This story was inspired, in part, by a blog post "I'm an "As Seen on TV" Junkie" by Amethyst Mahoney.
My parents were cheap when I was young. There was no cable or satellite TV in our house. We would never have gotten a VCR if one of my relatives had not given it as a gift for Christmas. Luckily I spent quite a bit of time at school and gymnastics, but on the weekends it was regular TV with only four channels (Fox didn’t come along until I was about 9 or 10).
After Saturday morning cartoons ended the infomercials would come on. I remember when I was about 8 I wanted the Ronco Food Dehydrator SOOOOOOOOOO badly! It could make fruit roll-ups and beef jerky! What could be better than that? I wanted that food dehydrator more than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures (Michelangelo was the best), or My Little Ponies, or Barbie. Of course my parents couldn’t understand why a child would want a food dehydrator…clearly they never saw the most awesome infomercial of all time featuring Ron Popeil (who was the inventor!).
Looking back it is an odd thing for a child to want, but I was really into inventors at the time and was influenced greatly by the very convincing infomercial. Also I wanted fruit roll-ups and beef jerky without having to beg my mom incessantly (she insisted that this sustenance was junk food).
I still don’t have the food dehydrator and probably won’t get it. I’m not that into fruit roll-ups and beef jerky anymore. I have since learned to yearn for infomercial products without actually buying them. Maybe I’m better off…At least I’ll have less crappy stuff that doesn’t work cluttering up my small apartment.