Al Campbell, Field Editor

March 24th, 2003

A Cure for The Common Cold
By Al Campbell

Nothing ruins an outdoorsman's week faster than a cold. No matter what your plans were, they'll have to be put on hold until the cold is cured or goes away by itself. Most of us will do just about anything to treat a cold in hopes that it'll go away faster than the two weeks it usually takes to cure itself.

I think I've discovered a perfect cure for the common cold. It wasn't easy, or without personal sacrifice on my part, but I'm confident in the fact that I now know the secret to curing a cold. I realize some people will have a hard time believing that a common guy like myself could discover a cure for such a sturdy illness, but read on and I'm sure you'll agree with the results of my final discovery.

I mentioned personal sacrifice. I'm serious about that claim. The things I've tried in an effort to relieve the common cold were indeed pure forms of sacrifice. Some of those "cures" were only slightly short of deadly and ran long on the side of torture. I get the feeling there's a mad scientist with frizzy hair somewhere rubbing his hands together and laughing an evil laugh over the idea of some poor soul trying his new "cure." Ah, that hideous laugh; he knew I was going to catch a cold and try his concoction. He better hope the average people of this world never discover where he lives.

The first cure I tried was those oversized disks you plop into a glass of water and effervesce your cold away. The bubbling got my hopes up; but except for the torment it caused my nose, and a serious need to burp, it didn't do anything to cure my cold. One note of caution; don't every try to plop those disks into a glass of Dr. Pepper. What that mess will do to your countertop is secondary only to what it'll do to your insides.

Then I tried that nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing and feeling like an old goat medicine. It says on the bottle something about helping you sleep. It also says something about not operating machinery after taking that stuff. What they don't tell you is what machinery they're talking about.

Complex tools like electric razors, butter knives and alarm clocks shouldn't be considered while under the influence of even a single plastic shot glass of that sauce. You'll get a good night's sleep; and if you're lucky it'll be in your bed and not on the floor someplace between the kitchen and the bedroom. In the morning, if you wake up that early, you'll still have your cold and the additional pleasantries of a hairy film on your tongue and a stuffy head reminiscent of the morning after an all-nighter during your freshman year in college. By the way, some home remedies I tried while in college (warm brandy, tequila, single malt scotch and Jim Beam whisky come to mind); had similar effects on me the morning after the cure.

Then there's that cough medicine called Buckley's or Bucking Bronco or something like that. One teaspoon will cure your cough as long as your memory holds. In fact, one tiny sip will roto-root the oxygen paths from your sinuses to your stomach by way of your inner ear canals. To get to that cure though, you have to swallow something that smells like cold sore medicine and tastes like a mixture of vapo-rub and kerosene with ethyl alcohol as a thinner. I'm not sure you quit coughing because the stuff works; or maybe your body can't stand the thought of another dose of the "cure." As soon as your memory fades, your cough will be back and you won't be willing to try another dose.

Next, there are the piles of pills and syrups that taste like rancid cherry juice. I have a kitchen cabinet full of them. They either plug your sinus passages so tight even a tiny sniffle couldn't get through, or they give you a feeling of "sleepy on an upset stomach." None of them cure a cold though. Supposedly they treat some symptoms while giving us a false sense of hope as we wait the two weeks required for a common cold to go away by itself. If we're lucky, side effects other than terror won't linger any longer than the time it takes for a cold to go away on its own.

My cure for the common cold is simple, doesn't cost a lot, and tastes good. It's round, fruit or mint flavored, and has a hole in the middle. Don't be confused by the "Lifesavers" label. This stuff really works. It'll give you something to suck on without the nasty effects the other cures dish out. If you take one of these disks every hour for two weeks, your cold should be "cured," and you won't miss the full experience of stuffy heads, sniffling, sneezing and coughing while it does its job. Why treat only the symptoms when you can treat the cold and enjoy the symptoms along the way? Just two weeks of this inexpensive treatment is all it takes to send that cold on the road to its next victim, and you won't have to wear a clothespin on your nose when you pop one of these disks in your mouth.

Now, excuse me while I conduct some more research. "Honey, where did we put that "Bronco Buster" cough medicine and those industrial strength "Super Sinus Plugger" sniffle pills?" ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns

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