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The next morning, our reason restored by sleep, we may wake up to find the bitter taste of skepticism flavoring our mouths. Did I really just spend forty bucks to find out how tiny classified ads can turn me into a millionaire overnight? Am I that far gone? Or is it just that I'm stupid?

But after the requisite five minutes of self-abasement, we start to rationalize. That disingenuous loom of illogic in our minds spins a slender thread of hope: they had all those people saying how well the product worked. Could they all be lying? They looked like ordinary, regular people. They couldn't all be phonies, could they? And what about the celebrity host? Would she risk her credibility in the entertainment industry for a quick payday?

This sort of conjecture continues until the product arrives; that's when empiricism takes over. Some products, like the Omexin System for Hair and the Anushka Bio-Response Body Contouring Program, which claimed, respectively, to cure baldness and cellulite, simply don't work. Given the ludicrously "scientific" presumption of their names, it comes as no great surprise to find out that the company which marketed these products eventually had to return over $3.5 million to consumers in order to settle false advertising charges. Other products--like the Thighmaster or the Juiceman--may actually do what they claim, but without the host's infectious enthusiasm, they don't seem quite as easy or fun to use as imagined. After a couple weeks, they end up in the back of a closet; when that next installment of $19.95 appears on the credit card bill, it's written off as one of life's poorer-but-wiser experiences.