Saturday, September 24, 2005

Down With the Sickness

I am sick as a dog.

Actually, even if you were to shoot the damn dog, he’d probably still feel better than I do right now. I know I have whined before about feeling under the weather; but what can I say, I am nothing if not consistent. And I’m not talking about the kind of “sick” here in the pleasant, hipper sense of the vernacular either – I mean in the real sneezing, coughing, aching, taking a sledgehammer to your stuffy head so you can sleep kind of sickness. I feel like the Devil’s turd warmed over.

So it also goes without saying then that I’m also a tad bit cranky these days - even moreso than normal. In fact, in the particular temperament I’m in lately, I would make Reggie and Ronnie Kray look like friggin’ Boy Scouts. My mantra in this condition is this: If I have to suffer, everyone is going to suffer with me. Particularly those morons who are immediately drawn to ask me: “so, what are you doing for it?” These dipshits I just want to kick in the stomach so I can ask them what they intend to do for their present condition.

I’m dripping like a diuretic gerbil, my throat feels like sandpaper, and my glands have swelled large enough that you could land a helicopter on. What do they think I’m doing for it? Nothing! I’m just dealing with it and letting the sickness run it’s natural course through my body like every other man since the dawn of time.

Everyone thinks that they have the perfect remedy to cure naturally occurring illnesses and viruses. I got news for you all: BULLSHIT! Who honestly believes that any of these prescribed medicated balms, mustard rubs, or special herbal teas really do you any good when you’re feeling crappy? Why not also then go that extra mile and just smear yourself with peanut butter and walk in backward concentric circles by the light of a full moon? Hey, it could work!

Honestly, I don’t think anything really heals you properly apart from the passing of time. I think all these accepted home remedies that I get offered are only misleading placebo’s that in reality, have little to no effect on my health whatsoever. For example, why do some people swear by Royal Jelly? I fail to see how something secreted out of a honeybee’s ass can actually improve my condition. Does bee shit have magical healing properties or something? I doubt it. Likewise, what the point of mustard rubs apart from inflicting medieval-style torture on someone? It feels like having hot lava rubbed into your chest. How is this making me feel better? Shit, I know what happened on the battlefields at Ypres and I’m not too eager to repeat that fatal tragedy. Why not just place me in an Iron Maiden and just get it over with?

I think I can perhaps trace this irrational fear of mine back to single particular moment in my past. Once, when I was particularly under the weather (in fact, it was worse that just being merely “under the weather” - this more felt like I had been buried alive by the weather), I relented to a friend’s advice and seeked out a bottle of special cold medication, which, she claimed, was guaranteed to “sure what ails ‘ya”. ‘Oh goodie’, I thought. Not only can I drive the flu demons from my body, but I can also cure my fear of heights and bone up on my trigonometry as well. Sadly, to this day, not only do I still feel shitty on a regular basis; but I still can’t climb up onto a step stool without weeping like a little girl and I still break out into cold sweats whenever I see an isosceles triangle.

Anyways, I’m not sure why I gave into her helpful persistence unless I was hallucinating with fever at the time. Whatever the case, I remember routing out this particular miracle elixir in a desperate attempt to get better. It was not something that you couldn’t find in your average local pharmacy or Co-Op health food store - oh no! This was like trying to find the Holy Grail.

I eventually found her elusive cure-all on some dusty forgotten shelf in the back of some New Age/Occult Shop in an alleyway somewhere from some gypsy woman with a hooked nose and a the polite sales candor of a Nazi doctor. Of course, I suspect that she may also lure small children out to her Gingerbread house in the forest in her off time - but wasn’t any of my concern since I doubted that small children were recommended to cure the common cold. So with my specially procured bottle of medicine secured under my arm I returned home to my apartment to finally let the healing begin.

I did everything I figured I was supposed to do when trying to get better. I laid out my clean jammies, lit some candles, popped on some Dave Brubeck on the stereo, set some chicken soup on to boil, drew a hot bath, and looked at my bottle of medicine. It was more like I was about to attempt an exorcism than I was to simply self-medicate myself with cough syrup and curl up on the couch to watch James Bond for the evening. But such is always my way.

The bottle recommended only a single tablespoon of this sticky red sludge. But considering how shitty I felt at the time, I thought that this dosage was a bit trite, so I thought it more prudent to take a bit more than just the recommended single dose to ease my suffering. And so I set to slugging back this thick gooey substance in mouthfuls straight from the bottle. For three days, I chugged back this potent formula like a hobo slamming back shoe polish under an overpass. But still there was no change in my condition. In fact, I felt even shittier.

What the fuck? This friend PROMISED me that I would feel better almost instantly. I had expected the clouds to part, angels to sing, a shaft of heavenly light, and a deep thundering voice to tell me that I would be fine from now on and to carry on and do his work. She swore to me that this miracle potion would heal all my aches, sniffles, and plugged cavities, and here I was feeling worse off and literally melting into my duvet. I was still feeling like I had gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Time I took restock of my healing regiment. It was then that I more closely reexamined the mysterious bottle’s label to see if there was any possible reason why I wasn’t making any noticeable improvement. And then I discovered the warning in itsy-bitsy lettering on the bottom of the bottle's label – so small it could barely be made out with the naked eye:

“May cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, dry mouth, diarrhea, or anal seepage.”

Swell. How’s that for the perfect prescription for health? Those words still ring in my ears whenever I feel the slightest tinge of a cold coming on. That definitely explains why I was still feeling so poorly and especially why I was spending more time in the bathroom. It also shed some light on why I was now also receiving shareholder’s stock reports from Charmin toilet paper in the mail.

What is the point of taking something whose own side-effects only make you feel worse than the ones you’re already suffering from? I want to get better, not exchange symptoms. This isn’t ‘Let’s Make A Symptom Deal’! What’s a little case of the sniffles when compared to a case of anal seepage? I’ll just stick with the original running nose and cold virus, but thanks for offering.

And, so, began my immanent mistrust of home remedies and pharmaceutical prescriptions. Perhaps they may serve to cure your head cold and give you a buzz the likes of which you haven’t experienced since Frosh Week back in university, but only at the expense of having your ass gush like a ruptured fire hydrant, or perhaps even having your toes drop off.

I think that all these quick cures and medicated aids, whether they be some eye-of-newt potions that would strip the rust off a farm tractor or a simple packet of Halls Mentholyptus, or whatever, are just further means to separate the sick and the stupid from their hard-earned money while in a state of vulnerability. “Here kid, take a teaspoon of this and call the mortician n the morning.”

Well, I’m not falling for it again. I’m just going to let Mother Nature bitch-slap me around like a red-headed stepchild until she grows weary of tormenting me and allows my health to return naturally in due time. If anyone just wants to alleviate my suffering and simply try and make me more comfortable with my system while the bugs wind down their germ Martis-Gras in my body, they can just offer me a simple bowl of Kraft Macaroni and maybe a hummer instead.

Apart from that, just let me suffer in peace.


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