Monday, November 30, 2009

Today's Guest: Roxane Gay

Blog Entries About Infomercial Products That Somehow Did Not Yield a Book Deal

January 1
I just finished reading Julia to Julia by Julia Powell, a charming book about a woman who decides to cook her way through a Julia Child’s cookbook over the course of a year. I don’t see why I can’t do the same thing only different.

January 7
It came to me while I was watching late night television. For the next year, I’m going to buy infomercial products and write about them and how they affect my life on this blog.

January 19
It’s cold this time of year. It is only fitting that the first product I should write about is the Snuggie. I was skeptical at first—a blanket that keeps your arms warm while you change the channel or walk to the mailbox? That’s the stuff of the future. Still, I ordered my Snuggie and it arrived yesterday. I got the zebra print. It matches the carpet in my living room. As promised, the Snuggie is warm and soft and the sleeves are the cleverest things I ever did see. It is so cozy to snuggle up on the couch wearing my Snuggie, changing the channel without getting goose bumps. And because it is buy one get one free, I gave my boyfriend a matching Snuggie. The look on his face was priceless!

January 28
I’ve been eyeing the Aero Garden for quite some time. Like the Snuggie, it is so futuristic. I live in an apartment but I have a bit of a green thumb. I’ve also been reading a lot lately about eating local, organic food. The Aero Garden is the perfect solution. In a few short weeks, I’ll have fresh produce and herbs with which I’ll be able to make delicious salads. Perhaps this is the start of something greater—kitchen counter farming with an indoor gardening appliance.

February 4
Not much progress yet with my kitchen counter farm. Some green buds have sprouted in the pod but I have yet to see evidence of anything edible. In the meantime, I saw a wonderful infomercial with the Sham Wow guy. He demonstrated the Slap Chop and in the commercial he said, “You’re going to love my nuts,” so of course I had to buy it. My Slap Chop arrived yesterday and since then I’ve been chopping things and putting them into little baggies. At one point, I got so excited, I chopped the tip of my finger. It’s mixed in with some carrot bits. Hopefully, I don’t accidentally eat it. Would that make me a cannibal?

February 11
Is it indelicate of me to discuss body hair? I was in Sally’s Beauty Supply where I found the Smooth Away. I didn’t have to order it over the phone. Huzzah! When I got home, I opened the package, adhered the flex crystal pad to the large applicator and began vigorously rubbing it along my arm. After a few minutes, my arm began to tingle uncomfortably. There was a strange smell. It took quite some time, but eventually I was able to remove all the hair. The skin there has now taken on a grayish tint. I’m very worried about smoothing away more sensitive areas, particularly that place so popular in Brazil.

February 12
Had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night. It was ill advised to attempt to use Smooth Away between my ass cheeks. I’ve been lying on my stomach all day. I’m fasting because what goes in must come out.

February 19
Still wary of eating solid food. I bought a juicer and have, for the past several days, been juicing all my meals. I don’t recommend juicing pasta with marinara sauce. It has a discomfiting consistency. The kitchen farm is not progressing. The little buds are growing, but slowly. This agrarian project of mine is taking much longer than the instructions indicated. Eating local is harder than I thought. I now understand how hipsters are able to fit in their skinny jeans.

March 1
Did you know there is an As Seen on TV store in the Mall of America? When I heard the news, I got in my car, drove all night, and when I got there, it was like I had been called to the happiest place on earth. I told the salesperson I wanted one of everything. He even helped me carry my bags to my car. It’s true what they say about Minnesota nice.

April 9
I now have a greater understanding of the dangers of opening Pandora’s Box. I bought the Silver Sonic XL, which promises to amplify sound up to 90 feet. My boyfriend, let’s call him Mr. Ex, was on the balcony on the phone while I was in the living room wearing my new toy. I have a small apartment. I’m sure you can imagine the rest. I heard him talking to some skank, saying the filthiest things you could imagine. He also made unkind statements about my mental state, which I assure you, is just fine. The infomercial didn’t warn me that some things can’t be unheard. I’ve had better days, friends.

April 21
Big day today. I decided to soothe my heartache by buying a Sleep Number bed. It was delivered today and even though I have no one with whom to share it, I invited my best friend Sally over. We poured eight or nine glasses of wine, set them on the edges of the bed and started jumping up and down in the middle. Not one of them tipped over. It was just like the commercial said. Afterwards, we drank all the wine and made out. My spirits are much improved.

May 7
I went on a blind date tonight and decided to do a little something different with my hair by using an EZ Comb. My date complimented my hairstyle but later, when he tried to remove the EZ Comb while we were making out, it got tangled in my hair and there was a whole scene. It pretty much killed the mood. The EZ Comb is a total cock blocker.

May 31
Things are looking up! There are signs of life in the Aero Garden. In the meantime, now that I’m single, I have more time to workout. I bought the Thigh Master to improve my leg tone, but as I’m squeezing the contraption, I can’t help but think about how much Mr. Ex would enjoy watching me use it. I miss him.

June 28
It is a dark day, friends. Billy Mays has died. I adored his enthusiasm, the way his signature blue shirt brought out the color of his eyes, and his perfectly trimmed beard. When I called my mom to talk about it she said, “He was probably on drugs.” Don’t worry, gentle readers. I told her, “Mom, that’s simply not possible. Billy Mays isn’t enthusiastic about the products he sells because he’s under the influence. He’s enthusiastic because he believes. He has faith.” Then I hung up on her because she’s a Godless sinner. She’s probably going to burn in hell.

July 2
After a lot of soul searching, I’ve decided to end this blog sooner than I originally planned. Although there are many products still out there for me to try and share with you all, I don’t know how to move forward with this blog in a world without Billy Mays. To be honest, my life hasn’t been so great since I started this blog. I’ve lost my boyfriend. I haven’t been able to harvest anything from my Aero Garden. The Sleep Number bed isn’t that comfortable. I’m still suffering from the effects of that unfortunate incident with the Smooth Away. I haven’t gotten a book and movie deal yet and if it hasn’t happened after seven months, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. I know when to say when. Thanks for reading and in the immortal words of Billy Mays, “Act fast. Time is running out.”

To learn more about Roxane Gay, and read more of her work, go here.


  1. What is she saying with this short story of blog entires? That stuff can't make a person happy? That gimmicks don't stand the test of time?

  2. Aubrie, I read it as a satirical post on blogging and the "power" of media, and even society-at-large. Lots of food for thought here, and it's just plain funny :-)

  3. Heh. HOW many times do I hear about blogs that have gotten book deals and I think, Oh, yeah, that should be me! I mean, Cake Wrecks AND Regretsy now have deals. What's up with that?! Sadly, my blogging skilz are about as good as Roxane's, only Billy Mayes was just not my guiding light.

    That poor girl. She must be grieving. Mr. Mayes was a loss to the entire As Seen On TV community.

  4. Hi Tanita, you've piqued my curiosity. I'll have to check out Cake Wrecks and Regretsy. Of course, this work is fictional, and I'd wager Roxane's guiding light is more Phil Hellmuth :-) Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Thanks for reading all. I actually wasn't trying to say anything. It's fiction and its satirical but there's no grand project. I just thought it was funny because there are so many blog to book deals out there.

    Ethel, indeed Phil Hellmuth would be far more likely a candidate for my guiding light than Billy Mays.

  6. Well done, Roxane. This is great...