Poor function of television FFTC

Elise T. Chisolm

November 19, 1991|By Elise T. Chisolm

I HAVE THIS dream: I'm entertaining a handful of foreigners. They are lovely guests -- well educated and they speak fluent English. This is their first time in this country. They do not have television on their island home, and they are fascinated with it.

While I am in the kitchen preparing dinner they watch television with my husband while they eat my peanut dip.

There's a lot of talk, and then I hear what my husband and I call the ''yuk'' commercials. The ones that come on during the dinner hour and are embarrassing to many.

My dream turns into a nightmare.

First there is June Allyson hyping the benefits of a diaper for the incontinent. She looks great and I'm so sorry she has the problem, if she does.

Then there's a commercial where a mother and a daughter are discussing the wonders of a douche. They look very happy.

Then there's someone pulling out a string of nice pearls from a blueberry pie, and it goes something like this: The pearls have been cleaned with some wonderful denture cleaner, and now the pearls look good enough to wear to the theater. And surely no one will say, ''Oops, you look like you had your false teeth in blueberry pie.''

Then, as I passed around the eggplant dip, there's a man and woman in a small boat on a big lake, and they are feeling much better after taking the over-the-counter laxative.

Then while we eat dinner on plates in front of the television, there's a couple on horseback, and he doesn't think he should go on this sight-seeing trip. I think they are in some canyon. It looks like Colorado. But she says he can go on because he has taken his medicine for diarrhea.

An hour later we see two different commercials for vaginal yeast infection, which must be the epidemic of the '90s -- sounds like everyone who is anyone has it. These women look extremely healthy and just laud the product as if it were the answer to the common cold.

By now I am so embarrassed that my foreign company has to see all these yuk commercials while they are eating. So I suggest we turn off the television. But they are enthralled now with a ball game and our commercials.

One visitor said, ''But these people look so healthy to have so much wrong with them.''

Yep, Americans are a bunch of whiners, I tell him.

My guests tell me that the commercials teach them about American lifestyles.

I try to tell them we don't have that many ailments and that I wish advertisers wouldn't show these body-function commercials while we are eating.

But advertisers know that the dinner hour is prime time.

I apologize to my guests as we eat my pumpkin pie -- even my food looks gross now.

Why can't they run these commercials between breakfast and lunch, or after 9 at night when most people have eaten? Oh, I know, we're in it for money.

Hey, every time I see pearls on an older person, I think false teeth. I hate that! But I DON'T think about the dental cleaner.

And when I see June Allyson, I just remember how cute she was with that all-American girl look. I DON'T think about the diapers. So there.

End of dream/nightmare: I apologize to my guests and wonder if I should give them Tums as they leave instead of after-dinner mints.

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