Saturday, March 2, 2024

Procter & Gamble Sues Facebook Over Use of "Meta" Trademark

Turns out, they're both full of it.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - Consumer products company Proctor and Gamble announced today that they are suing Facebook, Inc., (now "Meta, Inc.") over use of its trademark "Meta" which P&G owns for Metamucil fiber supplements.  When asked for comment, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of "Meta" claimed that there was no "likelihood of confusion" between the products offered by the two companies, as one is selling a dietary supplement and the other, an online virtual world.

Attorneys for P&G countered, noting that Meta-mucil is used by people who are "full of shit" and that, quite frankly, includes Mr. Zuckerberg and anyone else in the "Meta-verse."

* * *

OK, that was lame.  But I was thinking lately about pills and supplements.  Mark tends to latch on to these after reading something online, which I think can be dangerous.  I started taking Allopurinol by prescription, for gout, back when I was in my late 30's, first at 150mg and then 300mg daily. The doctor said I would need to take it for "the rest of my life" although I have not had a gout attack in over a decade.  I wonder if I should keep taking it, particularly because of potential side effects.

Nevertheless, it got me in the habit of taking daily medication and my next health crises sealed the deal.  Diverticulitis is quite painful - it feels like you are being stabbed in the stomach, unlike gout, which feels like a white-hot nail is being driven through your foot.  A friend of mine who has experienced both of those ailments - and went through childbirth - said that diverticulitis was the worst of the three, but then again, they don't give you an epidural for that.  Supposedly kidney stones are a fun ride - one I hope to never go on.

So the doctor suggested taking Metamucil to improve fiber in my diet.  Actually, changing my diet to get away from red meats and things like sausages and bacon and more toward vegetables would really improve things.  But when you are 35, a "meat lover's pizza" seems like a healthy, hearty meal.

Speaking of hearts, Mark is paranoid he will have a heart attack, after watching his Mother die from a massive coronary at age 52 (he was 14 at the time).  He is convinced that these things "run in the family" and indeed, his brother has high blood pressure and Mark's is slightly elevated.  So he got us both taking "Red Rice Yeast" which is supposedly a natural statin.  But since that lowers your level of something called "CoQ10" you have to take one of those as well.

So now we are up to four or more pills a day.  The Meta-mucil people advertise that their pills will lower cholesterol, if you take up to eight (!!) of them a day.  Problem is, if you take the capsule, you have to drink a LOT of water (like 12 ounces for each capsule) to turn it into that muck that we used to actually drink back in the day. If you don't, well, the stuff actually dehydrates you and can cause constipation (how ironic) and bloating and cramps.  Turns out, even fiber has side-effects.

By the way, a lot of maladies, including gout and diverticulitis can be triggered by stress.  Funny thing, but when I suffered from these illnesses, I was at my peak stress in life - having started my own law practice and having several rental properties to manage.  Now that I am retired and content, I no longer have these issues.

I just have issues with pills.

Mark read that fish oil is good for your heart - all those Japanese eat fish and rarely have heart attacks!  So instead of actually eating fish, we instead took fish oil capsules - two more pills every day, and at this point, we both had those little pill trays that old people have, with compartments for each day of the week.

It kept going.  I had rashes and itching (a side-effect of Allopurinol, I just learned) and allergic reactions to pain killers.  So the doctor recommended I see an allergy specialist, who, like all allergy specialists, tells me I am allergic to just about everything, but if I start a lifelong series of expensive injections, he might just be able to cure me!  I respectfully decline.

We live in a pollen snowstorm half the year - yellow powder that blankets everything.  That is the real issue - it makes your eyes itch and your throat sore.  So we take a knock-off Zirtec and nasal spray.  The doctor recommended taking it daily and I did, and felt loopy.  I told the doctor and they recommended a different allergy pill that wouldn't make me so tired.  So now we have one pill for daytime and one for night-time.

The little compartments in the pill tray are having trouble closing. How about adding some Glucosamine for worn-out knees? (Or just each the shrimp tails?)  A multi-vitamin?  Vitamin E, or B, or D or A?  Each is advertised on the Internets as preventing or curing some malady. Now the pill compartments won't even shut.

And ironically, I am not feeling better, but worse. How did I get on this pill and supplement bandwagon to begin with?  Mark still had slightly elevated blood pressure, and the doctor recommended he get a sphygmomanometer which we did (they are remarkably cheap these days).  This was followed by a blood pressure watch (not as accurate) and then a prescription to 10 mg of Lisinopril, which immediately lowered his blood pressure by 20 points to a normal range.

Speaking of which, it is fascinating to me that such tiny amounts of drugs can do so much.  10mg?  It is a pill the size of a pin-head!  Yet it acted almost overnight to lower his blood pressure.  Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Over the years, Mark has latched onto other supplements which came and went. Magnesium was added to the mix until our doctor shouted out in alarm - it does make you shit like a cow, though. Others have come and gone and I wonder whether they had any good effects or any effects at all, or were just harmful. The Internet is a shitty source of medical advice.  Yet so many people are willing to believe anything on the Internet, provided the "authority" in question has a huge microphone and headphones.

I stopped taking most of these supplements and actually feel better. The Metamucil seemed to aggravate my digestive tract more than helping it.  They have ads on the Internet for it - disgusting ads, by the way, which seems to be a trend in online advertising (that and erectile dysfunction ads - what's wrong with "soft serve" anyway?).  They hype Metamucil as "cleaning out your bowels" and show a cartoon bolus of mucil rolling its way through the digestive tract, scraping up the 15 pounds of undigested meat from Elvis' colon.

(By the way, while I have used the trademark "Metamucil" the brand I actually used was Member's Mark from Sam's Club - it costs half as much as the name-brand).

The pill thing can sneak up on you.  And granted, many of these pills can literally save your life or prolong it. Supplements?  I am less sure.  Most authorities note that most of these supplements are over-hyped and unnecessary.  Your body may have all of the Vitamin x it needs, and the rest just gets filtered out by your kidneys (like they don't already have enough to do!) and peed out.  Most multivitamins fall along the same lines.

I read online the quote, "A healthy man wants a thousand things.  A sick man wants only one" - attributed to Confucius.  And indeed, that is true, particularly as you get older and your body starts to check out.  Joints go stiff, pain levels increase, and even the slightest cold or flu can lie you low - or even kill you.  When you are young, you can bounce-back from these things.  As you get older, you pine for those halcyon days.  And supplements seem like the answer - the siren song of eternal youth. However, I suspect that such is not the case.  Supplements might help a bit - or hurt a lot.

One has to be careful!