Thank goodness I no longer have young children at home watching prime time TV with us. It was always bad enough to suffer through boring “hard sell” commercials. But now I wince as I watch them.
Where are the sweet jingles of my youth, promising, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”
Now we have very different tunes and messages. Every time I see a commercial I wonder how parents answer their childrens’ questions about what is appearing on the screen for all to ponder. The extra large, extra wide television screen with surround sound, the better to see and hear the commercials.
I can imagine a child asking Dad what “an erection lasting more than four hours” means. What’s an erection, Dad? And don’t say, “Ask your mother.”
Or the one promising you’ll “be ready when the time is right.” What does that mean, Mom? When the time is right for what? Visiting grandma?”
How about the one assuring there’ll be no embarrassing leaks when you dance? What does our leaky garden hose have to do with dancing, Daddy?
Or the woman rushing off to get to the bathroom in the middle of her daughter’s wedding? “Mommy, where’s she going and why is she in such a hurry?”
The man who feels as if he has rocks in his belly and “can’t go”? “How did that poor man get all those rocks in his tummy, Mom?”
Here’s a typical 50’S AD
I used to enjoy commercials; I still remember a few. Remember the cigarette ad:
“I gaze into the crystal ball and what I see I like, He’s not so dark and handsome, but he’s smoking Lucky Strike. Be happy, go lucky, go Lucky Strike today.” Those were the good old days, although the message of the commercials could leave you dead, hacking with emphysema or gasping for breath with COPD.
Please tell me, parents and grandparents of children, how do you answer these questions?