Burn in Hell Billy

Random fact: I am addicted to infomercials. I love that Sandwich Lady that cooks all these different foods in this sandwich maker type of machine. She will be cooking chocolate cake in that thing (in under 8 minutes!) and with a candy bar in the middle for a nice gooey center. Stuff looks like something a rottweiler would leave behind, but Sandwich Lady is smiling like she just won the Betty Crocker bakeoff as she slices it down the center. Mmmmm, good stuff.

The juicer infomercial, that one rocks. This guy will be putting all kinds of citrus fruits in that thing and then he drops a piece of broccoli in there. The hell you say! Everyone gasps, like oh no, no, oh crap! For the love of god, not broccoli, think of the children!! Juice Man pulls out the glass of juice and gives it to this man to try that has a look on his face like he just got a big whiff of something that rottweiler did leave behind. Stinky Face Man takes a drink and is all “hey, this is really good!” I’m telling you, these infomercial people should be winning some awards. I believed Stinky Face Man, for real.

So this is how I got sucked into the T@e Bo craze a couple years ago. Billy Bl@nks came on the television at three in the morning telling me that I had the power within to change. I thought hell yes, I DO have the power to change, send me my four VHS tapes today.

I decided I didn’t need to do the instructional tape since I had watched the infomercial 37 times. I mean there was a 67 year old woman on there bouncing around, if someone’s grandma can do it, how the heck am I going to waste my time with instructions? Also I figured in my top physical condition I should skip the basic tape and jump right into the advanced. Mmmm hmmm, that is just what I did too.

I had everything I needed, the new kick butt workout clothes, the water bottle, the exercise mat, and the desire to “see results I had never imagined”. Bring it on Billy!

Ok, in a way that was true. I never imagined that I could hate anyone as much as I hated Billy Bl@nks that morning. He starts out by telling you to turn your neck from side to side, but should you choose to do it at the speed he represents, you might snap your own neck. I don’t think you should call it a warm-up if you are including neck jerks.

Let me pause to mention the music on these videos. Cheese, pure cheese. It was like elevator music with a strong bass back beat. I felt like I needed to bust out my lime green Olivia Newton John headband and a pair of leg warmers.

The actual workout itself was . . . hmmm. Lots of punching at the air. My cat hid under the sofa for most of the hour, as he likes to be the only insane one in the house starting fights with imaginary bugs. Lots of twisting, kicking and such. Then for no apparent reason during some exercises he would shout “double time!” and you were expected to be doing donkey kicks twice as fast. I don’t think so, stop the bus.

During this one squatting portion, he tells you, “ok, give me eight more”. You think, “sure Billy, I can do it, power to change coming through, make a hole!” Then you get to number eight and he says “ha ha ha ha, I really meant eight more from now”. Then he straight starts laughing at you. Oh man, you just don’t laugh at people doing power squats in their living room, you just do not. So wrong, so wrong.

After all of this insanity, you pause to take two deep breaths (deep meaning shallow because these are double time breaths), where he laughs again and tells you it’s not over yet. At this point, you realize that Billy is the devil and your living room has become hell.

Now you are down on the floor on your mat doing some sort of leg lifts. Is Billy doing them with you? No he is not. Why? Because he is evil and the devil doesn’t do leg lifts. You are down there on your 374th leg lift and where is Billy? I will tell you where. He is on your television, sweating like he has sprung a leak, giving you a motivational speech, telling you to “reach for your higher power”. So not helping. Maybe if his spandexed ass was down on the ground doing leg lifts I would be more apt to listen. Now? Not so much.

There are some more weird leg movements – which eventually degenerates into double time, sadistic Billy’s favorite, where even the people on the video don’t seem to know what the hell is going on, we are all just flapping our legs in some sort of circular motion, preparing for flight. We follow with some innovative ab work (twisting at such an angle to pull several muscles at once). Then a cool down. Except can you really call it a cool down if it involves power squatting? There was some intricate thing where you are supposed to get a deck of cards, put four on the ground, squat, pick up one, put one down, do the hokey pokey, and generally look confused.

After all of that, they end the show dancing some sort of jig, I kid you not. The spandexed sweat soaked fools lock arms and start kicking their legs about in a river dance inspired homage.

Anyhow. Saturday morning, unable to sleep, I re-discovered the freakshow that is Billy Bl@nks. I had no idea he was still around. Now he has dvd’s, specifically Boot Camp dvd’s. Everyone was wearing army inspired workout gear. Gone are the spandex clad bodies I remember, replaced by army pants and tank tops. Billy, still in his shining bald glory, rocks the house. His voice sounds completely different for some reason, but no less evil. They were including a free pair of inspirational (or should I say Billpirational) dog tags free with your paid purchase. Also? You get Billy Bands, these rubber band-inspired things that I can see snapping off and causing some sort of eye loss disaster.

For the first time ever, I wasn’t even so much as tempted to peel myself off the sofa and bust out my credit card. Now that is a result I had never imagined. Thank you Evil Billy for this wonderful gift.

2005-02-28 at 9:05 p.m.