Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pills of Great Price by Anthony McCarthy

One of the fun gross-out facts of natural science a couple of decades back was the observation that in some preying mantis species, insufficiently careful males would die for love. You remember. The male would carefully, hesitantly approach the female. When he got close enough she’d pull off his head and eat it while his decapitated body jumped her bones. To the ....... spine tingling delight of many and, one suspects, the erectile dysfunction of some, the ways of nature were revealed to an avid public. I recall hearing it mentioned in some bit of nervous, male, anti-feminist bluster somewhere or other. Maybe it explains the rise of Rush Limbaugh.

You get used to filtering out commercials during the evening news but once in a while one breaks through your defenses. At the tail end of a Levitra commercial Sunday they included sudden deafness as a reported side effect. Sudden deafness now joins the list of announced effects of taking whoopie pills, which already include seeing blue and inconvenient, hours long, priapus. To anyone aspiring to enjoy the erectile state of a 16-year-old, the last one should come as no surprise. That is if their long-term memory of one of the more embarrassing parts of being an adolescent male is still intact.

There are so many sides to this, the lax standards of drug approval in the aftermath of neo-classical economics, the direct promotion of dangerous drugs to the public - thanks to the idiocy of a Supreme Court more wedded to legal theory than observation of real life, etc. But the most interesting question is how far geezers, themselves, are willing to go to achieve rock hard erections into their late senescence. Would they accept having their head fall off, one wonders? Would they miss it? I’ve got to listen more closely tonight to hear if death is a reported side effect of aphro-geeziacs, by name or not. The answer may have already been reported.

I won’t extend this parallel to the mating habits of the Mantidae and risk adding to the performance anxiety which is the root of the issue. And some readers of this blog might still have to get through breakfast.