A chiropractor waiting rooms are not inherently funny places but as I waited with my wife for her appointment I was having serious trouble keeping it together. My badly suppressed giggles and sniggers were starting to draw the attention of the other patients in the room too. Occasionally one of them would glance up from their newspaper or phone to see what was going on, quickly looking away if they accidently made eye contact. To make matters worse I was starting to infect my wife. She was desperately trying to ignore me but could not help giggling whenever I whispered a comment or observation about what we were both witnessing.
The waiting room included several chairs, a small play corner for the children, some posters about good health and one of the largest flat screen television I have ever seen, which was showing what I can only describe as 1990’s Chiropractor propaganda. In fact, I’m not entirely sure it was not an advertisement for a cult in disguise.
“YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF.” The text on the screen loudly announced in all caps-lock. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those of us who are doing it!”
I half expected the next screen to read; Rise up now and show them that our way is the only true way.
“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution, it is that they can’t see the problem.” It announced instead, crediting the quote to G.K.Chesterton. I looked him up briefly later. I’m fairly sure that he was not talking about chiropractic treatment.
The screen suddenly changed to a scene of children happily dancing and playing in an open field in slow motion as the onscreen text told us off for being bad parents.
“You have their hearing checked… You have their eyes checked… You have their teeth checked… Shouldn’t your children’s spines be checked too… by a professional.”
I was sure that if I turned up the volume I would discover that the video included dramatic music and a voice over by the movie trailer guy as well.
The next clip showed an elderly lady trimming the roses in her garden and looking very happy about it but the onscreen text told another story.
“American’s make up 5% of the world’s population.”
“That seemed like a weirdly low number to be bragging about in a Dutch chiropractor’s waiting room,” I whispered to my wife.
“But take 64% of the worlds drugs.”
I know that the video was probably made in America but since it was being shown in Holland and I’m British my first thought was; Is this anti America propaganda? Are we supposed to hate the American’s now for only leaving us 36% of all the drugs?
“WE CARE FOR YOUR HEALTH… without drugs.”
You probably have to. The American’s have taken most of them, I thought to myself.
The next scene showed an old couple happily looking through the memories in their photo albums as the onscreen text promised some kind of immortality.
“Will your body last a life time?”
“Add LIFE to your YEARS. Add YEARS to your LIFE.”
I realized that either way my old age probably won’t look like that. We’ll be looking up old family photos on Fliker or Facebook and complaining about pixel quality or who really has the copyright on them.
“MARK YOUR CALANDER,” the on-screen text suddenly commanded, “BE SURE TO KEEP APPOINTMENTS… FOR BEST RESULTS.”
The caps-lock made it seem like an official government mandate. I wondered if I would get in trouble if I didn’t start writing down dates.
As I looked for a pen my wife was called into her appointment. She quietly told me to behave myself and disappeared from the waiting room. As soon as she was gone I took out my phone and started covertly filming the screen.
“Does everyone need a chiropractor? Or only people with spines?” The screen text joked with a heavy hint of sarcasm. I could not help but marvel at the fact that I just got talked down to by an advert from the 90s.
After 15 minutes (and a few other hilariously cheesy scenes) the video started looping through the same scenes again. Even on a second viewing it was just as funny and I could not stop myself giggling. I continued filming it all, for posterity.
It seemed like such a weird place to have such a video running since the primary viewers were going to be chiropractor patients who are already sitting in the chiropractor waiting room, waiting for their chiropractor treatment. It’s not going to bring in a lot of new customers.
A short while later my wife returned from her treatment. She spotted what I was doing straight away and had to suppress another fit of laughter. I put my phone away, we collected our things and got ready to leave. As we made our way out the door a thought suddenly occurred to me. I quickly returned to the desk and made my own appointment to see the chiropractor the next week. I guess it does not hurt to get it checked after all… I’m sure I didn’t do it because I was influenced by the video in anyway…
“Don’t come here to get healthy and leave loved ones at home… Share your success story with a friend,” the screen suggested ominously with that slightly cult vibe again as we left.