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Billy Mays broke my heart last night.

I loved Billy Mays. Really, I did. I loved his commercials and his products. I have been a fan of OxiClean for quite some time. I love my Mighty Putty. I even watched the first season of Pitchmen. I was actually very upset when he died so suddenly and at such a young age. But last night, Billy did me wrong.
My husband does not like it when I buy “as seen on TV” products. I must admit, I am a sucker for a great infomercial. Some of them work out great, like my Magic Bullet, which makes milkshakes and dices vegetables like a champ, although I cannot seem to locate it since we purged all the appliances from our kitchen to put the house on the market. I’m sure I’ll find it in a sock drawer or under the couch when we finally pack up to move.
Other purchases don’t work out well at all. My husband warned me not to buy the Point ‘n Paint. He warned me that it wouldn’t work. But I didn’t listen. I bought it anyway. It completely fell apart less than 20 minutes into using it. When I say fell apart, I mean it literally. It disintegrated before my very eyes. All the pieces are made of plastic, so as soon as the swiveling head starts swiveling, it wears down the plastic joints so they strip completely and no longer hold together. I had about a pint of paint in my hair by the time the plastic head landed on me for the sixth time. My local hardware store was kind enough to take it back for me, so I didn’t lose any money, just some dignity. My husband still enjoys bringing up that “I told you so” whenever the topic of household decorating or my purchasing habits comes up.
I never would have pegged my husband for an infomercial sucker like me. But back in November, he saw a commercial for the Big City Slider Maker, a press that enables you to make 5 mini burgers on your stove. He was instantly intrigued. Anything that involves a new or exciting way of making meat is right up my husband’s alley. At our house, we loves our meat. Loves it.
For Christmas, despite our annual promise to each other that we would not purchase gifts, I bought him the Big City Slider Maker and some new Hanes underwear. He was thrilled! He also liked the slider maker.
Last night was the first time we actually used it. I was so excited to enjoy all of the fun illustrated by Billy in his video. All I can say is that the infomercial does not accurately portray the experience.
First of all, the smoke was unbearable. When I say smoke, I mean, literally, our entire house was filled with it. I have burned a lot of food. Just ask my husband. I have set off my share of smoke detectors. We have cooked many, many full-sized hamburgers on my stove and also on my George Foreman Grill. Never have we created enough smoke to start an arson investigation–until last night. Something about miniaturizing the burgers really must throw off the chemistry. My husband cooked the burgers while I ran around the house opening windows and turning on fans. At one point I stood on the porch frantically swinging the front door open and shut like a big fan, trying to displace the smoke. I am pretty sure my neighbors enjoyed the show from their living rooms.
Once we got past the smoke-inhalation, it was time to clean up. I scrubbed this thing for nearly 25 minutes. Nothing. So I decided to boil some water in the little slots to loosen some of the burnt coating. Nothing. Then I resorted to oven cleaner. I sprayed a good coating on and came back 30 minutes later to scrub it again. Nothing. Each slot is filled with a horrid black crust that just won’t budge.
We decided to give up on the cleaning and throw the thing away. Normally, I would never do this. I typically don’t throw usable items in the trash because I like to either recycle or let someone else put them to use. However, I will gladly put this in a landfill if it means it will not be able to harm anyone else.

So, I guess the final the question becomes, how were the burgers? They were actually not bad at all. They were also rather cute. We ended up getting about 12 burgers out of one pound of beef, so they would probably be a fun appetizer for a party–that is, a party at which all the guests wear flame retardant clothing and hazmat masks.

I thought a meal of delicious sliders would be a nice personal tribute to a great pitch man. Now, I am just sad, because I feel that Billy let me down. Wait, did I just hear a commercial for something called an Awesome Auger? Augering IS awesome. I need one.

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