[Note from WDW: I’ve been busy of late which doesn’t bode well for timely postings. However, my friend, Buddy Price, has agreed to step in as a guest blogger. I’ve known him for several years and we get along well. He’s worked in Hollywood as an agent for over a decade so he’s got some stories to tell. I should know. We just finished writing a book about one in particular. It’s called My Life as a Sperm. Hopefully, you’ll get to read it one day.
Buddy will be joining me on this blog for the foreseeable future (or until he decides to create his own). That shouldn’t be a problem for readers because we see things similarly. He’s asked only one thing of me – that I don’t censor his posts. Since I do know Buddy, let me assure you that I’m taking a huge risk. Sometimes, Buddy needs someone to rein him in. But given that I’m swamped from time to time, I’m willing to chance it. Let’s see how this works out.]
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Have you noticed those ED commercials? Yeah, how could you not? They pretty much play twenty-four hours a day. Every time you sit down to watch television, one pops up unlike the Johnsons of the afflicted target market. And the advertiser’s goal seems to be to convince you it’s a given that when you’re somewhere north of fifty, your private simply has no chance to stand and salute on its own. The only solution is to take their magic pill.
You know what I recommend. If you’re planning on laying some pipe, turn off the boob tube a few hours in advance, just in case their commercial plays. Can you say ‘performance anxiety’? I knew you could.
Universally, the commercials show a happy older couple; the husband, GQ model perfect, with a smile that could blind Stevie Wonder, and the wife who, let’s just say, never had to get by on the strength of her personality alone. The voice-over guy soon gets to work discussing the man’s particular issues without actually saying what it is. The husband smiles painfully (like he can hear the guy talking about him) as his smoking wife gives him a sympathetic hug and a playful tickle. A bunch of stuff happens, which gives the narrator a chance to preach his doom and gloom, and then provide a pharmaceutical solution. As the sun sets, we pull back to see them holding hands in adjoining free-standing bathtubs where you’re left to imagine them living happily ever after.
Now, let’s do some deconstruction. Maybe two percent of us are going to be that good looking by the time we qualify for discount theater tickets. If you aren’t already aware (or have experienced yourself), aging has a tendency to distort the human body, creating things like pudding paunches, jowl sag, and sugar hips; none of which our happy couple suffers from. Also, they seem to be getting along. I’ve seen old married couples who, after years of socks on the floor and Honey Do lists can barely hide their resentment. The ex-Mrs. Price wasn’t that affectionate even when we were still newlyweds. She liked to say there was a limit on the number of hours she could actually stand to be around me (and that number shrank proportionally with the number of years we were married).
Anyway, back to the topic. After thirty odd years of marriage, I lay odds of ten to one against still getting along. Don’t kill the messenger. It’s fifty-fifty to get a divorce in the first place. That drops us well below one percent for those that are old, hot and happily married. Not that it can’t happen, but if you hit the mark on all three, you’re in rarified air. And this couple we’re snooping on is as unlikely as picking all six numbers in the next Powerball drawing.
That being said, let’s take a look at the subtext, shall we? Lurking in the shadows of their bliss is the insidious Dragonslayer. You can see it in the wifey’s patient eyes. Keep popping those pills, they’re saying, so ole Johnny One-Eye will keep showing up and making me happy. (If you don’t see it, look closer. If you still can’t see, check to see if your testicles hang below your knees and it may explain why.)
Scientists did a test where they inserted single frames of words (like “thirsty”) or pictures (like a soda) in an episode of a TV show. Test participants showed a higher likelihood to be thirsty after the show. Well, as far as I’m concerned, these commercials are one big subliminal slaughterhouse. You may go in at the beginning a manly man, but thirty seconds later, you come out wondering when the sword of Damocles is going to come down on your own.
You know what I say? That really sucks. Don’t mess with me when it comes to my Steely Dan. Now, turn off the TV and let’s go grab some oysters?
Yours truly, Buddy Price
[Note from WDW: Thanks, Buddy! I can see that you won’t disappoint.]
Until next week – Don’t Look Down
by William Darrah Whitaker