But wait. There’s more!

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How many of you know the name Ron Popeil? Congratulations if you do and, if you don’t, join the crowd. Except, that most of us, particularly anyone who might watch early morning (I mean really, early morning) television have seen him many times.

Ron Popeil is one of America’s most successful inventors and infomercial guys. We might not know his name, but we know that Showtime Rotisserie machine of his that he puts a big chicken in and says, along with his prompted audience, “just set it and forget it.”

Self magazine, a periodical that has all kinds of articles on fitness, food, health and beauty voted Popeil one of the 25 people in America who has changed the way we eat, drink and think about food. I mention Ron Popeil today, not because I think he’s one of the great guys in all of history, but because he is one of those kings of the infomercials that take up so much television time and space.

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Other popular characters of this genre would be the Shamwow! Guy, the late Billy Mays, Kevin Trudeau, Dave Oreck, and a few names we may know, like Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris. They are selling us, via the small screen, all kinds of items to make our lives easier in the kitchen, the living room, the home gym and other areas of the house.

They give us products like the Total Gym, almost weightless vacuum cleaners, towels that wipe up liquids “20 times their weight,” or all kinds of knives and kitchen gadgets. Plus, no matter what they sell, it seems to always sell for $9.95 plus shipping and handling.

But wait. There’s more!

I mentioned Ron Popeil. I don’t know if he was the first of these fellows on television, but I did see him on a YouTube clip doing a commercial for Veg-O-Matic from the late 1960s. The Veg-O-Matic, if you are having trouble remembering it, “slices, dices, minces and more.” Ron Popeil is a great example of the fruit not falling too far from the tree because the original Veg-O-Matic was invented by his father, Samuel.

It had four cutting blades, two handles and all you had to do was place any kind of vegetable or meat on the blades and press down. It was easy to use and easy to clean and, just to show you how much the Veg-O-Matic added to the American culture, a model of it now can be viewed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.

Also, it’s still available but costs more than its first price of $3.98. Of course, as with all these infomercial products it was worth “a whole lot more” at $5.98, but if you “order now it can be yours for the low, almost give-away price of $3.98 plus shipping and handling. But wait, there’s more.

There is always more with these products. If you will just buy the main deal, they’ll send you half a dozen “little” deals for free! Just buy the revolutionary closet organizer that will turn a cluttered closet into the neatest square footage of space in your house and you will get “absolutely free” a set of gooseneck, portable lights to help you see in the newly organized and never-again cluttered closet.

But wait. There’s more!

Order now and you’ll also get a free booklet on how you might use all that you have ordered. It’s a glossy, 16-page, colored brochure on the latest tips for organizing your closet and it comes with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

These items, if purchased individually, would cost a minimum of $19.95 each. But, if you will just call the number on your television screen today, you can get the revolutionary, closet organizer, the full set of gooseneck, portable lights and the 16-page colored brochure for the incredibly low price of, you guessed it, $9.95, plus shipping and handling.

But wait. There’s even more!

If you will order within the next 30 minutes, we will double your order. That’s right. You’ll get two classy, closet organizers, two full sets of gooseneck, portable lights, and two 16-page colored brochures for only $9.95. Just pay the additional shipping and handling. That’s a $200 value for only $9.95. Who wouldn’t want to do this?

Well, to be quite honest, I have never ordered anything like the Veg-O Matic, a Snuggie or a Shamwow! That doesn’t mean I haven’t been interested. They make it sound so exciting. Here’s what I would like to order.

I’d like to order the Six Star Plus 25-piece knife set from Ron Popeil. First of all, have you seen how all those knives work? There is this filet knife that he almost cuts the head of a hammer off. That’s just the beginning. After almost cutting the hammer into two parts and cleaning all the iron shavings off the blade, he plops this big fish down on the table.

Then he slips that super sharp knife blade between the skin of that fish and the meat and filets it. It glides through like white on rice. That’s a good knife. He also grabs a loaf of bread and cuts a really thin piece of bread that you could read the newspaper through.

Not only do you get that filet knife, but you get a meat cleaver. I’ve always wanted to chop some ribs in two with a meat cleaver. Men, keep it away from the wives!

But wait. There’s more!

You get 25 knives and, if you order now, you get a flavor injector that you can put pine nuts, whatever they are, into a rack of lamb. I always like my lamb to taste like pine needles, don’t you?

But wait. There’s more.

Order now and they double the order. You get 50 knives! That’s an $882.70 value if purchased separately. You can get it today for only three payments of $13.33. And, finally, there is a lifetime guarantee. You’ll never have to buy another knife so long as you live.

Isn’t America a great place to live?