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October 31, 2009
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3. Cold Products and Remedies

Having a cold is not funny, especially when the products to alleviate symptoms are so in the category of “wizardry and hocus pocus”. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure them out. Inevitably, years of research and experience had me develop my own regimen of techniques for dealing with a cold. As a service to FOD, my friends, here is JIMBO”S REGIMEN FOR THE TREATMENT OF A COLD

a.    At the first sign of a cold –get loaded.

 

It seems clear to me that an increased alcohol level will kill all of those little microbes that have invaded your nether regions. You’re coating your upper respiratory system with the equivalent of an alcohol swab, right? And, as your blood alcohol level rises you are disinfecting your entire body –from the inside.

 

Numbing yourself also has the effect of giving you that, “I don’t give a shit mentality.” What a great way to approach the day when your cold has you feeling like death warmed over.

 

“Jim, it sounds like you have a cold!”

 

“Fuck off!”

 

I’ll be darned, but research has proven that alcohol actually lowers your immunity. No, way! If that is so, why do so many cough medicines and other elixirs contain alcohol?

 

b.    Take a dose of Airborne ©.

 

Invented by a teacher, this mixture of herbal/naturopathic remedies can put a cold to bed if you’re lucky enough to take it at the first sniffle or sign of a scratchy throat. I mix mine with ginger ale, giving the concoction an orange juice like feel. BONUS: You can combine #1 with #2 by just adding a double shot of vodka. Harvey Wall Banger, anyone?


There's nothing funnier than a snotty nosed drunk, right?

Usually I can get out from under these cold symptoms with just a few applications of this treatment. If the symptoms escalate, then it’s on to Phase II - Jimbo’s Anti-Viral Shock and Awe Treatment.

 

c.     Roasted Whole Garlic:

Yes, the ancient remedy works wonders if you can stand the smell. Take a whole garlic bulb, break it down into cloves, skin it, slice it and place it in a garlic roaster, then drizzle it with olive oil. I also sprinkle the cloves with oregano (another spice said to have antibiotic properties). Bake this for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. You can eat the little suckers right out of the container.

 

MMMM! MMMMM! Good!

 

That massive dose of allicin can kill a cold before it kills you.

 

There are some drawbacks, of course. Your house smells like a pizza shop/Olive Garden and after a few treatments you begin to sweat that “garlic odor” out. No matter, you don’t want your friends and loved ones getting too close to you anyway, because spreading those germs brings further complications. You can always spray yourself with Axe Body Spray to mask your Mediterranean swarthiness.   

 

d.   BUCKLEY’S COLD MIXTURE©:

 

So, you have a hacking cough that brings sputum to your mouth, and keeps everyone in the family up all night. Not a pretty picture.

Here in Canada we have a product known as Buckley’s Mixture; a foul tasting syrup which can cut your bark down to a whimper. Its taste cannot be described in words, but can be expressed in the facial contortions of those taking it. Watch the trailer to Paranormal Activity (Audience Shots) and you’ll know what I mean. It tastes so bad you could put it on your dog’s butt to prevent it from licking there.  

I’ve thought of mixing the stuff with Bourbon to cut down the bitter taste, but discovered that drinking the bourbon prior to the Buckley dose is a better practice.

Inebriation begets courage, my friends.

The bottom line is that this product is effective. Even their commercials state, “It tastes awful, but it works!”

BTW, this product contains camphor. Isn’t that the stuff they put in horse liniment?

e.    Hot Baths:

 

Oh, yes! When your body is aching and your nasal passages are clogged there’s nothing like a steamy hot bath. We have a bubble tub, so once you get those jets blasting; the air is filled with wonderfully southing steam.  

 

The trick is to add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. That stuff will clear your nasal passages so fast you might have to catch the drippings in a cup.

 

Tea Tree Oil is used to prevent and alleviate head lice in children.  So, for a double-dip, drop your head below the water line, and presto you won’t have to worry about “cooties”. Hey, you can lie back in that warm water, burn a few candles and sip on your Harvey Wall Banger. What could be better than that?

 

A535© and Vicks Vapo Rub©, that’s what.  

 

f. A535, Vicks Vapo Rub and Socks:  

 

I read once that if you spread Vick’s Vapo Rub on your feet and wear your socks to bed you’ll stop coughing for the night. Well, my friends, I tried this technique and it seems to work.

