In this 21st century, some things would seem to be givens; I believe we could all agree that the earth is round, each year has 12 months, and living creatures require food, air and water to thrive.

Beyond that, though, it’s a toss-up. Personal interpretations, skewed news intake, social media contacts and more color our perceptions. We are left grasping to discern what is real and what is merely conjured to justify someone’s preferred narrative.

In the world of advertising, stretching or redefining the truth has been a matter of fact from the start. A vintage ad for Coca-Cola from around the turn of the previous century extols, “It satisfies the thirsty and helps the weary.”  Since the 1920s, a breakfast of Wheaties was guaranteed as “The Breakfast of Champions,” implying that you, too, could become a champion if only you started each day with a bowl of fortified wheat flakes.

Naturally, that makes it somewhat less shocking to receive repeated, unsolicited emails headlined, “One Day Bathroom Renovation.” Huh! Wouldn’t that be sweet? Not even Ty Pennington and his “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” crew turned around houses in less than a week. And the TV cameras failed to reveal that up to 750 specialized workers and contractors (all of whom were always readily available) were the key to achieving those fantastic results in miniature periods of time that defy the imagination.

Is there really anyone out there who believes a complete and successful bathroom renovation could be accomplished in a single day?

I’ve experienced additional belly-shaking laughs when reading certain claims on those ticker-tape type coupons freely dispensed at the grocery or drug store checkouts. A recent one that stopped me in my tracks urged, “Take your lashes to paradise!”

That’s the directive made by L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara. Heck, I didn’t even know taking my lashes to paradise was a possibility, much less a promise. Here I’ve been sitting in lash purgatory for decades when for only $9.99 a tube I could have been luxuriating in lash paradise, where I would enjoy continuous “voluptuous volume, intense length, feathery softness!”

Are we sure (ahem!) they’re only trying to sell mascara?

Moving into the kitchen, let’s consider the jingle, “Meatballs make a weeknight dinner,” courtesy of Armour. Are meatballs enough to fulfill all your dinner desires? Or maybe you’d like to add potatoes and a salad to that? Still, the idea that meatballs are all you need for a delicious dinner is far less fantastical than the previously mentioned boast - especially the thought that a little wand can propel your eyelashes all the way to makeup heaven.

And I’ll go to my grave contesting “one size fits all,” at least when it comes to socks, gloves and hats. My family runs the gamut from petite to oversized hands and feet, not to mention heads. When my sons attempt to wear Santa hats that fit in darling fashion on some pates, nothing is  called to mind more than Will Ferrell in “Elf” trying to stuff his long limbs into the North Pole’s work benches.

Maybe that’s why, when I stumbled on a print ad for Hornitos Tequila’s Black Barrel product, it struck me that here was a brand that might actually be speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

“Every family has a black sheep. Or two,” read the Hornitos ad.

I can drink to that.


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