Saturday, May 28, 2011
"Those Drug Company Commercials"
I just finished watching "The Waltons". It's a wonderful show and shown on The Inspiration Network. The Waltons is actually part of a triumvirate of "feel good" shows. The other two shows are "Wind at My Back" and "Highway To Heaven". After a day of reading or watching frightening things like another terrorist bombing in the Middle East, another rise in the price of oil, or a DNA testing on Maury which showed hubby is not the father of wifey's child, I like to tune in to more wholesome viewing.
The problem is that, with the exception of a commercial for reverse mortgages featuring a retired Senator, Robert Wagner and Fonzie, the biggest cluster of commercials is about the latest medicine to cure osteoporosis, diabetes, heart problems and, god forbid, excessive vaginal menstruation. Just as I'm settled comfortably in my recliner revelling in Pa filling that lumber order to feed the youngins the show breaks for commercial.
Okay, I can live with commercials; that's how the network pays their bills. But I'll be damned if I understand how anyone...and I mean anyone could even consider taking those meds! My god, people, didn't you pay attention to that final 15 seconds of the commercial? They begin the commercial by showing the patients riding bikes, running along the beach and taking grandson for a high flight balloon ride! But then, the commercial narrator speeds up his speech rate to issue forth with all of those FDA-mandated side effect warnings! "Patients taking 'mediflux' should consult your physician"..."common side effects are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle spasms and brain seizures..."do not take 'mediflux' if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, have a history of heart trouble, are diabetic, are prone to gout, have ever eaten more than a pint of ice cream or have ever listened for the entire length of a Barry Mannilow song....."
Folks, I don't know about you but I'd be thinking long and hard before I would even consider taking any of those meds! What is really scary is that, in this drug-loving nation, these meds must be selling like hotcakes or they wouldn't be spending billions in marketing them!
Since I've got to have my "wholesome fix", I still watch "The Waltons". So I've learned to cope: When Bob Wagner or Fonzi or The Senator come on pushing grandpa and grandma to reverse mortgage the home place to finance a sea cruise, I go get a cup of coffee. When one of the commercials for the wonder drug comes on I go grab a Tum to settle my nausea, a side-effect of watching those drug promos.
By the time I get back to "The Waltons", Pa has filled the lumber order, Grandpa has made peace with Grandma for his sin of sipping "The Recipe" with the Baldwin sisters and Olivia and Pa are in pre-coital bliss as they bid good night to all the children. The Walton family has somehow overcome tremendous Great Depression challenges...and without the aid of a single aspirin.
P.S. If you have ever watched the Waltons you know that they have something like nine kids, who all say goodnight to each other at bedtime with crystal clarity....haven't you ever wondered how Ma and Pa had nine kids with walls that thin?