L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 337, September 18, 2005
"Prison Time For Gun Confiscators!"
Thoughts On Health
Special to TLE
I don't understand commercials for medicine anymore. I mean, I understand what they're trying to say when they advertise a medication and list its possible side effects. I just don't understand why they bother anymore. Nobody takes these advertisements seriously. The other day, I saw a spot for something called Restless Legs Syndrome. I was stunned when it ended without turning into a "Good news; I just saved 15 percent on my car insurance by switching to Geico" commercial. That's how bad it's gotten. It doesn't even matter how legitimate the affliction is. It could be cancer at this point. It could be a pill to stop spontaneous human combustion. Wouldn't matter. I see these commercials and instinctively shrug them off. I suffer from Grain of Salt Disorder. They come on my TV and talk about some crippling disease, and all I see in my head is Victoria Jackson slamming her extra fingers under the door of a photocopier in the old SNL commercial for Toe-Riffic and Handi-Off. ("Pick you up at six?" "Make it five." Ah, polydactyly...) Sadly, I'm not sure who this says more for: Geico or the medical industry.
Some other health-related observations:
* Everyone's got an addiction now. Food addiction. Shopping addiction. You name it, and somebody's got it. Except me. I don't have any addictions. I don't even have any hobbies. I look around sometimes and I start to feel left out. You know what I want? Addiction addiction. I want to be addicted to being addicted to things. I'll just run the gamut and rack up one new addiction after the other. Cigarettes. Beer. Stealing. Whatever you got. Eventually, I'll become addicted to being addicted to having addictions. At that point, I'll be unstoppable. People will point at me on the street. "Did you hear JDM's addicted to porn now?" "I thought he was addicted to gambling?" "Yeah, turns out he just didn't know when to quit." "What a shame. He was so young, too."
* The CIA should bring back leprosy. Just unleash it into some random community somewhere. Say, Council Bluffs, Iowa. No one would see it coming. I wonder how that would work out. Soon you'd start seeing separate leper water fountains. Lepers wouldn't be allowed to play baseball, so they'd have to start a special Lepers League. Eventually, the lepers would join the ACLU and march for their rights on Washington, and Congress would agree to pay them reparations in the form of a giant Publishers Clearinghouse check. But then all the congressmen would contract leprosy when they handed the check over, and we'd be forced to establish an all-monkey contingency government while our old government went underground. Things would be different at first. It would take some getting used to. But in the end, it would turn out life was just one long Charlton Heston movie, and the world would learn an important lesson on democracy. I say go for it.
* I could live with agoraphobia.
* What drives a grown man to become a proctologist? Is that something you spend your whole life dreaming about, or is it more of a last-minute career decision? I used to think being a podiatrist was weird, but at least with podiatry you can say you have a foot fetish. You can't really do that with proctology. Something about "I've always had a passion for rectums" just doesn't sound right. How do you go about telling your father you've chosen this field anyway? Do you ask him to sit down? Bend over? Or what?
* In the future, human beings will probably have wireless network adapters implanted in their heads, and computer monitors installed on the insides of their eyes. Then we'll communicate telepathically by using instant messenger. And whenever we want to know something, we'll just think about Google.
* How come doctors never see you on time? I swear, these guys are like going to a theme park. You wait 90 minutes for a two minute ride. Why is that? What causes doctors to consistently fall behind? Are they in bed with the people who publish Popular Mechanics or something? Do they just surf the Web and refresh their email for the first hour and a half every day? Or are they just being optimistic when they tell you to be there at five for what turns out to be a 6:30 appointment? I wonder if they'd make you wait around like that if they still did house calls.
* According to all the erectile dysfunction commercials, men with four-hour erections should seek immediate medical attention. What I want to know is, at what point does someone with a four-hour erection stop and say, "God, you know what? I might be looking at a four-hour erection here"? Are guys just sitting around their bedrooms, doped up on Cialis, bragging for the first three hours and forty-five minutes? At what point do they check their watch and say, "Gee, honey, another half hour and I'm gonna start to worry a little bit"? I don't know, maybe it's just my lack of four-hour erection experience talking here, but I would think after the first, oh, two and a half hours or so, you could reasonably conclude there's trouble brewing... you know, down there. In fact, I'd send up a flag 20 minutes after I'm done with the darn thing. And that's something else that I wonder: Where do you take this sort of problem at a quarter after one in the morning? Is there a special 24-hour four-hour erection doctor somewhere? Or are you supposed to go to the emergency room? Because I'd imagine a grown man walking into the ER with an erection in the middle of the night is slightly embarrassing. Even a little bit creepy. Is that a bottle of Viagra in your pocket, or are you just happy to be here?
* What would happen if you took melatonin with a shot of double espresso? I'd like to think you'd be perfectly fine.
Tom Paine Maru