Mr. Right-Click and I have taken to referring to the stretch of the 710 freeway between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach as Lap Band Alley. Perhaps you can understand why.
In this one stretch of highway, it is impossible to drive more than a quarter mile without seeing at least one billboard advertising lap band procedures. Advertising! As if medical procedures are something that you just up and decide to get because you saw a billboard!
Oh! It’s not just one company doing this advertising, either. There is stiff competition in the lap-band/PPO insurance exploitation racket.
Now, admittedly, there are a few other things that are advertised on Lap Band Alley besides lap bands. For example, casinos.
You also might see some ads for alcohol, or a movie starring
The Rock Dwayne Johnson.
And, naturally, Ryan Seacrest.
What starts to happen is you get a weird juxtaposition of these signs, so that you’re seeing the lap band advertised alongside PSAs for avoiding swine flu.
Unless I have misunderstood this sign, and what it’s actually doing is advocating the swine flu as a diet tactic.
What ends up happening is you get done driving through Lap Band Alley and you’re like, “Hey, you know what? I’ve been thinking that maybe I need a lap band?” And then you’re like, “Wait, what? Why do they even call it a lap band, anyway?”
And then you start thinking, “Well maybe I don’t need a lap band but I bet it would make a nice gift for somebody else.” And you start going through your contacts for somebody who might not be offended by the gift of a lap band.
But luckily, before you can do anything totally crazy, you finish driving through Lap Band Alley and wake up, as if you were in a dream all along, where the most desperate of advertising times have led to the mass marketing of a medical procedure, a money plan that involves investing your paycheck at the Blackjack table, Ryan Seacrest promising us not that he’ll make us rich, but that he has a sweepstakes that might pay our rent, and a country so desperate for escape that it is seriously considering watching a movie made about The Tooth Fairy which stars a former wrestler named after a lump or mass of hard consolidated mineral matter. And after you think about that, you think, maybe I do need a drink, but then you realize you’re a sober alcoholic, and you’re just happy to get the hell out of Lap Band Alley as quickly as possible.