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CHATSWORTH, Calif. -- Shortly before his death, Ron Popeil, the king of the television infomercial, announced that his company, Ronco Inventions, LLC, planned the purchase of beleaguered AstroSphere Airways. In a prepared statement, Mr. Popeil said, "We see the troubles at the airline not so much an issue of operation as an issue of marketing. Consequently we will reposition and repurpose the airline to give it better exposure where we see a growing market: Saturday morning television."
In a telephone interview, an unidentified Ronco spokesperson said that there are no immediate plans to change the name of the airline even though the company has filed for a trademark for "Fly-O-Matic."
Our reporters were able to acquire a sample script from an upcoming infomercial for the new airline. In part, it reads:
"... the complete vacation package — roundtrip airfare from Duluth to Manto Chaniza, seven night's accommodations in a luxury class hotel, native welcoming ceremony, ground transportation, all gourmet meals and tours of the ruins, the waterfalls and the volcanoes — all can be yours, if you act now, for three easy payments of only $4.99 plus processing and handling fees. Operators are now standing by.
"But wait! Order today and you will receive a free pair of Ronco anti-DVT (or Deep Vein Thrombosis) socks. Pick up the phone now and the complete travel package, including the socks, can be yours for only three payments of $4.99.
"But wait! If you order within the next 30 minutes, Ron will personally throw in a set of Ginsu soup spoons. So you get the complete travel package, the anti-DVT socks and the Ginsu soup spoon set — a total retail value of over $7,680(!) — all for only three payments of $4.99 plus processing and handling fees.
"But wait! When you order….”
Information about “processing and handling fees" was unavailable but a company insider said that they approach US$6,600.
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