The following contains graphic descriptions and is intended for mature readers. People with a weak stomach may puke.
I told Jan the way any sensitive middle age man would tell his wife he has thick mucous in his throat, “Dear, I’m sorry I was horking all night long and kept you awake.”
Horking– Latin for ‘Don’t get anywhere near me with those germs!’ is a medical condition that prevents you from sleeping because your airways are sealed shut. Gasping for breath causes you to spew a liquid similar in chemical composition to what you expect to see on oil rigs off the coast of New Orleans.
Women understand the seriousness of the situation. They exhibit compassion to horking husbands by saying, “For gods sake it’s three o’clock in the middle of the night! Don’t you know I’m trying to sleep?” With that they stomp off to the guest bedroom.
Call it women’s intuition, but unlike their husbands, why don’t they ever trip over the dozen decorator pillows strewn over the bedroom floor?
Don’t laugh. Horking is big business.
Last years Forbes annual rankings identified horking as a fast growth industry– just behind the Japanese defective airbag industry.
Later that day I’m at the pharmacy…
The ‘Cough & Cold’ section is past the ‘Organic Fruits’ section and over towards the ‘Gluten Free’ section, which is near the ‘1- Hour Family Genetic Testing’ section. You’ve gone too far if you get to the ‘Seniors Frequent Flatuence’ section– which demographic experts say is ‘growing like stink!’
The ‘Cough & Cold’ section has a crowd of people the size of a Trump rally– at least a bazillion! They’re not waving placards. They’re not screaming ‘Jail Hillary!’ These folks are a rogue laboratory of contaminated sneezing sickies holding Kleenex tissues. They’re barking like the sea lions at Sea World.
Cough and cold remedies are available in two forms: pills and syrups.
I’m pill challenged. How the hell do you open the ‘Tamper Resistant’ + ‘Child Resistant’ + ‘Crazy Glue Sealed for Life’ containers?
So instead I search through the syrups. The bottles feature a clear plasticized covering moulded to the lid + a fingernail destroying NASA-grade aluminum foil seal + a synthetic fibre compost box!
“Jan I’m at the pharmacy. They have something called ‘Cough & Chest Congestion DM’– what’s DM? Or, I can buy ‘Better Tasting Maximum Strength Cough & Chest Congestion DM.’
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Dear, how about ‘Multi Symptom Cold-Non Drowsy?’ Or ‘Maximum Strength Severe Multi-Symptom Cough + Flu. Better Taste Treats More Symptoms.'”
Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Whoa! Dear you don’t need to yell when you answer the phone!”
“They also have ‘All In One.’ Or, ‘All In One Cold & Flu with Warming Sensation Syrup.’ Or I can get ‘Cough & Chest Congestion with Warming Sensation Syrup?’ There’s something called ‘Mucous & Phlegm + Cough Control- Extra Strength,’ ‘Mucous & Phlegm + Cold Relief- Nighttime,’ or ‘Tickly Throat Cough Syrup.'”
“Pardon? You want me to do what with the cough syrup?”
Next to the scientists, the pharmaceutical companies rely on their copywriters…
One manufacturers box read, ‘Experts In Cough Control.’ Another said, ‘Severe Symptoms Meet Serious Relief.’ Not to be outdone others said, ‘Get The Strength You Want For Less,’ ‘It Tastes Awful And It Works,’ ‘Control Your Worst Cough,’ and ‘It’s Never Just A Cough.’
But what’s important is the dosage. This is where the manufacturers go out of their way to talk with their consumers. Relying on a typeface perfected by Tibetan monks– called Gnat– this type is so tiny it’s been compared to Trump’s hands!
The pharmacies recognize their customers can’t read the labels so they are now installing shelf-mounted magnifying glasses. Not a bad idea you say?
Well hold on Mr. Sniffles with your three-ply, premium quality, ultra soft, strong and absorbent, unscented white facial tissues with no dyes or perfumes added!
By the time half the seniors find a place to rest their cane so they can grab the magnifying glass– the other half is anxiously looking for the ‘Incontinence Supplies’ section! By then nobody can remember why they even need a magnifying glass!
Gary Chalk, a retired Canadian baby boomer is a member of Humor Writers of Amercia. Each week 3,000 people across North America read Living Retired. To ‘unsubscribe’ or to book Gary’s keynote address ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ visit http://LivingRetired.press