We pause now in your regularly-scheduled programming to bring you these important commercial messages.
The Old Man and the Clams
Scene: A balding old guy carrying a bucket and rake strolls along an otherwise-empty beach. A violin-intensive cover of a sappy 1970s pop song plays quietly in the background.
Old Man: 'I may be a balding old coot — but I can still get the better of these clams, thanks to Avast!atintm'
Announcer: 'Ask your doctor if Avast!atintm is right for you. Persons with liver disease should not take Avast!atintm. If you experience unusual hair loss, odd rashes or a craving for clams, you should stop taking Avast!atintm and consult your doctor. Other side effects may include referring to yourself as an "old salt" and boring people to tears with talk of your "dinghy".'
Old Man: 'Will somebody cut this crappy music!!!'
The Old Man Remembers
Scene: The balding old guy stands on the beach, looking at his bucket of clams with a puzzled expression on his face, while off in the distance nubile, bikini-clad young ladies frolic in the surf. A violin-intensive cover of 'Is That All There Is?' plays quietly in the background.
Old Man: 'Outwitting clams is all well and good, but it ain't the kind of thing that gets a man up in the morning, if you catch my drift. So I talked to my doctor about Vagueratm. He told me that Vagueratm helps relieve those 'symptoms' that guys my age don't like to talk about.
Announcer: If you're experiencing 'symptoms', ask your doctor if Vagueratm is right for you. Vagueratm should not be used by women or children. Men who take Vagueratm may experience memory loss, acne, hairy palms, and a tendency to make complete fools of themselves with 19-year-old waitresses.
Scene: Balding old guy is standing on the beach, grinning, while a nubile bikini-clad young lady comes running up to him.
Old Man: 'So talk to your doctor about Vagueratm. I'm glad I did. And so is Tiffany here.'
Not Tonight, Dear
Scene: A young, attractive woman is sitting on her bed, wincing and holding her head. A distinguished-looking older man comes into the bedroom and glances meaningfully at her, whereupon she snarls at him. The sounds of a sappy, violin-intensive song would send her right over the edge, so the producers of this ad wisely skip the music this time.
Announcer: 'If you suffer from recurring migraines, perhaps you should ask your doctor if Migratrextm is right for you. Women who are pregnant or who are thinking of becoming pregnant should talk to their doctors before taking this medication. Side effects may include nervousness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, colour blindness and hallucinations.'
Scene: The young woman and the distinguished-looking older man hop out of their expensive new SUV and carry their luggage into a quaint bed-and-breakfast establishment.
Man: 'Thanks to Migratrextm, I've got my wife back. Now life is beautiful, just like she is!'
Scene: A cold, windy winter day on a crowded city street. People are bundled up and rushing to get out of the freezing rain; several are coughing and sneezing. The eerie whine of gale-force winds drowns out the sound of motor vehicles and sirens.
Announcer: 'Because of this year's shortage of flu vaccine, millions of people are at risk for contracting this disease. But if you do get sick, your doctor has the answer: Flunosetm. Taken at the first sign of flu symptoms, Flunosetm significantly reduces the length and severity of your illness. Side effects may include allergic reaction, anaemia, back pain, chest pain, hot flushes, fatigue, fever, runny nose, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, malaise, and general disaffection.'
Person on Street (looking confused): 'Could I maybe just get the flu instead?'
Scene: Attractive 30-something woman stomps into the bedroom and slams the door shut. Man's voice is heard yelling 'Fine! Fine! That's just fine! It's really, really fine!' followed by the sound of a second slamming door. The woman walks into the bathroom and opens the medicine cabinet; she stares at a small bottle of pills, then opens it and takes one of the pills. The sounds of a violin-intensive cover of 'Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair' swell in the background.
Woman (now looking calm and resolute): 'That's it. He pulled that stunt just one time too many. And now I'm going to finally do something about it.'
Announcer: 'Fortunately this woman had talked to her doctor about Evictatm. Evictatm treats the anger and indecision caused by difficult personal relationships. Just one pink pill per day provides the stamina to eliminate troublesome persons from one's life. Evictatm may not be right for everyone. Parents of teenagers or of children under the age of five should not take this medication. Side effects may include hyperactivity, confusion, and a willingness to traffic with lawyers.'
Scene: Woman is walking along the beach with a long-haired, tanned surfer dude. A violin-intensive cover of an upbeat 1990's pop song swells in the background. No clams are in evidence.
Woman: 'Thanks to Evictatm, I've got my life back and it's better than ever! Thanks, Evictatm!'
Zen and the Art of Portfolio Maintenance
Scene: Obviously well-heeled couple are sitting around a dining room table covered with papers. The man is frantically pushing buttons on his calculator, while the woman looks confusedly back and forth between two sheets of paper. A violin-intensive cover of 'Money' pounds in the background.
Man: 'I give up! I can't make heads or tails of these brokerage statements. The devil with the kids and their inheritance! Why don't we just give all our money to one of those televangelists and go find enlightenment at a Buddhist monastery in Tibet?'
Woman: 'Give me that calculator.'
Announcer: 'When too much money has you confused, it's time to talk to your doctor about Zorbitanttm. Just one Zorbitanttm per day will help you shed unwanted pounds1 and leave your bank account lean and svelte. Zorbitanttm may not be right for everyone. Persons suffering from scepticism or lack of financial resources should not take this medication. Side effects may include speaking in tongues, boils, plagues of locusts, earthquakes, signs and wonders. Persons experiencing a second coming should stop taking Zorbitanttm immediately and consult their priest, minister, Imam, shaman or other spiritual practitioner.'
Man: 'Honey, please pass me another bowl of that tasty boiled rice! And may I say that you look fetching in that orange robe?'
Woman: 'Shut up, grasshopper.'
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, medications, situations, corporations, or other legal entities is purely coincidental and should not be construed as an invitation to file lawsuits. The preceding information does not constitute medical or financial advice. Persons should consult with their physicians or someone who knows what they're talking about before making any important decisions. Thank you.