Surface Truth

I’m good at watching the TV news and observing people’s mouths move.  If I like the personality of the anchor, I tend to trust what they say.  Same with the reporters and the folks they interview.  If I’m wary of someone’s facial expression or tone of voice, I’m more alert to assess the value of their comments.  Fair enough.

But what if someone promoting toothpaste or car vending machines seems like a really cool guy?  Should I just nod in agreement and never go to a dealership again since Carvana can do it all for me?  Maybe not.

I’ve noticed a glowing life insurance ad lately.  Big smiley husband and big smiley wife have discovered the mother lode.  “Jacob, age 35, has found a $1,000,000 policy for $35 a month.”  Wendy has similarly become set for life.  Wait a minute, though.  There’s smaller print announcing a “term policy” and “ten years”.  “Term” means that it ends before death.  For Jacob, his coverage would cease at age 45.  And not too many people of that age are grappling with life-threatening issues.

Then there’s Velveeta.  I remember as a kid popping multi-slices of the stuff into my mouth.  Today the ad showed two grey taco chips.  Down the left one flowed smooth Velveeta goodness, while the fellow on the right was being adorned with clearly deficient lumpiness.  The announcer, in a disparaging voice, referred to the right one as “the other guys” and then chirpily informed us that “nothing melts like Velveeta”.  So there.  In the interest of aesthetically smooth and easily accomplished chip-augmenting, Velveeta will improve the quality of my life.

I did some research.  According to Velveeta, their product “melts smooth and creamy for ultimate appeal”.  However the author of the article had other things to say:

While there are elements of real cheese in Velveeta – like, you know, milk – to call it actual cheese is a bit of a stretch.  Which is why it is now labelled as a “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product”.

Velveeta contains quite an array of distinct coloring and preserving agents.  Basically it can’t be called real cheese because it has so many additives in it.

In this current life of convenience, nutrition takes a back seat to that lovely uniform flow.  I suspect that “the other guys” represent a tangy block of old cheddar.


Lesson for me:
I should pay attention more
rather than being lulled by gently smiling mouths
and sweet words that fall off the tongue

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