The Stupid 365 Project, Day 62: Keeping It Up

December 1st, 2010

This is Day 62, meaning I am more than a sixth of the way through this insanity.  It’s also a day when I feel written out.  But I have to keep it up.

So this is a nothing blog.

I keep seeing ads for products that treat constipation, bloating, erectile dysfunction, and other Things One Did Not Used to Discuss In Public.  Am I the only person in the world who remembers when some topics were personal? Is anything personal any more?

“If your erection persists more than four hours, call your doctor.”  I mean, really.

Why not, “If your erection persists for more than eight hours, call The Guinness Book of World Records?”  Or, “If your erection persists for more than forty-eight hours, seek employment as a community Christmas tree.”  Is this stuff we really want to talk about?  In prime time?

I like that use of “persists,” by the way.  It’s . . . gentle. Redirects the mind from things like learning to enter rooms backward or having all of one’s one’s trousers retailored.

And apparently, if you buy enough Cialis, they throw in two bathtubs on a beach.  Doing “it” on a beach, in public, in not one but two bathtubs, might be the cure for the erection persisting.

What happens if you have to call your doctor?  What does he/she do?  Say “Gloria Allred” over the phone and send you a bill?  Try to explain Dark Energy?  Remind you of Dick Cheney?

And, speaking of curing a persistent erection, is it just me, or does somebody really need to punch Nancy Grace in the nose?

“Hello, I’m Nancy Grace taking an hour off from my day job at The Parlor of Pain and Pleasure to bring you sixty minutes of details you really do not need about the murder and dismemberment of an eleven year-old girl down in the inbred South. We have with us Dr. Peter Wagner, creator of the Wagner Pain Index.  Dr. Wagner, just how much did this little girl hurt?  Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm.  Isn’t that awful.  And what about this study that says that what men everywhere most want to do is dismember small girls while watching Total Bareknuckle Smackdown?  Mmm-hmmm. Let’s get Gloria Allred in here.”

I quit.  There are things I refuse to keep up.

16 Responses to “The Stupid 365 Project, Day 62: Keeping It Up”

  1. Debbi Says:

    I can’t believe I’m leaving the first comment to this one. Did everyone else run and hide after seeing the photo or what?

    All I’ll say is, good work. Keep it up. 🙂

  2. Larissa Says:

    Hopefully you just meant the daily blog topic and not the whole project. About things you refuse to keep up…that is….and yeah, what the hell happened to “this is my life and I don’t need everyone telling me what to do or hearing about my problems?”

    It’s absurd how much we are bombarded by these persistent (there’s that word), glossed over, candy coated bullshit marketing plans to get us to be more accepting of our problems (?)–which translates to spend more money on stupid shit.

    I’m a fan of keeping things like four hour long erections where they belong…

    (seriously!?!?! Recaptcha: joyints member)

  3. Suzanna Says:

    Tim, this is very funny. I’m glad we don’t have a TV in our house. For the most part I’m spared the intrusion of pharmaceutical ads and weirdos like Nancy Grace and Gloria Allred. It’s not just you, those two both deserve to have duct tape permanently afixed to their pie holes.

    Glad you’re back safe and sound.

    Larissa, yours is the best ReCaptcha yet!

  4. EverettK Says:

    Sheesh. After that column, I just hope you can get up in the morning.

    Or maybe tomorrow’s column will be better if you stay up all night.

    Remember: when you fall off, it’s best to get right back up on your horse.

    Hmmm… maybe that was one image too far. I give up.

  5. Robb Royer Says:

    Now we’re getting somewhere. Ranting is good. Ranting is funny. And – since you brought it up – whoever wrote that ad copy for Cialis has to be the most disingenuous sumbitch on the planet. First of all when are you likely to get get a four hour erection from the malfunctioning of their product? Right! In the middle of the night! Are there ten people in this entire country who can get their doctor on the phone in the middle of the night? I doubt it. If I call my doctor in the middle of the DAY I get a recording saying ‘if this is an emergency, hang up and call the emergency room. If I decide to push past that point I have to talk to fifteen nurses, leave a message and, if I’m lucky I’ll get a call back in three days. So what they’re really saying is ‘if you have an erection lasting more than 72 hours….’ The same lying bastards who would have you believe that these twin cast iron tubs just show up on a beach, a gladed forest, or the top of mount Everest without having been lugged there by a five man crew. Which leads me to my point, which is: the direct marketing of prescription drugs to the public is immoral and if congress wasn’t directly in the pocket of the drug companies, would be illegal. Shit, now you got ME ranting…

  6. Laren Bright Says:

    Actually, that line about if your erection persists is one of the most successful lines in advertising. (Seriously, I believe that’s true.) Also, while stuck in a bookstore one day waiting for the clerk to get me some information and I was browsing through s book on a new & notable table and learned that an unintended side effect of Viagra is… divorce. Apparently women who breathed a sigh of relief when their husbands were no longer able to, uh, perform, suddenly found themselves being chased around the kitchen table by their newly adolescent husbands. So maybe the statement ought to be, “If your marriage lasts more than 4 hours…”

  7. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Debbi — Very courageous of you to step right up like that. As I reread this in the cold light of day, I can see why it might have put people off a bit. But, you know, one a day for a year — there are going to be occasional dips. Even as I struggle to keep it up.

