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..clinically proven

....April 6, 2008

It's happened to you.  You're at a social gathering and someone mentions television.  Someone else--usually a douchebag--announces that, unlike the first declarant, he does not watch television.  This is intended to make you believe that he reads books and is, therefore, an intellectual.  Instead, you and the other guests simply conclude he is a douchebag and you quickly scatter under the guise of searching for the cocktail wieners.

I watch television and I've admitted as much.  That I sometimes make this admission to other home appliances is a subject for another day.  Until then, remember:  I live alone.

If it weren't for television, I never would have realized that I don't understand the meaning of the term "clinically proven."  If you listen to commercials, especially commercials for products "not sold in stores," you will invariably be assured by a voiceover or a screaming man with badly dyed hair that the product has been clinically proven to do that which it is advertised to do.  But who has really proven, clinically or otherwise, that Kinoki foot pads draw toxins from the body?  I suppose the brown stains on the pads could be toxin stains.  But I suspect the discoloration is little more than dirt mixed with the sweat caused by wearing foot pads to bed.

Television has also convinced me that I am suitable for assembly-line work.  I could watch How It's Made until the cows come home.  And, if we ever start building cows on assembly-lines, I could watch it even longer.  I anthropomorphosize the automated saws, drills, scrapers, counters, folders, and packagers.  I imagine them taking breaks, jawing at the water cooler, and clocking out.  I smile when I think about them going home to their automated wives and their little spot-welding toddlers.  And I suppose that some of them stop off at their favorite taverns to gulp down boilermakers and unwind.

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