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‘Modess … because.’ Huh? What? Because what?

Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs

Seniors will remember from our days of innocence the magazine ads for an unmentionable product featuring a gorgeously gowned model often running through a field of daffodils, along a country stream or over a moonlit desert whilst her gown billowed behind her; at the bottom of the page were the words “Modess … because” nothing else. I could never understand it. If you’re a member of a seniority-challenged generation and, seeing an ad like this for the first time, ask a senior woman for an explanation (don’t bother asking a man; some of them have yet to figure it out).

Just as those classic print ads, shrouded in redundant layers of feminine mystery, provoke a tongue-in-cheek response from me, so too do some old TV ads when they pop up somewhere.

There’s the ultra-deep voiceover intoning lines like, “In the mature male …” Sounds ominous, huh? It’s a commercial about an underarm deodorant and it showed a hairy arm pit. What a sensation! The public horror and outrage (and comedian’s delight) soon had it pulled from the screen.

Quite a change today as we watch TV ads featuring KY, condoms and the endless cheerful chatting about various feminine problems and products (some of which continue to puzzle me).

I can’t imagine what today’s children think watching these ads. I guess I am old-fashioned and pine for our society’s lost innocence – especially on behalf of today’s youth.

True, businesses have to advertise their products. And, openness about sex is fine; but I still find it hard to dismiss old ways. My New England Puritan background with its underlying “sex is dirty” premise has certainly influenced me and surely has something to do with how much value I see in protecting innocence.

Regardless, there is something universally delightful, wistful and precious about childhood innocence. We want to guard it. Subconsciously, we even assume that it will always be there. It is like the virginity of your grown-up children; you know they have lost it (especially after they have brought forth). But think back on the days before sex and adulthood entered their lives, (or your own, for that matter); those simpler and untarnished years. It will bring a smile … and perhaps a sigh.

Results not typical: who cares? I’ll take a year’s supply, please

Some of my friends have Ph.Ds and some have GEDs. Truth to tell, I am not surprised when GED friends occasionally err in their financial affairs. However, the number of scams my so-called “highly educated” friends fall for amazes me. Friends, what do you think “results not typical” means? What is that little asterisk doing there? Why do you think the print in the information at the bottom of the page is unreadably small? “Shipping and handling” means what? Do you see a problem with, “Just sign here and we’ll discuss all that crazy legal crap later” or, “Dear Sir, you have bin recommended by a friend for this special ofer” and the number one enticer, “It’s FREE!” Do none of these examples ring an alarm bell?

People of all ages fall for these scams, but seniors are the favored victims: often living alone, anxious to chat with a friendly voice, trusting the kindness of people, unwilling to admit we’ve been tricked. All these conditions prove Barnum was right, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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Posted by on Sep 13, 2012. Filed under Bill's Briefs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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