Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Job I’ll Never Get

Since this column is supposed to have something to do with writing, I'm confessing that I want to write commercials. Please allow me to vent for a couple of minutes as to why I say that.

I want to rewrite all the prescription commercials that bombard us day and night. I didn’t buy a television set to have it blare at me endlessly about diarrhea, constipation, impotence, light days, adult bed wetting, and on and on, ad infinitum.

During my career as a legal secretary, there was a time, back in the Dark Ages, when the Bar Association’s Code of Ethics said it was unbecoming for an attorney to advertise on TV or anywhere else. Maybe such advertising wasn’t unlawful, but it was frowned upon as leaning toward sleaze.  Then suddenly ethics went out the window and attorneys were allowed to advertise.

As strange as it seems to me to now see attorneys promoting their services, their ads are nowhere on the same level as those for drug prescriptions. Half the time you don’t know what the ailment is they're supposedly curing, but somehow you’re supposed to know you need the product. And since it’s only available by prescription, you are told to “ask your doctor.”

Aye, there’s the rub.  Since you must see your doctor to get the prescription, why in heaven’s name can’t your doctor tell you its horrendous side effects? Why do we have to hear that Product X can cause dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, impotence, diarrhea, bleeding, bruising, and every other horror you can imagine, ending with, “and possibly death.”

I can agree to hearing the adverse reactions of over-the-counter drugs since a buyer probably won’t take the time to read the enclosed instructions. But I’m talking about a drug that you can only get from your doctor and that doctor is supposed to tell you what might happen. If he or she doesn’t, then the pharmacist who fills the prescription is charged with explaining those dire facts to you.

I have a recent Woman’s Day magazine that has 140 pages; thirty of which are ads for prescription drugs. That’s nearly one-quarter of the magazine. It’s not cheap to advertise in magazines and on television, so perhaps if they omitted such ads, they could lower the price of their drugs. What a concept!

Let me write the ads. They would read: “Your doctor is far more educated than you, so tell him or her you have a problem, ask what medicine is recommended and what the side effects are.” Period.

That, I could live with. How about you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Forced Do-Nothingness

It’s a new year! We may not have had a white Christmas but we’re sure having a white 2017. It started raining Friday, the 6th, turned into sleet, and by Saturday morning the world was white outside. Sunday the sun came out but the temperature had dropped, all the way down. Not only was I and the rest of Garner snowbound for three days, but the weather stayed below freezing the whole time.
It got down to eight degrees one morning. Consequently, the snow and ice didn’t melt. Today is the first day that the temperature got above freezing and I can start to see melting occurring.

I also got to go outside for the first time since Friday noon. I didn’t go far, but I did pick up three days of mail that had accumulated in my mailbox that’s around the corner and down the street. I felt like I’d been given early parole today when I walked out of the house for the first time in days. California was never like this; we could get our mail any day of the year.

The question is, would I rather be in sunny San Diego and not have to worry about ice and snow and below freezing temperatures, or in North Carolina where although it gets cold, it’s also three thousand miles closer to my family? This is a no-brainer, but I must admit that a couple of times these last few days I questioned my sanity in moving. We’re still ten degrees warmer than Connecticut where the rest of my family lives, so looked at that way, North Carolina, with some of my family here, still looks pretty good.

One advantage to being snowbound (granted by only two inches, but there IS ice underneath), is that I was able to get caught up on a lot of work at the computer, including working on my latest book in progress.

Those two inches closed schools, church, and planned activities. Everyone was warned to stay off the roads and not drive unless absolutely necessary. As long as I had food, milk, electricity, and heat in the house, I snuggled up and waited out the weather.

I keep telling myself, “This too shall pass.” If this turns out to be the only winter weather we get all year, I can live with that.

Quote of the Day: If winter comes, can spring be far behind? Shelley