Friday, December 30, 2005

The Amazing Q Grill

Anybody who knows me is well aware of my love of infomercials, the half-hour programs that show up on cable channels late at night or in the morning. You know the ones... when you press the guide on your cable remote they show up as the innocent sounding "Paid Programming." Harmless enough, right? Until you look up at the clock and realize you've just spent three hours watching the Landers sisters hawk The Great American Beer Machine or Don Lapre sell you booklets that tell you how to place tiny ads in tiny newspapers.

I've been trying to go cold turkey on infomercials of late and to paraphrase Homer Simpson, that's not as delicious as it sounds. While scanning the channels on Christmas morning I was sucked in to my new favorite infomercial, a dazzling half-hour pitch for the portable Q Portable Gas Grill.

In a nutshell it's a $100 portable, tabletop gas grill that looks like a fire hazard to me, but what do I know? All I care about is the unbelievable "stupid people" segment, a standard of the infomercial. There's the guy using his giant gas grill at the beach (never a good idea), the nitwit who can't open his charcoal grill without dropping briquettes everywhere or sending up a cloud of ash dust, and even the moron that's struggling to carry his gas grill into his apartment. Why? I don't know, maybe he's trying to kill himself and his family with the delicious smell of mesquite.

But the highlight of the spot comes as the narrator tells us that, yes, gas grills are great but they're not portable. A claim driven home by the sight of a pickup truck -- with the gate down -- whipping around the corner as a free-wheeling gas grill goes flying out the back and explodes onto the pavement. The screen capture I've pulled doesn't do the moment justice.

If you haven't seen the Q Grill infomercial and aren't willing to stay up all night waiting for it to come on your cable system, check out the product's web page and click the 'Watch Video' button. You'll be glad you did.

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