One of things I like to do to relax is watch TV. I would like to sound more cerebral and say in my spare time I enjoy reading Proust and listening to foreign language tapes. But that would be a lie and I try not to lie unless I’m discussing my age or my weight.

I’ve just realized that I’m going to have to Google Proust before I submit this because I have no idea how to spell his name or who he is or even if he is actually a he. I also have no idea why reading him/her is supposed to make me seem intelligent. Now it looks like I’ll probably have to go on Wikipedia to figure that one out. This is starting to sound like more work than I have time for at the moment. I may need a nap.

Now where was I? Oh yes watching the boob tube.

My life philosophy up until that point was never to over think after 8pm. Much like eating after 7 pm it’s just ill advised. That’s why I love TV. It’s simple predictable and generally requires little to no thought.

So there I was all curled up cozy waiting for my favorite sitcom to seduce me into believing it was funny when the most unimaginable thing happened. No, it wasn’t preempted and replaced with a state of union address. It was much worse. I had lost my remote and I was instantly transformed into crisis mode. You see, if I couldn’t locate the remote I would have to…… commercials.

I know you feel my pain and can empathize. It’s probably happened to most everyone at some time or another and I do recall a time when we had no choice but to just push through it. However now that I’ve been sampled on this blissful new technology that allows me to control when and what I watch…it’s simply unfathomable to be forced back to the dark days of yore.

So I had a decision to make. I could get up and root around in the dark like a desperate raccoon putting my hands into the deep recesses of couches and finding things that should remain lost. Or I could pull up my big girl panties and brave the insipid onslaught of shameless advertising. Seeing as I wasn’t sure if my tetanus shot was up to date I decided on the latter.

My show began and 9 minutes later we paused for our first commercial break. It started innocently enough. Your average run of the mill cell service providers, a friendly accommodating insurance company ( that one actually made me laugh at the irony) and so on. A mere 2 1/2 minutes later I was returned back to the sweet soothing sounds of canned laughter. I felt ok and I thought I was coping well with this archaic remoteless experience.

Then it took a wee turn.

The ad started out with some poor woman tossing and turning. The commentators voice spoke soothingly to assure me that there was hope for her restless nights. I was feeling good and hopeful that this woman’s suffering would soon end. She sounded so lovely and caring. There were butterfly’s and everyone was smiling. And then….

This same blissful lovingly calm voice started reciting the laundry list of side effects that could potentially occur. It was quite simply horrifying. Her melodic tone told tale of the increased risk of violent episodes, irrational thoughts, suicidal thoughts, anaphylactic shock, heart attack or stroke, liver damage and death just to name a few. All of these things could occur while using this drug that the FDA in its infinite wisdom had approved for joe public. This was madness. Who needs sleep so bad that after listening to this thinks to themselves: ‘I’m just going to roll the dice.’

This seemed unconscionable. I called to my husband and started ranting about the absurdity of it all. I went on and on and felt I was on the verge of writing a strongly worded letter to someone. He just nodded and politely agreed. He asked how I had heard of this drug and I told him I’d seen a commercial. His eyes grew wide with shock and he asked why on earth I would do such a thing? I told him I lost the remote and how it all just fell apart after that.

He told me to calm down, that we would find the remote and attach it to a cinder block and it would never leave us again. I felt better. Not fluttering blue butterfly better but better none the less. I guess I’m just one of those people who can’t handle the truth in advertising…even when it’s sugar coated with pretty flying insects. Now throw in a cute kitten playing by a rainbow and all bets are off. Oh no…have I said too much?

PS. I just googled Proust and feel slightly more intelligent.



Posted January 30, 2014 by janyceresh in Uncategorized

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  1. Googling Proust…fine. Reading Proust…NO!!!!! -Amy at

  2. Only watch beer commercials, there is no long list of side effects!

  3. I have read Proust but I’ve forgotten what I read!

  4. Recently we just saw a commercial for a medication made for bipolar disorder. On the list of side effects included “avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medication”. Wha….??
    I also have never read Proust.

  5. Here in the UK, they don’t list the side effects. They just show the woman drifting off to sleep smiling. You are responsible for reading about the side effects in the packet – after you’ve paid for the stuff, obviously! I like how supportive your husband was, it sounds like he understands!!!

  6. Ma ha ha! Entertaining post. Isn’t Proust a French tea blend *wink*.

  7. Love the cinderblock idea.
    My honey and I always laugh at the ads for men’s erection problems. “You should inform your doctor if it lasts longer than four hours.” Four hours! Holy crap! I love my sweetie, but after the first half hour I’d be locking myself in the bathroom.

  8. You were watching television, a media that is based on “violent episodes, irrational thoughts, suicidal thoughts, anaphylactic shock, heart attack or stroke, liver damage and death”. All they were trying to tell you to do was find the remote and click the “off” button. πŸ™‚

  9. I once saw a commercial for a medication and the part of the commercial with the list of side effects was twice as long then the actual advertisement for the benefits of said medication! It was horrifying.

  10. I’m so glad you followed my blog earlier (thank you), I don’t know that I would’ve come across your blog otherwise. And I’m so glad I have! Brilliant.

  11. The ads are definitely worse than the programs which are dreadful. But the picture quality is so much better now with HDTV! I actually watched the news the other day and they reported some, but it was more dramatic than the dramatized series. Then there are the reality TV shows, with people you really, desperately hope aren’t real.

    • Oh I can’t watch reality shows. I completely lose my mind at those circus show. I’m actually not allowed to watch those programs. It is bad for my blood pressure…

  12. I love how they have to recite the side effects super fast because there are so many of them. Also they don’t want us to hear them. It seems nowadays (is that a word? it should be) that most medications list side effects that include the very thing you are trying to cure by using the medication. “Warning, taking this asthma medication may cause breathing problems” kind of thing. It’s… insane. They are turning us insane…. and then we have to take the drugs to feel better. Well, better other than a ‘few’ side effects.

  13. Love it! So true! Though, I have to say, I do love myself a good reality show but if I dont have my remote – all hell breaks loose!!

  14. I loved it when my son moved out of the house…I got custody of the remote again. I was like a child. Now I have a number of them…Sky, TV, HDMI switcher, radio…and couple I found in drawers that I just keep around for the heck of it. I’ve decided I’m never getting married again…I have no desire at all to share my remotes…

    I tend to SkyPlus or download things…I avoid adverts if at all possible.

    Love your writing!

  15. My dear, superficiality is a great skill. Superficial is what I aim for. Superficial people tend to be happy in themselves, do not berate others and are incapable of starting wars. I am always wary of very deep and meaningful people, they are rarely up to any good, and only ever listen to their own point of view…

  16. I love those beer commercials that come immediately after a road safety awareness advert. Or at Christmas when all the charities show footage of starving children right before a decadent, cutesy, lavish Sainsbury’s commericial.

  17. Only watch commercials during the Superbowl. Otherwise it’s a steady diet of Proust, foreign language tapes and BBC animal vids. LOL I have Proust in my house and I have to get him oust.

  18. In a day lacking smiles, you made me smile πŸ™‚

  19. Wow, I love your blog! and I love this article πŸ™‚ Thank you for taking the time to check mine out also.

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