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Monday, April 15, 2013

Lies And Misnomers

I was going to give this post the the simple title Lies. But when I gave it some more thought, I decided it was a bit much. Some of the things I am going to write about aren't lies, they've just been given the wrong names.

This week Trent has a doctor's appointment on the other side of town at 7:30 a.m. I always have mixed feelings about these early appointments. Yes, it's easier to find parking before everyone else shows up for their appointments. And it's nice to get things done and still pretty much have a whole day ahead of you. It's the rush-hour traffic I hate, even if Trent is the one dealing with the driving. Why the heck is it called rush hour anyway? There's not much rushing involved, after all.  There's a lot of people forcing themselves into other lanes when theirs run out. Not that they didn't know it was going to happen, they only drive on this highway every stinking day. There's also a lot of people talking or texting on their cellphones, putting on makeup, eating breakfast...maybe that's why they jump from lane to lane without any warning. The driving is interfering with their grooming and socializing.

A related bad name - traffic jam. I have yet to experience a traffic standstill that involved any flavor of jam. If given a choice, I'd like to request a lovely peach or apricot. Strawberry would be nice too, but only if it's home made. Hey, that's an idea! Maybe if traffic shutdowns came with some toast or an English muffin and some lovely jam, people would get less cranky.

The lies start rolling in when you turn on the television and start watching commercials. There are the fifteen year old models who are advertising anti-aging creams and serums. They aren't always fifteen, I will admit. Many are as old as thirty! Actually, though, there are some who are fifty or older, women who are genetically blessed with skin that doesn't wrinkle as fast as that of the average bear. Or human. They are, of course filmed ever-so-slightly out of focus. With filming techniques like that, even Methuselah could look like an anti-aging success story.

Then there are the exercise DVD and miracle diet and miracle weight-loss pill commercials. Only five minutes a day on a machine that costs thousands and takes up your whole living room, and you'll be skinny with hard muscles in no time. "With our specially-prepared foods, you can eat and lose weight for only fifteen dollars a day! Simply heat and eat our meals, along with the fresh produce you'll buy, and you'll lose twenty pounds, fast!" And of course, when the commercial is for the men's diet, they mention that when you lose the weight you will experience "more romance." That's tv speak for, well, you know.

And the gadgets! The super-duper chopper that doubles as a workout for your biceps. And in five easy chops that require the strength of both of your arms, you can chop up one whole egg! My favorites to mock are the various pans that nobody needs, but they say everyone does. After seeing these adverts, don't you feel a burning need to get a tortilla-bowl making pan? I never knew the incompleteness of my kitchen and my life! I could be eating cereal and ice cream and spaghetti bolognese out of tortilla bowls! How could I have cheated myself all of these years? And if only I had one of those special pancake pans, I could make pancakes and over-easy eggs for every meal! It would take a while cooking them one at a time, but it would be worth it. I wouldn't need to flip them with a spatula, and we all know how exhausting that can be. Oh! The countertop ovens and roasters and funky little cookers. Hey, doesn't every one of us want to eat a bunch of stuff all thrown into the same little compartment and congealed into an unidentifiable mass? Or a chicken and a cake that have been baked right next one another in a countertop convection oven? I love the trend of savory desserts, but chickeny chocolate cake sounds pretty revolting to me. 

But the all-time great liars, in my opinion, are the advertisements for non-stick pans. They come in different colors and sizes, but they all sing the same song. They show you an omelet that can be rolled up in the pan with just a puff of air. You can burn the heck out of a chunk of cheese (Who'd want to? Cheese is tasty and it isn't cheap!) and wipe it out with a paper towel. Best of all, you can cook any food at all without added fat, oil, or grease! That's when I really get burned. To me, this shows how stupid the advertisers think we consumers are. No added fat, oil, or grease? When I cook eggs, for example, I have a method. First, I try cooking with fat, and if that doesn't work, I try oil, and then resort to grease. Only I call them all the same name. Oil. Or butter. Hey, advertisers, fat, oil, and grease are the same thing!

Wow. All of this raving is making me tired. Maybe I should just turn the tv off for a while. And see if I can manage to take a nap, even though I don't have the latest two-hundred-dollar pillow.