Okay, so I didn't run out and buy a hundred shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) when the news broke about Viagra. Nor do I begrudge those who did and got a 50-percent return on their investment in a mere four months. And maybe I'm missing the point of it all, but somehow this doesn't sound like a product I'm likely to buy. Of course, I don't expect to be buying Rolls-Royce parts next time I'm down at AutoZone, either.

As a male of the species, I suppose I should be delighted by this wonder drug, and its ability to confer Instant Sexual Prowess whenever I need it (and whenever I can spare ten bucks per tablet). And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that all this hype is being expended on a product aimed at men if I've learned anything at all about female sexuality in forty-five years, it's that I don't know anything at all about female sexuality, and I have no reason to think I am alone in my ignorance. Still, some research is being done into what Viagra can do for women hey, engorgement is engorgement, isn't it? and it's just a matter of time before Pfizer, or someone, pops up an ad campaign aimed squarely at the other half of the species. Maybe they won't even laugh.

And speaking of not laughing, Viagra has one other, perhaps quite unexpected side effect: it provides a seemingly-endless series of punchlines, thereby reducing the unemployment rate among stand-up comics. I can't wait to see that on the warning label.

The Vent

17 July 1998

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 Copyright © 1998 by Charles G. Hill