Jan 28

Captain Jack’s too frail to get you by tonight

I like to think my music tastes run to the eclectic. I love listening to Thelonious Monk as much as to T.Old
Rex. And, Liszt is just as cool as, say, Lionel Hampton. But, there’s nothing like working out to classic rock. I like those pulsating sounds as I’m pumping or pedaling away.

So, with my iPod still nursing its post Mt. Kilimanjaro wounds, I tuned in my favorite rock station this morning and stepped onto the elliptical trainer. What immediately stuck me, though, wasn’t the same old, recycled songs but, rather, the dramatically different radio commercials.

I’d grown accustomed to hearing banal spots for drag racing, blue collar beer guzzlers hitting on hot babes and the latest, greatest winter sporting gear sales. So, imagine my surprise when I heard one spot after another for cancer, heart disease and other afflictions associated with aging boomers. The effect was striking to say the least.

So, I began thinking what a smart image move it might be for aging rockers to update their classic songs, and make them, shall we say, more age appropriate?

Here are some suggestions:

Van Halen’s no longer screaming ‘Dance the night away’ anymore. Now, they’re unplugged and suggesting, instead, to ‘Sleep the day away.’

Bruce’s ‘Born to run’ has many possibilities and could be altered to ‘Born to limp’, ‘Born with the runs,’ or ‘Born to run (to the bathroom several times a night)’

The Stone’s signature song could be updated to: ‘(I can’t get no) erection’

Neil Young’s ’24’ becomes ’64,’ and it’s most poignant line changed to ‘…64 and there’s not much more.’

Jim Morrison’s long gone, but I’d like to think a simple update to his classic Door’s ditty would resonate with aching Boomer fans: So, with just a little editing, we now have ‘C’mon baby, light my fireplace.’

And poor, bald and battered Peter Frampton would now lament, ‘I hope you don’t feel like I do.’

Last, but not least, let’s not forget The Who, who could really hit home with, ‘Talking ’bout what’s left of my ggggggeneration.’

The opportunities are endless. If classic rock radio audiences are willing to listen to commercials from the likes of Mount Sinai Medical Center, Montefiore’s Heart Clinic and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, why not bring the message full circle with updated tunes that tell it like it really is?

Sep 27

I want to be sedated

I love to laugh at some of the shlocky commercials that air on my local cable station. One features aDentist
sleazy, Bill Murray-type lounge singer earnestly pitching $14.95 shrimp dinners at a local bistro (er, no thanks). Another hawks something called ‘sedation dentistry,’ trumpeting it as a breakthrough solution for an angst-riddled society. Come again? Sedation dentistry?

Yes, indeed. And, in a true problem-solution approach, the dentist promoting the sedation therapy warns that more and more Americans are avoiding the dentist chair because of anxiety. As a result, he says, they suffer such serious consequences as gum disease, tooth erosion and god knows what else.

Happily, though, there’s a solution: sedation dentistry. And, it’s so effective that one patient beams, ‘I remember sitting down in the chair and then I don’t remember anything else until I left.’

Excuse me, but that’s more than a little scary. In fact, it conjures up all sorts of bizarre scenarios (i.e. the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry wakes up to see his disheveled dentist and nurse quickly buttoning up their tunics).

Sure, shlocky commercials are a hoot. But, when they raise more questions than they answer, one might question the cost-benefit ratio (not to mention the image and reputation of the advertiser).

Sedation dentistry may be an alternative for a few antsy folks. But I, for one, want to have my wits about me when someone is drilling deeply into my oral cavity. That said, I may sedate myself the next time I see that woman pop up on my screen.

May 22

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Just once, I wish I knew for certain which foods, drinks, and lifestyle choices are, and will remain, healthy for at least a short amount of time.

One day, bread is bad. Then it’s good. Another day, aspirin is found to thin blood but raise blood pressure. Red meat is bad. No, it’s good. And, don’t get started on the incredible, edible egg.

In the midst of the turmoil created by certain foodstuffs being heralded as good one day and bad the Coffee_pouring next comes the remarkable news that a Brooklyn College study shows drinking four or more six-ounce cups of coffee a day reduces your risk of dying of heart disease by 53 percent! Holy cow. The same ‘Joe’ that makes your heart bounce around like a basketball in the hands of Steve Nash may actually be heart healthy? What’s next? A report that smoking two packs of cigarettes a day will not only clean and strengthen one’s lungs, but forestall certain types of cancer?

BC’s counter-intuitive finding has to be huge news for Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and other purveyors of the powerful, little caffeine bean. But, the whole thing leaves me scratching my head. I know when I’ve reached my caffeine limit. And four is two too many.

Put four cups down my hatch and you’re looking at a category five hurricane, a 9.0 earthquake on the Richter Scale and a world-class Nor’easter all rolled into one.

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