PHILADELPHIA—Wyeth Pharmaceuticals unveiled a new pain-causing line of Advil this week that will help millions of benumbed, hollow consumers to feel at least somewhat alive for up to four hours.
"Advil Release delivers a soothing burst of pain when cold and listless Americans need it most," Wyeth CEO Bernard J. Poussot said during a press conference Monday. "Just two capsules can deliver all-day relief in the form of searing, life-affirming agony; the kind of agony Advil users trust when being a pale specter of humanity adrift in a meaningless and uncaring universe is just not an option anymore."
According to Poussot, the new drug works by delivering a powerful stimulant straight to the brain's pain center, causing an intense stinging sensation all over the body. If taken regularly, the deadening futility of day-to-day life will be temporarily washed away in a flood of blessed and cleansing torment.
"Two fast-acting, long-lasting Advil Release taken three times a day are recommended for anyone who is convinced he or she will never laugh or cry again," Poussot said. "Teenagers who see no difference between being dead or alive, nor why it makes a difference either way, may require twice the suggested dosage."
Continued Poussot, "Those wishing to never again suffer through another numb, flat day devoid of even the basic components of humanness are advised to take an entire bottle of Advil Release along with a quart of gin."
A nationwide advertising campaign for the new medication is slated to begin next week. In the first of two 30-second TV spots, a woman is shown walking outside on a winter's day and coming upon a puppy that has frozen to death. As she stares unblinkingly at the small, frail carcass, a disembodied announcer tells viewers: "Don't spend another day unable to shed a single tear for the eternal tragedy that is existence. Embrace the pain. Advil pain. It's the only thing that's real."
Public reaction to the new medication has been generally positive. Millions of emotionally dulled people across the nation have scrambled for the opportunity, any opportunity, to temporarily escape from mechanically lurching through unfeeling day after unfeeling day after unfeeling day after unfeeling day.
"This new Advil has really—oh, God, the sublime suffering," said 27-year-old copy center employee Nathan Tillson of Roanoke, VA, tears welling up in his eyes. "Sweet Jesus, I haven't closed off. I can still feel."
"Gah," Tillson added before doubling over on the floor and openly sobbing for the first time in as long as he could remember.
Other pharmaceutical companies have also begun marketing their own brands of over- the-counter medications that will help the emotionally anesthetized feel briefly alive. The makers of NyQuil are reportedly developing a new product they describe as "the nighttime sniffling, sneezing, aching, screaming, crying, writhing, so you can possibly—for the love of God—experience some sense of normalcy medicine," and Johnson & Johnson recently released a new line of Tylenol Maximum Suffering, the active ingredient of which is thumbtacks.