The first ad in the first commercial break of the nightly news is for adult diapers. The second is for a drug that will lower your cholesterol. The third ad is for a drug that will let you have sex. The fourth is for facelifts that will make you look 20 years younger.
Judging by the advertising, it appears the typical nightly news watcher is an out-of-shape, unattractive person who wants to have sex with someone while wearing diapers.
The next round of commercials starts with one telling me to call my doctor and ask him if I should be on a different blood thinner. The next asks me to buy a painkiller because I would only need to take one pill instead of two, and a third wonders if I suffer from something that sounds too scary for words: low testosterone. Sorry, but if I have to tell my doctor what drugs I should be taking, shouldn't I really be looking for another doctor, not another drug?
Is taking two pills instead of one all that difficult? Is it going to wreck your day if you're in the middle of doing something, like calling your doctor to give him some medical advice, when you have to drop everything to take another pill? If you find that annoying, imagine how your doctor must feel getting phone calls from people like you.
Having low testosterone sounds like a medieval curse until you remember how much trouble having high testosterone got you into all those years ago. The commercial spends most of its time warning you of all the side effects -- don't use near pregnant women, don't touch children as it may cause early puberty, etc. If marijuana did all that, it'd be illegal. Oh yeah -- it doesn't, and it still is. Why is it that testosterone is bad and evil when baseball players and Tour de France bikers take it, but it's just wonderful for you and me to take it? The difference would be ...? Will taking testosterone affect my writing? My editor hopes so.
The third round of ads is for high-fiber gummy bears, river cruises, heating pads, arthritis medicine and hair dye for men. How did humans ever get enough fiber before they invented high-fiber gummy bears? They must have had to eat things like apples and green, leafy vegetables and horrific stuff like that. It must have been awful.
I would like to take a leisurely European river cruise. What's stopping me? I have plenty of time. Oh yeah, I forgot: I'm not rich. I keep forgetting that. Would I be sitting around watching the evening news if I were rich? No, I'd be watching some horror movie made for 14-year-olds on HBO. And I wouldn't be buying hair dye; I'd have it done professionally.
But then, what's the matter with being gray? It says I'm distinguished; it says that I'm one of the wise elders of the community.
It says that I'm old enough to watch the news.
Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.