Originally posted October 29, 2010...
Human potential is awesome. We can create, develop, invent, abuse and rinse out almost anything. Our talents are abundant, our possibilities limitless. Look at Stephen Hawking, or Temple Grandin, or that lady from the Tide commercial who wore her daughter’s green top to a nightclub but cleaned it so she was none the wiser. Those people are great examples of humanity, we should all aspire to be like them. I sure do. But a couple of times a year something puts a great big hitch in my giddy-up, and yours too. I know I would have a lot more energy and get a lot more accomplished if I didn’t have to sacrifice precious half-days drinking orange juice and watching The View. I wish I never again had to suffer through a cold.
Dream: Find a cure for the common cold.
Goal: Achievable. As I’ve said, we’ve done so much. We built the Pyramids and those moving sidewalks in airports; we can surely cure the cold. I’m about to make a pretty controversial assertion here, so if you have young children, put on a pot of coffee and wake them up because this is important. I think the pharmaceutical companies don’t want a cure for the common cold because it would render so many of their products (Nyquil, Sudafed, Kleenex with Lotion) obselete. Well no more! Like a sleepover when the kid everyone makes fun of starts to cry, for the pharmaceutical industry, the party is over.
Plan: Challenge the norms of cold prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. I’m going to toss out a new few rules here, which you might find scary and off-putting. But people said the same thing about the new Facebook format, and it’s become the standard, so quit your whining and listen.
Rule 1: Never touch money or children. Money is in constant circulation and nobody thinks to boil their change, because that’s retarded. So it just accumulates the germs from all the places it’s been over the years. Think about it: when you see a penny dated 1989, that penny has been passed from one person to the next for twenty one years. It’s not as if they printed a bunch of money last week dated 1989 because it was Retro Day at the mint. Plus, I think there’s far less money being circulated than we think. There’s probably only like thirty-one nickels in Canada and one of them is that scratched up one that’s all brown and sticky. How did it get like that? Anyway, money’s gross. And so are children. And I don’t mean your children, the people reading this who have kids, yours are lovely, it’s the rest. They get into everything and put it in their mouths and lick doors and blow their little noses on your neck fat when they hug you. I think sickly children are like pandas. They’re super cute and precious, but ideally you’d only interact with them through a thick pane of glass.
Rule 2: Tea is an admission of defeat. Drinking tea is ordering the virus to take over your body and incapacitate you. I only drink tea when I’m really sick, but I never stopped to think that maybe the tea was the cause, not cure, of illness. Think about it. Tea, particularly the herbal kind well-meaning people throw at you, looks and tastes like a cup of hot mucous. And people will say to me, “But I don’t just drink tea when I’m sick! I drink it all the time, I love tea!” You love tea? Ever tried booze? It’s way better! Loving tea is like adoring celery or idolizing the post office. It’s just dull and makes you feel worse than you did pre-tea.
Rule 3: If you’re going to act like a baby, don’t half-ass it. Full baby. I’m the worst for being a whiny, self-pitying sucky baby when I get sick. When I get a cold, I’m sure my symptoms are exacerbated by my constant refrain of, “I’m siiick! My throat hurts! My nose is all runny! My nose hurts from the kleenex because it’s so runny! My knees are ache-y. My voice is annoying. My hair doesn’t know which way it wants to go. My pizza gut is all lumpy. My ears are soggy. My feelings are delicate.” Ugh, shut up! But I think the next time I start acting like a baby, I should just go for it completely and see how fast I improve. Think about it, we all talk about babying ourselves, but what would be so great about that? Lying on your back for hours with your legs kicking at nothing? Looking at your hands from dawn until dusk? Next time I’m sick I’m going to lie on my back without a pillow (why don’t babies have pillows, by the way? Their heads are delicate and their bald; they got no padding at all back there!), stick one finger out quizzically at passers-by and crap myself. That’ll motivate me to get better a lot quicker than echinacea.
I’ve had a long string of workdays recently, and have had that pre-cold feeling for awhile now. Tomorrow is my day off after eleven days on and I know I’m going to spend it in my Snuggie watching Elisabeth Hasselbeck argue a merit-less point. I always think I’ve outsmarted a cold. Like if I drink a bunch of orange juice at the first sign of a sore throat, my body will go, “Oh hold now, he’s serious, we shouldn’t bother him.” But really, what’s a cold if not your body telling you to slow down? Maybe we could all use a break now and then. So I guess it’s time to be sick for a bit. I’ll welcome your sympathy, but you can keep your fucking tea.