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August 27, 2013

My Point Is... Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware!)

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

Another mystic wonder was the eyelash growing formula, encased in a tube similar to mascara but containing a combination of miracle ingredients guaranteed to make my eyelashes grow thicker, longer, and stronger. One product contained instructions defining proper application at morning and night that supposedly activated the “buds” on the eyelid that sprout new eyelashes. A few applications of this wonder product and my eyes were swelled shut in the morning and the lashes not only did not grow, they fell out!

My husband also fell prey to the sales commercials. He decided to order a skillet that was guaranteed not to stick. We treated the new skillet by putting it into the oven to “temper” before using it.  The first few uses were amazing! For once, I was able to serve eggs that were truly over easy, once I chased down the sliding egg in the skillet. A few uses later, however, the eggs became a cooking challenge and the non-stick surface now has to be soaked in hot soapy water and scrubbed to remove the egg residue.

Another advertisement that captured my attention was, of course, for miraculous weight loss. This product features testimonials from people who have lost between 20 to 100 pounds, simply by shaking this powder substance onto their food. There are no diet plans, no boxed foods, no exercise regime — just shake this stuff on whatever you want to eat — yes, whatever you want to eat! — and you are guaranteed to lose weight.

Now, that’s definitely my kind of weight loss program!

But as my fingers were tempted to head to the keyboard or even the phone pad to order this wonder weight loss product, I had flashbacks of the Phen-Phen craze in the late 80s and 90s. Many of those faithful consumers lost weight but later developed various health problems and many received a monetary settlement in a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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