Icky TV Commercials — No Health Problem Is Off Limits

Tony Siragusa, the former NFL player, wants to help me "guard my manhood."

I don't know Tony, and I wasn't aware my manhood was under attack, but I appreciate his interest.

You may have seen Tony on television promoting these absorbent pads that are deployed in the front of one's underwear to deal with male leakage. I know, ew.

Does Tony have such a problem?

Don't know.

Does he possess the necessary credentials to speak on behalf of leakage? Academic expertise, perhaps? A medical degree. A union plumber card?


No, Tony's elevation to the office of Secretary of Manhood Defense is based solely on the fact he played in the NFL and thus is perceived as a man's manly man. And, of course, only a man of such impeccable manliness is fit to pass judgment on matters involving manhood-osity.

Television is becoming an increasingly icky place do in large part to commercials advertising products for medical conditions that most of us would just as soon not have to worry about unless we have to.

The current gold standard in this line of taste-challenged commercials is one for male catheters. In this particular spot a white-hair gentleman looks into the camera and tells us that his new catheters "Are so smooth and painless they changed my life."

Just in case you didn't think that testimony falls under the category of too much information, an announcer then informs viewers that the reason the catheters hurt less is because of a new design that includes "eyelets that are polished."

I suppose knowing the eyelets are polished is intended to attract users, but the first time I heard this I couldn't get out of a fetal position for 10 minutes.

Another group of way-too-personal commercials one cannot seem to avoid are those focusing on overactive bladders. Overactive bladders, it seems, aren't just for beer drinkers anymore.

In one such ad, we have a woman in a fancy salon watching her daughter trying on wedding dresses when she suddenly experiences that "got to go feeling." Do we have to know this? Couldn't she just raise her hand?

In another commercial, an animated line of colorful water-filled balloons are seen dancing in a Congo line when one suddenly explodes. So much for subtlety.

Oh, for the good old days when all we had to deal with were commercials for erectile dysfunction and lingering images of older people having sex … or in particularly unsettling cases, older people having sex in bathtubs.

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