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The Cure Will Kill You

June 17, 2016

I can’t even remember writing this post from 2012, back when I only had five followers.




Last night while watching TV a commercial appeared that went something like this. (Note: imagine this being voiced over by a minor celebrity from the Seventies whose career stalled after several DUIs.)


“Is your life so empty that you don’t care your kids are now covered in tattoos heralding a Zombie Apocalypse, or that your spouse has a house account at the Embassy Suites and a credit card receipt for a strip pole in his hotel room?  Or that you’ve broken the tail-wagging mechanism on the formerly exuberant golden retriever that now whimpers and drags his butt across the carpet when you walk into the room?”


The TV screen showed a dreary montage of average looking folks with long faces and tragic expressions— the look of French aristocrats being marched to the guillotine. The colors were washed out—the cheerful colors of Mordor.


“If this sounds familiar you might be depressed. But you don’t have to live with depression. Ask your doctor about Happiva!”


The screen suddenly exploded with color, as if Ludwig Von Drake from Disney’s Wonderful World of Color had liquefied a rainbow in a blender and flung the contents at the screen.


“Happiva! One pill a day will set you back on a path to happiness and fulfillment, convince you that life is again worth living, cage the negativity monkey that has been flinging poo at you.”


The morose, colorless folks at the beginning of the commercial became giddy as munchkins, smiling and dancing like a house had fallen on a wicked witch. These transformed users of Happiva, never filmed actually taking the drug, were now shown taking childish delight in simple things, holding a grandchild’s hand in a park, walking on the beach with a frolicking pooch, looking into the eyes of a loved one with that come hither look—wait, that’s the boner commercial with the separate bathtubs. Anyway, you get the picture. The drug manufacturers pushing Happiva were promising a miracle in a pill. This is where I sat up and took notice—the side effects.


The narrator started talking faster and hundreds of words in miniscule print appeared at the bottom of the screen. I listened closely.


“Before using Happiva be sure you’re not pregnant and are able to tolerate a three month detox program to wean you off Happiva. In certain instances test groups have displayed tendencies toward:


#1.  Diarrhea. —Nothing my own cooking hasn’t caused.

#2.  Painful urination. —Managed this in college after a batch of funny brownies.

#3.  Constipation. —When God gives you cement, make bricks.

#4.  Nausea. —Maybe I’ll lose a few pounds.

#5.  Excessive Flatulence. —I’ll hang out in my basement and write the next great 

       American novel “Fifty Scents of Grey.”

#6.   Weight Gain. —So much for losing a few pounds.

#7.   Emotional Distress Leading to Instances of Rage.— I’ll work this out on the 


#8.   An Oily Rectal Discharge You Can’t Control. —Are you sh**ting me?

#9.   Loss of Interest in Sex. —I thought the last one was bad.

#10. Sexual Performance Issues. For men, the inability to maintain an erection; for  

        women, sexual urges when confined to solemn places like church and PTA 

        meetings. —This could be awkward.

#11. Swelling of the Tongue. —Might as well include this one in #10.

#12. The Inability to taste certain foods. —Only your favorites. Broccoli, spinach and 

        liver will taste just fine.

#13. Reduced Tolerance to Alcohol. —How will I muster courage to entertain friends

        with fabulous impressions?

#14. Physical Dependency.  —What’s in this crap? Crack?

#15. Memory Loss. —Will I remember that I’m now worthless in the sack?

#16. Joint Pain. —Your fingers will be too sore to roll one.

#17. Increased Body Odor. —I doubt anyone will notice the difference.

#18. Hair Loss. —Hopefully this refers to hair on my back.

#19. Reduced Ability to Tell Right from Wrong. —Finally, a true benefit and plausible

        legal defense.

#20. Feelings of Suicide. —What the F**K!!!!!!!



Okay, I admit to some exaggeration. I’ve borrowed some of these side effects from products other than Happiva but currently on the market. But I swear #20 is true. I mean, what’s the point of taking medication to address your depression if it makes you want to eat a bullet sandwich? Or commit a crime…while having an uncontrollable oily rectal discharge?


It troubles me to admit that writing this post has depressed the hell out of me. I think I’ll take a few pills, steal a car and drive to a park to yell at some kids. When the cops show up I’ll blame it on the Happiva.





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Now this is funny, I don't care who you are :)
By: Rick Watson on June 17, 2016
Commercials for prescription meds here don't include the 400 possible side effects -- just a simple note to get educated by a doctor or pharmacist. It saves a lot of time... .and idiocy.
By: Mitchell is Moving on June 17, 2016
Funny and reality. Medication is a slippery slope for many of us.
By: Daniel LaFrance on June 17, 2016
Remember when cigarettes and alcohol were advertised on TV? I do and I remember when they were banned . So why are drugs with horrific side effects allowed? Could it be ...gasp!... that the FDA isn't paying attention...or are they under the influence of Happiva? Great post- love the side effects list!
By: Kathe W. on June 17, 2016
the disclaimers that get me these days are the ones that start out with: do not take happiva if you are allergic to happiva. now how the heck are you supposed to know that...
By: TexWisGirl on June 17, 2016
Heeheehee! Yep, this is why i don't want to be on any of those medications!
By: messymimi on June 17, 2016
Oh this is just too funny and you hot the nail on the head. Since I am currently on antibiotics and just had a fun trip on another one, this makes so much sense in such a sad way. I often hear "death" as a side effect...what a side effect and one way you can't sue their oily ass. I also love it that the nti depressants can often cause depression. This was perfectly written
By: Birgit on June 17, 2016
So that explains it. Members of congress have been hitting the Happiva!
By: Tom Cochrun on June 17, 2016
The evening newscasts must all be programmed to senior citizens judging by the types of products they're hawking. But this post is f-u-n-n-y!
By: Catalyst on June 17, 2016
Good stuff, Stephen. Reminds of the Robin Williams bit when he talks about fukitol. Definitely worth a YouTube search if you haven't seen it before.
By: Mr. Shife on June 17, 2016
#2 Painful Urination - I guess the commercial lady holding hands with her bladder, being pulled around town by that ill-mannered pee-bag, might want to steer clear of Happiva.
By: Val on June 17, 2016
They do tell you that if you feel like committing suicide you should stop taking Happiva and call a doctor...or if you do commit suicide also stop taking Happova.
By: cranky on June 17, 2016
Dang, how bad does your life have to be in order to be willing to accept all the side effects? Maybe there's a pill for those? ;)
By: scott park on June 18, 2016
I listen to those ads too and am always appalled at the lists of possible side effects that they go through so fast so as to make it impossible to understand. why on earth would anyone want to take drugs that cause all that shit. unnecessary drugs at that.
By: Ellen Abbott on June 18, 2016
#10 would do it for me. Oily discharge? Maybe. Depends of when, I suppose.
By: Al Penwasser on June 18, 2016
The tone of the ad worries me a lot. It's like stuff from Stepford Wives. :-) Greetings from London.
By: A Cuban In London on June 18, 2016
Also very interesting that the US is the #1 place in the world where Valium is prescribed. And that was before the election circus!
By: Lexa Cain on June 18, 2016
Too funny! But seriously, a big reason I'm glad I'm not on any pills.
By: Pixel Peeper on June 18, 2016
Ah, the wonders of modern medicine!
By: Tom Sightings on June 19, 2016

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