January 13, 2004

I Need Another 12-Step Program

One of Mac's recent posts has forced me to admit something. I don't find this easy to do but let me get it out...

I love watching home shopping channels. There. I said it. Now, let me explain.

When I was a kid, we'd do the slumber party thing. One of our favorite things to do - being 11 and all - was calling HSN. Conversations would generally go something like this:

HSN: Hello and welcome to HSN. What product are you calling about tonight?
Us: The Bronte Sisters porcelain doll collection.
HSN: And how many items would you like?
Us: Well, we have a question first.
HSN: Yes sir?
Us: Do they come with a free sledgehammer?
HSN: Excuse me sir?
Us: Do they come with a free sledgehammer?
HSN: Um, no.
Us: Well then we're not really that interested. Thank you.

In those days, you used to be able to sign up, get a member name and have stuff shipped before payments were due. There were people all over Houston getting the Bronte Sisters porcelain collections.

Now, to the present day. I don't actually buy anything. No diamondoid jewelry, no four billion thread-count sheets with matching comforters, no Vac-U-Suck industrial strength vacuum cleaners. In fact, I've never actually bought anything ordered off the television. But you need to realize the pure entertainment value in people hocking things on TV. Its live. They screw up. Its funny!

Never let anyone tell you that all home shopping channels are created equal. There's QVC which is pretty much the Neiman Marcus of the home shopping world. And frankly, that's a little high-class for me. Then there's the Home Shopping Network which is more my speed. They frequently have Suzanne Somers on selling her stuff (from food to jewelry, she does it all) and that makes for some good TV - without fail, Suzanne and the host make some vaguely dirty comment and proceed to laugh and snort in front of the camera for ten minute stretches. My absolute favorite, however, has to be ACN.

ACN is perhaps the worst thing on TV and for that, I love it. The fact that they sell nothing but jewelry shouldn't be held against it either - what they lack in variety they make up for in quality. And I'm not sure how they got into the Liberace estate and made off with so much jewelry but you don't ask questions about these things. ACN is so technologically advanced, the host often answers the phone banks. Of course, we can't hear the callers, just the host's side of the conversation. And the markdowns? Just the other night an $800 ring was marked down to $149. Amazing!

I don't want to come off sounding like a snob. There are good things to be bought from these things, I'm sure. My grandmothers are both firm believers in the power and convenience of HSN and QVC. How else would my parents have gotten that "Tiffany-style" lamp as a gift this Christmas? But don't forget, this is good TV too!

Posted by Chris at January 13, 2004 08:47 AM

I have to admit that I enjoy watching it too. My great grandmother and I used to watch it all the time. Those were some good memories. Since she has passed away, I like watching it just to bring those memories back. It makes me feel like a kid again. Weird, I know.

Posted by: FN at January 13, 2004 09:07 AM

"Vac-U-Suck" ; has Paris Hilton given you permission to use her nickname so freely?

I loves me some free sledgehammers.

Posted by: Marie at January 13, 2004 09:22 AM

Oh come on Chris! You know that you need the four billion thread-count sheets with matching comforters!! I mean how could you ever live without these?

Ok, ok so late at night if there is nothing on TV I do tend to watch HSN and infomercials. : )

Posted by: Theresa at January 13, 2004 09:47 AM

If they'd sell a remote control that automatically skips home shopping channels I would buy it :) Here in The Netherlands they're not live. So they don't screw up. ;) Besides that they constantly repeat the same product, over and over and over and over again.

Posted by: Sweety at January 13, 2004 09:54 AM

That is too funny! The only time I've watched home-shopping for any period of time was when I lived with my aunt for a few months. She watched the "Neiman Marcus" version though (QVC). She would find something she liked (usually jewelry) and order it, because you can keep it risk-free for 30 days. Then she'd keep it if she liked it enough, but a lot of times she'd just wear it for a few days and then send it back. Some people get enjoyment out of the strangest things... :)

Posted by: Zandria at January 13, 2004 10:33 AM

Hilarious post! I don't think you have a problem...yet. I live in a walk-up building with at least three hardcore QVC addicts...there are at least 4 QVC packages in our foyer EVERY DAY. One woman went away for a week and I swear, 19 packages piled up for her.

I'm really scared to see the inside of her place...a one bedroom unit piled high with Bronte Sisters dolls drowning in four billion thread-count sheets, while a rogue Vac-U-Suck monitors the perimeter...

Posted by: amalah at January 13, 2004 12:18 PM

Ahhh, the joy of prank phoen calls. When I was in college, we used to call phone sex lines collect from the hall payphone. that was always fun. Oh, and calling the Hershey hotline (1-800-HERSHEY) and asking for directions to the Hershey Highway was good clean fun too.

Damn. I'm boring now :-)

Posted by: Rob at January 13, 2004 02:05 PM

WOW. LOL. Sorry, I can't relate! At least not now...

I used to love to watch it when I was small though. Then I would take out all my little fake jewely and pretend to sell it (to my imaginary audience) as if I were on the home shopping channel. My fav pair of earrings to sell were these plastic, fake-crystal, red heart-shaped dangly ones. I would mimic the "It's georgeous!" style of speaking LOL And I would hold the earrings in my fingers or place them on a pillow and frame them with my hands and all that stuff they do LOL Wow, I haven't thought about that in a long time lol

Posted by: Irma at January 13, 2004 02:14 PM

I'm proud to say I've never watched any shopping channels. Or infomercials, except for the purposes of taunting whatever celebrity is currently whoring herself because her career is in the toilet.

Posted by: pie at January 13, 2004 02:24 PM

I found myself sucked into the amazing micro-trimmer infomercial a few nights ago. There I was, standing in front of the TV with my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, eyes wide and wondering just how much hair the guy on TV was planning to remove!

Posted by: katherine at January 13, 2004 02:36 PM

HA! I've actually never watch any television shopping networks...I just do Ebay.

Posted by: Ginny at January 13, 2004 03:16 PM

My Chris likes to watch the shopping channels and the cooking shows, much to his father's chagrin. His dad likes to watch wrestling, and when he went home for Christmas one year and was much maligned for his choice of channel. His dad almost questioned his sexual orientation :p

Posted by: Mel at January 13, 2004 05:20 PM

And the markdowns? Just the other night an $800 ring was marked down to $149. Amazing!

You are such a freaking hoot... I am dying here....

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at January 14, 2004 06:40 PM