for demonstration purposes. No way does that light-weight plastic device slice a giant potato. No way.
Most decent sized potatoes weigh more than the actual Slice-O-Matic itself, so.. using the brittle and thin handle to pull the blade under a heavy potato just defies physics and ultimately, breaks the handle, as witnessed in my video. I’m glad it’s gone. It took up too much space and reminded me often of all the money I have foolishly wasted. Plus, I now have space for the Veg-O-Matic, which my mother foolishly wasted part of my inheritance on and which takes up less space in the crowded cabinet. Next to the rubber lids. Which don’t’ fit anything.
YouTube Review of Slic-O-Matic
© 2012 bzirkone