Wednesday, 02 January 2013
Better Than a Sleeping Pill
By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other
The other night, while my wife Bev slumbered peacefully, I stared restlessly at the ceiling. On that particular night my brain refused to shut down - thought after thought raced by: Where will our son get a job? Roger Maris hit 61 homeruns in 1961. Water is made up of two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen. President Obama is a good basketball player. All roads lead to Rome. Marcia in Atlanta writes wonderful blogs. Etc., etc., etc.
Therefore, after fighting a losing battle for several hours, I got out of bed, grabbed a cold drink from the refrigerator and turned on the TV in the family room. Armed with a blanket and a pillow, I spread out on the floor.
If you think the early evening shows are bad you should set your alarm for 2AM. Worse than the programs, however, are the commercials. Folks who have the misfortune to be awake in the wee hours of the morning are offered products that they probably don’t want or wouldn’t use, at least not for very long.
For example, the early hours seem to be the ideal time for pitching various exercise machines. Ironically, the actors using the machines don’t need them - they were slim, trim, and young.
Maybe the advertiser hoped that the viewers are stupid enough to believe that after a few workouts on the machine they will look young and sexy once again. Hey, I’m proud of my wrinkles, gray hair and swollen feet. It took me 60 long years to become what I am today.
There is an underwear commercial by a former NBA star. I admire his athleticism and basketball skills but just what makes him an expert on underwear? If the number of years wearing such apparel makes one an expert, then I would be a better candidate for pitching those briefs and boxers.
I imagine that some guys actually think they will be better basketball players if they wear this former star’s brand. If that were true, every coach from biddy league to the pros would have his players wearing this particular type of undies.
At my age I just want my underwear to be comfortable, priced reasonably and tough enough to last through many washings. I’m too old to play basketball and I’m certainly beyond caring how “cool” they look on me. Besides, let’s face it, how sexy is anything going to look on a 62-year-old guy?
Another advertising trick is to convince the viewer that anyone who is anyone is using the product. Moms usually have a ready answer for this argument: “So if everyone else is jumping off a cliff, you’d jump off, too?”
This type of advertising is especially appealing to teenagers. Ironically, they go out of their way to not be like their folks but they just have to fit in with their peer group.
Sex appeal is a powerful weapon in many areas of life but particularly so in advertising. A young man is told that the right kind of hair cream, aftershave lotion, shoes or whatever will turn him into a charming dynamo. Perhaps those pretty gals don’t even know that you exist, son, but with the purchase of our product you’ll have dates every night of the week.
Guys, if you are not popular with the ladies, the cure is simple. Simply become rich. That will attract many ladies although probably not the ones who would love you for yourself.
We oldsters frighten many members of the younger set. With our graying hair and wrinkles, they see us as “past it.” They’re scared to death of the day when they will become like us. Advertisers have used this fear to attract the young folks. You simply convince the young people that the “old fogies” use product X but your product Y is the choice of the young and beautiful. This sounds ridiculous, but it works.
Like I have said, the early morning programs and advertisements were not very entertaining but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After watching about an hour of this stuff I was slowly but surely bored into a deep sleep.
The next morning my wife found me snoring in front of the still-playing television set. (P.S. For many, listening to Congressional speeches will also do the trick.)
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]