Eighty-One and Counting - How can you really be sure?

-Fred Stock

          It’s always intrigued me how the TV commercials can create an illness or danger, make it’s importance seem overwhelming, and then offer you some drug or method for solving your newfound crisis! “Here’s something I just thought up. Now for lots of your money, I can offer you something with endless serious side effects and inherent dangers that might cure it! Just sign here! Press hard, there are five copies.”

We've all heard the radio and TV commercials that recommend we take that little yellow pill that is supposed to lengthen our life and make it so much better. Hey, I said yellow, not blue! I'm talking about low dosage aspirin here. (What am I to do with you?) It's supposed to thin our blood or something and make our hearts better, and at this age, anything that promises to thin something on this old body is worth at least a try!  But I have a couple of questions.

       First of all, why 81 milligrams? Why not 85 or 78? How much federal grant money did they spend to arrive at 81? And then, that being something for the scientists and medical folk, how can I be certain that the little yellow coated pill is actually exactly 81 mg.? Suppose it's only 80 and it won't work! Or maybe it's really 83 and I'll have to read several pages of side effects in a tiny printing font (about pica 4) on a huge folded paper that I threw in the trash, to find out what is going to happen to me! Oh my gosh! No tellin' what those two extra milligrams might evolve in my blood stream. And wait a minute,  what about that yellow coating? What do you ‘spose that is? Hmmmmm.

       Next question: the newscaster last week said one glass of red wine a day will do something wonderful for your lifestyle. It had to be red - not white wine. Good grief, why? It may have had something to do with free radicals and anti-oxidants... I failed to make a note of precisely what that benefit was, because I was looking through the closet for the old bottle of Strawberry Hill, left over from Thanksgiving 1997! But anyway, if I make red wine a regular part of our long list of daily medications, preventatives, orange juice, exercise, ad nauseum, AND we take 81 mg. of yellow coated aspirin, what will the combination do to us? Wasn’t it aspirin I used to take to shake off the effects of too much wine when I was a kid? So wouldn’t these two “regimens” just cancel each other?
       Stay tuned – film at eleven!