Age changes perspective

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

I noticed a large advertisement in a state newspaper with a startling headline. It was for a pill that cured the source of all illnesses. It predicted this product would put doctors out of business. Wow.

Well, I didn’t order a trial stash of that miracle pill, but it did set me to thinking about how age changes your outlook on things. Advertisements are an example. In my younger days, I never took a second glance at ads for cure-all tonics, remedies for aching feet and toenail fungus, gizmos to improve one’s hearing, and the like.

These days, though, I might ponder an eye-catching ad with a product that claims to soothe arthritis pain or alleviate aching feet. I often awake to a painful hip in the morning, but it eventually leaves when I move around a bit. As for remedies for foot pain, I pass on those. I have the cure: no more stylish high-heeled shoes in my closet. As much as I hate the looks of my granny shoes, I love the comfort of those ugly things.

Years ago before my feet started protesting about every pair of shoes I slipped on, an almanac turned up in our mailbox with a headline on the back cover screaming, “End the pain and misery of tired and aching feet.” I ignored it then, but when a similar one appeared a few years later, I folded the cover to note it later.

That almanac was full of miracle cures. In the same edition, there was an ad for a product that promised to get rid of stomach agony. It was complete with drawings of kidney, liver, and stomach and described problems that confronted them. Those drawings repelled me. I flipped the page.

I spotted an interesting ad a few pages past those drawings. It was for a bag of roots and herbs that promised to give you lucky feelings when you play any numbers game. A lottery, maybe? However, it failed to mention if it soothed your feelings if you didn’t win.

Maybe if I had heeded the advertisement in large print for a magnifying glass, I could have waited longer to visit an eye doctor when my arms got too short to hold my reading material far enough from my face. Magnifying glasses are cheaper than bifocals.

Next came one devoted to an herbal extract that claimed to counteract the negative effects of aging. It promised a 100 per cent money-back guarantee. By now, it should have put doctors and hospitals out of business for sure.

There was one more. For just $10 and a dollar handling charge, you could get a ring with mysterious powers to make money come to you. Now that one had merit. Yep, those powers worked for the advertiser, because everyone who ordered the ring put money right in his hands!

Today in my senior years, I look at those cure-all ads only with curiosity.