Thursday, April 5, 2012

Episode 50: Nice People

I have learned some interesting things during my travels and gatherings. For instance, Ashland, Ohio is the “World Headquarters of Nice People.” I am sure it is totally unrelated, but Ashland is also the World Headquarters of Last Place Finishers. Anyway, we didn’t stop there, but I am curious as to how nice people there really are. Clearly they do not have any sort of government offices there, thus have just never been tested as to their niceness. Also, how many people does it take to be the World Headquarters of Nice People? It didn’t really look like a very big town. Or maybe it really is just the headquarters, so there is an office with a few people toiling away at whatever it is nice people around the world need from their headquarters.

Apparently I am not a very nice person because I have never been contacted with an offer to be part of their organization. Maybe we should declare Fort Wayne the World Headquarters of Nice People and see what they do. Then we will find out how nice they really are. I am trying to image a brawl between people all claiming to be the nicest. Maybe I should do some research on this whole thing and get back to you on it. (I have to be honest; it is very unlikely I will remember any of this by the time I get to the end of this column.)

In any case, I also learned my breath is not so great in the morning, at least according to my 4-year-old. At one of the many recent family gatherings, I think we were in Cleveland for this one, she did something ornery shortly after getting up in the morning. So, being the proactive father I am, I of course pulled her aside to give her a serious talk about how tying her brother to the dog using the cat’s tail was not a good choice for her. (I cannot remember exactly what offense it actually was, but that sounds like something she may have tried if she had thought of it.).

It being a holiday family gathering, I am sure I had eaten all sorts of delectables the night before, and I am equally sure they were probably still simmering away somewhere in whatever part of the body uses the mouth as an exhaust pipe. In any case, in the midst of my serious discussion, somewhere around “Do you really thing you should have done that?” and “Do you really think your brother wanted you to do that?” she looks me straight in the eye and says, with all the gravity she can muster, “Daddy, your breath makes me stinky.” When I tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle my laughter she tried to impress upon me her seriousness and replied, “It really does!”

Well, what can you say to that? I am pretty sure she is a genius at getting herself out of trouble, and she doesn’t only use her charm on her parents. She has a pink blanket, satin on one side, very soft material of some sort on the other. This blanket has been around for pretty much all of her four years and she has a little ritual with it when she is sleepy. She threads her two middle fingers around the blanket’s tag and then sucks on them, leaving her index and pinky fingers to wiggle around rubbing the tag on her nose. It is very cute, but the tag is probably on the top ten grossest things on the planet by now. It is also pretty much shredded and hanging desperately onto the blanket by very few threads. One day I tried to prepare her for the day when the tag is going to fall off. She, however, is not concerned because, “I love my tickly tag. I told God to please not take it off and He respected me.”

As long as that tag stays on, I don’t feel so bad about falling prey to her charms.

Episode 51: Don’t Take Drugs Seriously

Levsin is an antispasmodic medication given to help treat various stomach, intestinal, and urinary tract disorders that involve cramps, colic, or other painful muscle contractions. Because Levsin has a drying effect, it may also be used to dry a runny nose or to dry excess secretions before anesthesia is administered...If you take Levsin for a stomach disorder, you may also need to take antacid medication. However, antacids make Levsin more difficult for the body to absorb...Side effects may include…confusion, constipation, decreased sweating…drowsiness…excitement…impotence, inability to urinate, insomnia….

You are probably wondering just what is going on so far in this week’s month’s column. Be assured I have not gone any further insane, at least not that I noticed, which raises the question of whether I would notice if I had anyway. In any case, my sanity is not the reason we are here.

We are here because I am worried about the collective sanity of the world in which we all live. You see, the excerpts above were taken directly from a page about NuLev. Why do I care about NeLev you may now ask…go ahead, ask away.

Well, I am glad you asked. I have no real interest in NuLev other than the fact that it is stamped on a small rubbery colon now sitting on my desk looking at me through yellow eyes and smiling at me with its one vampire-like tooth, a snake-like tongue, and a very dapper little red bowtie.

It is a souvenir from a surgery I had many years ago, and another genius idea from the mushy-brained kooks in some pharmaceutical company’s basement (I would look up which company, but you know about my budgetary restrictions).

I thought the rubber colon was hilarious on its own, but then I read the drug description and my brain almost turned entirely inside-out. Who wants to take a drug that can treat both your colon and your runny nose?

Am I the only one confused about how you need to take antacid medication with this medication, but the antacid medication makes this medication not work right so you have to keep taking more and more antacid and more and more of this medication?

As with any drug, however, my favorite part is the list of possible side effects. I am trying to picture what it would look like to be an excited drowsy insomniac who can’t sweat. If you think ADD is bad, try taking this medication.

That wasn’t even what I was going to write about, but it just jumped in and took right over and that’s all the time we have left.

Please tune in again next week month time when we discuss what it was I meant to discuss this time before I was hijacked by a rubber colon.

By the way, in a completely and totally unrelated coincidence, tomorrow (or today, or March 5th, depending on when you are reading this) is Dress in Blue Day.