I contend that those of us raised in the irresponsible sixties are, in a large way, still dealing in drugs, the same as college kids and Mexican cartels. That’s just an educated guess. We’re no longer college age, smoking pot and dropping acid. We’re responsible people. Our drugs of choice—or addiction—are the countless wonder drugs hawked by the pharmaceutical companies between the bursts of evening news and other entertainment each night as we kneel and pray to our God of Knowledge, the television. Frankly, the commercials are more frightening than thinking about kids smoking pot in their dorm rooms.
I have the sneaking suspicion that the drug companies know when I’ll be watching. It’s an uneasy feeling. The commercials seem to appear between the denture cleaners, reverse-mortgage and “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials. I don’t think they’re aiming at young people with these. The commercials always begin with a problem that I have, or that I think I might have, or that they have convinced me I have.
The drugs always seem marvelous enough. The commercials usually begin with old people hacking and coughing, trying to get out of a bathtub, lying on the floor or generally not feeling well. And by the way, all four of those things could be me, depending on the time of day. As the advertisement continues, we are witness to their miraculous recovery. Along toward the end, however, we are quickly and carefully informed of all the things that might go wrong: Heart attacks, mood swings, hair loss, erectile dysfunction (better known as the pesky “I’ve fallen and can’t get it up” malady), strokes, suicidal thoughts, cancer and death may occur, not to mention irritable bowel syndrome. I don’t know about you, but it makes me think that if I take that drug, I may end up with something worse than what I had in the first place. I seriously think Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may be on some of these drugs.
They are very careful to tell me when not to take their drug; don’t take Panacea if you are pregnant, planning on being pregnant, diabetic, lactose intolerant, suffer from chronic something or other, if you generally feel tired all the time, if you think you’re having memory lapses, sudden redness or irritation, or if you’re allergic to any ingredient in Panacea. That last one always puzzles me. Why would I take something if I’m allergic to it? That’s like saying “don’t shoot yourself in the head if you don’t like shooting yourself in the head.” I suppose they have to say something. They paid for the commercial time.
We don’t like to think of ourselves as a drug-dealing society. But it takes only a brief glance at television to realize what we really are. Two things about this scare me: The fact that we do a lot of drug-dealing and the fact that television is our indisputable source of knowledge. Both have lethal consequences.
I try not to watch these commercials. They cause me to have sympathy aches and pains and I am convinced they’ve discovered another of my ailments. I wonder if they have a drug for hypochondria. I had one in college.