For years I’ve seen advertisements on cable channels or, back when dirt was new and dinosaurs roamed the earth, UHF television stations, that would end with the phrase; “It makes the perfect gift!”. I’ve long since forgotten what product was being touted in these ads but the phrase stuck in my mind. Over the years it has come to epitomize the marketing of products I might only briefly consider buying if I had all the money in the world, and was drunk-shopping 2:00 AM with the remote in one hand and my VISA card in the other. If the question ever comes to mind; “Why on earth would anyone buy that?“, the appropriate response is; “It makes the perfect gift!”
This morning I opened my email to find an advertisement from Hammacher Schlemmer. To be clear, I think HS is a fine retailer. Their motto is “Offering the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected for 166 years” and I believe that’s true. I have purchased things from them in the past and, I’m sure, I will again. This morning’s ad, however, struck me as simultaneously very funny and a little unsettling, The Home Lie Detector.
I’m not likely to be giving the ‘third degree’ to teenagers about curfew violations anytime soon but this might be handy to have around the house. Think of the conversations I could have with Harper’s Other Dad. He’s a good sport and a trusting soul so it wouldn’t occur to him wonder why I might be slipping sensors on his fingers.
What did you do today?
Do these jeans make me look fat?
What did you really think of Barbra’s new duets album?
Graphic evidence of his veracity or mendacity will be immediately on display.
Of course, turnabout is fair play. I might have to slip on the sensors at some point as well. Luckily I’ve seen many episodes of Law & Order and I recently re-read Garnet’s 1595 Treatise of Equivocation so I know all I need to know to beat the machine. Next time I’m asked; “Should I start using ‘Just For Men’ on my beard again”? I can say; “of course not!”, with a clear conscience and a neutral galvanic skin response. All I need to do is focus on the unspoken thought bubble; “as long as ‘Kenny Rogers plays Santa Claus’ is the look you’re going for”.
The holiday gift-giving season is upon us. Gift wrap is only $6.95 extra. Where’s that credit card?