Creators Syndicate - In one of the biggest stories of the past week, doctors recommended that parents not give cold medicines to kids under 2 years old. The medicines could have fatal side effects, the doctors said, and besides … they never actually worked anyway. Evidently it was an open secret in the medical community, but it never got out to the rest of us until we were at risk of knocking off our offspring. The manufacturers of cold medicines for little kids immediately raised objections, shocked at the fact that doctors would rat them out after they bought them all those golfing vacations.
Also last week, a mega drug company announced that their cholesterol-lowering drug, a drug people have spent billions on in the past couple of years, doesn't really work any better than the drugs it replaced. They've known this for at least two years, but forgot to tell us. Thankfully, they refrained from ending their announcement with the phrase, "SUCKAAAAH!"
I don't have kids under 2 years old or high cholesterol. (By the way, if you do have kids under 2 years old and high cholesterol, you probably ought to put down that doughnut.) But every day, I'm bombarded by come-ons for expensive stuff that doesn't really work, and nobody does anything about it. I'm not talking about my washing machine, exercise plan or children. Those are all things that don't work, but those are probably my fault. I'm talking about stuff people are still trying to get you to open your wallets for, even when a small child with a severe cold could tell you you're wasting your money.
Plastic surgery for women is one of the biggest culprits. Here, I'm not talking about gals with inflated chests. (Every time I even look at, let alone talk about, those ladies, I get the hairy eyeball from my wife.) I'm talking, ladies, about getting your lips puffed up with collagen, having your forehead pulled back and stapled onto the back of your head or having your face injected with toxins to freeze your mug into a surprised stare. I assume you're doing it to look younger. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not working. Nobody you know will tell you because they don't want to hurt your feelings, but let's face it, you just spent 10,000 bucks to look like the Joker. If you want to send me that money, I'll come over at least once a day for the next three years and tell you how great you look just as you are.
A close second to going under the knife are all those products women buy to get "nonsurgical" (in other words, "imaginary") facelifts — namely creams that make your face feel, if not actually look, tighter. They're often accompanied by before and after pictures featuring middle-aged models. In the before picture, usually taken when the woman came right off the street, the woman is frowning and often kind of sweaty. In the after picture, she's just as wrinkled as she was before, but now she's got a big smile on her face. It usually looks like she's had her face washed, but she doesn't really have fewer wrinkles. Maybe she's happy because she doesn't look like the Joker.
Men are just as big suckers as the ladies. For the past year, cable stations around here have been running ads for "Enzyte," with a spokesperson named "Smiling Bob." Enzyte was supposed to make men more … manly, and their lady friends (I hate that phrase, don't you?) happier. The only real effect it had was to make men's wallets smaller, to the tune of $100 million. It's probably hard to put this to a scientific test, but if America's men had spent that $100 million on jewelry instead of Enzyte, the "lady friends" of America would've been a lot happier and more appreciative.
It never stops — last week I saw an ad for a diet supplement that transforms you from Macy's parade float into figure model in weeks — without exercise. (Remember, though, this offer is only for those who are serious about losing weight!)
The good news is that the Federal government has enacted the "Federal Trade Commission Act," which gives the government the power to investigate "deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce" and hand out serious fines. So you can rest assured that all this false advertising will be taken care of immediately.
Or at least that's what they intended when they passed the FTC Act … in 1914.
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