Monday, November 14, 2005

When Toothpaste Isn't Toothpaste

I understand that some companies have to make certain visual analogies in their TV ads in order to demonstrate how their products work. The maxi pad industry pours blue water to show absorbency rates. Baby diapers do the same thing. Denture companies use dentures that in no way resemble the ones I've seen my grandparents run through the dishwasher. And toilet paper companies are no different - they want to advertise their product and its effectiveness without being too graphic. Unfortunately, Charmin has crossed the line in my book.

Their latest commercial, complete with cute dancing cartoon bears, has completely ruined toothpaste for me. At one point in the commercial, they squeeze toothpaste on the back of a human hand, and then show how well it wipes off with Charmin toilet paper. I guess at this point, everyone out in TV land is then supposed to conclude that the toothpaste represents someone's crap, and it's smeared on the back of a hand that's really just a stand-in for someone's backside. The result is that the past few days I've been reminded of human feces whenever I squeeze that tube of toothpaste onto my toothbrush. Was equating toothpaste, something we all have to use to clean our mouths with, to human fecal matter really necessary to sell toilet paper? Are their sales really doing that badly? Maybe if they'd make it so that 2 sheets don't clog up my toilet.... maybe that'd boost their sales.

Anyway, while we're at it, let's start using Twinkies to represent tampons, or your favorite lotion to graphically show the effectiveness of a certain brand of condom. I'm sure Twinkies would suddenly become less appetizing (if they ever were), and it'd probably make you think twice the next time you go to smear lotion all over your body. And now thanks to Charmin, I connect toothpaste and brushing my teeth with poop and wiping. It really gives their old slogan "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" a whole new meaning. THANK YOU, CHARMIN!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Trip to the ER

Today was a first for me - my first ever trip to the ER. I had been experiencing chest pains since Thursday, and the stabbing pains were only getting worse. After only getting 2 hours of sleep last night because of the pain, I finally gave in and decided to drive over.

What exactly qualifies as an ER-worthy condition, anyway? I spent the entire 4 hours there feeling guilty for bothering them. I felt like they thought I was faking, or seeking attention. I mean, who has heart-related chest pains at age 26, anyway? I know I must've sounded nuts, but I figured chest pains weren't something to take lightly. And yet I still felt guilty for being there.

Well, the chest x-rays and EKG turned out normal, so the doctor threw around a bunch of big words as to possible causes, none of which were "fatal": costochondritis, pleurisy, and pericarditis, just to name a few. In the end, I don't think he really knew exactly what the problem was, just that "rest and elevation" should help it go away. He didn't seem too worried about it. So I figured I shouldn't be either.

That is, until I overheard what was going on in the partition next to me (the ER's "rooms" are just spaces marked off by curtains, so it was kinda hard not to). Anyway, this woman was describing symptoms IDENTICAL to mine: sharp stabbing chest pain the size of a golf-ball, spreading up into the left jaw, and worse when laying down. There must've been 4 different nurses/doctors in there getting her comfortable and helping her, getting an IV into her, getting the pain to stop immediately. Meanwhile, I've been laying on a gurney on the other side of the curtain in my lame robe for what seemed like an hour, listening to all this (thinking they had forgotten about me, too). The difference? She was 50-years-old with a prior heart attack, whereas I'm 26, and well, no prior history of anything.... But a "history" has to start SOMEwhere, right? After hearing that, I was no longer feeling as good about my pat on the back and "take two of these and call me in the morning" advice.....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Coffee-holics Vindicated!

So the big news is that coffee is okay again. A new study claims that it doesn't lead to long-term high blood pressure problems in women. Whoo-hoo!! Good thing, too, 'cause I wasn't about to give up my weekly runs to Dunkin' Donuts for an extra-large caramel-marshmallow coffee w/ cream (My favorite! And sugarless, of course). The study also compared women who drank coffee to those who drank sodas, finding that women who drank pop (er, soda), actually showed increased risk for high blood pressure.

By the way, my runs to DD would be daily, rather than weekly, were it not for the fact that they're so few and far between here in the South!!! I swear, a DD on every street corner (sometimes two on same said corner) is one of the only things I miss from my life in New York.