Carl Bosch is just looking for a little honesty. And sometimes he finds it.
The Brits have it right on their cigarette packs. Brilliant, in fact. They just speak the plain truth. Here in the U.S. for the most part, we dance around it.
Maybe when someone is standing next to you in London or Manchester or Brighton lighting up a butt you could just say to them, “Did you read the pack, you idiot!” Of course, you might get the crap knocked out of you, but at least it would be honest.
Or they might just reply, “Once or twice, but I don’t give a shit.” Enough said. I don’t think they would smoke any less, but the message is clear. In fact, any time that I’ve traveled abroad it certainly feels that Europeans smoke a whole lot more than Americans, but I could be wrong.
Why can’t we be just as honest in food and clothing, weight loss, and tanning booths? And everything. Can you just imagine? Food labels that say, “half the stuff in this food you are about to eat was fabricated in a chemistry lab. As long as you agree, go ahead and eat these Potato Buds, soup loaded with salt and monosodium glutamate and this ketchup.” It would just be great.
I kind of love the newish rounds of commercials for different drugs for depression, sleeplessness and a host of other maladies that I see on television. Easily half of the entire commercial is spent warning you of the possible side effects. I totally get it. Drug manufacturers are simply covering their asses. Let’s be completely honest. If you take those drugs the overall likelihood is that you will suffer no side effects or very minor ones. But you want the bad news. Some poor joker in Kansas, one out of ten-thousand, is going to take that drug and is going to…not get sick, not get a rash, he’s going to die. That’s right…die. Whoops, sorry, but we told you on the television commercial. Your bad.
The weight loss craze in this country is a multi-billion dollar industry. Virtually every single person wants to lose a few pounds. Or a few dozen. There are miracle diets and carb reductions, exercise classes and gyms and video tapes. Bestsellers tell you how to lose seven pounds in seven days or a thousand pounds in a year. Television icons devote program after program telling you how to slim down and late night T.V. has more infomercials than commercials. I can tell you how to lose weight and you won’t have to pay me a single penny. It’s not complicated. Not at all. In fact, it’s so simple, maybe you should pay me. Eat less. Exercise more. That’s it. That’s the entire thing. Get up off your lazy ass and walk around. And quit stuffing your face. And dedicate yourself to it. Done. You’ll lose weight. If you’re reading this now, you might be mad at me. I understand, seriously, I do. It’s a matter of choice and commitment. And it’s the most honest way to look at it.
How about tanning booths. Really? Are you serious? A hundred years ago you looked like a poor member of the working class if you had a tan. Women carried sun parasols just for that reason. To prevent tans! It was beautiful and classy to have pure, white skin. Today, you look like a zombie or an albino if you don’t have a tan. But we absolutely know that the sun is bad for you in increased doses, especially if you have a tendency to get sunburned. So what do we do? The culture sells us on tanning. Movie stars and celebrities are mostly tanned gods and goddesses. How do normal citizens get that way? Tanning booths, of course. Humans just make no sense sometimes. Much smarter to be a dog who knows enough to sit under the porch or the tree when it’s hot and sunny outside. Be honest. Have a sign attached right to the tanning booth that says: “Artificial tanning will cause you to look bronze, beautiful and very attractive to the opposite sex. Do it enough, it will also kill you. Hop inside.”
Those British cigarette packs are eye-to-eye real. “Smoking kills”. Pretty darn clear.
We get sold a bill of goods every day. Just know that you’re being sold. Then, if you must, go ahead and buy it. Just be honest with yourself.