Paradise Very Lost

The older we become, the harder it gets to make our daily lives seem even remotely contemporary. Think Jack Nicholson in wrap-around shades with a semi-young blonde. "Pretty cool," you might say. "For sixty or seventy something." And that is as good as it gets.

But listen, as dedicated baby boomers who are never gonna die, we’ve got to keep on pushing for primacy. It is a dreary reality that the poor souls we see on the seven o’ clock network news are our peers. I’m not talking about the talking heads and field reporters. No, I’m talking about the pain portrayed during the commercials, the hell of heartburn and high blood pressure, incontinence and impotence. This is the end  that we have aged into, and it seems so eager to confront us.

And so it’s come to this: A diarrhea commercial targeted especially to the baby boomers. Imodium A-D, helping boomers get laid since 2003.

This commercial is such a masterpiece. It's Paradise Lost in sixty seconds. A chap about my age is at a resort. It seems like a very nice place to be. It looks nearly perfect. We see our protagonist as he climbs into an enormous hot tub, settling himself across the bubbles from two very attractive younger women. All the man wants or expects for today is to indulge in a momentary fantasy. “Good afternoon, ladies,” he says, offering a modest wave.

And then, it happens. It was always a possibility. He had never really lost that eye appeal, you know? He never had. “Would you like to join us?” the girls ask. Those words, the sweetest words. I don’t know what his reply is. It doesn’t matter. It amounts to yes, regardless of his particular verbiage. Yes, oh yes, yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes…

He is there, between them, seemingly without having moved. They are beautiful. They will be his. They make small talk, but it is just cooing. They don’t really want to know what he does for a living, they just want him. It is perfect. And then. Then that look is wiped right off of his loser face. He is having a nightmare.

God mocks him, taunting from off screen. “Where will you be when your diarrhea comes back?”, and now he must run, run from Eden, run in search of porcelain relief, humiliated, and no, it is not God who has mocked him, for there is no God.

There is no God, and when our protagonist returns, there will be no girls in bikinis. It will be as though it was all a dream. 


©2004, Mark Hoback