By DAN WHITTLE
I will buy no pickup truck with a commercial featuring a snake slithering menacingly across my wide-screen TV.
It may be religious bias against sneaky snakes, since I don't knowingly attend churches where they handle serpents.
Anti-serpent feelings have run deep in the Whittle family since childhood when older brother, H. Van, was bitten on the toe by a copperhead snake.
It was not bad enough that bro fell out of the back of a mule-powered farm wagon on his head on a rock-laden farm road. He landed precisely atop the snake, which apparently angered the serpent into injecting venom into big brother's big toe. It nearly cost bro his toe, if not his life.
You talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
In the first place, I'm not a good truck-buying prospect. Why should I own a truck since buddies Donnie Young, Michael Sheffield, Danny Fraley, Sid Salmons and preacher pal, the righteous reverend Dan Parker of mighty Smyrna Parkway Baptist Church, all own pickups.
In an era not far back in the rear-view mirror, owning a pickup was no status symbol. Having a pickup decades ago generally meant you were either a farmer, or you hauled things professionally. Now, they're expensive big boy toys.
Being a lifelong-addicted newspaper reader, I believe in commercial advertising of merchandise and services.
And I adore good dogs, as evidenced by current mixed chow/border collie named Honey Bear that herds me through the house. But TV- types can't seem to make a commercial today, without enlisting canines in their aired spots.
I hope dog owners are getting union-scale fees for use of their pooch pals in TV commercials. It was only last evening when wife Pat and I discussed how many TV commercials have barking dogs.
"Pat, how does a barking dog make me want to buy a new roof from that roofing company up in Nashville?" I inquired.
Pat suggested subtly: "Why don't you just change the channel if you think they're over-casting dogs in their commercials."
So, in feeling the power since I had control of the remote, I flipped the channel to watch Demetria Kalodimos, my favorite Nashville television newscaster of all time.
Was it fate that the very next TV commercial had three perfectly fine-looking pooches, where some producer had garishly transformed the dogs' appearance with three human-looking talking mouths and wide-gapped teeth? I don't remember what was being advertised, because I couldn't get past the poor mutts with their mal-formed mouths.
"What an insult to a good dog!" I remember thinking before Pat snatched the remote out of my hands.
Getting old can be an adventure for men, according to one TV commercial that shows a rugged-looking man and his horses getting stuck in a mud puddle somewhere out west.
How escaping the mud puddle enhances a man's sexual manhood escapes my aging senses, and that was before warning guys to check into the nearest emergency room if they had an erection lasting more than four hours. Ouchy!
Excuse me please for one more TV commercial rant: Why would I want to take medicine, as advertised on TV, when the potential dangerous side-effects take longer to list than the actual prescribed benefit of the medical product.
I timed one medicinal-related TV commercial. It took less than 15 seconds to promote the possible curing nature of the medicine, and then 35 seconds to list the potential dangerous side-affects ranging from diarrhea to insomnia to possible DEATH!
I'd stay awake at night worrying if the medication was going to kill me.
One TV lawyer's commercial really insults me when it encourages clients, if deceased, to contact his law office for possible monetary compensation. If you're dead, isn't it too late to be suing for damages?
At that point, wife suggested I turn off the TV and resume quietly reading my trusty newspaper.