That’s what I call atomic tough

I­’m an unabashed connoisseur of “As Seen on TV” products. This started when I was a child and saw a scratch remover product on TV that looked like magic with the way it seemed to fill in vehicle scratches and polish them to look like new. I knew my father had a sixth sense when it came to scratches on his vehicles and felt like this would be a way to help get out those “mystery” scratches I may or may not have inflicted with rocks.

It probably wasn’t good that we had six bottles and I decided I needed to find things to scratch in order to repair them.

My sales technique quickly improved and before we knew it our family was the proud owner of a Salad Shooter, a hat washer that went in your dishwasher and a small plastic handheld knife sharpener. To see my parents’ reactions when several of these products worked was priceless (priceless to the tune of four easy payments of $19.99).

Today, I own a Slap Chop (OK, fine, two), the “Ove Glove”, Ped-Egg, and numerous Sham-Wows. The commercials themselves are an art form. The one I’m enjoying the most these days is for the Atomic Lighter.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “Isn’t that just a regular lighter? What’s so special about that other than how awesome the name is?” You mean other than “everything”, right?

1) It has “Atomic” in the name. This means nothing but sounds SO COOL. The atomic bomb was a thing. A big, powerful thing. Is THIS a bomb? Probably not, but WHAT IF IT WAS?

2) It has a button. Gone are the manual flicking lighters. They might as well be airplane propellers you have to hand-start. Welcome to the 21st century. Button!!

3) You carry it uncomfortably close to your nether regions. In fact, with it in your front pocket if it’s not the capital of your Nether Regions it’s certainly in a surrounding suburb.

4) You can freeze it in a block of ice, smash the ice with a sledgehammer and it will still work. Why would anyone want or need to do that? This just makes me want to test it doing other ridiculously random things to see if it works: draw a mouse on it and have it attacked and by a rattlesnake; attach it to a comet; use it to help your wife give birth to your fourth son Meatus; have it trampled on by a hoard of angry Girl Scouts. You know, normal situations.

5) The ad says you can “harness the power of lightning right in your hand.” You know who else can do this? Freaking Thor. Having one of these basically makes you an Avenger, assuming you’re defending the Earth from unlit birthday candles.

6) It fits perfectly dangling off the bottom of one of your TruckNutz. Using LaserBond (as seen on TV) to adhere your Atomic Lighter to your TruckNutz causes you to instantly sprout a full beard and Toby Keith appears on a motorcycle to take you to WrestleMania.

7) The commercial hilariously and unnecessarily emasculates other lighters by using the glorious phrase: “Unlike feeble, pathetic lighters that blow out with a whisper…” like this lighter is captain of the lighter football team that just made out with Bic lighter’s girlfriend under the bleachers after giving it a swirlie.

8) The commercial is so confident, it gives away the secret: “lightning bolt technology.” That’s just science right there. Sure, you could say, “Well, that doesn’t mean anything” but then I counter with the fact that the spokesperson’s first name is Hunter and probably shaves with barbed wire.

9) Did I mention that LIGHTNING comes out of it? And in an “X” pattern (the most manly of all letters)? Actually, it’s not lighting. It’s PLASMA. What is plasma? I’m pretty sure it’s in blood and TVs and both of those things are awesome. Plasma AND lightning? Just take my money already, Hunter.

This gave me an idea for my own product.

“Tornados: one of the most powerful forces to create wind. Now you can harness the power of a tornado in the palm of your hand. Hi, I’m Chisel Grinder, host of Spears: Pointy Sticks of Death and Hey What Are These, Ruins? and that’s why I always carry the F5 Nuclear Fan: the fuel-free personal cooling device with the power of Category 5 tornado.

The secret is … oh nice try. I’m not going to tell you the secret. But I WILL say it has to do with our patented Nature Technology. Just look at how this tiny device transforms this young lady’s sweaty face into a dachshund sticking its face out a car window going 175 miles per hour. So refreshing! It’s like you’re Aiolos, the Greek God of wind.

Unlike those “other” fans that DON’T decapitate anyone that comes within a five-foot radius of the titanium, aircraft-carrier-quality blades, the F5 Nuclear Fan cools your body down in no time. Hurl it out an airplane. Put it in a blender. I DARE you. Go on a treacherous quest to the kingdom of Mordor and drop it into the fires of Mount Doom and it’ll turn right on, every time. That’s what I call “tornado tough.”

Act now and I’ll throw in the Kinetic Knife, a tactical knife that has an electric current running through it for some reason. It’ll never let you down, unlike my second wife. I personally deep fried this one and gave it to my pet alligator, Reggie, and it STILL cuts things, electronically. I’m so lonely.


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at or via four easy payments of $29.95 (plus shipping and handling). Follow him on Twitter @pancake_bunny and he’ll throw in a few snarky comments about the politician of your choice.