I’m a sucker for ‘As Seen on TV,’ but not comic book ads

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I ordered these new-fangled adjustable reading glasses after seeing a commercial on TV. Yes, As Seen on TV.

I have been a sucker for As Seen on TV for a long time. Before that, I was tempted by comic books ads - unbelievable ads.

A while back, I ordered some natural cleaning concentrate that is supposed to last for years. It included the spray bottle and instructions on how much to use.

On As Seen on TV, this product looked fantastic. It restored burnt and scorched cooking pots and pans to their original shine. It was the miracle cleaner I had been looking for. Of course, I ordered it immediately, and waited.

And waited some more, probably about six weeks. They took my payment instantly, though. The ordering process was a little complicated, as they tried to upsell me all sorts of things, like a stainless steel scrubber that would last for years.

I bit the bait on that one, but that’s it. I made it out of the website with only one add-on.
Then came the joyous occasion - much later. The mailman delivered the box to the front door. It had been so long that I had almost forgotten all about it.

As it turned out, the cleaner is so-so. Nothing special, definitely nothing like As Seen on TV. The scrubber is great, though.

So, these glasses are supposed to be perfect for reading. The adjustable lenses conform to all distances, whether I have my nose stuck to the screen or lean back comfortably in my office chair.

They arrived the other day, and I tore right into the package.

These things actually work. I can dial up any reading strength I want on each eye. No need to change glasses because I am leaning back from the screen. Amazing. It is like As Seen on TV.

Except they didn’t say anything about the plastic frame. I’m used to the regular metal eyeglass frame. Maybe they did say something about it, but I missed it. You know how fast those commercials roll by.
Now I can use my natural As Seen on TV cleanser on it, minus the stainless steel scrubber.

I’ve been at this for a long time. In 1969 I saw a K-tel commercial for zillions of singles of all the greatest pop hits. I thought that I’d be getting all these singles in the mail. On the commercial, all they showed were the small, 45-rpm speed records.

They sent me one album. It was a little disappointing, but that’s how my Seen on TV experience started, with that album. It had all the songs on it, alright, all crunched together in those slim little grooves.

I still have that record, and it is still playable. It lasted longer than the record players I’ve had over the decades.

But before there was K-tel, there were comic books.

To my credit, I never ordered a Polaris nuclear sub for $6.98, although it was tempting. It’s big enough for two kids and has controls that work and rockets that fire, explained the colorful ad. I also never got suckered into the “Sea-Monkeys or X-Ray Spex.”

That frontier cabin for $1, or 5 for $4 was tempting also, especially because it was a “$3.95 value.” Each one costs an additional 25 cents to mail. Those were the days.

The best As Seen on TV ads were the Columbia Record Club offers. I’d bet a bunch of my readers sent their dollar in to get 13 records or tapes. What a deal. Then they lowered the price. Ten selections for just 1 cent.

I didn’t know how they made money on that until I started getting records I never ordered as my “monthly selection.”

These reading glasses are great. I’ll need another one in case ithe first is misplaced. Let’s see, where is that order slip? I’ve got to reset these dials on the side to find it.