The other day while watching TV, I inadvertently saw a commercial. I usually manage to avoid all of them by heading for the bathroom. These days, there are so many in a row, I can even mow the lawn and be back inside before a program resumes. This commercial ran for 30 seconds and was for some prescription medication that promised, in the first five seconds, to give me the equivalent of eternal life. The remaining 25 seconds were reserved for the side effects. I went to my medicine cabinet and looked at the paperwork accompanying my recently purchased prescription medication, papers I normally tossed in the recycle bin. Here are some highlights of the side effects listed in that informative material:
This drug may cause migraine headaches, abdominal cramps and projectile nosebleeds. Do not use if you are pregnant, particularly if you’re a male over forty and intend to breastfeed. Do not take this product if you’ve ever handled or been fired on by a squirt gun. While taking this medication, infants and children under three should not drive or operate heavy machinery. This drug has been known to produce a slight whistling noise, sounding like the overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, to issue forth from previously undetected bodily openings. May cause an extra finger to grow out of the left ear of an aunt or uncle four generations back in your family. Consult your physician if death or stage three coma occurs. Should you begin foaming at the mouth, speaking incoherently, or become unable to form a complete thought, immediately quit your job and run for Congress. Finish prescription completely because any unused portion improperly disposed of will contaminate landfills, neutralize the Earth’s magnetic field, cause seismic discontinuities in the upper mantle of its crust and precipitate a 3° shift in its axis.
I recycled the papers and put away my pill bottle, to be disposed of later in the proper manner so I don’t cause a crack in the world. In the meantime, I decided to take two aspirin and call my doctor in the morning.