Cleansing the body through the soles


November 16, 2008|By Janet Gilbert | Janet Gilbert,Special to The Baltiimore Sun

The voice-over claims that Kinoki Detox Foot Pads suck the toxic waste out of your body through the soles of your feet.

While you sleep, no less.

The infomercial begins with a shot of a kimono-clad Japanese beauty removing a pristine pad from her foot, followed immediately by clips of assorted weary Americans removing grimy, black-brown pads from their tootsies.

All the while, a laundry list of toxins scrolls over an image of a hot dog with mustard and a large soda. The foot pads purport to remove metabolic wastes, parasites, chemicals, cellulite, even heavy metals - which I can only assume includes bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden. Why, for this reason alone, the foot pads have merit.

(Note to heavy metal fans: Please do not send irate e-mails. I was only kidding. And anyway, I have the volume cranked up on "Crazy Train," and, as we used say on the playground back in the day, "Can't hear ya! Can't hear ya!")

A few months ago, I was shopping for some plausible items in a local Bed, Bath and Beyond store, when suddenly the Kinoki foot pads display - with its neon "AS SEEN ON TV" starburst - caught my eye. I picked up a package, wondering why this reasonable store would carry this seemingly ludicrous product. And then I realized that detoxifying foot pads probably fall into the "beyond" category.

The price, sadly, was more than I could justify for a prank gift. And yet, as an investigative humor columnist, I was compelled to make the purchase and write it off on my taxes as research.

At first, I thought I would save the foot pads, divvying them up among my children at Christmas. What better place for detoxifying foot pads than a stocking. Why, they might even have the added benefit of drawing the poisons of holidays past from the room on Christmas Eve. I could just imagine all of the dense, sugary treats, all the off-key caroling, all of the stress of shopping being pulled from the room, leaving us with only a peaceful peacefulness and tranquillity.

But no. There are two kinds of people in the world: people who can delay gratification, and GT-science-fair-oriented columnists who must test the merits of the Kinoki foot pad posthaste.

As soon as I got home, I announced my shopping coup to my three children, who quickly gathered round. No doubt years of toxic exposure caused them to have an irrationally fervent reaction to my procurement of the product. A spirited discussion ensued on the timing and methodology of the Janet's World Kinoki experiment.

Later that evening, the kids gathered on mom and dad's bed - where they have made themselves welcome ever since they were born - for the application of the Kinoki pads.

"I'm not participating," my husband said.

"Oh, come ON, Dad," my daughter said. "I'm doing it!"

"I don't respond to peer pressure," he said.

"Well," I said in a snippy tone, "Just steep in your toxins, then!"

The four of us each applied a foot pad on our dominant foot and said we would compare our toxin levels in the morning.

My daughter woke first, complaining that she hardly slept. The pad bothered her.

"I don't care if it removes toxins, it's annoying," she said.

My youngest son's foot pad tore off sometime during the night because of his violent dream of a sword fight with a Japanese warlord.

So that left three of us.

"Eeeew," we remarked astutely, as we removed our soiled foot pads.

Indeed, each one had turned brownish-black, and left an oily residue on the soles of our feet. But we all felt remarkably better.

I think it's because we knew we were going to the local diner to discuss the results, and load up on some hearty breakfast toxins including coffee, hash browns and bacon.

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