It is still almost impossible to walk through the aisles of stores without encountering some product bearing the words “As Seen on TV.” Whenever I spot one of those phrases I think, “That’s a recommendation? That’s a condemnation! Get away as fast as your legs can move.” Put as much faith in those questionable gewgaws as you would in the following goods or services:
Easy chairs described as “first choice of runners during the Boston Marathon.”
Eyeglasses that have earned the seal of the Ukrainian Binocular Laboratories.
An airline with no backout dates.
Facial soap that gives users that “tingly, just-sandpapered feeling.”
A home in a realtor’s listing portrayed as “a spacious tri-level within walking distance of golf course, bed, bath, and kitchen.”
Attorneys whose ads in telephone books carry the banner “Come to us and get what’s coming to you.”
A dentist who appeals to the timid by claiming “we pamper cowards with Pampers.”
A watch that is guaranteed waterproof to 30 millimeters.
An acupuncturist whose slogan is “We keep you on pins and needles.”
An apartment complex with a sign in front promising “Pets and Vermin Welcome.”
A bank that offers “complete access to your account whenever you or anyone else needs it.”
A banquet hall that promotes “your choice of service: sit down, buffet, or on the run.”
A construction company whose slogan is “one visit could save you thousands or considerably less.”
A bonding service that specializes in probates and reprobates.
A mail-order catalog that boasts “orders shipped same fortnight.”
A bowling alley that offers automatic scoring with prerecorded catcalls on every gutter ball.
A muffler shop that prides itself on estimates “while you wait” and service “while you age.”
A customer service line that invites users to “call today and talk to a novice.”