Of course it’s trivial, but then most things are. – John Malkovich
In larger things we are convivial; what causes trouble is the trivial. – Richard Armour
When you are in deep conflict about something, sometimes the most trivial thing can tip the scales. – Ethel Merman
I loved the above quotes so much, I couldn’t decide what to use. Me – I’m the kind of gal that gave birth four times and didn’t find the pain to be all that intolerable. Mother’s amnesia? Maybe. But heed this warning: don’t be near me if I have stubbed my toe or closed my fingers into a drawer. That kind of pain sends me into orbit. And gives me loads to complain about for hours…or days…
It’s the little things…
So let me preface this post with these simple words: I know that there are much bigger problems looming in this world at this very moment. However, I find that I absolutely, positively, must complain about something so very trivial.
So here goes… Most everyone in our nation is holding their collective breath on what will happen with Syria. And, taking my dear husband’s advice, I do try my very best to not watch the news, as I am a recovering news-watching addict. That being said, the journalist in me, and my inquisitive nature, got the best of me, and I have had the television on more than usual for the past few days, listening to the pundits and experts.
Believe me, I am weary. Last night, I was so proud of myself, as I flipped channels and started watching a documentary. But, this morning, curiosity got the best of me, and while I was exercising at 8 a.m., guess what? Yes, I gave into temptation and flipped over to the news.
Oh – that was a mistake. But, not for the obvious reasons of seeing bad news.
The commercials! Seriously, I wanted to start stabbing myself in the eye with a pencil. Who comes up with this stuff??? I think the advertisements stressed me out more than the content of the newscast.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Pharmaceutical companies: Listen, folks, whoever writes your ad copy is scaring the tar out of me! Even if I had any of the illnesses you have a miracle drug for, your disclaimers make me want to run, screaming the other way. Your beautiful scenery with well-adjusted actors wearing happy faces does not calm me down, especially when I hear this drug may cause me death or diarrhea or insomnia. And if I have to tell my doctor that I am taking other meds before trying this new one, shouldn’t he or she already know that before writing me another script? Just saying…
- Weight Loss Industry: Really, I am super-duper happy for the people who have lost lots of weight using your program. Truly, I am. But, when I see the before and after shots, could you possibly admit that maybe, just maybe, these people also used exercise and a personal trainer to reach their goal? That it wasn’t just the food or the pill or shaking something on their donuts and chili dogs and fries?
- Mattress and furniture stores: Hey, can you update your commercials to reflect that Labor Day 2013 is over? Surely there must be another holiday this weekend (Grandparent’s Day, Caught-a-Mouse-in-a-Mousetrap Day) that we can celebrate so I feel motivated to rush out and get my furniture without paying any sales tax.
- Save 500%! Okay – really and truly – the save “something percent” commercials are my absolute breaking point. I will tell you this, that 100% of the time I see a percentage-off commercial, I will start yelling at the TV. “Save 50%!” Save 50% off what, based on what? We are never told! Are we saving 50% off the MSRP? Or off the clearance? Off the new customer rate? Off the airspace between someone’s ears? This arbitrary number means NOTHING TO ME unless I know what am I basing my savings on – or off – of! Please, solve this mystery for me, a once-upon-a-time wanna-be accountant who failed pre-calculus but still loves number-crunching.
Whew! I feel so much better now. Again, I know, that there are much bigger, scarier things going on in the world at the moment. But when I yelled at the television for stupid commercials, it made me laugh at myself, and for a few moments, there was a reprieve from the harsh realities of the news. A little laughter goes a long way…and so does shutting off the boob-tube.
What trivial things rouse your ire?
© Lynne Cobb – 2013
Just for fun…notice anything hysterical about this ad placement?