Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Drug of Choice

Today I'm not talking about garbage OR insects, I'm sorry to tell you.  Today I'm talking about one of my other favorite subjects: pet peeves.  Gerry says one of his pet peeves is that there's an ad for a prescription drug during every commercial break - well, he hates commercial breaks in general, but that's another story.  And I have to say, I agree that they're easy to hate.

First of all, I don't quite understand why they show us these ads at all.  It seems like a waste of marketing dollars to urge, "ask your doctor if Sploxozine is right for you."  That's why I have a doctor in the first place, to keep track of all the medical mumbo-jumbo and tell me what I need to do to avoid bursting at the seams with cholesterol or randomly dropping limbs.  If I didn't trust my doctor to know what sort of treatment might be beneficial to me, I think that might be a sign that I need to switch doctors.  That's their job, to know what to do when you come in with some medical-type complaint.

Frankly, if I were a doctor, I'd be pretty put off if my patients started showing up with a list and a shopping cart, demanding to be put on all kinds of medications.  Half the time the ads don't even say what the drug is for, wasting all kinds of appointment time with the doctor explaining, "You want to be put on Sploxozine?  Hmm.  Well, that's a powerful narcotic used to alleviate chronic hiccups.  According to your chart, you don't appear to have chronic hiccups," and so on.  Then the patient says, "Look, I just do whatever the TV says, so put me on some meds so I can get back to running on the beach with my dog, hosting elaborate backyard bar-b-ques, and sitting in side-by-side bathtubs with my spouse."

If I were the doctor, I'd get myself a burly nurse to throw these people out on the street while I stayed inside, polishing my medical degree.  Though admittedly that wouldn't result in much repeat business.

However, I'm willing to completely overlook that for one simple reason: the side effects.  This is the part at the end of the ad when they bring in either Eerily Soothing Woman's Voice or Fast-Talking Micro Machines Guy to tell you what the drug is REALLY going to do, which 9 times out of 10 is way worse than whatever they're trying to cure.  They sneak in, a voice-over as the actors in the commercial ride on a Ferris wheel, set up their picnic, return joyously to gardening, etc:

"Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any of the following: loose bones, uncontrollable fingernail growth, crazy eyeball syndrome, sinus blowout, jangled nerves, partial skin detachment, elephantitis, jimmy leg, rubbernecking, inability to pronounce your own name, velvety eyebrows, forgetfulness, achy breaky heart, insomnia, narcolepsy, leaky knee syndrome, jaundiced spleen, receding gums, Elvis lip (which may become permanent), spinal liquification, UFO sightings, earlobe numbness, brain fur, the bends, constant urge to impersonate Cher, night terrors, or death."

I feel better already.

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John (dad) said...

What's worse is that the invention and advertising of these new drugs seems to trigger the symptoms in the people watching the ads! I never suffered from acid reflux until they told me how common it was. I had no idea what gout actually was until that guy on TV started carrying around that beaker of green stuff. The next morning I woke up thinking my big toe was being chewed by rats! And you're right... The side effects are always worse than the affliction they're supposed to cure.

Sperry said...

It's true, I have recurrent debilitating Elvis lip due to Sploxozine! Okay, so maybe I'm just hoping there'll be a giant class-action suit that can make me feel like I'm part of a movement AND net me $2.50 in the end. :-)
What's super-annoying to me about these ads is that I KNOW doctors hate it when patients come in with a print out from WebMD and ask about drug "xyz", so even if I do hear about a medication I think could really be the answer to all my problems I'd never bring it up because I don't wanna "be that guy". Wait- is that Social Anxiety? Is there a drug for that...?

RobynHTV said...

I LOVE the gout guy - I love how, even after taking his gout medicine that lists "gout flare-ups" as a side effect, he STILL has to carry that beaker around, it just has about 2 teaspoons less green gout juice in it than it had before. Worth it? I think not.

TNMom said...

OMG!!! That list of side effects had me crying from the very first one! I can hardly contain myself, the guy across the cubical from me thinks I am a nut job!!
"If you or a loved one have experienced dizziness or death, please call this number, you may be entitled to funds from a law suit...." I totally wanna be like a 13 year old and call up and say, "uh yes, I took that drug and experienced death..." Like the previous commenter, I want my $2.50 cut! <3D

RobynHTV said...

I completely forgot about this post! I bet there's a drug for that, although it probably causes forgetfulness. ;)

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