Thursday, September 11, 2008

Attention to detail not required

Rule #1 of classified advertising:

Do not misspell the name of your company.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guilty as charged

Yesterday I saw an interesting car. It wasn't a hybrid, bio-diesel, natural gas, or electric vehicle. In fact, it was a rather ordinary late-model wagon, festooned all over with various bumper stickers proclaiming its owner's position on various social issues. For a car parked in Northampton, Mass., this is not so unusual.

What made this otherwise unremarkable car so interesting was that one of its stickers read as follows:


I'm always intrigued by this sort of thing. I only hope the irony wasn't lost on the driver.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Go with the flow

Asthma medications and nasal sprays, many types of which I've had the (mis)fortune of sampling over the years, seem to be named by the Chinese-menu method--one from column A, one from column B. With the limited variety of prefixes and suffixes, I tend to get confused when I'm asked to identify which medications I've tried over the past quarter of a century. Was it Rhinocort that made my nose bleed, or was it Nasocort? Have I tried Nasonex, or am I thinking of Nasocort again? Was it Azmacort that made my cough worse, or was it Pulmicort? Have I ever tried Maxair, or am I thinking of Advair? I've taken cromolyn, but what about Nasalcrom? And have I ever actually tried Flonase?

These questions really only come up when I have to get a new pre-authorization for my current prescription regimen. This is one of the many reasons I do not like managed care. Why should my doctor have to remind my insurer every year that nothing cheaper than the maximum US dose of Allegra will touch my allergies, and yes, that expensive Singulair really is necessary to keep me from coughing, and no, maintenance corticosteroids (while cheap and easy, like a bad date) are not appropriate because I can't tolerate the side effects, which include feeling like I could make the Guinness Book of World Records for Worst PMS All Day, Every Day?


Every time I see a commercial for Flomax, I think it's an asthma medication. I mean, can you blame me? Not only are its commercials full of people doing various high-impact activities like whitewater rafting, but its name sure does sound like it would help you move a lot of air through your lungs. But then I realize that the whitewater rafters are all middle-aged men. Because Flomax helps you move a lot of pee through your benignly enlarged prostate.