    Tell it like it is, Riss!! Great to see a kindred spirit out there. What’s next, a remedy for persistent female dryness? (Whoops. My wife says that’s already on the air.) And you win, in advance, the Sneakiest Line award for “in the right place.”

    Suzanna, if it made you laugh, this soul-searing personal crisis will have been worth it. I DID NOT want to blog last night. i DID NOT want to write yesterday. But, in keeping with the posts of the past few days, I did. Most of what I wrote on the book yesterday is (to be kind) claptrap, and you already know about the quality of the blog. But I moved Madison — and in a parallel sequence — Simeon, from Point A almost all the way to Point B. I hope SOMEBODY likes this book, because it’s getting pretty strange.

    Sheesh is right, Everett, although it’s funny to hear you respond to that disjointed rant as a “column.” If I’m writing columns, where’s the 7-figure offer from NEWSWEEK. Oh, wait, sorry – what was that again? No NEWSWEEK? Once again I’m pouring my energies into a literary form that the parade’s wadded up and tossed aside. If I could just figure out what’s next . . .

    Hey, Robb — stirred your old ranting soul, did I? I’m proud of that, because you’ve done several of the most inspired impromptu verbal rants I ever had the pleasure to hear. Yes, the whole dynamic of drug companies sidestepping doctors to tell us directly what drugs we should be demanding from our doctors is another gleaming example of the total suckiness of the times in which we live. But Congress — in the company of the drug companies???? so WHAT ABOUT THIS —THE FUCKING OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LENT TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF OUR TAX MONEY TO THE BANKS AT .00078% SO THEY COULD (A) LEND OUR OWN MONEY TO US AT 24% AS CREDIT CARD DEBT AND (B) USE IT TO PAY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FORECLOSING ON US.

    Sorry. I’m breathing slowly and regularly. Obama — Captain Disappointment, the most disillusioning political figure of my time, and that’s saying quite a bit.

  8. Suzanna Says:

    When you shift to politics, Tim, just expect I’m gonna weigh in here. I just can’t resist an opportunity to vent so bear with me please. Our country is effing ruled by the financial industry. No doubt about it. I share your rage and disgust with the unrestrained power Obama has not only allowed but lobbied to give the financial industry while the rest of us are screwed over on a daily basis.

    The so called Father of Peace Studies, Johan Galtung, said Obama’s downfall is a product of his “slightly” megalomaniac belief that HE will be THE ONE to end partisanship. How does he do this? By becoming more and more like those I presumed were his opposition. Huh?

    Here’s what Galtung said if you’re interested:

    “I think that I sense something slightly megalomaniac in him, which is disturbing. The idea of being able to unite all of the US, just as he unites skin colors and faiths and origins in his body, and for that reason, leaning over backwards to negotiate with the Republicans and taking on Republican points, whereupon the Republicans vote no. Now, maybe the Republicans will now change from being a “no” party to some couple of “maybe” or “yeses,” maybe. But in the meantime, he has lost the support of the people who are voting for him.”

    I think many if not most of Obama’s previous supporters feel that he has managed at least one thing with unwavering consistency. He has completely squandered what little hope there was to make a huge difference. Unlike Galtung I believe there will be zero cooperation from the Republicans for any policy that aims to assist the disenfranchised, the needy, the middle class, or the planet. Business as usual.

    So what are we left with? No sweeping change this time around. Just the minuscule incremental appearance of change. ARGH!

  9. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    From little blue pills to politics-see how interesting your blog is. Unfortunately, there are too many bad jokes evoked by Viagra and Cialis, and yes, there are solutions to female dryness. Personally, we are so sex obsessed in this culture, it’s surprising we get anything done. Wait a minute-are our dear politicians getting any? Maybe they wouldn’t be so dour. Or maybe they are getting too much,and they have no energy left to do the job? I think I’m losing it here. I’m interested to see more of Madison and Simon. And Tim, I don’t see you exactly loafing around, you know.

