Monday, May 08, 2006

A weekend under the influence...

I spent this weekend sick and miserable. On Saturday morning, at about five in the morning, I awoke drenched in sweat and–for reasons too complex to go into here–convinced that I was being eaten by an anaconda. I had two heavy blankets wrapped around me, but I was freezing cold. From this, I determined that I had a high fever. What shitty luck, I thought, to have a fever and to be eaten by an anaconda at the same time. How cruel life is, I reflected as I shivered there.

Eventually my delirium lessened and it became apparent that I was not being devoured by a giant snake. This came as a relief, of course, but I still felt like someone had replaced my blood with cherry slushies. A mere six steps away was my bathroom medicine cabinet, where my gentle nectar dwells, but it seemed too far to go. Just rearranging my blankets was an ordeal: all I had the energy to do was sweat and, every once in awhile, whimper a little.

I should probably step back here and admit that I am the A-Number-One Biggest Baby In The Entire Universe whenever I get sick. It could be the slightest head-cold ever, but I’ll still act like I’ve just come down with ebola. I’ll moan and complain. I’ll call people and demand their unstinting pity. On certain occasions, I’ll even summon my dear sweet mother just to lap up the overpowering sympathy only she can give. It’s a sorry spectacle. Luckily for everyone I know, I don’t get sick very often. I suppose that, when I eventually get married, my wife will have to prepare herself for the grim sight of her legally-sanctioned life partner reduced to a squeaking wreck on the bed, glassy-eyed, intermittently incoherent and squirting up gallons of watery boogers.

But, whenever I reach this low state, there is one magical elixir that can take away my misery. It’s a potent beverage, mucky green in color and wretched of taste, and within it lurks all the greatness and promise of Western medicine. Here we have the doughty acetaminophen, which immediately engages in a righteous two-front battle against your pain and your fever. Also present is Dextromethorphan, a stalwart cough suppressor. Blended also into this formidable stew is Psuedoephedrine Hcl, which subtly and with much confidence unblocks even the cloggiest sinus passages. The secret weapon in this formula, however, is the mighty Doxylamine succinate, which renders the sorrowful and dribbly partaker unconscious in ten minutes flat. What incredible cocktail do you speak of?, I hear you asking. What wonders has modern pharmacology wrought? Such a delicate and bounteous substance must be available by prescription only and cost your insurance company untold thousands of dollars, correct? To this I say firmly and resoundingly: No!

For the medicine I speak of is none other than Ny-Quil, available at everyone's neighborhood apocathary. Bringer of oblivion, bottleful of repose: I salute thee. My sucky weekend would have sucked ten times as much if you, in your kindness and chemical grace, hadn’t made it possible for me to be unconscious through most of it. Thank you, Ny-Quil, thank you very much.

I will name my firstborn after you.