I'm a sucker for those "As Seen On TV" kitchen gadgets.
Show me a woman in a dated hairdo and a pantsuit, washing her hand over a seventy-five-piece plastic monogrammed food packaging and storage system, and my pulse starts to race.
Show me the whole family frolicking (is that still a word?) Through the meadow with the dog and the handy dandy monogrammed food packaging carrying case on wheels with the drink holder and solar radio, and I'm diving for my credit card.
Tell me that for just an additional dollar, I can get a complete set of stainless steel knives guaranteed to cut steel and to outlive three generations, and it is no longer a want – no longer a need – it has become an I must have this or I will die – forget braces for Junior, Mamma needs a food storage system.
My husband tried to block the channel after I ordered him thirty-seven button-me-easy kits that promise to replace your button in thirty seconds without the need for needles or thread. He said it would have been a good idea, if most of his shirts had buttons.
It happens again yesterday. Just when I've barely recovered from the ramifications of ordering a lifetime supply of under-the-bed sweater organizers that emit a lilac scent – I see her white teeth and that familiar pantsuit, and I'm under her spell again. This time is different. This gadget is the king daddy of all gadgets – the Air Sucker 2000 – breaking all records in high tech kitchen gadgetry. Put your food in the bag, slide the bag through the sealer and it sucks all the air out of the bag and keeps it fresh for the rest of your life – just as fresh as the day you put it in. We're thinking of using it on Great Uncle Fred. You can seal pork chops, chicken, steak, salad, soup, and even a pint of your dog's blood should he ever need a transfusion. This would have been a handy thing to have when Uncle Skeeter cut off his toe with the weed whacker and we needed something to carry it in.
This is revolutionary. This will save us millions of dollars in wasted food. This, I have to have. I decide to order three – just in case they stop making them. "What are you doing?" my husband asks in an accusing tone as I'm reciting my credit card number to Susie who swears the Air Sucker 2000 changed her life. How does he do that? I have to yell for help four times when I super glue my foot into my new shoe (long story). It takes ten minutes for him to come to my aid when I get my hair done in the drain (even longer story). We have a dead squirrel on the front porch for three days and he does not even notice. Pick up the phone to try and place a tiny little credit card order and it's like I blew a dog whistle.
I tell Susie to please hold, roll my eyes, and explain to my husband, while trying to be patient, that this is one of those necessary purchases. "You do NOT need that," he says, gritting his teeth. He should really learn to handle stress more effectively. "Yes. I do." "Like you needed the battery operated Bug-Be-Gone for the pool?" He can be quite sarcastic when he wants to be. "Hey, you said yourself that was good idea," I point out. "We do not have a pool!" he growls. I hang up the phone before Susie can call 911 to report domestic violence and follow my husband to the kitchen where he's standing with his arms crossed, wearing that look he gets when he's about to win an argument. Uh-oh.
"Open that cabinet," he barks. "Come on. Open it. And tell me what you see." I do not appreciate his tone. "Let's see," I murmur. "There's the green pepper spiraler …. the vegetable blender with the pasta attachment … the six-speed juicer with the sleeve to hold the morning paper … oh, here's that cute serving tray with the ceramic pigs in bikinis on pool floats … and the pasta colander that turns into a centerpiece … and I'm not really sure what this thing is … "My voice tracks off as I crawl deeper into the cabinet. "What's that behind the silver-plated cake stand that sings happy birthday?" he requests while I drag out a dust-covered contraption and read the words on the side: Air Sucker 2000.
Suddenly it comes rushing back – November, two years ago. I still remember the day it came in the mail. I was so excited. I was convinced that this revolutionary item would change my life. I never could figure out how it worked. It was missing three pieces, would not work on any speed but high, made an awful screeching noise, blew a fuse, and was wider than my counter top. I wrapped one piece of chicken (which is still in my freezer, thank you very much) and decided it was not worth the effort.
Okay, okay, so maybe my husband has a point. He's still a little mad. It's probably better that I do not tell him there are three more Air Suckers in the basement.