I was watching a commercial the other day that advertised a new type of laxative It was a normal commercial showing what appeared to be an every-day product that performs a fairly regular duty (pun definitely intended). What made me stop and say ‘Huh?’ was one of the side effects that they mentioned could happen if taking this product…. occasional constipation.


Isn’t a laxative supposed to help you avoid constipation? I mean, if I knew it might constipate me, and I already am having trouble ‘moving the mail’, I don’t think taking this medication would be such a good idea.

Okay, this article isn’t about constipation, although it is a lovely topic. It’s about all the funky disclaimers you hear whenever these products are advertised. To me, it has become abundantly clear that we as a society are becoming a little too dependent on the ‘quick fix’. Sure, drug companies have been instrumental in producing some wonderful medications that have contributed to our quality of life. They have helped us reduce our cholesterol and reduce our blood pressure. Sometimes things get lowered. Other times things get raised (you know what I mean). But this also means that we now that we have larger medicine cabinets than pantries!!

After watching about 30 of these commercials before my scheduled annual physical, I started taking notes because these ads kept telling me to ‘ask my doctor’. Is Aderall right for me, or Dukerol, or Cialis, to name a few. I’d print my list for you here, but my doctor has it, and is currently checking to see if any of those meds are ‘right for me’. In fact, he said he’d get back to me real soon.

I’m still waiting.

One medication showed couples walking, eating at restaurants, playing tennis, watching the Shuttle launch, going to the movies, even sailing a boat. They never got around to telling us just what the medication was for, but the disclaimers took about two-thirds of the commercial. They mentioned that it may cause jaundice, syphilis, chronic fatigue, nose bleeds, death, or even worse.

In the spirit of the moment, I have now joined in the ‘disclaimer race’….. I’ve developed some disclaimers of my own for some of the every-day occurrences, all in order to protect myself in a legal fashion. As usual, allow me to provide you with some examples.

You are in the checkout line at the grocery store. A small-statured girl/lady is checking you out. Your groceries, I mean. Anyways, after all the food is packed away, and you are about to pay your bill with your debit card, you could use the following disclaimer… ‘Warning: this debit card may be not full enough to pay for these groceries. Please prepare a diversion so the customer may leave the store before others laugh’. That would work for me.

Say you’re in the elevator. You are alone. You may have passed gas. You press ‘14’, but it stops at 3 to pick up some people. Oh, oh! Now here’s what I say when the door opens….’Warning: the odours in this elevator are not necessarily emanating from its lone occupant. Please check your handbags for any over-ripe fruit or rotten sandwiches which you may have forgotten to remove. Have a nice day’. This doesn’t always work, but it sure is an awesome ice-breaker!

I now use my disclaimers for birthdays…’Warning: The gift you are about to open may or may not satisfy you. Proceed with caution!’. For anniversaries…’Warning: the gift you have just received may not necessarily represent the years you’ve actually been married. If it is your Silver Anniversary, the gift may or may not be made of tin and/or plastic.’ I’ve even developed a disclaimer for my kids…’Warning: Your father may or may not be in a good mood. Make requests with caution. Farts may occur if approached too quickly.’

Hopefully you’ll find this article helpful. If not, then ‘Warning: take previous comments with a grain of salt!’. That should do it!

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