Lebanon Reporter

January 15, 2013

Getting a raw deal

By Dick Wolfsie
Reporter columnist

— Now that the holidays are over, all the really good bargains are starting to appear on TV, especially on the cable networks. I’m a little skeptical of some of the products, but you’d have to be crazy not to buy the NordicTrack Silver Dollar Pancake Pan, which not only makes perfect flapjacks every time, but it can also be used as a spare fly wheel for your exercise bike.

Here’s an item that seems too good to be true: an ear wax vacuum for only 9.95, plus the second one is free (we do have two ears): just pay shipping and handling. You have not heard about this? IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR HEARING? If so, you definitely need one. At first, I wasn’t going to buy it, but then I saw a guy on the commercial trying to use a Q-tip in his ear and suddenly he started screaming in pain. It scared the heck out of me. I was also very impressed that the device had 16 tips with different colors for each family member. Of course, if you have a household with that many children, someone in the marriage is having a hard time hearing, “Enough, already.” Mary Ellen was annoyed that I fell for their sales pitch. She said vacuuming my ears should not be a priority when I haven’t run the Hoover under my computer desk in four years.

The Stretch Genie also looks like a great idea. For just $7.95 you get a spray that expands leather and some synthetic fibers. You put it in your shoe and it goes from a C to a D. I think someone was spraying this stuff on my report card back in grade school.

Over the years I have been very complacent about the lint in my appliances, so when I saw the Lint Lizard for sale, I was intrigued. This device easily attaches to your vacuum and then sucks the debris out of your clothes dryer vent. I rushed to order it, and when I opened the package you can imagine my disappointment when it was exactly the same product as the Ear Vac. My big mistake was ordering so quickly, because when I checked the Internet the next day, I saw this testimonial: “The tubing is too stiff. It does not fit into the lint filter. The tubes fell apart. I never got out a single clump of lint. I will happily give my Lint Lizard to anyone who wants it.” Rats! I could have gotten a free one.

This past weekend, there was a swarm of bed bug products on sale. Not just for use in your own home, but also for friends’ homes, maybe when a bottle of Merlot just doesn’t seem like the right way to say “Thanks for inviting us.” There were a few choices: one called Scram and another called Bed Bug Blockade, both of which seem ominous enough, but I wondered about Bed-Mate, which sounds more like a come-on than a get-off-me.

Finally, I decided against ordering a leak preventative called Flex-Seal. In the commercial, a guy sprays an entire screen door with this goop. To demonstrate the product’s effectiveness, he floats the door in a swimming pool. I thought this was very convincing, but my wife said the whole thing was a waste of money. I think she’s right. We don’t even have a swimming pool.