I collect empty medicine tins from the fifties and earlier. They make me laugh. The joy I get from finding a package of Carter's Little Liver Pills or Doan's Pills or German Syrup or Hadacol rivals no other. They're simply hilarious. They make me imagine some old-timey announcer on the radio, extolling the virtues of his latest pill. "Not enough pep in your step? You need Dr. William's Pink Pills for Pale People!"
I can't help but think, though, that my children's children are going to be laughing at the pills I take. I imagine that they'll be yelling "Tylenol! Hyuck, hyuck! Did you really use this stuff? Look at the bottle! Does it cure dropsy? Scrofula? Tired blood?"
It keeps me up at night. Now that I think of it, "Pepto-Bismol" is a pretty funny name. And have you ever seen the commercials for this stuff? People doing interpretive dance to the symptoms it cures? Nausea? Diarrhea? Do you think they'll be advertising in this manner fifty years from now? It chills the blood.
Yes, our OTC medicines are more effective than the patent cure-alls of yesteryear. Yes, we test this stuff, and it's clinically proven to be safe and effective. But it's not the inefficacy of Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills that we laugh at. It's the name. Sure, the name Advil seems modern enough. But I'm trying to imagine how it will sound to my grandchildren.
Well, maybe they'll go easy on me. Maybe they won't perform mock-advertisements using what I've termed the "old-fashioned radio host voice." (Don't forget that our technology will someday be antiquated, too.) I wait and hope.