Pills, pills everywhere with no relief in sight.

It is impossible to watch television, browse the Internet or flip through the pages of any magazine or newspaper without being bombarded with countless advertisements for legal drugs. Most people never heard of the illnesses those hyped miracle pills promise to cure or perhaps control. The pharmaceutical companies promise a pain-free life or something close to it if you just buy their pills.

Although the bombardment includes Over-the-Counter (OTC) products, many of the advertisements are for prescription drugs. What is a poor dude or dudette to do? They cannot legally write prescriptions without the threat of a come-to-Jesus meeting with the law.

If we believe the Oz-like hype, a visit to our friendly doctor is in our future. We know, doctors rarely, as in never, take requests for new medication by phone. They want you waiting in that freezer compartment, also known as the examination room, to try and talk you out of the idea. The interminable and uncomfortable wait will cost you time and some serious coin.

Doctors would prefer you had never seen whatever advertisement that caught your attention. He or she knows you and your medical history and prescribes drugs that will work best for you and your condition.

Not all drugs work as advertised for every person. Even if ten people have the same affliction, there are unique variables within each carbon matter unit that may negate the desired effect. In fact, some will experience more problems than the expected relief. The fairy tale hype clouds the reality.

The devil is in the disclaimer detailing the negative side effects of the miracle drug while viewers watch happy, healthy people enjoying life. Pictures tend to create rainbows and override the words of caution. If your doctor did not mention the drug to you, you are better off ignoring the commercials.

If you are suffering, you will grasp at the tiniest bit of hope. It does not matter how irrational or dangerous the hope may turn out to be; some will believe the guy people used to call the traveling medicine man.

Long before brick and mortar stores existed, the traveling salesmen of yesteryear sold whatever you needed, or did not realize you needed, including Doctor Mephisto’s cure-all elixir. The old timers claim those elixirs were either alcohol or castor oil.

Since microbreweries and vineyards around every corner did not exist back then, the alcohol in those bottles could probably peel paint off a barn. Castor oil seemed to be the universal go-to medicine of the day. It tasted like the bowels of Hell, and you felt like Hell after taking it.

The same is true of advertised medicines. They do not claim to work for everyone, and the side effects may include death. And yet, the possibility of a cure blurs common sense and ignores the negatives.

For example, men struggling with hair loss or baldness are promised fantastic results with a certain drug. The pictures show before and after pictures of happy hairy guys. The disclaimer strongly cautions that women never touch the stuff, especially if they were in their child-bearing years.

So, if you run your fingers through his hair, the medicine he put on his manly locks could cause birth defects in children. If the drug is so dangerous, what possible changes, besides hair growth, could harm his body? Will his little swimmers be altered? Will he father little trolls instead of children? (Granted, some rug rats are trolls.)

Does your company supply OTC pain medication? How thoughtful. Could the folks working there be the cause of the throbbing pain in your skull or a serious pain in your posterior? Hmm.

A beloved uncle had the right solution for aches and pains. “If you have a sore throat, suck on a razor blade, it will cut the pain.” Or, “Do you have a headache, let me stomp on your foot, and the headache will be gone.”

The guy had such a warped sense of humor. It was a joy to be around him. The unexpected frequently spilled forth, scandalizing the folks of a tight-assed persuasion and delighting the rest of us.



Elizabeth “Liz” Cowan is a freelance writer of suspense novels and humor books available on Amazon.com. Check out her book trailer on YouTube:


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