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Those Viagra ads are a real downer
Scripps Howard News Service


May 23, 2005

Well, boys, apparently it's true. If you do it, you'll go blind.

Of course I'm talking about taking Viagra. A new study by University of Minnesota researchers have identified 14 cases in which men suffered what they're calling a "stroke of the eye" shortly after taking the dysfunction drug. And they've concluded men who use Viagra might be running the risk of permanent blindness.

Just like Mama said.

Not that the news will change the manly-man mentality. Heck, the stuff could make them bleat like a goat and burst into flames and they'd still take it.

And it certainly won't change anything for all those poor grandmas out there who can't turn their backs for a moment without their 75-year-old husbands transforming into an annoyingly passionate poodle.

I like what comic actor Harvey Korman, a famous and wise old codger himself, said when asked if he used this type of drug: "Using Viagra at my age is like erecting a brand new flag pole in front of a condemned building."

The only thing we can hope for is that the new study will cut down the number of ads we have to see, hear and read every day. They're everywhere.

I was filling my gas tank the other day and because high gas prices weren't enough to torment me as I pumped my paycheck into my white hot Ford Tempo, commercials began to blare over a loud speaker. Usually you can mute the little buggers, but my muter was broken. And the darn speaker was set on high.

OK, I thought, I'll just zone it out. I'll just think of France. But that didn't work because that only made me think of underpants. And just as I was trying to get my mind to go in another direction - bam! - a voice boomed over the loud speaker.

"Men, do you suffer from erectile dysfunction?!"


Other gas guzzlers turned to look at me as though I was the one doing the booming. I pointed lamely at the speaker and crouched behind my car. It was the longest commercial I'd ever heard on the subject. Or maybe, much like being with someone who takes these drugs, it only seemed that way.

You can't even turn on the radio anymore without hearing about some guy's sad little soldier. And try explaining that commercial to the curious 8-year-old in the car with you.

We're obsessed with these sex drugs. Scientists have dedicated their lives to creating them. If they spent this much concentrated effort on a little blue pill that would cure cancer or stop Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly from smirking, we'd be living in paradise.

You can't flash a woman's breast on television, but you can have droopy man ads 24/7 and no one complains. Talk about indecent.

A friend of mine says she always keeps the remote in her hand while she and her kids are watching television together. That way she can jump to another station when one of these dysfunction commercials comes on.

She said she almost lost it one night while they were watching "According to Jim." A sexy commercial about you-know-what popped up, and she quickly surfed over to a cable channel only to be confronted with a nearly naked Victoria's Secret ad.

The television went off and her two young boys made that "Cah-awww, maaan" sound at her.

"Hey, who wants ice cream?!" she yelled suddenly. She said she felt like a mad woman, but the distraction worked. The boys jumped up and ran into the kitchen, instantly forgetting their disappointment.

She confessed she wished that sort of distraction worked on her hardworking but lusty husband, saying that after a long, tiring day she was happy he was a little dysfunctional every now and then.

"I mean, it's only natural, right? Stress and fatigue'll do that," she said matter-of-factly. "Besides, I'd rather he got some sleep instead of a stroke in his eye."

Yeah. Tell it to Grandpa.



E-mail M.J. Wilde at mjwilde(at)

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