Monday musings

Two new products appearing in recent TV ads caught my attention:

The first is something called “ImmuGo,” which is supposed to increase the efficiency of your immune system. In fact, it bills itself as “the Official Immune Support Product of the Hollywood Movie Awards.” This is quite a claim. Not only have I spent my entire life failing to realize that such a thing as an immune support product exists, but now I learn there is an “official” one. This is one sorry licensing arrangement, if you ask me, not something I’d expect from the marketing masterminds of sister-product “HeadOn (applydirectlytotheforehead).” I guess they chose the Hollywood Movie Awards as sponsor after finding that the Arena Football League and General Motors were not available. If I ever have the need for my immune system to be improved, though, I’m definitely going to choose the ointment (salve? unguent? balm?) used by an organization that shows pictures of George Clooney and Keira Knightley on its website.

The second commercial was for a service rather than a product. I don’t remember the cosmetic surgeon’s name, but he was offering a special that gives you treatment of one “area” free for each area purchased. By area, I assume he’s talking about the part of your body that you want to be surgically revised. This seems a little gimmicky to me. With the exception of a few internal organs (whose physical appearance I can’t imagine anyone would care about), the human body is so symmetrical that virtually everything comes in pairs. You’d almost have to get two areas done at once, unless there are women who want one breast enlarged but not the other or men who want only half of their spare tire liposuctioned. I wonder if the surgeon would allow you to mix-and-match: could you perhaps have the dark bag under one eye eliminated, and then have a toe removed as your second “area”? I’m betting the contract has some fine print that disallows this.

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Did you realize that the group of individuals who officially decide when the nation is in a recession is called the Business Cycle Dating Committee? They look at a variety of statistics to determine when the economy is trending positive and when it’s heading into a downturn and, I guess in their spare time, arrange for social encounters among eligible economists.

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I’ve been thinking about the right kind of career advice to give my teenage son as he prepares to pursue his studies at college next fall. It seems that, between outsourcing and computerization, there’s really going to be very little left to choose from. The only sure bets that I can come up with are nail technician and the guy who puts tires on your car. I’ve read that even fields like anesthesiology and drive-through fast-food order-taker are being endangered, the former by a new software program and the latter by distant call centers that can handle hundreds of Wendy’s at a time. One of Daniel’s big interests right now is journalism, a respectable career to be sure but one that seems to be on its last legs. I’m encouraging the journalism, thinking it may survive on the web long after the last newsprint is recycled. I’m afraid, though, the only worse advice I could give would be to suggest he take courses that would allow him to major in United Auto Work.

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I hate that most fruit flavors have been hijacked by the health, beauty and cosmetics industry. Cherry has become virtually intolerable, since it reminds me of either cough syrup or kids’ shampoo. Orange reminds me of baby aspirin. Somebody should be sued.

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I’ve always wanted to be in a wheelchair, have a cast or be admitted to the hospital. I’ve long believed, as stated by George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” that pity is very under-rated, and I want some. I did have a kidney stone removed a few years ago (unfortunately on an out-patient basis) and I was able to take some advantage of the situation a few days later when I accompanied my family to Costco. I checked out one of the motorized chairs they provide for their more feeble customers and had myself a grand time roaming up and down the aisles. The world looks so different when your eye level is reduced by three feet – all these people look down at you with such sympathy.

I once thought about jumping off the roof of our house when I was a kid in order to break my leg and avoid a particularly arduous segment of physical education – tumbling or wrestling or square dancing, I think. Ultimately, though, I chickened out.

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I’ve always wondered who would win in a fight between a cow and a horse, though both are so even-tempered it seems unlikely ever to happen.

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