'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE ‘FLOMAX’ LIFE TOO STRENUOUS FOR THIS GUY
Have you seen those TV commercials for a drug called FLOMAX? The commercials show five men in their 50s and 60s running around like a bunch of hyperactive teenagers. They’re riding mountain bikes together; they’re kayaking together; they’re deep sea fishing together; and they’re cruising around in a big convertible car, laughing and joking together as if they were headed for a wild Spring Break vacation. And all these fun activities happen within the span of a 30-second commercial. Whew, I get tired just watching these guys.
A recurring theme during all of these activities is that the five guys are constantly chugging water from plastic bottles, which gets to the main point of the product. FLOMAX is a drug that treats a health condition called BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), also known as an enlarged prostate.
Guys who have BPH apparently have to deal with urinary conditions that might be called “Flow-min,” and “Flow-often,” and “Not-even-a-flow-but-a-trickle-down-my-pant-leg-dammit.” I suppose the drug company’s marketing department settled on the name FLOMAX because the name “PEE LIKE A FIRE HOSE AGAIN” would not fit on the packaging.
It seems that middle-aged guys who suffer from urinary conditions due to BPH are no different than a typical healthy adult woman. This observation is based on a scientific survey I conducted recently, which consisted of overhearing a woman grumble while watching a FLOMAX commercial: “Poor babies. You have to go a lot. Welcome to our world.”
As with most new pharmaceutical products, FLOMAX has a few side effects. (I’m not sure, but it seems the more clever and catchy the name of the new drug, the more serious the side effects.) At the very end of the commercial the announcer quickly says, “Common side effects of FLOMAX are runny nose, dizziness and decrease in semen. A sudden decrease in blood pressure may occur upon standing, rarely resulting in fainting. So when starting FLOMAX, avoid situations where injury could result.”
Hmm, I wonder if any of those “situations” that should be avoided include bike riding, kayaking, deep sea fishing, or cruising around in a convertible?
The FLOMAX commercials strike me as kind of weird. Not because there’s a new drug that can help urinary problems due to BPH. It’s just that I know a lot of guys in their late 50s and early 60s, and none of them ever get together in groups of five and go out kayaking and mountain biking and water-chugging all day long.
Maybe there are men out there who do that stuff, but the guys I know, when they’re not working too much and sleeping too little, like to enjoy themselves by sitting on a bar stool or a reclining chair (where the bathroom is only 20 feet away), or by playing some golf (where every clump of trees is a makeshift urinal). Even if they have BPH, the guys I know would rather just deal with it than take a drug that might make them faint, or even worse, might make them go out and find four new hyperactive friends and purchase a kayak.
Maybe the FLOMAX commercials are really designed to sell different pharmaceutical products, such as Ben-Gay, Icy Hot Patches, and massive amounts of Tylenol. Because if the average 60-year-old guy suddenly went out and started doing what the fellows in the FLOMAX commercial do, he’d be so sore he’d be unable to get out of bed the next morning. Come to think of it, if that happens, being able to “hold it” for a long time would come in handy.
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