Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Television's Healing Power

Over the years, I’ve tried to deliver wise advice and insights that might help you navigate your daily journey through life. My columns have ranged from the inner workings of the English language and air travel to the virtues of the public education system and the Theory of Evolution. If for nothing else, this stuff will at least come in handy during a spirited game of Trivial Pursuit. Sure, you could argue that my columns aren’t exactly on par with Nietzsche (which is perfectly fine with me because I gather he’d be a real downer at a party) and are light on what some people would call “facts”. Today’s column, though, turns its back on frivolity and mirth to serve a higher purpose by announcing I’ve decided to become a medical expert and warn you of a dangerous and potentially lethal malady that is reaching epidemic proportions. What formal medical training have I undergone, you ask? We needn’t dwell on such trivial matters when lives are at stake, people!

The disease to which I’m referring is HPV! There are a lot of commercials these days talking about being tested for HPV, but that’s a whole other issue. The HPV of which I speak doesn’t have any fancy commercials or public service announcements aimed at educating the public about its dangers because those who catch it are, quite frankly, not exactly smart enough to catch on. This HPV is He-Man Pamplona Virus: an infectious neurological disorder that mutates the brains of the male portion of the species causing them to do all sorts of stupid things. It’s named after the mindset of those men who run with the bulls through very tight alleys and narrow streets in Pamplona, Spain, each year, but this affliction knows no international borders, cultural boundaries, or specific age range.

This tragic disease manifests itself in so many ugly ways! Here’s a list of just a few: getting a double hernia from refusing to lift with your legs, running for political office, wearing Spandex at ANYTIME, posting a video on YouTube of yourself lip-synching an AC/DC song, being an actual member of AC/DC and STILL touring, NASCAR, cage fighting, the creation of MySpace, running an Ironman Triathlon, karaoke, the wearing of pants so low that even a midget pickpocket has to reach down, etc. (Although I don’t have conclusive evidence, I have it on pretty good authority that HPV was at the root of both the automotive designs and market launches for the AMC Gremlin and Dodge K Car, respectively.) We haven’t even scratched the surface, and you can already see how pervasive a reach and tenacious a hold this disease has.

Even I have not been able to avoid HPV’s insidious coils. I have consented to be a part of a relay team that will require me to run, jog, walk, and/or crawl over seventeen miles on rather uneven terrain. Why? Is the purpose of the race to raise awareness for breast cancer or autism? No. Am I doing this to honor the life of a great man or woman who has helped me be a better person? No. Pretty sure I’ve never undergone a lobotomy, so there’s only one good reason I allowed myself to get caught up in this madness: HPV-induced stupidity!

Although there may be no hope for me, I believe I have come across a cure for those for whom it’s not too late. Where, pray tell, did I find it? From watching TV. I saw a commercial for Miralax, a medication originally designed for constipation, while I was jogging on the treadmill the other day, and the two things that stood out to me were the words “No Sudden Urgency” and “No Grit”. For the impulsive male mind, this is certainly a step in the right direction and a blow to HPV! As soon as you’re finished reading this, I urge you to go out to the store immediately and get a bottle of Miralax. In addition to fighting off the contagion of He-Man Pamplona Virus, you’ll feel more regular within twenty-four hours. However, if you actually go to Pamplona to run with the bulls, and something seems to be stuck where it shouldn’t, no amount of Miralax is going to help that.