Object A: Antibiotics
prescribed to me in Pittsburgh a week and a half after the Evil Cold first began, a few days before Christmas. (Note: Evil Cold has actually gained traction since then and is stronger than ever.)
Object B: Emergen-C
I love Emergen-C for the way its tiny bubbles sizzle in a glass of clear water. As it fizzes down your throat, you can just feel its 867%-or-whatever of your daily Vitamin C needs filling you with beautiful health. This is true even despite an incident that took place last fall. I had taken to bringing a packet to my office hours every day for a week, and one day this jerky man pointed to me from across the room and opined, “That shit doesn’t work.” Thanks, mister. I blame Assy McCurserson-Know-It-All’s rudeness and lack of faith in the placebo effect for the fact that I failed to get well quickly from that bug.
Objects C and D: Lula’s Meds
Must be given on a strict schedule that involves timing her meals (also specially prescribed and not pictured here.) Prescribed after she returned from boarding with rampant diarrhea that necessitated hourly backyard trips for three straight nights. This, of course, could have helped lead to the worsening of Evil Cold.
Not Shown: Anti-Stomach Ick Pills, saltines, and dry toast
that Marshall carefully began munching hours after the inexplicable food poisoning symptoms that struck him in the final hour of our New Years party and ended at 6:00 that morning (in wonderful concordance with the dog’s diarrhea that night).
Object E: Pills Made of Chalk
that supposedly make your coughs more “productive,” my favorite euphemism ever
Object F: Grapefruit Extract
I love grapefruit and so I was excited the bad-assy-iest person I know, my friend Sirkka, gave me this stuff that she says once helped her cure strep throat without the help of doctors. “Just dilute it in some water,” she said. “And honey, too. Then chug it down. Do not stop to let yourself taste it.”
She never lies; she hadn’t started now. The first shot I downed sent a bitter lump of sheer Taste of Bile straight to the back of my throat and triggered my gag reflex so hard I had to re-swallow the mouthful. It was bad. It was very bad. Sirkka was standing right there, and when she asked, “How ya doing?” as I wiped tears from my eyes, I was careful to say, “Okay,” and not “I’m going to throw up now.”
And of course I’ve been taking the stuff several times a day ever since in hopes that Unpleasant Physical Sensation Equals Cure. I’ll let you know.
(Also Not Shown: Bottomless pot of chicken-barley soup we’ve been eating for the past three weeks or so, oranges, oranges, oranges; tangerines, tangerines, tangerines; Nyquil, Thera-Flu, throat-spray stuff, issues of tissues. Hours of our own productivity flushed down the damn tubes.)