Prosperity may be about accomplishments and wealth, but it’s also about attaining the lifestyle—the whole vibe of who we are, who we’ve become, and our purpose in what we do. Which is why I wish I could emerge from a drug commercial. By all appearances, those humans have it made.
If one doesn’t feel well-established, what one really needs is an obscure ailment requiring a medication with a catchy name derived from associated words (ending with the letter A and/or including an X or Z). Something like Zarpé, Exultima, maybe Fleziba (fle-ZEE-ba). I mean come on, just look at these smiling heroes, somehow directing a huge but strangely relaxed catering gig or giving a reassuring thumbs-up to an on-time building contractor at their complex. When not occupied by those optional 3-5 hours per week overseeing Copernican endeavors, they can be found stand-up paddling, camping, zip-lining, or cooking an upscale outdoor dinner, all in stunning places with perfect weather and appreciative relatives or a similarly confident partner. Prosperity, never frenzied, always chill. In fact, rather happily oblivious to narrated side effects that could possibly detract from that success: a compromised immune system, nausea, bleeding orifices, or loss of appetite for the filet mignon just plucked off their patio kitchen’s shiny grill.
I’m in the right age bracket, so I figured maybe a visit to my doctor could get me into the fellowship:
“Chard, I’ve diagnosed you with moderate-to-severe non-yellowing jaundice. And this prescription for Jaudazistren should do the trick, providing you don’t encounter any of its thirty-eight extremely uncomfortable or embarrassing side effects. Here is a sample blister pack, take some now!”
“Why thanks, Doc! I believe I’ve finally arrived!”
“Indeed you have. And might I say that your hair is already beginning to look fuller…scalp follicle growth is one of J-Stren’s positive side effects.”
[Stroking my forehead.] “Bonus!”
“At the pharmacy you’ll also be issued Just for Men Touch of Grey, some sporty khakis, a sharp button-up shirt, a well-behaved dog, plus a few enthusiastic child actors to take home—that is, if your own grandchildren aren’t on board with the cool new you.”
“Yeah, I’ll need those. Do they cost a lot more, Doc? And what about the cost of the drug itself?”
“Heh, I don’t think the samples have completely kicked in yet. Have a glass of water, won’t you?”
“Sure.” [Gulp, gulp, “Aaaah”.]
[Brief pause.] “Now, Chard, what was your question?”
“Question? Uh, I can’t remember—must not have been important. I’ll be off to the pharmacy now. Thanks, Dr. Zeneca!”
“No problem.” [Peering toward waiting room.] “NEXT!”
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