Printer Friendly

Veni, Viagra, vici.

Yes, we have the Viagra was hastily scrawled on a lid ripped from a pizza box and tacked up in the prescription department of my local Upper West Side apothecary in Manhattan. It echoed that old song about bananas but also connoted a sense of exasperation: "All right, already--quit bugging me. It's here." When I asked the frazzled young pharmacist at the counter if she had been filling a lot of requests for the new blue potency drug, dubbed "Pfizer's Riser," she glowered at me through lowered eyelids. When I asked who was getting the drug, she said flatly, "Old guys with canes."

When Bob Dole appeared on Larry King Live and they both enthused about taking the drug, you could practically see the table rising up between them.

But darn it, they both seemed happier than they have been in a long time. And happy straight guys are a good thing. When they get petulant, they are liable to stand in their driveways and sip big gulps of coffee and then subpoena every one who has ever voted. No wonder Bob Dole retired. Now with something better to do at home other than spin cats by the tail, maybe Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, heck, even Helen Chenoweth will retire.

The deep, dark secret of impotence--and who knew there was such impotency in this the last remaining superpower?--is now out of the bedroom closet. It explains a lot of things. Trump Towers. John Glenn in orbit. Wall Street ups and downs. Peterbilt double-width trucks. Bow ties. Nuclear testing in India. Godzilla. The Powerball lottery. Stand-up comedy.

A lot of corporate executives must be taking Viagra. How else to explain merger mania? The mergers of ABC/Disney CBS/Westinghouse, and MS/NBC are pitiful pommes de terres compared to banks merging with anything that's not nailed down. Banks with insurance companies? The other day, I tried to do a simple transaction at BankAmerica and my ATM laughed at me as I walked away. Banks with telecommunications companies? Recently, I dialed a wrong number and accidentally bought a medium-sized prison.

Disney is getting in on the act, too. It has just opened a Wild Animal Kingdom and is promoting it through McDonald's, which somehow did not violate Texas's food disparagement laws. Do you want fries with your cheetahburger? If Disney merges with Pfizer under the dictum that "bigger is better," I, for one, am swearing off whoppers.

Anything the Pope is in favor of scares me: Pius XII, Mother Teresa, crowds. Before Pfizer rushed the drug to market to market, they got papal approval, even without signing an agreement that it would be prescribed only to married men with procreative intent. Pope John Paul II, the head of the bishoprics, gave the go-ahead in a papal Post-it[R] that said, "Paxil in terrum: Viagra pro hominem."

Viagra seemed to get FDA fast-track approval in about ten minutes, while RU-486--the morning-after pill which women need now more than ever--has not been approved in this country despite years of trying. And I doubt that women will ever get a drug specifically designed for their own sexual needs because that would involve more than the most anecdotal "when we say men, we mean women, too" research.

Pfizer had the name Viagra and matched it up with their new blue boner pill, deciding that since it implied the powerful flow and vigor of Niagara, it was a better fit than "The Promisekeeper."

If we ever get a drug designed especially for women's sexual needs, I've got a name already picked out: Virago.

By the way, I also asked my neighborhood pharmacist if any women were taking it.

She nodded yes. The drug causes blood flow to the penis, and even though women don't have penises (exception: Margaret Thatcher, Camille Paglia, Marge Schott), doctors have prescribed it for some women patients.

One woman said her prescription helped her reach orgasm in half an hour compared to her usual hour and a half.

Instead of Viagra, I would have prescribed a girlfriend.

Kate Clinton is a humorist.
COPYRIGHT 1998 The Progressive, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Unplugged; humor
Author:Clinton, Kate
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Column
Date:Jul 1, 1998
Words:680
Previous Article:Going hungry.
Next Article:Koreatown's workers find a voice.
Topics:


Related Articles
Don't worry, be set.
Hello, Dolly.
All politics is lo-cal.
What goes up must come down.
Surefire bets for fall.
Celibate squares.
1999: Viagra 1999.
The coverage of prostate cancer and impotence in four popular men's magazines (1991-2000).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters