Friday, December 31, 2010

Submitted For Your Approval

Ahh, new year's eve. It's time to reflect on the past year, put down your wishes for the next one, and focus on what''s important: the annual Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy.

WPIX used to handle this pop culture extravaganza and SyFy appropriately picked it up a few years ago. Now it's the one thing I look forward to at the end of every year. The show is spooky enough but what's really spooky is that every year, I manage to see an episode I've never seen before. How is that possible? (cue famous theme song)

You can get a schedule of all this year's episodes here. I personally can't wait for December 31st at 7. And 7:30. The one at 11:30 is awesome. And just about every episode from 3:30 pm to 11:30 pm on the 1st. It's probably more than a little pathetic that I'd rather sit here on the couch watching TV than celebrating the new year but then again, look who we're talking about.

I wonder, out of 156 episodes, how many dealt with someone making some deal with the devil? How many took place on some far away planet that, in the end, turned out to be earth?

So which one is your favorite? Burgess Meredith and the broken eyeglasses? William Shatner and the fortune teller? Or the airplane? Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters playing pool? Telly Savalas and the talking doll?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Japanese for "Run for your lives!"

By now, you've probably seen a commercial or two for the Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball. Contact juggler The Amazing Kenny demonstrates how to make the ball appear to float. Random passers by of all ages shout their praises for Fushigi. My 7-year old wants one. And why not? It floats! It levitates! The ad claims that it's relaxing. Even therapeutic!

We all know that things on TV are meant to look better than they really are to attract as many suckers (like my father, who bought one for her) as
possible. And sure, the 5 microscopic lines of type in the middle of the ad are a red flag that this thing isn't what it seems. But the reality of the deception comes when you try to use it. Once my daughter tossed it aside, whining, "it's not floating," I read the enclosed information sheet.

Remember Happy Fun Ball? Remember all the ridiculous warnings that came with it? That's nothing compared to Fushigi:
  • FUSHIGI™ is not a toy. We suggest that you do not place FUSHIGI™ in the hands of anyone under 12 years old."
It actually says that. Not "not for children under 12." Don't even put it in their hands! And I have no idea why it's capitalized like that.

  • Do not work with your FUSHIGI™ over tile, stone, or hard wood floors as if (sic) FUSHIGI™ is dropped, damage to the floor surface is sure to happen.
They don't hedge their bets, do they? Usually, damage "may" happen. But the Fushigi people are sure of it. And then they follow up with:
  • "Do not handle your FUSHIGI™ over a table top, desk, and especially any glass top surface."
Ha! "Handle your Fushigi." That's funny.

They go on to tell you to
  • practice over carpeting
  • master your hand manipulations before practicing over concrete or pavement
  • not attempt to pass FUSHIGI™ to another person via any airborne maneuver
  • never assume that any other person possesses more proficient skills to yourself so tandem maneuvers are not suggested
This sounds like a bad pharmaceutical ad. But wait! There's more!
  • Never attempt any maneuver where the FUSHIGI™ Magic Gravity Ball is suspended over your head for any period of time. Serious injury may occur.
"May" occur? Floor damage is a certainty but head damage could go either way.

Other than all of that, have fun with your Fushigi! But first, heed these extra warnings:
  • Always use Fushigi™ (lowercase this time) indoors or under cover of shade
  • Exposure to sunlight or intense heat may cause your Fushigi™ to become hot
There are a few warnings about storage, your eyes, keeping it away from children, and best of all:
  • FUSHIGI™ may posses (one 's' for some reason) certain magnification properties in specific conditions during extended use in direct sunlight.
So there's something about using it for long periods of time in direct sunlight that will cause it to magnify things? What the hell is this thing made out of?

Just remember, do not taunt Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball. And make sure your insurance is paid up.