My first boss Larry Ragan used to occasionally write a curmudgeonly column simply titled, “Things we can do without.” I’ve had a bit of a build-up lately. I like to imagine a world without these abominations, and their ilk. And imagine how easy it would be to eliminate them from our lives?
Let’s begin with the outrageously age-ist Medicare supplement commercial featuring a lazy, cranky imbecile named “Martha,” who speaks for older Americans. Try imagining a caricature like this of any other group.
The Kars4Kids commercial. Even when my daughter was little, I would scream upon hearing the first two notes of that thing, “Goddamn you motherfuckers!” So not all kids benefitted from that spot.
The Ozempic commercial, which takes one of the very shallowest tunes in the American songbook, and manages to cheapen it.
That other drug commercial that begins with a treacly song line, “Oh what a good time we will have”—and then shows a guy pushing his aging father through the woods, in a wheelchair. With good times like that, we don’t need root canals.
Skyrizi. And all other drugs you can’t imagine someone saying with a straight face. “Someone seems like they forgot to take their Jevtana!”
Tank tops came and went in the seventies. They came again last decade, and now they’re overstaying their welcome in this one.
More egregiously, pre-ripped jeans. This fashion fish started to stink a decade ago. When will it go the way of those running shoes with the toes?
Sleet, described as “a wintry mix.” (Which as my friend Tony points out, must be so galling to sleet.)
Chicago and its suburbs, collectively described as “Chicagoland.” I love Chicago. I hate Chicagoland.
All neon colors, period. They are the comic sans of the color spectrum.
And the “Chicken Nuggets” button on my microwave.
Now, let’s get you into the act. What little things would you eliminate, to make modern life a little less discouraging? Maybe we can collect these items and put together a bipartisan bill, for once.