B.O. was part of the old radio Lifebuoy deodorant soap commercial. It was usually broadcast with the sound effect of a fog-bound buoy and stood for body odor as in, Do you have B.O.? Thats pretty personal; like who would have the nerve to walk up to someone at the office, make a fog horn sound, and hand him a bar of Lifebuoy?
The B.O. ad spawned jokes about Y.S. as in Do you have Y.S.? meaning You Stink. That was in the days when a shower a week was the norm. Weve cleaned up since, most of us.
Toothpaste was once considered too intimate an item of personal hygiene to be advertised on the pages of newspapers. In the 1960s a J. C. Penney catalog bathing suit picture showing a womans bare midriff airbrushed out her navel. They must have thought there was something risqué or embarrassing about a belly button. Now the current fashion has girls wearing pants so low theres a risk of showing a lot more than a mere navel.
When I was a kid the word pregnant was never spoken aloud. It was whispered, or a woman was described as being in a family way or more crudely as having a bun in the oven. Condom was a word not used in mixed company. Condoms were officially classified as obscene articles and could not be mailed. I once hitched a ride with a condom salesman who explained that they could only be sold as an aid to prevention of venereal disease, now called S.T.D. Birth control was illegal.
But E.D.? Thank goodness my kids are all grown up. I dont have to be asked by some five-year-old, Daddy, whats E.D.?
E.D. is a euphemism, of course, for erectile dysfunction. The abbreviation was first made public by Bob Dole who had the courage to mention it, with happy wife at hand, when advertising Viagra. I guess he needed the money to pay off his campaign debts. Now Viagra has competitors like Cialis and Levitra, for which we get frequent television exposure.
Will you be ready when the time is ripe? or Its about the quality make these products even more awkward to explain to the little kids in the household as in What time is that? and Quality of what?
Animal preservationists will be pleased by this line of products, for they are legal substitutes for rhino horn, a traditional folk medicine. With rhinos nearly extinct, all those poor fellows and their partners who suffer from E.D. have a new lease on virility, or so Im told.
Since I take a blood pressure medication, a dose of one of those products might put me permanently out of all action from a sudden drop in blood pressure. Thats my excuse for not writing a personal endorsement testimonial.
These products might have saved the career of Mr. Honda who, when receiving an honorary Ph.D. At Michigan Technological Universitys commencement, explained that he retired because as a Japanese executive, he could no longer stay out as late at night, drink as much saki, or have as frequent sex. No kidding. I didnt know that was part of a CEOs job description.
And to think that for a long time TV ads could not show a woman modeling a Cross-Your-Heart bra. Now that almost anything goes, the FCC is rolling back the standard of whats appropriate, with hefty fines to boot.
Recently, a number of TV stations around the country cancelled broadcasts of Saving Private Ryan on Veterans Day because its loaded with soldierly profanities. Even though the film had run with little reaction on mainstream television on two other occasions, fear of an FCC fine kept Private Ryan in the trenches.
Maybe its time to have R-rated commercials. I dont have a V-chip in my TV, but even if I did, I dont think theyd work with commercials. Whats next? No modeling of condoms, T.G. (Thank Goodness), at least not yet. When that happens some of us will rush to the psychiatrist with a bad case of P.E. The second word that represents is Envy. You figure out the first one yourself.