Last night while watching TV a commercial appeared that went something like this. (Note: imagine this being voiced over by a minor celebrity from the Seventies whose career stalled after several DUIs.)
“Is your life so empty that you don’t care your kids are now covered in tattoos heralding a Zombie Apocalypse, or that your spouse has a house account at the Embassy Suites and a credit card receipt for a strip pole in his hotel room? Or that you’ve broken the tail-wagging mechanism on the formerly exuberant golden retriever that now whimpers and drags his butt across the carpet when you walk into the room?”
The TV screen showed a dreary montage of average looking folks with long faces and tragic expressions— the look of French aristocrats being marched to the guillotine. The colors were washed out—the cheerful colors of Mordor.
“If this sounds familiar you might be depressed. But you don’t have to live with depression. Ask your doctor about Happiva!”
The screen suddenly exploded with color, as if Ludwig Von Drake from Disney’s Wonderful World of Color had liquefied a rainbow in a blender and flung the contents at the screen.
“Happiva! One pill a day will set you back on a path to happiness and fulfillment, convince you that life is again worth living, cage the negativity monkey that has been flinging poo at you.”
The morose, colorless folks at the beginning of the commercial became giddy as munchkins, smiling and dancing like a house had fallen on a wicked witch. These transformed users of Happiva, never filmed actually taking the drug, were now shown taking childish delight in simple things, holding a grandchild’s hand in a park, walking on the beach with a frolicking pooch, looking into the eyes of a loved one with that come hither look—wait, that’s the boner commercial with the separate bathtubs. Anyway, you get the picture. The drug manufacturers pushing Happiva were promising a miracle in a pill. This is where I sat up and took notice—the side effects.
The narrator started talking faster and hundreds of words in miniscule print appeared at the bottom of the screen. I listened closely.
“Before using Happiva be sure you’re not pregnant and are able to tolerate a three month detox program to wean you off Happiva. In certain instances test groups have displayed tendencies toward:
#1. Diarrhea. —Nothing my own cooking hasn’t caused.
#2. Painful urination. —Managed this in college after a batch of funny brownies.
#3. Constipation. —When God gives you cement, make bricks.
#4. Nausea. —Maybe I’ll lose a few pounds.
#5. Excessive Flatulence. —I’ll hang out in my basement and write the next great
American novel “Fifty Scents of Grey.”
#6. Weight Gain. —So much for losing a few pounds.
#7. Emotional Distress Leading to Instances of Rage.— I’ll work this out on the
#8. An Oily Rectal Discharge You Can’t Control. —Are you sh**ting me?
#9. Loss of Interest in Sex. —I thought the last one was bad.
#10. Sexual Performance Issues. For men, the inability to maintain an erection; for
women, sexual urges when confined to solemn places like church and PTA
meetings. —This could be awkward.
#11. Swelling of the Tongue. —Might as well include this one in #10.
#12. The Inability to taste certain foods. —Only your favorites. Broccoli, spinach and
liver will taste just fine.
#13. Reduced Tolerance to Alcohol. —How will I muster courage to entertain friends
with fabulous impressions?
#14. Physical Dependency. —What’s in this crap? Crack?
#15. Memory Loss. —Will I remember that I’m now worthless in the sack?
#16. Joint Pain. —Your fingers will be too sore to roll one.
#17. Increased Body Odor. —I doubt anyone will notice the difference.
#18. Hair Loss. —Hopefully this refers to hair on my back.
#19. Reduced Ability to Tell Right from Wrong. —Finally, a true benefit and plausible
#20. Feelings of Suicide. —What the F**K!!!!!!!
Okay, I admit to some exaggeration. I’ve borrowed some of these side effects from products other than Happiva but currently on the market. But I swear #20 is true. I mean, what’s the point of taking medication to address your depression if it makes you want to eat a bullet sandwich? Or commit a crime…while having an uncontrollable oily rectal discharge?
It troubles me to admit that writing this post has depressed the hell out of me. I think I’ll take a few pills, steal a car and drive to a park to yell at some kids. When the cops show up I’ll blame it on the Happiva.