If You Like Pina Coladas…

I have a drug problem. It’s serious. My problem is that I can’t get any good drugs here.

I have had a cold on and off (more on than off) for the last month now. And the stuff that I’m getting at the French pharmacy just isn’t doing the trick. The French take the same approach to drugs as they do to food. They would prefer to go to the butcher shop for their meat, then to the bakery for their bread, then to the little fruit and veggie stand run by a local farmer for their produce, rather than just go to the supermarket and buy it all in one shot.

This mentality is evident in the cold and flu section of the pharmacy as well, where you buy a syrup for your throat, pills for your headache, little envelopes of powder to be mixed with water for your sinuses and still more envelopes of powder for your cough. And since I’ve been wary of taking all this stuff at the same time, I constantly find myself trying to decide which I want to suffer through for the next four hours: drippy nose, hacking cough, brain-bending headache or blazing throat pain.

God, how I miss NyQuil and Sudafed and their one-stop-shopping philosophy on illness.

Then it occured to me that perhaps my attitude toward these French medications had been needlessly prudent. I studied the instructions on the boxes carefully and found nothing that would indicate I couldn’t just take all of them at once. Could that possibly be the secret? A recipe started to form in my head. I could mix the sinus and cough powders with some orange juice, add a shot of the throat syrup, throw in some ice cubes, measure out a tablespoon or two of rum (for that nice, sleepy, NyQuil feeling) then whip it all up in the blender. Voila! I call it the “NyQuil-colada.” Unfortunately, I don’t know whether or not my concoction is effective, because Johann refuses to let me make one.

J: How are you feeling?

L: As God is my witness, the boy who pulls the sword from my head shall be king.

J: I can’t believe your head is actually capable of manufacturing that much snot. It’s kind of impressive, really.

L: I don’t think it’s snot anymore. I think it’s spinal fluid. Please let me make a NyQuil-colada.

J: No! Mixing drugs and alcohol is very, very dangerous.

L: You make it sound like I’m Robert Downey Jr. or the Rolling Stones or something. We’re talking cold medicine and a couple of tablespoons of rum here. Come on.

J: No.

L: One tablespoon of rum? Pleeeeease?

J: No. And it would be a nice gesture if next you could take whichever one of those medications will make you less whiny, please.

L: Ha-ha. Funny. Actually, I’m picturing a nice gesture in my head right now. Would you like to see it?

J: No. I’m going to the bar. Call me there when you’re better.

L: Fine.

J: I’m taking the blender with me.

L: Damn.

So until my husband changes his policy on drugs and alcohol (which now includes a clause specifying that if I am ever in a coma that is my own fault, he will pull the plug), or until this cold goes away, I will continue to suffer. In the meantime, though, I ask you to take a moment out of your day to be thankful that you live in a country that provides its citizens with the finest, most effective drugs money can buy. Well, after Canada, I guess. And if you know anyone who works at Vicks or Pfizer, please give them my mailing address.


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