Thursday, October 14, 2010

*When A Little Knowledge Is Too Much Information

["Let Inga Tell You", La Jolla Light, published May 20, 2010] © 2010

Now that Olof no longer requires a high security clearance for his job, I can safely divulge that all anyone ever needed to do to get him to spill every secret he knew was tie him to a chair in front of a continuous loop of feminine hygiene commercials.

It wouldn’t even matter if he actually knew any secrets. By the time he listened to the fourth rendition of the Seasonique birth control ladies chirping “Who says that time of the month has to be EVERY month?”, he’d be making them up.

Olof truly lives in fear that in his life time, the commercial where they pour the blue dye on the product is going to be red dye. Or worse.

A former Air Force pilot, Olof was trained to survive behind enemy lines, withstand torture, and eat bugs. All of which he would rather do than be subjected to the virtues of patented LeakGuard Protection.

It used to be that if you avoided Woman’s Entertainment TV and Dancing with the Stars, you were safe. But now, he maintains, the ubiquitous feminine hygiene commercials have infiltrated everything but major sporting events, the only place where a guy can still be assured advertising of manly stuff, like beer, cars, big screen TVs and erectile dysfunction.

Olof grew up in a household with two sisters, no brothers, and is now on his second wife. So you’d think by now that he might be desensitized to the whole issue. But no. The second the words “gentle glide insertion” come up on the screen, Olof has made a beeline for the refrigerator hoping to avoid details of what might be gliding where. He’s clear on the concept, he insists. But do they have to be so graphic?

He is also dismayed that today’s guys are supposed to be cool with this stuff when he personally knows they are faking it. They all want to run screaming in the other direction, insists Olof. And only return when the recreational facilities are once again open for business.

A male friend of ours has his own complaint. Being sent out to buy products that may or may not have wings, that come in fifty different possibilities of length, width, and thickness, and that all seem to have names that end in “tex”, should be a felony. By definition, a guy is going to have to stand in front of a six tier display of products for like hours with no hope he’s going to get it right. (“No, dear, I specifically said ultra-thin extra-coverage liners for THONGS.”) And he is NOT about to ask for help either. In his worst nightmare, the PA system at the CVS booms, “available associate to aisle 5 to assist guy in maxi-pads.” He’d never recover.

Yes, concurs Olof, the country has been hit by a full frontal assault of female TMI. The feminine mysteries have become tragically unmysterious.

Erectile dysfunction commercials, he notes by example, are deliberately vague. If you just arrived from the planet Klingon and had no idea what erectile dysfunction was, you’d think they were advertising hot tubs. This, Olof says, is how it should be. Not even a clever metaphor of jets soaring into flight or hydraulic lifts. Hot tubs.

To join Olof in this quest, log on to Before there’s a Playtex ad on the Super Bowl.

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