Chiseled, jiggled and pumped

Some of the more omnipresent ads you see on the idiot box these days are those concerned with giving you a killer new physique. You’ll see a big chunk of a man working out with the amazing new Glute Chiseler, or the sensational new Abominable Abdominal, or the incredible new Forehead Dewrinkler, and he’ll be one of these guys with the killer abs and the monster delts and the fanned lats, and then you see his female counterpart with her toned legs, rippling belly and gravity-scoffing bust, and they’re both laughing up a storm, barely able to believe that achieving all of this T-shirt-straining bulkiness could be such a good time!

As you watch Apollo and Aphrodite chisel their glutes and rip their abs and ferd their berfels, you know you shouldn’t get sucked into all this, but you’re just starting to think that you’d sorta like to have a little chiseled berflitude goin’ on, and maybe that would help … and then the small print pops up at the bottom of the picture.

It reads: “Results are not typical.”

What a classic. “Results are not typical.” Which is a nice, brief way of saying, “Look, the chances that YOU are ever gonna look like Super Hunk and Uber Babe here aren’t really all that good. After all, each of them spends four hours in a gym six days a week. But why don’t you just go ahead and spend the money anyway? And don’t worry. You’ll get most of it back when you sell this sucker at your next garage sale.”

Also interesting are the little gizmos with electrodes that you tape onto your stomach (the hider of the abs) so as to achieve the physiological and psychological nirvana that seems to infuse all those who possess “abs of steel.” You can’t help but notice how these particular devices are being pitched.

“Now, YOU can get the rippling, corrugated gut you’ve always dreamed of. How? Well, forget exercise! Say goodbye to workouts! And say hello to your new, ripped six-pack of abdominal dominance that will become a trampoline for quarters. All you have to do is sit on the couch, watch TV and slam some chips while you’re hooked up to our terrific new gizmo that does all the work for you! Here are some comments from beautiful bikini models who admittedly prefer the company of steel-abbed men …”

Belly-jiggling electrodes look fine on TV, or at least not hideous, but it’s important to remember that on the tube, they’re jiggling the bellies of men and women who ALREADY HAVE THE ROCK-HARD ABS. It’s gotta be rough to be a guy with banana pudding abs, and he’s sitting at home, watching some hockey, quaffin’ a cool one, and he looks down and sees his exposed belly all wired up with eight electrodes all a-buzzin’ and a-whizzin’ and a-jigglin'. I just hope that when he looks down at himself, he has a good strong grip on what is left of his sense of humor.