Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Report gets council's consent

Cigarette warning labels get graphic

Millennium money worries student group

Hockey funds score harsh critique

Mayor gives positive prognosis

Networks gain $13 million from feds

The flu blues


Bass Ackwards

The flu blues

By Andy J. Gidwani

Winter is the time of year where there's something special in the air.

Some folks call it snow. I call it light, fluffy stuff that freezes so hard you can't scrape off your windshield with a sandblaster. Even so, there's no need to be so bitter because winter carries something else special with it. That's right – I'm talking about the flu.

People catch the flu in the winter because everybody stays indoors. For example, people in Tahiti, who are never forced to stay indoors, think the flu is a musical instrument, whereas people in Saskatoon must stay indoors, because the temperature outside is measured in degrees Kelvin.

It's the same in London. At times it's so cold, people end up living in the University Community Centre, hanging out, wearing slippers in the food court. As a result of this indoor contact, the flu spreads. If it was winter all year round, not only would the flu continue to spread, but food courts all over the world would be crowded with people wearing slippers and bath robes.

Think about that.

Like most other illnesses, the flu runs a predictable course which goes something like this:

1. Sore throat, relieved by 23 lozenges per minute.

2. Fever (measured by number of seconds to make toast on your forehead).

3. A visit to the Emergency Room waiting room.

4. Departure from Emergency Room waiting room three days later.

5. A visit to the pharmacy.

This fifth step is the most important, since it shows you the real purpose of pharmacies, which is to confuse you. Pharmacies have shelves full of drugs with different names, different functions and so on. A visit to the drugstore can be very educational, especially if you have a spare seven or eight days to read all the boxes. To make things quicker, you can ask a pharmacist for advice, which I found especially edifying. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I wanna buy some cold medicine.

Pharmacist: OK, just let me ask you a few questions. Do you have any allergies? What's the most predominant symptom? How high has your fever been in the past 103.7 hours? Are you on any medications that contain benzodiazepenes or whisky? Would you like one with a high dose of antipyretic? Do you need one with dextromethorphan hydrobromide? Regular strength, extra-strength, or excessive-strength? Do you have high-blood pressure, glaucoma, foot-and-mouth disease?


Me: I wanna buy some cold medicine.

Now you know everything about the flu. You lucky dog.

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