Recently, I found myself with a sore throat which quickly marched through the tunnels of my sinus cavities and exploded into a giant balloon of mucus that made my head feel like I was on display in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was battling a summer cold (technically, I guess it was a spring cold, but I’ve never heard that term used before).
I spent days blaming my symptoms on allergies, but as my nose began to spew more liquid than the Trevi Fountain, I had no choice but to admit it: I had a cold.
I had but a few days to recover before our trip to Chicago, so I started on my “kitchen sink” remedies (where I pretty much ingested everything but the kitchen sink) – vitamin C, aspirin, cough drops, water, orange juice, hot tea, and, of course, over-the-counter cold tablets.
Now, thanks to those darned meth addicts and their brew of starter fluid, battery acid, paint thinner, and cold tablets, over-the-counter cold tablets are much harder to purchase than they used to be. First, I had to peruse my local CVS with my nostrils dripping snot to such an extent I plugged them each with a Kleenex. This meant I had no choice but to breathe through my mouth (and also hope I didn’t run into anyone I knew). Secondly, I needed to not only find the aisle for cold tablets, but, because what I was looking for contains ephedrine (a primary ingredient in the aforementioned meth), I had to grab a card for the product and track down the store manager to retrieve the actual tablets from under lock and key.
Me: “Excuth me, thir. Cood you pleath ged me these?”
The manager looked at my pathetic self, obviously repelled by my red eyes and swollen nose, and I was certain I was going to have to show him my teeth or give blood or something to prove that I was not a meth addict.
“Sure,” he said, retrieving the tablets and gingerly sending me on my way.
Wow, I thought, if I look drug-free, what do meth addicts look like?
So I returned home and my next battle began. My head was now floating like a hot air balloon and my sinuses were the fiery plume of its propane. And to alleviate these symptoms, if only for a while, I had to consume the tablets I had just bought. I managed to open the box, but the foil packages were another matter altogether. I was supposed to free the pills from their bubble container by ripping through the small nick in its center. But the more I pulled, yanked, and twisted, the more deformed the package became without even being close to relinquishing its bounty. In a fit of frustration, I gave up and grabbed the scissors. I punctured the foil with no small force and the point of the scissors went through the bubble and into my hand. Ouch.
Vowing to rinse my new wound with hydrogen peroxide, I first swallowed my hard-won cold tablets. As the days went by and I began to feel better (and just in time for our Chicago trip), I still couldn’t help but wonder every time I opened (with scissors) the high-security foils of these cold tablets, “How in the world does a meth addict open these?” Of course, I guess if I were a meth addict, a few scissor cuts to my hand would be nothing compared to withdrawal. So, I guess Nancy Reagan was right all along. Just say “No” to drugs, people. Unless, that is, they’re purely for a summer cold.
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