wrapper wisdom

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m sitting here enjoying the menthol goodness of a Halls Honey and Lemon Cough Drop. Its magic must be working because even the New Jersey air feels refreshing. Mind you, I don’t have a stuffy nose, cold or cough. I’ve previously mentioned somewhere my peculiar fondness for these delightful little OTC candies. Because that’s what they are to me. Candy. Some folks
chomp on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, others enjoy a nice Life Saver. Me, I’m a Halls Honey and Lemon guy.

After popping the little devil in my mouth I smoothed out its wrapper. It’s the kind of mindless exercise which helps free my mind to write. Once the wrapper was as smooth as it was going to get without hauling out the steam iron I looked at it a bit closer.

At some point the good folks at Halls decided to include motivational sayings on the wrappers of their individually wrapped cough drops. They call them “pep talks.” Much like the films of Pauly Shore I’ve glanced at them, but never gave ‘em much thought. Until tonight. This is what I saw.

Inspire envy.
Conquer today.
It’s yours for the taking.
Dust off and get up.

I have to tell you, I don’t feel too pepped by their pep talks. Besides being a bit on the dictatorial side, I wonder about the messages they’re sending and how they decided to word them.

Inspire envy. – Inspire is a wonderful word. It’s usually attached to a sentiment designed to influence positive actions in different people. Inspire children to do their best. Inspire confidence in your co-workers. Inspire others to follow your lead (assuming, of course, you’re not Hitler). But envy? Inspire envy? Do we really need to inspire people to feel envious about any aspect of our life? Doesn’t envy generally breed jealousy or, even worse, contempt? When people are envious are they motivated to do the right thing? In most instances envy just makes people feel worse about themselves. Envy inspires discontent. Why on earth would we want to do that?

Conquer today. – Yeah, I get it. This is simply another way of saying take control of your life. We’d all love to take control of our lives and most of us do to the extent circumstances permit. But must we use another conflict associated verb to motivate people? Might as well say “Drive this day to its quaking knees” or “Subjugate this moment into submission” or “Vanquish today mercilessly.” It’s all the same thing. Crush, squash and hammer it down. It sounds empowering, but a simple “Live for today” is more realistic.

It’s yours for the taking. – Except, of course, when it’s not. But don’t let that get in your way. This whole notion of living with the express goal of getting what you can, when you can and however you can has stained the entire canvas of human history. We’ve not naïve. This mindset isn’t going to change as long as people perceive bigger, shinier and better is out there. They will pursue it, sometimes not even sure why. So it’s yours for the taking. The question is at what cost?

Dust off and get up. – Okay, I’ll climb aboard this pep train. Don’t lay there bemoaning your misfortune. C’mon now, pick yourself up, learn what needed to be learned, and continue forward on your journey. Good stuff.

For me one out of four of these “pep talks” – dare I say it – inspires me. 25%. Is that a good percentage? If you play the lottery, you bet it is. If you’re a baseball player it’s a mediocre batting average at best. If you’re running for president, you better have that concession speech ready. For a cough drop maker’s marketing campaign…well, that’s a choice each person needs to make for themselves. However, if they’re trying to motivate this person a 25% success rate ain’t gonna cut it. But to be fair I don’t buy Honey and Lemon beauties to be galvanized to change my outlook on life. I buy them because they’re so darn tasty and I’m constantly amazed how they mask the sulphur truth of the New Jersey atmosphere. So for me it’s an easy fix. From this point forward I’ll keep the wrappers balled up and my nose clear.

  1. This made me laugh. Years ago, my Uncle Ed used to suck constantly on the plain old regular Halls — the ones that are so menthol they’ll pop off the top of your head. He’d go to bed sucking on them but, worried he might choke if he fell asleep with one his his mouth, he’d remove it and stick it to the bedframe. Where it stayed forever and was joined, in its time, by others until there was this little pyramidal tower of partially used Halls cough drops congealed into a rocklike mass.


  2. rangewriter says:

    Oh ho, that was a delightful surprise. Who knew? I never looked inside the cover of the Hall’s candies…er cough drops. Ya, they are designed for sick people. Maybe sick people require a more ….dictatorial type of motivation? Seriously, this post alone was enough to get me to push the follow button. Now let me go find it.

    BTW….Thanks for stopping by….Boise was just beginning to blossom in 1988. What brought you here?


  3. kayjai says:

    It’s a pack of Halls! Why do they feel the need to impart any enlightenment? Next they’ll be stuffing fortunes inside their candies! *sigh* Hope you’re feeling better, BTW.


  4. And I thought this was going to be yet another DYI post on how to wrap holiday packages! But you gave me another eloquent thought provoking essay that inspires envy in an aspiring writer. Well done!


  5. I’ll stick with the one-liners in my Dove chocolate wrappers. And, geez, seems to me they’re imparting some tall orders for most folks popping Halls who have sore throats and feel crummy. The thought of dusting off and getting up isn’t quite the admonition Mom gave me when I had a cold. It was more along the line of chicken soup. Halls could be a little more nurturing. I have a cold now, and frankly, those lines made me feel weary. Where are my Doves?….


  6. It sounds like Machiavelli got a job composing motivational quotes for Halls.


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