I’m perceived as an optimistic individual most of the time. But I must admit that I’m beginning to become more curmudgeonly with every passing year. Should I be admitting to this? Perhaps not, but it’s getting harder and harder for me not to express my dismay at the incredible amount of b.s. that seems to be blanketing the country. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate truth from fiction due to the fact that anyone can write a blog, record a video, post on Facebook, create a podcast or Internet show. People can write or say whatever they want and most often they position themselves as experts with bogus credentials.

Food seems to bring out the most ridiculous BS. Not a week goes by without some miracle food being touted as the elixir to cure everything from toe fungus to brain tumors. The individual promoting the product has all kinds of bogus research to back up the claim as well as testimonials from people who claim they are cured and can now run marathons due to their amazing recoveries. The promoter always has a newsletter and of course, the icing on the cake, the miracle products for sale. Most often the ingredients come from some remote part of the world and have been used by an ancient tribe for healing. Side effects are not reported since the FDA has no authority over supplements. The ultimate irony is that prescription drugs have to go through a pretty rigorous protocol. That’s not to say there isn’t some BS going on there as well. I have often had a good laugh at how the long, scrolling list of side effects a pharmaceutical company reveals on a commercial often sound like a death sentence. It’s especially humorous following a Cialis commercial which fosters the possibility of sexual delight followed by instructions on what to do if the delight goes on for too long. Beware it could be a scary ending.

Anti-aging products are rampant and really get on my nerves. There are creams that are supposed to go down several layers of skin to plump and tone. Is this a skin cream or are we drilling for oil? There are a multitude of creams that are now sold as more “natural.” Why even bother to buy a cream made from avocados or bananas or lemons? Just buy the produce itself at the supermarket and apply. I have tried a myriad of creams. Yes, moisturizing products are advantageous to skin as well as sun block. But the real deal comes from eating healthy, exercising, managing stress and getting a good night’s sleep.

A product which would help individuals learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff should be mandatory in school starting with a first grade class on common sense. Without common sense we are doomed to be hooked by a plethora of BS. Maybe I’ll bottle some and sell it on Facebook.

— Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.