Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Quacker Rests

I used to watch QVC on a regular basis. (Actually, I have no idea what QVC stands for. Their website doesn't make it at all initially clear. But I do like the appearance of the letter "Q.") It's been years, back before my daughter was born, since I would sit for hours and watch the hosts talk about one product for an exorbitant amount of time while convincing hundreds of people to purchase said product. I rarely bought anything, although I did accumulate a few things: tanning wipes (like hand wipes, but they make you look tan!), a snowflake pin (when "Toby and the Snowflakes" was just coming out), and an olive tree that has yet to produce any olives (but does enjoy shedding its leaves on our family room floor). The best part of QVC was how nice everyone was. I don't care if it was forced! When I was in a shitty mood, I would turn on QVC and watch hosts spin stories about products and then interact with shoppers over the phone who had nothing but kind, loving, positive things to say. Where else do you see that these days? It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

One of the classic QVC shows I liked to watch was Quacker Factory, which offered a selection of, shall we say, spangly clothing items, the likes of which you remember your teacher wearing on major holidays. The host of Quacker Factory was a woman named Jeanne Bice, a hilarious, almost sermon-spouting force of positive energy. The clothes were a little old and oversized for me, not to mention all the sequins, and Jeanne's words were occasionally a little too Jesus-based for my taste, but her affirmations were delightful and often hilarious.

The other afternoon, at a rare moment of being along in my room (I think my mom was babysitting, and I was still moping about the gestational diabetes), I flipped through the channel line-up and saw Quacker Factory was on QVC. It had been years since I watched it, and I needed the pick-me-up. There were the seasonally appropriate bedazzled clothes, but where was Jeanne? I had a sinking feeling, so I looked her up online. Lo and behold, she passed away two years ago. I was rather devastated, as I'm sure thousands of people were. I read a little about her, and apparently she was a regularly featured guest on The Soup! My respect level for Joel McHale just went up a billion-fold.

It's funny to think that a host on a home shopping channel could affect people in such a positive light, especially someone who wouldn't even wear the clothes. I don't know if I'll be turning on QVC again anytime soon, but remembering Jeanne and her Quackers also reminded me of her saying, "Pull yourself up by your bra straps." I have to remember that more often. Quack quack, my friends.

*And don't forget to enter The F-It List contest! You could win an ARC of my next novel, The F-It List, not out until November!*

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