TOY SOLDIERS


We all do stupid things, and then we die. These are the facts of life.

You can dress Reality up in frills and bows, but nothing changes. The lovestories you dream of as a little girl will never be more than fiction; every relationship that doesn't end in heartbreak or mutual breakup ends in death. And no one wants a fiasco like that. –It's so not CosmoGirl. (Read as they preach love and good health.)

So when you pass the magazine rack at the grocery store, what should you feel? You can close your eyes, but the glossy pages' reflections will follow you down the aisle, begging. And eventually you must look, so you can see the winner of America's Next Top Model on the cover and be distracted by a barrage of ads, helping you decide what sort of Cancer to buy this time. …Cigarettes are bad, yes. But then, if you are really honest with yourself, isn't sugar alcohol just as bad? Isn't Splenda going to kill you with diabetic smiles? (Yeah, keep smiling. You eat that cupcake!)

Idly I wonder at the days of Arbor Drugs, before CVS Pharmacy bought them out—the small town feel of things that emerged from the 70's—and it makes me shudder. Today, family-owned businesses have been flattened by larger retail chains and pressed firmly into the ground, where steamrollers sped over them and built a wall of bricks and ads as tall as the CN Tower.

Don't be surprised when you walk into the supermarket to buy a sack of potatoes and those "ticketed low prices" on Cancer-curing berries just happen to jump out at you. Don't mind the labels on organic fruit—no pesticides to make 'em grow. (And germs are fine anyway, right? Tiny peaches sure go for a lot now, so I'd certainly hope so.)

Also don't mind those Jenny Craig commercials, or those ten-minute adverts for Nutrisystem. Eating has always kept people thin, hasn't it? Just look at your little ol' grandma. (Nevermind that Cheez-its weren't around in her day.)

I wish I could remember when Batman comics were the only paper lies. But thanks to clever marketing and the greed of fat old men with cigars, those days are long dead.

This is another fact of life.