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    One and all —

    First, Laren, I had no idea that was the most successful line in the ad, but now that you’ve pointed it out, OF COURSE, IT IS. I can see the group of ad guys (probably guys) who thought it up, just falling off their chairs laughing. It’s brilliant. And I’m not surprised at the marriage statistic — I’ve never understood what women find attractive in men.

    Zanna, this is the worst of times, no two ways about it. The country is in precipitous decline, dumber and further in debt by the hour, the prostitutes who masquerade as national leaders (and that’s unfair to prostitutes) are different only in how low, or how high, their price is, and beetle-browed Americans, glued to their TVs, still think in terms of “liberal” and “conservative” or Republican and Democrat. We’ve been bought and paid for, and the only topic still on the table is whether we have any change coming, and that’s guaranteed to be taken “to lower the deficit” and then spent on pork. I buy completely and mournfully the line that Obama has ” has completely squandered what little hope there was to make a huge difference.” Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    The Ixnaycrats are the only way out.

    Lil, if we have anything here, it’s a broad frame of reference. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that most politicians are much more interested in power than they are in sex or food, and the ones of whom that’s not true — Bill Clinton, for example — are to be treasured. Did you think MY Cialis and Viagra jokes were bad, too? (Puddling up.) And I slaved over a hot keyboard all day to make you laugh, and — oh, I can’t stand myself. I want to see more of Madison and Simeon myself, but I want to see them DOING SOMETHING, and that’s the problem


  11. Debbi Says:

    Well, of course, you’re entitled to the occasional dip. You’re trying to write one really great original post a day for a year (that’s amazing or crazy or stupid or all three :)), so needless to say they won’t ALL be equally fabulous.

    To quote you in your previous post (ahem), “I’ve got a hundred thousand bad scenes in me, and I’ve got to get them all out. A bad day just lowers the number.”

    Just substitute the word “posts” for “scenes” and there you go.

    Hang in there. 🙂

  12. EverettK Says:

    Lil said: Personally, we are so sex obsessed in this culture, it’s surprising we get anything done. Wait a minute-are our dear politicians getting any? Maybe they wouldn’t be so dour. Or maybe they are getting too much,and they have no energy left to do the job? I think I’m losing it here. I’m interested to see more of Madison and Simeon.

    HOLY SH*T! Madison and Simeon are DOING IT???? Apparently those little blue pills don’t just keep you up all night, they’ll suck you right of literary limbo!

  13. EverettK Says:

    Tim said: We’ve been bought and paid for, and the only topic still on the table is whether we have any change coming…

    This brings to mind one of my favorite (out of about 20 or 30) John McCutcheon songs, “Going, Going, Gone.” You can read the lyrics at:
    Going, Going, Gone lyrics”

    And you can listen to a brief slice of the song on Amazon at:
    Live At The Wolf Trap

    (And this song is almost 25 years old.) If you’re not familiar with him, John McCutcheon is an excellent folk singer, and the above mentioned “Live at the Wolf Trap” album is a guaranteed pleaser for everyone (unless you’re one of those who just HATE folk music, but even YOU might enjoy some of it…) It’s just a WONDERFUL album!

    What am I bid for the White House? Come on, boys, don’t be slow
    They’ve overspent their credit so they’ll just have to go
    If they can’t learn to manage it’s time they’re moving on
    The leaders of this country are going, going gone!

    Come on, let’s start the bidding with that Congress on the hill
    They’re awful fond of spending, they just don’t pay the bills
    But with a little honest work we’ll make them good as new
    I hear they’re handy on the farm if you show ’em what to do

  14. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Debbi — I think personally there have been a LOT of dips, but people here are very nice to me, in part because most of them know that I cry easily. You want dips, just keep coming by. Although I think tomorrow’s is going to be pretty good.

    Everett, without giving (much of) anything away, Simeon is fictional and Madison isn’t — well, I mean, she is, but you know. And there are unseen strictures (which may well be tested) against coupling between fictional and nonfictional characters. I CANNOT believe I’ve gotten myself into a position in which I’ve just written the sentence that precedes this one.

    Great song, Everett. It’s actually reassuring to know that the whores on the Hill have been at it for decades, except that we’re now seeing the result of decades of squandering and vote-buying and mendacity and boneless bending over for every corporate donor with some bucks in hir (remember hir?) hand. Honest to God, they’ve taken it up the butt so often they could rent it out as a wind tunnel.

  15. Kaye Barley Says:

    oh, laws – i love it here. hysterical

  16. Jaden Says:

    Tim, I came to this post after working the day job ALL freaking weekend. Thank you for giving me a much-needed laugh.

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