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Friday, August 28, 2015

Chatty Catheter

Take away my microwave. Hell, take away my smart phone. Just leave me with Turner Classic movies and a video recording device.

Because there is a tropical storm thumbing its nose in the Atlantic this morning, I altered my schedule when I woke up. Normally I feed the dog, let her out, and get on with my day. But today I tuned in to The Weather Channel hoping to catch the latest Tropical Update. Instead I got Al Roper (who apparently has been super-sizing his Happy Meals again) babbling about climate change. After that, he cut to Local on the 8’s, which, is just Muzak with a map of today’s high temperatures across the country. They can squeeze a lady into a box the size of a credit card and have her give me turn-by-turn instructions from here to Walla Walla, but they can’t figure out how to cut to a local station to tell me if I should pack an umbrella today.

So after Nothing Local at 5:58, there were four minutes of unending commercials. And the dog was getting impatient. She was giving me that you’ve got one more minute and then you’ll be going for the mop look.  Normally I don’t watch commercials. I usually watch commercial-free Turner Classic Movies or skip through them because I pay a monthly fee to digitally record the shows I want to see.

So I learned that apparently there is a biiiiiiiiiiig market in the country for catheters. I don’t know why. I don’t want to know why. Just thinking about a catheter makes parts of me pucker and my stomach do a little flip.

I don’t want to see them, either, but there they were, in plain sight. If you call a toll free number, you can get a free catheter sampler pack, including the ever-so-popular pocket catheter. What does that do? Drain the coins out of your pants?

Apparently there are many different catheters to choose from.  “Hundreds of choices” according to the website I visited (and left an everlasting historical imprint on my work computer for my superiors to wince at). But in the commercial, words like “pre-lubricated,” “no-drips, no mess,” “reduces UTI’s” and “reduces friction and pain” send my nausea level to the puking point. For Chrissake, I just want to see if I need to lower my storm shutters! Have a little dignity, Weather Channel!

You know, Other Bill has to have medicine shot into his eye every eight weeks. Yes, a hypodermic syringe stabbed right into the white of his eye. If traffic is bad, it can take us over two hours to get to the doctor who performs this procedure. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do it at home? Let’s do a commercial for that.

Attention Ocular Melanoma and Macular Degeneration patients! Now you can get your Avastin injection supplies delivered directly to your home at no cost to you! We’ll automatically bill your insurance company or Medicare! Call this toll-free number now to receive your free syringe sample pack, including the popular ten-penny needle! Less trauma! Less bleeding! Fewer Infections! Less screaming!

Let’s see how much puckering occurs across America when that airs.

Why are we forced to face the gross realities of life on commercial TV? You never saw commercials for vaginal dryness in the 50’s. Can’t we please go back to that? I guess it all started with commercials for Preparation H and “feminine protection.” Half of us menstruated, and a third of us suffered some symptoms of hemorrhoids, so let’s get bleeding orifices out of the closet and onto the dinner table where we could engage them in a gleeful discussion. Say it loud: We ooze and we’re proud!

And don’t think for a minute that you can alleviate the gross-out factor by animating it. I can gag just as hard watching the slimy green snotwads in a Mucinex commercial or those horrific creatures in the Lamisil commercials that rip off a big toenail and start boring down underneath it.
Remember this?

It appeared at the end credits of TV shows up until 1983. It was a way for networks to voluntarily abide by a code of decency that lasted from the fifties until the National Association of Broadcasters was sued and made to end it all. Okay, call it censorship. But it would be nice if we had something like this for commercials.

I’ll be glad when the day comes when we all have internet access and we can all get information voluntarily through a search engine. That way those who want exclusive deals on douche bags and enemas can look for them privately without disturbing the rest of us in the family room.

My stomach and puckering parts will be much happier then.

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