Inane Things to Ponder

rMost of my life, especially after Jeff died, I pondered the big questions about life and death, love and grief, but recently, I’ve been pondering more inane things.

I don’t watch television, so my life should be commercial free, but unfortunately, I sometimes play a particular game online. Supposedly, the game is free, though the site does exact the “payment” of watching commercials, and sometimes the commercials “cost” more than the game is worth. The worst, of course, are the drug commercials, which are often longer than it takes to play the game. And oh, are they creepy! They show happy families doing happy things, happy couples doing romantic things, happy individuals doing fun or challenging things — all accompanied by huge grins. Meantime, the crawl on the bottom of the screen lists ghastly, and occasionally life-threatening side effects. I wonder if anyone has done a study showing an increase is dissociative personality disorders since the onset of such commercials. For an extreme example, let’s say the side effect of an allergy medication is bleeding to death from internal meltdowns, and yet the person taking the drug is grinning, grinning, grinning as if being able to die in such a way is a glorious ending.

Then there’s a Home Depot commercial where a little girl can’t reach the top shelf of the refrigerator, so her mom goes out and buys a new refrigerator. Huh? Who puts drinks on the top shelf anyway? Why not put them on a lower shelf? And then, to make matters worse, they get the refrigerator and all the little girls reach in their arms and pull out plastic bottles of water. Um. Not cool. The whole thing smacks of arrogance.

In a commercial for the car Infiniti, the driver does not unsnap the seatbelt, but pulls her legs through the belt. This isn’t as horrific as happiness while being told of possible death, and not as ridiculous as buying a new refrigerator instead of moving the drinks, but still, I can only shake my head and wonder why.

Luckily, I have finished all the levels of the game I was playing, so I shouldn’t be subjected to these commercials anymore, but there are always other things that show up to baffle me.

I recently read yet another article about Ted Bundy (everyone’s favorite sociopath). The author made a big deal about him being clean cut and attractive, and yet what is the alternative? If guys who troll for female bait dressed to match their psychopathic selves — dirty and unkempt — there’s no way they’d ever get to be prolific killers. Anyone who saw them would be leery of them. And anyway, they’re not really that attractive, at least not to my eyes. So is it that their looks are at odds from what we think they should look like, so they seem more physically acceptable than they are?

And speaking of serial killers — why is it that women’s author photos, even those of women who write gritty thrillers, always look as if they have just come from the beauty parlor and are so very happy about it, but men often look like creeps who want to whack off your head to make you read their books. They don’t of course, because whacked heads lose the ability to read. The men who don’t look like serial killers, look like stereotypical bums, and those who don’t look like bums scowl. Would a smile really kill them?

What about you? What sort of inane things do you ponder?


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator



2 Responses to “Inane Things to Ponder”

  1. Sam Sattler Says:

    Those are great, especially your thoughts on author photos. Being a male reader, and one who dresses in an extremely casual style unless and until my wife calls me out on it, I kind of sympathize with the guys. Most of us are not real thrilled about having a photo taken even on our best days. The women do all strike me as if they had just spent hours with a makeup artist, and that is not an image that I find particularly appealing in an author-photo because they all start to look alike to me.

    I was listening to one of those drug commercials the other night when all of a sudden the announcer started talking at a pace that would make an auctioneer proud. Of course, that’s the point that she started listing the possible side effects associated with the drug – one of which was “unexplained death.” At least I think that’s what I heard.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have a hunch their publishers require the women to look like models, and you’re right — they all look alike. I prefer the old way, where the author photo never appeared anywhere on the book, and the title took precedence over name.

      I’m still chuckling about “unexplained death,” though it’s not really funny. I’ve heard that too, all the while the sick person is grinning.

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