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When Gill comes home for a visit, the first on her list of complaints is North American television ads…as in, there are too many of them. I couldn’t agree more, but to me the greater insult is the content of the ads. I have long railed against the sexist car ads featuring beautiful, buxom girls draped across the hood of a car. But my real gripe these days is the ads for very personal products…involving bodily functions.

The worst by far is the toilet paper ad urging us to ‘go commando’. Excuse me? I do not want to be reminded of cleaning my ass when I’m eating dinner! The only thing less comfortable (and more déclassé) than going commando (even with a lily white ass) is thong underwear. And I don’t want to see that either. Gill goes ballistic when she sees these ads. For someone suffering from Crohn’s and thus who knows the quality of toilet paper rather well, she speaks with a certain ‘moral authority’. Commando is just plain nasty and the person who thought up this particular ad (let me go out on a limb and assume it was a guy) should be forced to explain his reasoning to his mother who could then give him a slap upside the head.

My other personal worst ad is the one for a yeast infection cure. It shows a young woman sitting in a classroom trying to concentrate on a lecture while shifting around in her seat, trying to scratch the itch. Nobody needs to see that! For anybody who has suffered through a yeast infection, this ad is insulting. Any woman plagued with it has long since either been to a doctor ( barging in without an appointment, possibly interrupting  some guy’s rectal exam so desperate is she), or held her local pharmacist at gunpoint until he supplies her with the wonder drug to end it all (the itch, I mean. Although the itch is so bad, ending your life almost seems like a viable option.) It is degrading to all women to have to witness this. I guarantee you’ll never see an ad with men adjusting and scratching their balls in public! Am I right, ladies?

Which leads, of course, to the E.D. ads. I acknowledge that this is a real area of concern for many men over 40. (I’m guessing, though, that many women over 40 see it as a saving grace and are secretly cheering!) Those issues between the sexes aside, do we have to be subjected to these ads over and over again? And, I’m sorry, but when they get to the warning for side effects, the thought of the 4-hour erection is horrifying…especially at dinnertime.

And in case you haven’t already upchucked your dinner, we get to the bladder incontinence ads. Again, these ads usually hone in on women. Granted, there is a legitimate reason for that. Most of us, having given birth to children, have muscles that are not quite as taut as they once were. See, guys? You were once drawn to our shapely bodies, only to knock us up and suffer through the aftermath when our boobs sag, out tummies wrinkle, and our vaginal and bladder muscles give out. Still think it was worth it? Just askin’…

There is a school of thought (sanctioned by Gill and L’il Sis) that it is much healthier to talk about these things, to get everything out in the open. Agreed…but not everything needs to be explored so thoroughly during prime time or when impressionable children are watching. Odd that people are so bent out of shape by our new sex ed curriculum but they give television ads a pass. I’d love to see those parents react to a 6-year-old: “What is E.D. , Daddy?”  during the salad course.  Or ” Why is that lady scrunching down in her seat at school, Mommy? You always tell us to sit up straight when the teacher is talking…” I swear, sometimes ignorance is bliss.

And just as I was finishing this post, I saw another ad — this one for vaginal dryness. I swear, one drug to stop us from leaking, another to make us leak more, another to stop us from scratching ourselves raw, one to make us hard (men) another to soften us up (women). However did past generations survive with all that leaking, itching, and chafing? At least they could eat their dinners in peace in front of the television.