Monday, August 23, 2004

Even Though We're Fine and Dandy, We're Not Candy

psa, originally uploaded by starbexxx.

Today's New York Times reports that Tylenol has come out with yummy minty-fresh "Cool Caps" -- Tylenol that's been coated with a tasty veneer of candy-like scrumtiousness. Apparently, the "flavor burst" makes it easier to swallow the pills.

When I was but a wee one watching tv all my myself, I was constantly terrified by a PSA that ran during my cartoons. It featured blue felt-like puppets who were supposed to be singing pills. They would sing, "Even though we're fine and dandy, we're ... not ... candy." And the PSA was supposed to teach us that, while pills might be pretty to look at and they might live in pretty little bottles, we weren't supposed to gobble 'em up like so many Pacman power pellets. This was a mildly confusing message, seeing that Triaminic tasted just like an orange lollipop (lip-smackingly good!) and my baby aspirins were grape-esque and my special extra-fluoride vitamins were either orange or cherry or grape. So even though those pills DID taste like candy, I knew that there surely must exist real pills -- SCARY pills -- that were fine and dandy but were, decidedly, because they were singing about it, that they were not, absolutely not, no way Jose, they were not candy.

Even though they were fine and dandy.

I'm not sure exactly why I was so terrified by the singing pills, except that I think they were all dancing around a pill bottle marked with the universal symbol for poison and I think that I knew that poison was scary and so perhaps my three-year-old brain somehow decided that pills were poison and that they would kill me. The bad pills, anyway. The fine and dandy ones. This puppety-pill-poison-phobia is probably why I was physically incapable of swallowing pills until I was 13 or so; I would chew my antibiotics even when my mom tried to hide them in Twinkies (to this day, the smell or sight of a Twinkie nauseates me).

It haunts me, O, it haunts me still.
This is serious (serious)
We could make you delirious (delirious)
You should have a healthy fear of us (fear of us)
Too much of us is dangerous (no, no, no, nooooo)
Doctors tell the pharmacy (pharmacy)
Types of pills that you will need (you will need)
And he knows the harm that we can (we can be)
If we're not taken carefully (no, no, no, nooooo)
We're not candy (believe us)
Even though we look so fine and dandy
When you're sick we come in handy
But, we're not candy (ooooh, no)

In retrospect, I think that I had a healthy fear of the pills not just because they were dangerous but also because I asked my mom what "delerious" meant and I think she told me that it meant you were crazy and had to be locked up. Sigh.

And so, friends, even though there's minty-fresh Tylenol, it ain't candy.


Esther Kustanowitz said...

It will not surprise you to know that I LOVED THAT PSA, and knew all the words by heart...

Anonymous said...

It's been awhile since you posted this, but ummm...I found the PSA you are referring to:

Uri Cohen said...

Thanks, Pandacookie.

But that video is the short version of the commercial, and Bex is referring to the long version.

Anyone have a link to the long version?

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