Pining for really strong cold medicine — or early death
Like me, you probably have a cold.
As do your kids, spouse, co-workers and everyone you’ve ever met, the exception being that one overly health-conscious person we all know — the guy who actually pays attention to the Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid and who won’t even drive by Dairy Queen.
With all the advancements in medicine, I don’t know why the common cold still exists. As they say, “We can put a man on the moon but we can’t find a way to have Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady, get eaten by an alligator.” At least that’s what I say.
I take Nyquil. I don’t know if it actually helps the cold, but I know it induces sleep. And when you are unconscious, you don’t have to change diapers or play with “My Little Pony” dolls. I often take Nyquil on Saturdays when I’m fine.
NyQuil, however, is the worst taste in the world, outside of my mother-in-law’s asparagus casserole. After a dose, I’m left desperately trying to get rid of the rancid taste by furiously shoving things into my mouth: crackers, chips, potting soil, etc.
Supposedly the really desperate drug dealers (as opposed to the deliberate, thoughtful kind) make meth out of NyQuil, which is why I’ll never understand how people get addicted to meth. I’ve never gutted down a shot of NyQuil, then wanted to drive to Clifton to pay $1,600 for two more ounces.
Then again, this isn’t just regular NyQuil. It’s “grape” flavored. Or so says the label, obviously written by someone who has never tasted an actual grape. This stuff tastes like grape in the same way your keyboard tastes like prime rib.
Everyone has an opinion on how to get rid of a cold.
“Feed a cold, starve a fever,” goes the saying. Or maybe it’s the reverse. I’m not sure. Anyway, just do one of them.
Then there are the folks who offer up some ancient herbal, all-natural remedy. Their unsolicited medical advice is always sprinkled with a sanctimonious flair: “The ancient Romans used this as a cure.” Perhaps, but in ancient Roman times, the average life expectancy was 35 years. Taking medical advice from the ancient Romans is like asking Willie Nelson to do your taxes.
I remember being sick when I was single. It was like a little vacation: just me, some aspirin, Gatorade, and episodes of Maury Povich, in which some overweight, poverty-stricken single mom would learn if the father of her child was loser A or inmate B.
Having a cold while being responsible for the lives of other human beings (I’m talking about my kids — my wife can fend for herself) is a unique form of hell.
MARILEE: “Daddy! Do you want to play ‘My Little Pony?’”
ME: “No. I’m sick, tired, achy and nauseous. My only hope is that God grants me death’s sweet release.”
MARILEE: “OK. ... Do you want to play Candy Land instead?”
Kids don’t care if you have a cold. They don’t care if you’ve just undergone heart surgery or have blood squirting out of your forehead. (“Mommy! I think Daddy is dead. ... Do you want to play Candy Land?”)
So I went to stock up on cold supplies. It has been a while since I’ve visited the Kleenex section, because the last time I went, you only had to choose between the tall box or the flat box.
Now there are hundreds of options, such as “Ultra Soft.” This is opposed to the “Ultra Hard,” which Kleenex discontinued in 2011 due to poor sales.
I even saw “Anti-viral” tissues, which Kleenex brags will kill “99.9 percent of cold viruses.” A nice touch, but I already have a cold. I don’t care who gets it now. I needed my co-workers to buy these Kleenex a week ago.
Right now, I’ll suffer through this cold, even though there are times I just want to die an early death.
Maybe those ancient Romans had the right idea after all.