Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Suffering in silence


Day two — well, at this hour, three — of speaking incapacity. At the moment, I can’t even make a squeak. I can whistle through my teeth for the dog, but other signals for attention, as to my children, involve either waving my arms around or snapping my fingers. Yes, they hate it too.

As mentioned before, my mother’s cure for everything is a shot of whiskey and off to bed. That absolutely will work for everyone if they are patient, because either they will get better or die in bed. But I’m not that patient. (I did try bourbon the other night; I slept straight through, but woke up unable to speak. So: a mixed result.) My preferred lifelong cure, the thing that seems to fix everything internal, is NyQuil. Ah, NyQuil. It may taste horrible, but when it comes to curing illness, it smells of success. We, unfortunately, have been out of NyQuil.

Tonight, my wife brought home something new:  NyQuil SEVERE Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief. (The all-caps and the slight italics are by way of them.) Well, it certainly tastes severe. Now that I’ve downed it, we’ll see if I wake up feeling less severely pissed off at being voiceless.

I will say that two-plus days of this situation has given me new insight into the character of Marvel Comics’ mute monarch Black Bolt, whom I mentioned yesterday. Where once I thought he was noble and regal and strong, now I know he’s unspeakably angry at having to sit there quietly while the royal family pelt him with questions he’s unable to answer; at least, that’s my experience now, whether I’m reading or watch TV or playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance with my children on the xBox — my family have plenty of questions for me that demand immediate answers! Grunting or moaning to signal that hey, remember?, I can’t answer you? doesn’t achieve anything, so finally I just lie here simmering. No wonder Black Bolt occasionally feels the need to war with the Skrulls — battle is the only thing he’s got to say.

Back to the NyQuil SEVERE Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief. Now that this exists, nobody will be buying NyQuil regular. We’re Americans. Once the bigger, bolder version becomes available, that’s where our dollars go. Think about it:  If you’ve got a cold or flu, aren’t you sure that yours is SEVERE, and therefore the SEVERE cure is what you need? Even if you aren’t sure that yours is SEVERE — why risk it? Why limp along with regular NyQuil when you can buy SEVERE? It’s akin to eggs in the supermarket:  I like the medium-sized eggs because I don’t want all my daily cholesterol at once, and I have a conception that the smaller ones are tastier. Every once in a while, I’ll find an orphan carton of medium-sized eggs sitting disconsolately among the eggs that, like husky boys’ pants, come in Large, Extra Large, and Jumbo. But most times, no. No medium-sized eggs. (In fact, no small eggs, either, so just where do these smallest of available eggs get their designation as being “medium”?) No, just these ostrich sizes. Because, given the choice, who on Earth would want something smaller or less SEVERE?

Tomorrow, I will have more to say about some things, perhaps including these. I just hope I’m able to say them out loud.

2 Responses to “Suffering in silence”

  1. Dan Says:

    It’s a guy thing.

    No guy wants to be associated with “small” or even “average.”

    That’s why the smallest coffee at Starbucks is called “Grande.”

    I’m impressed that you feel secure enough in your masculinity to get “medium” eggs–or perhaps I should worry about your manhood.

  2. Erik Says:

    I’m an oddity I guess, in that I prefer the minimum amount of medication to treat anything. Even OTC. So I’d go for the NyQuil Regular if I really just need to get to sleep and want to wake up better, since it works and I really don’t want to over-tax my system with the extra unnecessary meds. But I barely take anything even when I’m very ill. I like to give my immune system a challenge, so that when I’m through it, I’m stronger, faster, rebuilt, 6 million dollar mans style.

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