But Wait-There's More
If you think it’s too good to be true, well…
Illustration by Tom Deja, www.bossmangraphics.com
I cook with what those from my native Louisiana refer to as the trinity: celery, onion and bell pepper. Yet in a very short time, my blessed trinity usually turns into three separate science experiments in the vegetable crisper. What’s a woman to do?
The answer was not finding a genetically altered or irradiated “fresh vegetable product” that would stay fresh for eons, but in something as simple as “green bags,” guaranteed to keep my trinity fresh for 30 days.
The catch was that these little gems were not available in stores, but from one of those low-wattage channels that shows three minutes of nature programming for every six minutes of hard-sell ads, the ones famous for almost giving the product away, doubling the quantity if you act now, and proceeding to take your breath away with, “But wait—there’s more!”
I’ve avoided getting sucked in by one of the ads with the same determination I avoid Black Friday shopping, the beach and my annual homeowner’s association meeting. But the thought of keeping the trinity alive in my fridge for 30 days—30 days!—proved irresistible.
So there I was with an operator standing by and my credit card handy. The digital “operator” began by confirming the offer, plus the double down, then immediately offered to double that for an additional discounted price. I declined. The digital operator cheerily acknowledged my decision, then asked, “You want zip lock?” I again politely declined, and she again accepted. “You want larger bags?” was the next offer, followed by one for orange bags (for bread), red bags (for meat), and expedited shipping. (About $6 would cut the delivery time down from what I think is six months.)
I declined all with mounting weariness, only to detect what I believe was an edgy tone creeping into my digital interlocutor’s voice. She seemed to exhibit a kind of surprise at my determination to purchase only what the TV had offered and no more.
So she upped the ante. Next came a complicated offer involving a department store, a $25 bonus card and a monthly charge of about $20. It was followed by a toll-free number for canceling the deal, which I presume you have to write down then and there in case that’s the last time you are told what the number is.
Very, very carefully, I indicated my desire to decline. There was a pause. I could sense her little computer brain locking up or the little hourglass computer cursor flashing then freezing. I thought I’d beaten her.
Then came that cheery voice again. Brimming with a confidence I hadn’t heard at any other time in the lengthy transaction, she offered another department store bonus card deal I couldn't understand. Without hesitation, I pushed my touch tone phone, declining that offer as well. That was the kill.
Brusquely and with what I thought was a condescending and judgmental tone, she confirmed my offer and hung up. The ordeal took a full 20 minutes.
I’m sure by the time those bags arrive, the trinity in my crisper will have died and gone to heaven yet again.
And all of a sudden, I’m noticing dry skin and calluses on my feet.
Newark resident Reid Champagne is currently serving out a ban on watching cable television stations.