Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dispensing essential wisdom for free since 2005! Before that it cost you a stick of gum, so you're ahead of the game.
Some people like to cook. Some consider it a chore. I fall into the latter category. Therefore I am rarely in my kitchen during the half hour of national nightly news on the telly.
This week I've heard the telly news several times while dicing and slicing. And it wasn't the sorrowful passing of Gerald Ford that made me sit up and take notice. It was the commercials.
Do you watch the nightly news? Have you seen and heard all the pharmaceutical commercials? These aren't happy jingles for Speedy Alka-Selzer. These are ads for serious prescription medications.
So, I'm idly decimating an onion, and I hear the following ad, or something like it:
"Is that persistent anxiety getting you down? Interfering in your life? Putting a wall between you and your loved ones? We can help! Prescription OxyContin will have you feeling completely at ease with yourself and others in just two or three doses! With continued use, you'll find such an improvement in your life you'll hardly know yourself."
(Personal testimonial from an actress) "I had trouble just getting into the elevator at work. Now I'm the life of the party! OxyContin has given me my life back. I'll never be without it again!"
Now here's the part that gets my attention:
"OxyContin is a prescription medication for use only as directed.
Side effects can include the following: cessation of breathing, cardiac arrest, constipation, vomiting, bleeding from the eyes, lack of motor control, insomnia, drowsiness, lack of appetite.
Discontinue use of OxyContin immediately if you stop breathing, as this can lead to serious medical conditions, not limited to brain damage.
Prolonged use of OxyContin can be habit forming. Consult your doctor before discontinuing use of OxyContin, as you may experience violent withdrawal symptoms too numerous to mention in this ad."
So, for the love of fruit flies, who's going to rush to the doctor and beg for OxyContin? (Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "rush.") And that's just an example. I'm pretty sure I heard a commercial for a prescription arthritis drug that can cause bleeding ulcers and stroke.
You've gotta be in pretty serious pain to prefer stroke to your sore hip.
Of course the million dollar question is: "How much of the price of the medication goes into these moronic advertisements?" And the answer is: plenty.
I guess this is what happens when the real medicine-makers get booted from the airwaves. Jack Daniels and Bacardi spring to mind. But I guess they'd have to list their side effects too, and that would make any barfly think twice.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS