Monday, April 18, 2011

You get a bar! YOU get a bar!!! YOU ALL GET A BAR!!!!

A few days ago, I was invited (VIP guest no less) to be an audience member for The Talk. Better, I was to visit the show on the day that Dr. Gadget was on, which meant that I would (and did) go home with one of each of the products demonstrated on the show. More better (as my daughter is fond of shouting when I add chocolate sprinkles to her ice cream), it was the biggest giveaway to date on the show! I was sent home with top-of-the-line latest must-have gadgets: a steam mop that turns into a hand steamer (manna for a wrinkle-free-nut like me), a super light and practical stroller (which I apparently have to sell on ebay since no one I know has small kids or needs strollers), a carry-on bag on wheels that converts into a handy-dandy seat (for the fortunate under-250lbs humans), a steam-iron that could put a serious singe into any fabric (or anything, really), and, the piece de resistance, “the world’s first complete, portable bar and entertainment system” which includes the bar, the stools, an umbrella, a cooler and a changeable banner to match any décor (there may be more but they had me at the portable bar) (I couldn't download a picture for it but trust me, it's a beaut!)

What does that mean for the average citizen? Bubkas.

Let me explain. The unfortunate masses of retired matrons who actually watch the show, are fans, and patiently wait to get tickets then wait in line to get on the show, any other day of the month than that day, get nothing. Except the joy of seeing their idols from a very safe distance (say hello to the healthily beefed bodyguards keeping strict vigil), show their appreciation by clapping on command, and going home hoarse from ooooh-ing and aaaah-ing on cue. My mother got dragged into one such similar show by a friend of hers and all she brought home were red hands, a sore throat, and a bag of popcorn (thus her insistence that logically, she deserves the carry-on-seat-thingamagingie). I was invited specifically for this show on this day because of the giveaways, and though very appreciative to my host who could have picked anyone else upon whom to splurge this favor, I am painfully aware that this is a very uncommon occurrence for most of us simple non-show biz schlobs.

Let me explain some more. The rich and famous get it all: best tables at restaurants (sans reservations), front of the line (better yet no line at all), best seats at any show or event, and freebees galore! The premise is fairly simple and oh-so-marketing clever: Knowing that so-and-so is using a particular product will entice fans to go purchase said product. And many do, thus the clever part. Meanwhile, your typical talk show host, even the run of the mill obscure one, has x-boxes and wii-s coming out of their attractive wazoo… whilst the poor nerds who would gladly exchange their first-born for a close-up glimpse of said products, get nothing. Delighted as I am for their success, for which I’m certain they work (modestly) hard, any one of the Leah Reminis, Sara Gilberts, Sharon Osbournes, Holly Robinson-Peetes, or Julie Chens of the world could comfortably afford any one of the products bestowed upon them as frequently as crumpled dollar bills on a pole-dancer. So why do they get all the loot while we get nothing for being loyal merchandise buyers who basically put these companies on the map and generated billions of profits for them? I dunno. But I donhafta like it.

I was given the Kindle (first generation, white, monochrome) as a present a little while ago. I in turn bought it as a present to my nearest/dearest in mutual reciprocation. I was utterly shocked when I got word that the (what is it now? fourth?) latest generation of Kindle is out, has so many more features than its pioneering ancestor and, adding salt to injury, you can now play games on them! FOR HALF THE PRICE!!! I understand that Amazon had to cut the Kindle price to rival those of the Nooks and iBooks and Whatnots with their competing reading tablets, but paying twice as much for the privilege of using a comparatively inferior product less than 6 months earlier than everyone else??? COME ON!!!

On the other hand, do you think that maybe karma’s magnanimous hand made up for my overpaying for the Kindle by gifting me with these generous (and awesome) goodies? If so, kindly disregard the above rant. 


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