Do you suffer from RA, IBS, UTI, ED, PUD, UC, or IBS? Good news! There’s an ad for that!
Simply turn on your television and an ad will tell you everything you need to know about your specific malady’s causes and symptoms. The ad will also tell you the name of the drug your completely clueless physician should prescribe for you once you educate him/her on its benefits.
These ads tell me I need not allow toenail fungus, outbreaks of psoriasis, urinary frequency or urgency, headaches, or excessive stomach acid get in the way of my living a full and active life. However, the ads themselves have gotten in the way of my enjoying my television-watching life.
No medical condition is too sensitive for discussion. Courtesy of a television ad, not only will you yourself learn about vaginal yeast infections, but so will your inquisitive six-year-old, your great-uncle who is visiting from Cleveland, and the repairman who happens to be working on the ceiling fan in your living room.
I remember when my mother used to step discreetly into the kitchen whenever an ad for the Cross-Your-Heart bra, guaranteed to “lift and separate,” aired. If only I could quietly step off to the planet Jupiter when an ad for Cialis comes on as my grandkids, their mommies, their daddies, their grandpa and I are watching an old rerun of Leave It to Beaver.
Have you noticed that the suffering people in these ads are always attractive, gregarious, fun-loving folks who would enjoy perfect lives were it not for the specific affliction that ails them? No doubt even those experiencing the sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy head, and fever of the common cold would be fun companions for an evening of Euchre if only they would take some Nyquil.
Just when an ad almost convinces me to try a specific medicine to treat the twinge of heartburn I get after eating at Taco Bell, the list of potential side effects scrolls across the TV screen. Compared to the headaches, stomachaches, joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, dehydration, sleepwalking, incontinence, internal bleeding, pulmonary embolism, brain tumor, heart attack, stroke, cancer, liver damage, and potential death this drug may cause, a bit of heartburn seems like something I can tolerate.
In the old days, a TV ad for Alka-Seltzer featured simply a live-action shot of two white tablets being dropped into a glass of water where they generated an upward surge of happy bubbles, accompanied by the “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is” jingle. Today’s high-tech ads rely heavily upon animation. A slimy, green, mucous-coated glob of yuk is depicted taking up residence within a person’s respiratory tract, and an insistent, rubbery-looking, pink bladder is shown dragging a woman away from her turn at the bowling alley in order to visit the restroom.
The power of suggestion is a commanding force. If I am not feeling sick when I sit down to watch television in the evening, I soon will be. Before long I am itching, cramping, sweating, burping, sneezing, aching and feeling depressed right along with the real and animated people I see in the television ads. Eventually I give up and go to bed, only, of course, after taking the sleep aid advertised by the soothing, little, yellow-green moth featured in the TV commercial.
Bring back the days when a little Vick’s salve rubbed on the chest at bedtime guaranteed a person a night of rest and a dawning new day of health and happiness.
Debbie Scales January 24, 2016 586 Words