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Is It Really What It Seems?

Mar 15, 2008
Things aren't always what they seem. False advertising is against the law, but companies do it all the time. According to the sign at my gas station, gas costs $3.54 AND nine-tenth cent per gallon. Not so. Because there's no one-tenth cent coin to be given in change, it's actually $3.55 per gallon. And because there's no one-tenth cent coin, I can't use twenty of them to give the gas companies my two cents worth.

When you look inside a cereal box, it's two-thirds full. According to the manufacturers, the empty space prevents the cereal from being broken into crumbs. Manufacturers might as well claim this type of packaging makes eating cereal healthier. After all, there's less cereal.

Have you ever wondered why the cake you made doesn't look like the picture in the magazine? Not just models and movie stars have stylists. Food has them too. The layers of the cake in the picture were probably stabilized with foam board and the frosting could have been held in place by hair spray. Food that looks good enough to eat in pictures is often just food for thought.

According to the ads, the Ab Rocket will turn flab into fab. It supposedly does this by supporting your head and neck while you do sit-ups five minutes a day. It sounds like a $99 wonder - but it's not. Just like the portable pull-up bar and the Thigh Master, the Ab Rocket will go from the corner of your bedroom to under your bed to the closet. When you're taking it to the garage sale or the thrift store, you'll be taking it on a guilt trip.

While thumbing through women's magazines in doctors' waiting rooms, I've looked at hundreds of makeovers. I used to think the difference between the before and after was makeup and hairstyle, but I've tried lots of makeups and lots of hairstyles. Now I think the difference is the objectivity of the makeover artist. What I have to do to look better is look at myself better.

Today's grandmothers don't look like my grandmothers. Because of improved medical care and personal care, sixty is the new fifty and fifty is the new forty. I believe it. In fact, when I fill out forms, I'm surprised by the age I write down. It's like looking out the side-view mirror of life. Age is much closer than it seems.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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