Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Commercials That Make Me Choke

I can't say I've never smoked, because until the age of seventeen I had so much second-hand smoke it's a wonder I don't sound...oh wait, I do sound a bit scratchy from time to time, don't I? Anyway, as a kid I did all the sensible things to try to help people in my family quit smoking: hide the expensive buggers, crush them, wet them and put them all back into the pack, poke holes in the filters...and ask, time and time again, just stop.

Price hikes managed to succeed where I failed at causing the last smoker in my family to quit. Or something. Iron will. She stopped 11 years ago and never looked back. I think it's kind of awesome, actually, but then...the anti-smoking ad with the multiple amputee was airing around the time Mum's leg ulcer was at its worst. The shmuck in the commercial, inexplicably hanging out in a children's playground, refused to quit even when his circulation was compromised. I found that out from Google. I guess a lot of people found that out because the ad was replaced with something more disturbing, a man who plays a doctor on TV showing the insides of a lung riddled with cancer. Those ads hit around the time I was losing friends and relatives left and right to respiratory diseases. Fie, late-night television.

I said last week I don't really give a flip about commercials, and I don't, I don't watch TV for commercials, I watch it...when I watch it, to forget reality.

So now there's this crying little boy in an airport or something. I don't know why he's crying, kids tend to crack up over anything--I know, I spent years as one of those--and you know what happens next in my version? Either a creepy wheezing man lurches over to show the little boy his dead fly collection or mumsie returns ten puffs closer to doom only to be, "WHY DIDN'T YOU KEEP UP?!" And that weeping toddler will take up smoking to cope with the PTSD he incurred when some weird camera crew watched it all AND DID NOTHING.

Or not. He'll grow up, have a few kids of his own, and one will require an asthma inhaler while he and his equally polluting wife yuk it up at whatever the hell they're watching. Beer ads, maybe. That's the other new PSA, some kid who totally doesn't appear to be having any kind of asthma attack pauses his Godzilla/GI Joe makeout session to take a hit of the inhaler. Bad parents, filling the air the carcinogens. Tsk.

Don't smoke kids, it's not as cool as you think it is and you'll probably end up making people who love you sad. Seriously. I don't want to watch those awful PSAs, stop now before they make a new one. One even weirder than the one where time runs backwards and roaches decompose around where the cigarette butt some hot chick puts in her mouth falls.

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