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Jackie Hope: You get it all!

By Jackie Hope / Our Town Columnist

Public service announcement: To assist you in this year’s Christmas shopping, we have intensively investigated several of the most popular “As Seen On TV” products so you can make informed gift choices for your family and friends.

How much would you pay? Don’t answer!

Who wouldn’t want to find a Ginsu knife set under the tree on Christmas morning? Those little babies have become so classic you can now buy them at the second-biggest big-box store, the Minneapolis-based one, and of course on Amazon. Heck, even “Consumer Reports” vetted those sharpies in their June 4, 2013, issue. Ginsus have their own page on Wikipedia, so you know they are legit. Maybe Ginsu knives are a little too mainstream for your cutting-edge friends, but they make a great gift for your in-laws, if you get my point. Big thumbs up for Ginsu.

But wait! There’s more!

A hot new product called the Light Angel is a motion-activated LED stick-up light, and its come-on says, “Stick it anywhere.” Oh yeah, Don Draper must be jealous of that tidbit of advertising genius. This cherub has seven LED bulbs, which is 17 LEDs fewer than those magnetic flashlight thingies you can find in a bin at the checkout stand of your local farm store. And it’s 29 LEDs short of a string of Christmas lights. Light Angel has 468 likes on Facebook and its own Pinterest page. All riiight! Everyone knows Pinterest is filled with bright ideas. Light Angel is going to be flying off the shelves this Christmas and if you act quickly, you can get an Olde Brooklyn Lantern as a two-fer with your Angel. Anything that is not just old, but “olde,” has to be elegant. Thumbs up for Light Angel.

Let me sleep on it, baby, baby. Let me sleep on it.

The Chillow Pillow is a perennial fave on the infomercial circuit, and was a sleeper until the long, hot summer of 2013. The poor Chillow is not cool enough to have a Facebook page, but its website,, shows infrared photos of a well-iced Chillow and touts Chillow’s “natural water-cooling technology.” The site also brags that no batteries or electricity are needed to cool Mr. Chillow. OK, I’m not real tech savvy. But it seems like a no-brainer here that you would not want to mix batteries or electricity with water. Just sayin’. Chillows are impractical for winter camping or for use in your ice-fishing hut. How chill would it be to wake up with your face frozen to the Chillow because you were drooling in your sleep? One thumb up and one thumb down for Chillow.

Get ’em while they’re hot!

Everybody needs a Potato Express, right? You stuff your potato into the cloth baggie, nuke it for 4 minutes, and you have “a perfect oven-baked potato in the microwave.” This gift has potential, because when you nuke your potato in the microwave for 4 minutes without first stuffing it into a bag, you can end up with nuked potato fallout. You got about a 1-in-5 potatoes’ chance of getting an exploded spud when cooking in the microwave. Not that this has happened to anyone we know, and nobody we know has ever had a potato blow at the exact time when the microwave door was opened.

Of course, there is no convincing evidence that a potato will not blow up while cooking inside a Potato Express, but a controlled explosion is better than chaos. We subscribe to the big bang theory, so two thumbs up for the Potato Express.

What, you say you don’t have time to sit in front of the TV from 1-4 a.m. waiting for that special gift-omercial to air? Spoiler: you can find and buy just about every gadget and goodie ever shilled on television at the website

This amazing site not only has the ever popular “Best Sellers” list and a tempting list of “New Arrivals,” but it also tantalizes visitors with an “As Not Yet Seen On TV!” listing. Whoa, does that website have ESP, or what?

Act now!

We have concluded these gifts are all exactly “As Seen On TV,” because, well, they look exactly the same in person as they do on TV. But as for these products’ give-ability? Maybe they all are better seen than had.

Hope is a humor columnist for The Dickinson Press and The Drill. She writes about everyday life, living in the Oil Patch and Twinkies.