Friday, July 13, 2007

Hank discovers where all the great orators have gone: into diet-pill advertising

Phyllis of late has been going through one of those blue periods we all experience, when nothing on television sounds good. Night after night she consults the listings and sighs and goes off to knit instead, leaving me to amuse myself with movie-buff chatboards and online shopping sites. I was strolling through the pharmacy department at Target.com looking for deals on shampoo and vitamins when I came across this multimedia ad for Alli, a brand-new over-the-counter weight loss pill that is a variant on Xenical. It works by blocking the absorption of fat so that you pass it straight through your bowels instead.

Go here and click on the alli ad. Then watch the part about side effects. You will notice they include "gas with oily spotting."

I ask you: Is that not the most elegant and tactful way of saying "you'll shit your pants" ever conceived by humankind? Rhetoric this masterful would surely humble Cicero. It might even have saved Olestra, the artificial fat product briefly added to Doritos and other snack chips in the 1990s, which caused the same problem and spawned the much less felicitous-sounding phrase "anal leakage."

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