But Wait! There's More!

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  I remember a Montana friend of my sister's being teased unmercifully for his late night drunken purchase of a Ginsu knife and a Popeil Pocket Fisherman, but he swore it was indeed the best knife ever, and he fed himself through college Popeil Pocket fishing in the trout stream behind the University, most probably cleaning his catch with the Ginsu knife.  For any reader under age 35, once upon a time, people would go to college in order to binge-drink for four years not by borrowing the price of their parent's first home, but via part time jobs during high school, part time jobs during college, small scholarships from local organizations, the largesse of the state taxpayer, and such cheap living skills as fishing after statistics class.  I thought you should know how it was done in the olden days, before Wall Street figured out they could make a killing off America's young people by lending then tons and tons of money and getting Congress to pass laws holding the young people liable for those huge loans no matter what.   

But back to innovative products.  I actually bought something because of one of those obnoxious commercials where the catch phrase is, "But wait!  There's more!":  the Xhose.  It was purported to be an ultra lightweight hose of durability and quality.  I couldn't resist.  Being a gardener, of course I have a love/hate relationship with hoses.  In the UK, a garden hose is a "hose pipe", and so if "hose" is a slightly off-color word for you over there in the UK, the way your word for "eraser" is over here, I apologize.  

The Xhose is indeed ultra-light.  It appears to be a thin rubber tube encased in an outdoor-fabric sleeve and the connectors are plastic.  I wonder how durable the plastic connectors are going to be.  The packaging advises storage away from heat and sun.  The hose doesn't appear all that sturdy to me--but time and use will tell.  I bought it not for regular garden use, rather for watering the plants on our big balcony patio upstairs.  I tried the hose out immediately.  The twenty-five-foot edition is the right length, and it is light, light, light and super easy to handle even with water in it, and it didn't leak or get twisted as I used it, and I didn't have to fight with it the way I had to fight with the old regular garden hose I had on the balcony.  Mostly the Xhose was the same as a regular hose except it  wasn't heavy.  It was really, really light.  It made watering the pots on the balcony easy.  If you have the upper body strength of King Kong, and the heaviness of a hose never occured to you, you don't need an Xhose.  

So like my sister's friend who happened to go to a college with a trout stream, and who didn't mind four years of fish dinners, if you have the right application, a "But wait!" purchase may work out.  The website tried (and tried and tried..) to sell me some other stuff, but I said No to their "There's More".  

Disclaimer:  I have no financial interest or connection to the product or to anyone producing, selling, or making money off this product.  I bought one and paid for it myself, and this is not an ad I'm getting money or free stuff for.  

But wait, there's more!

 Malcolm Gladwell makes his tale of Ron Popeil, the ultimate pitchman quite fascinating.  The "pitch" was developed and perfected on the Jersey Shore boardwalk for decades before Ron took it to television and made himself a billionaire.  Here's the essential section to consider:

"...when Ron Popeil or Arnold Morris pitched, say, the Chop-O-Matic, his gift was to make the Chop-O-Matic the star. It was, after all, an innovation. It represented a different way of dicing onions and chopping liver: it required consumers to rethink the way they went about their business in the kitchen. Like most great innovations, it was disruptive. And how do you persuade people to disrupt their lives? Not merely by ingratiation or sincerity, and not by being famous or beautiful. You have to explain the invention to customers-- not once or twice but three or four times, with a different twist each time. You have to show them exactly how it works and why it works, and make them follow your hands as you chop liver with it, and then tell them precisely how it fits into their routine, and, finally, sell them on the paradoxical fact that, revolutionary as the gadget is, it's not at all hard to use.

Thirty years ago, the videocassette recorder came on the market, and it was a disruptive product, too: it was supposed to make it possible to tape a television show so that no one would ever again be chained to the prime-time schedule. Yet, as ubiquitous as the VCR became, it was seldom put to that purpose. That's because the VCR was never pitched: no one ever explained the gadget to American consumers--not once or twice but three or four times--and no one showed them exactly how it worked or how it would fit into their routine, and no pair of hands guided them through every step of the process. All the VCR-makers did was hand over the box with a smile and a pat on the back, tossing in an instruction manual for good measure. Any pitchman could have told you that wasn't going to do it."  

After I read that I knew Steve Jobs standing on the stage as he used to do presenting his new wiz-bang electronic marvel had taken a chapter straight out of Ron Popeil's playbook.   Something to consider this December.  Happy Christmas shopping--if you do that sort of thing. 

But wait--there's more!  
The last warm sunlight of the day as Aloe ferox undulates  towards bloom:
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But wait!  There's more!  Aloe capitata takes shape:
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Operators are standing by.



Comments

  1. I'm eager to hear how the hose holds up. I tried a "flat hose" that rolls onto a reel for use on my deck, and I've only used it a couple of times. The amount of water it allows through is so small, it took less time to just carry the watering can up and down the stairs. I've tried the coil hoses too: they're so springy it was a fight to pull them around the deck.

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    1. I'll let you know how it lasts.

      I wondered about those coil hoses--now because of your comment I'm glad I was too lazy to try one.

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  2. Why does the hose have to be such an annoying (to me at least) color!?

    Love your "but there's more"...I'd buy those any day.

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    1. Because gardeners are suckers for anything blue?

      Because blue is the color dogs can actually see, so they can find the hose and chew it up that much faster?

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  3. Hucksterism is an art, but I never thought of those annoying vegomatic commercials as anything but annoying. If only I'd understood the value of what Ron was preaching dating back to the vegomatic, I might have produced a "disruptive product" by now. I love reading about this stuff. But can any of it hold a candle to your photo of the Aloe ferox in bloom? Answer me that, Mr. Gladwell!

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    1. Mr. Gladwell busy doing some huckstering of his own. On The Daily Show the other night hawking the "New Yorker Book Of Dogs", "Do you have a dog?", Stewart asked, "Uhhh....no," Mr. Gladwell replied, "but I want one." Hmmm...

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  4. Great post! The first part brought back wonderful memories of my own college days. They used to call them our salad days for a reason. (More like ramen noodles days or mac and cheese days when it was .25 a box.)

    Good luck with the Xhose! Look forward to a follow up post.

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    1. I went with store brand tomato soup at 10 cents a can. Those were the days. I will update on the hose performance after a good trial period.

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  5. Thanks for the post on my nemesis, the hose. I shall follow the career of the Xhose with interest. Let us know if it becomes an ex-hose.

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    1. Yep, thought of you. But everyone needs a nemesis, right?

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  6. I HATE hoses so very much...and I've been very tempted to get one of those...mostly for the non-kinking ability. I hope you do post more about it!

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    1. Hey Scott, I've only used it a couple of times since we've been getting rain lately--or at least enough drizzle to not need irrigation. No kinking so far. I'll update when I've used it more.

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