There is a drawback, however, in that amorous pursuits will have to be put on hold because now you smell like your grandmother. Smearing it on your chest and neck will also decrease your partner’s libido by a factor of 100. I have empirical evidence to prove this.

“Roll over and go back to sleep, Jim!”

I also like to slather A535 –a muscle heating product- on my lower back and ribs. The soothing warmth is amazingly therapeutic.

WARNING:

If you chose (e) above, do not baste yourself with A535 nor spread Vicks Vapo Rub on any part of your body. I did that, forgetting that a hot bath opens your pores. Getting those products in your pores is akin to self-torture. The hot burning heat you feel on your skin is like the sunburn from hell. All you want to do is writhe and contort yourself in a kind of routine worthy of, “So You Think You Can Dance?”

g.   Gargle With Salt Water:

Mix a little salt in some warm water, then stir and gargle with that concoction. I heard a Doctor say that this is one of the best preventative measures for colds. It kills germs on contact.

The trouble is, as I remember, I grew up with parents that swallowed salt water in order to make themselves throw up when they were feeling ill. (I used that technique a few times to skip school). So be careful when you’re gargling because if you accidently swallow,  your cold may quickly escalate into the flu!

“RROOOLLLLPPPHHHHH!”

h.   Hot Drinks from the Pharmaceutical Department

 

These are a last resort for me.

 

These hot drinks come in any number of configurations.  Some have also graduated to “heating” syrups. The combo of symptoms they fight reads like a Who’s Who from the Centre for Disease Control. The only thing I like about them is that they put you into a deep sleep. But, with a deep sleep comes the dreaming.

 

“Whoooooaaaaa! Help me! I’m being attacked by alien head lice that smell like Tea Tree Oil. They’ve infested my bathtub and are attempting to lower by voice by 2 octaves.”

 

Believe me, you can walk into a Pharmacy with a cold and walk out of there a pauper with a cold. These things cost an arm and a leg.

 

So, that’s my cold regimen. You can take it for what it’s worth. (Probably nothing, because I haven’t had a cold yet that didn’t go away until IT wanted to.)

 

I do have some nostalgic remembrances from my youth that may also become remedies of last resort. Like:

 

The Mustard Plaster:

 

Get this! My mother spreads a mustard mixture between two pieces of cheese cloth then attaches same to my chest with safety pins pinned to my “jammy” top.  

 

Yoooeeeeww!

 

 If you think it burns when you put A535 on your body after a bath – then you haven’t experienced this method of childhood torture. In the morning this “plaster” has turned to just that. It feels like a solid piece of cardboard and it smells like someone’s ass.

 

The Steamer:

 

Picture a little ceramic thingy with a heating element.

 

Fill with water and place at bedside. Slather Vicks Vapo Rub at the steam vent opening. Hot steam is emitted supposedly clearing your passages. But don’t reach out in the night or you might receive third degree burns when that sucker tips over. There’s also the danger of the water boiling off and the element overheating thus starting a fire. I’d stare at that thing for hours worrying that, the thing that was there to cure me, just might kill me.

 

The Wet Towel Tied Around the Neck:

 

Ok, you’ve got a sore throat that’s been killing you for days. No problem. Mom soaks a towel and wraps it around my neck before bedtime. The ever popular safety pin (the giant diaper size) is used to hold said garrote in place.

 

“Good night, Jimmy. Hope you feel better in the morning!”

 

I hope I’m alive in the morning. This ligature technique surely wouldn’t be considered safe today. Besides I’ve had those safety pins pop open in the night, giving a piercing  I neither wanted or expected.


Someone call Child Services, PLEASE! 


Cod Liver Oil

 

It may prevent scurvy but my mother also believed it prevented/cured colds.

Imagine drinking the oil squeezed from a cod’s liver. It tasted worse than Buckley’s and smelled like rotting fish. The odor lingered on your breath for hours.

Better to squeeze my liver and drink those oils because I can guarantee you that the alcohol content there is sufficient to kill any microbe - DEAD!

 

I guess the choice is yours. If you get a cold or the flu you can follow Jimbo’s lead or you can take the retro approach and apply “Old wive’s tale” techniques for both torture and relief. Nevertheless, this blog is about to become a trilogy. We have two more reasons, “Why A Cold is Not Funny”, to explore.

 

Well, maybe!  There seems to be a lot more "funny" happening these days.

 

BTW –this old cold of mine is almost gone. I almost feel well enough to line up in one of those H1N1 Vaccination lines.

 

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