Death, where is thy sting?

After two long flights, and a lot of late nights with work and with friends, I’ve found myself encumbered with an early summer cold. Not the slight sniffles of a borderline hay fever attack, but the full on “I need thirty tissues to get through every hour” man cold, which could conceivably bring about my death in the next thirty six hours.

It’s bad enough trying to get myself understood in this city at the best of times, but when I’m bunged up with a cold I may as well be talking in Swahili for all the good my voice does me. Simple requests such as “can I have a glass of water” turn into “get the bath, I’m passing borders”. Which would be useful if I was, say, on the verge of entering Mexico and needed a scrub down. But not so much when I’m parched and desperate to get liquids into my system.

My sudden descent into languagelessness is at least an incentive to get better quickly, and with that in mind, I made the trip to Rite Aid at lunchtime to pick up all the potions and concoctions I could carry.

Rite Aid is a strange shop. I know it has been a pretty successful chain, but I have no idea how it managed to persuade people to shop there in the first place, and it’s now clinging on to its former glories. Their stock levels can only be described as pitiful, and their commitment to customer service is barely higher than Kraft’s commitment to producing one-off artisanal cheeses. I swear I stood waiting in a queueline for fifteen minutes today. There were only two people ahead of me.

But it’s not their ability to engender irrational hatred that bothers me, it’s their weird choice in products. Now, bear in mind that this place is a glorified pharmacy. Sure, they’ve got hairsprays, toothbrushes, deodorants and photo printing, but essentially it’s all about the vitamins, pain killers, creams and ointments. Things to help you get better if you’re ill. Items that will aid your recovery from trauma, and get you back on the road to fitness and health. A cornucopia of wellness restoration.

And beer.

Great big fridges of the stuff. Bottles and bottles of Corona, Heineken and Miller, chilled to perfection and waiting for a willing high blood pressure/broken arm/mosquito bite sufferer to take them home and numb the pain away. It’s like putting the Algerian branch of Agoraphobics Anonymous in the middle of the Sahara.

Personally I think Rite Aid are in cahoots with the makers of Tylenol in a desperate attempt to bump up sales. Buy two six packs and they’ll thrown in some liquid capsules for a dollar.

6 thoughts on “Death, where is thy sting?

  1. fishwithoutbicycle

    Oh dear. Feel better!! I do miss Boots living over here. US chemists just aren’t the same, although in Rite Aid’s defence they do sell SalonPas Analgesic patches which are the best things ever. Although no good for a cold.

  2. Paul Sheffrin

    Commiserations, Dylan. Who but another man can understand your misery?

    I share fishwithoutbicycle’s nostalgia for Boots and, indeed, for all the other High St stores – WH Smith, M&S and the like. In fact, in a continent where Malls are king, I so miss the good old High St.

  3. Alasdair

    Look on the bright side of this, Dylan … the locals will immediately be able to understand you when you speak (as long as you eschew adverbs and as long as you don’t over-use your U’s), even if your SWMBO cannot …

    Don’t try to make yourself understandable to yourself when you speak … jsut utter the words you would normally use, as you would normally string ’em together, and tehy will come out with a gen-new-wi-i-i-i-ine Amurrican axe-sent …

    (innocent grin)

    Ya know, sorta appropriate, for the 4th of July, ain’t it ?

  4. Alasdair

    Look on the bright side of this, Dylan … the locals will immediately be able to understand you when you speak (as long as you eschew adverbs and as long as you don’t over-use your U’s), even if your SWMBO cannot …

    Don’t try to make yourself understandable to yourself when you speak … just utter the words you would normally use, as you would normally string ’em together, and tehy will come out with a gen-new-wi-i-i-i-ine Amurrican axe-sent …

    (innocent grin)

    Ya know, sorta appropriate, for the 4th of July, ain’t it ?

  5. Jan

    Sorry to hear that you’re feeling ill. Having a cold in winter is bad enough, but when the weather’s hot it just makes you feel even more miserable.

    I recommend a couple of hot toddies, they won’t cure you, but they will make you feel a whole lot better. 😉

  6. Karen

    Hope you feel better soon 🙂

    Your view on Rite Aid is kinda how I saw Boots the first time I ever entered one in Wales 1996! What is this strange place with row upon row of make-up and crisps and sandwiches?

    I miss it so much now though 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *