Making babies is one thing. 

    Having fun not making babies while acting as if you are is another.

    So even though kids get formal sex education in school these days, I don’t know how I’d explain a Cialis ad to a nine year old during a football game, where ads for e.d. drugs get more air time than forward passes.

    There are plenty of forward passes in the e.d. ads themselves, and that doesn’t help.

    It’s one thing to explain to a child that “illegal touching” is a fifteen yard penalty from the point of the infraction, but it’s next to impossible to explain why two people are sitting naked in bathtubs on the beach, while the announcer practically croons, “You can be ready, any time the moment is right.”

    My children are grown and deal with their own erectile goings and comings, but I still wonder how today’s dads--and moms--answer their young sons and daughters when the kids want to know what’s going on in e.d. ads.

    My parents used to take us to the drive-in, and they knew we’d drift off to sleep in plenty of time if we were seeing a movie with an adult theme. 

    But the night “From Here To Eternity” was showing I wasn’t drifting anywhere, and I ended up asking my father why Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr were rolling around on the beach like that. 

    He didn’t answer but when we got home he spent two hours reading “Winnie The Pooh” stories to me.

    It didn’t stop me from thinking about that beach scene, but it seemed to make Dad feel better.

    A hot roll on a wet beach may be a spicy scene for a youngster to see, but it isn’t the same as naked-backed adults lounging in outdoor bathtubs while an announcer makes cryptic references to what they’re going to do later.  That’s a much harder situation, as it were, to explain, or not explain, to a youngster.

    Then there’s the come on, disguised as a warning. “If you maintain an erection for more than four hours, call your doctor.” 

    Everyone knows your doctor will be the last person you’ll call.

    For a while, only Cialis gave the four hour erection warning, but then Viagra inserted it into their ads. 

    Talk about penis envy.

    So there sits little 9-year-old Johnny, wearing his Peyton Manning jersey, his hands greased like an Indy 500 mechanic from picking slices of pepperoni off the pepperoni pizza, and his smiling face turns to you and says,

    “Hey, dad!  What’s a four hour erection?  Do you have one? 

    “What’s an ‘erector defunction’ anyway?  Can you build stuff with it? 

    “And what are those guys waiting to do when the moment is right? 

    “Hey, mom!  Got any more of that hot clam dip!?”

    Drug companies would feel better if sales of e.d. drugs were a little hotter. 

    Demand has been limp, relatively speaking, and they’re trying to figure out why.

    I think they made a big mistake not packaging each dose with breath mints or at least a discount coupon for a liter of Cuervo Gold. 

    And instead of picking them up in a pharmacy, men should be able to get e.d. drugs where there aren’t so many people around and sex isn’t an issue, like at a Joy Behar book signing.

    Actually, some of the ads have been targeted to women, who were counted on to convince their men that it’s okay to get help to get it up. 

    But a lot of women who are denied the joy of healthy erectile function are just as happy to give their guys a pat on the head, as it were, and leave it at that.

    Sex surveys agree that about a third of all heterosexual women don’t really enjoy the benefits of a well functioning penis, and for them a limp lizard is the perfect pet.

    If a drug company has the perfect answer to something that really is a problem, why does it need to spend hundreds of millions of advertising dollars to convince people they need a solution? 

    If I have crotch rot, I don’t wait for a Tinactin commercial so John Madden can remind me that I need to do something about it.

    The FCC is Johnny on the spot if someone uses a four letter word on TV. 

    But when it comes to ads running on programs viewed by millions of little Johnny’s and Jane’s, which ads discuss erections and suggest that something interesting is about to happen between consenting adults, the FCC just sits there with its hands in its pants. 

    And in case you’re wondering what those hands are doing, consider this little  ironic twist:

    Pharmaceutical companies created drugs to make penises hard enough to enter vaginas.  Then they created lobbying campaigns to make the FCC’s backbone soft enough to allow the insertion of R-rated ads into family viewing time.

    I wish there were Cialis breadsticks that wouldn’t get soft and mushy when you use them to scoop up hot clam dip.  It wouldn’t take a lot of advertising dollars to convince people it was a product worth using, and if the breadsticks stayed hard for four hours, no one would need to rush to the emergency room.


Dear Major Ashpole,

  Why did you decide to pick on Joy Behar?

  She is a warm and wonderful personality who brightens the days of millions of people.

Ellen Jarmin

Horizon Lake, Oregon

Dear Ellen,

  Picking on Joy Behar wasn’t a decision.  It was just a natural course of leading a civilized life.

Dear Major Ashpole,

  You’re probably expecting someone to write something about your use of “penis envy” with a comment or two on Freud and women’s rights.

  Well, it isn’t going to be me.

Brian Williams

NBC News

Dear Brian,

  Thank you.

  Illuminating, as always.

Dear Major Ashpole,

  Can you send me that hot clam dip recipe?

  Sounds like dad and the kid really liked it!

Nancy Neidiger

Lake Saltwater, Maine

Dear Nancy,

  Perhaps you’ve missed the point here.

  I suggest you start reading Dr. Seuss, then move up to Dr. Spock,

and if you’re not confused by then, pick up a copy of “The Joy of Sex.”

  That said, here’s the recipe:

  Buy a can of Frito Lay Hot Clam Dip.  Follow directions on can.

Dear Major Ashpole,

  I once had a hot roll with a hot dog on a beach, and I was a kid, but I didn’t find it to be spicy at all, except where I used too much mustard.

Ed Northwood

Lake Overvue, Minnesota

Dear Ed,

  Please see answer to Nancy above, but skip the clam dip recipe.

Dear Major Ashpole,

  Maybe if men spent less time worrying about their penises and more time trying to find out how to really make women happy, they wouldn’t need Cialis.

Queen Elizabeth

Buckingham Palace

And elsewhere, as I desire

Your Royal Highness,

   Men don’t worry about their penises, they stand in awe of them, and

fervently hope their penises will reciprocate on all appropriate occasions.

  As for trying to find out how to really make women happy, for me, it’s like trying to figure out what happened before the big bang: no matter how hard I think about it, I end up staring at the heavens wondering why I feel like the joke’s on me and everyone else is in on it.


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