Monthly Archives: January 2012

Adventures in Cough Syrup


If you’ve ever seen television (and I know, because I almost never watch, but wait — I’m getting ahead of myself), then you have seen this stupid monkey with better fashion sense than I have on my best days. You know the one. The orangutan with

Stupid Monkey

You can tell he's evil. Only evil looks that good in green.

the Slytherin scarf? (Seriously, first hint there, guys.) This stupid monkey would have you believe that getting cough relief is simple.  This monkey makes you think that you can just go to Robitussin, click a few buttons and then they’ll give you a moron proof code for Your Perfect Cough & Cold Relief™.

This monkey is a lying sack of fuzz.

I have had a cough since last Sunday and lost my voice (much to the relief of many around me, all of whom are welcome to go eat a shoe) on Tuesday.  Then the REAL coughing began.  This came after about 3 weeks of not sleeping because fun fact about me, I happen to be crazier than a whole box of squirrels with chicken pox.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep — again — because sleeping would let the mucus demons settle just enough and they’d get cranky and decide to rip my chest open just to make things more interesting. (NB: This version of the story could have something to do with my hitting the NyQuil pretty heavily at this point.)

Anyway, NyQuil wasn’t helping. Delsym promised 12 whole hours of relief.  Delsym lied to me AND tasted like slightly sweetened butt, grilled over a raging butt fire, sprinkled with freshly plucked BUTT.  It was insult, injury AND NO COUGH RELIEF WHATSOEVER rolled into one.  I’m a bit bitter. I hope one day with therapy that I’ll move past it, but the outlook is not good (I asked my magic 8 ball; I call him Keith).

So two strikes so far. Then I decide I’ll believe the freaking monkey even though I know enough about pharmacology to know that the only difference between Delsym and Robitussin DM (the one the monkey said I needed) was guafenesin. Basically, the D part is supposed to make you hork less, but the M part (guafenesin) is supposed to make the times you hork useful.  (Also, spell check believes that instead of guafenesin, I mean “deafening.” Draw your own conclusions there.)

Not only did it not stop my horking, I now had overdried sinuses, so the horking was all dry and non-productive and yes I’m writing a paragraph about snot, but I’m done now. Go on to the next one.

So, miserable and convinced that I would die of the lamest chest cold ever — though if I could convince people it was mucous demons, at least my obit would be interesting — I did what any sane human does when all of one’s arsenal of non-professional knowledge has failed her. I called and croaked at my grandmother.

Granny fixed me up, all right. Her instructions were, “Sip it if you can. If you can’t stand it, drink it hot; you won’t taste it.” These words terrified me. I didn’t ask what was in it because I was almost sure it was better not to know. But that night, I took a swig, gagged — and didn’t cough. MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A GENIUS! She’d invented a cure for the EVERYTHING. It tasted like donkey butts, but it was WORKING. …and I was a little dizzy.

That’s when I called and croaked at Granny to find out what was in this genius blend.

She told me: 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 honey & 1/3 whiskey.  Yup. My granny had cured me with a bottle hot tottie.

Still, the cough isn’t entirely gone yet, but… I don’t really care much.  (hic)


Adventures in Tea


I realize that the last time I wrote an entry my excuse for not writing was that I’d been sick.  This time, I’m writing because I’m sick and it doesn’t seem to be over yet.  Before that, I was just uninspired. But I’ve realized that having no immune system means that I have a lot of adventures that most normal humans just don’t get to have. So I felt obligated to share with you.  See, normal people have a degree of coordination and mental clarity that allow them to navigate the world relatively unscathed by things like tea and wine racks and door frames.  I’m not one of those people.

I’ve had a chest cold that leads me to cough inexorably for the vast majority of the time I’m awake — which isn’t much until the last few days. And I wanted hot tea. Hot tea is good for me because of REASONS and also SCIENCE.  Apart from that, I happened to have some rather good tea that I wanted to use and I’ve successfully made tea on a number of occasions in the past.  This was not to be one of those times.

Things started as per usual. I selected my tea — a Teavana blend, cocoa praline tart — and my mug. While I might have been tempting the tea gods by trying a loose tea with an addled brain, I did at least use a standard mug.  It wasn’t like I was trying to figure out the proper proportions of tea to, say, this thing:

Even on my best days, this mug would not render unto me tea.


This is apparently a “fuddler mug” or something. Wikipedia gave me lots of bizarre mugs to choose from, but they were all substantially more boring than this one.  But I didn’t use a fuddler mug. I just used a normal, standard, thrown clay mug with a smiley face on it because I’m 32 and sometimes I need tea in a smiley face mug. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, what I wound up with was something like vaguely chocolate gravel with lumps of something not-quite-milk. My tea ball infuser apparently failed at its job, too, so we sat together in shame for a  while. After I recovered (though I think the tea ball will need therapy), I mixed up a faux lime soda instead. Originally, I told twitter I “engineered” faux lime soda because saying I engineered something made me feel marginally less stupid.

And now if you’ll excuse me, my sore throat, lack of voice and abundance of snot are going to sit over here and figure out whether I still qualify as a human if I’m 37% phlegm. I’ll be drowning my sorrows in faux lime soda.

My dog has been useless.  Sarah’s dog is understandably traumatized, apparently, and has PTSD of Labradorian proportions.  My dog is just a sad cocker spaniel. I think perhaps she fell prey to a brain-commandeering alien squad of sorts when I wasn’t looking, so it’s probably my fault she’s no use.  Also, she has no thumbs. Lack of opposable thumbs makes one rather useless as a nursemaid.

If I were you, I’d go disinfect your eyeballs after reading this. Just in case.