On That Time That I Ended Up Buying the Ginger Ale for Something That Was Wrong with My Nose
It started with my nose. Something had gone wrong and things were not as they should have been. It hurt. Besides that it was swollen and because of the swelling one nostril had gotten much larger while the other had remained silent and constant and well.
I’d been through this before. The novel, the movie, the novelization that the movie had necessitated by differing from the source material in significant and inexplicable ways, the direct to video sequel where the actors had changed, the writers had changed, the producers had changed, the director had changed, everything had changed -except for the jokes, those were just as awful as ever. From this I knew that it was not to get any better until one of two things had been done. One of those things was to go to the doctor and then go to the pharmacist after having gone to the doctor. The doctor visit would require the remittance of a specific amount of money. That specific amount was one hundred dollars US currency. Fifty of those dollars would be provided upon conclusion of the visit. They would be provided by me. The equal remainder could be provided for by the health insurance company. Or it might not be. With the health care company somebody might have known but it was never really you.
The other measure was begun with getting a hold of cranberry juice and garlic pills. These could be had and they could be had for less money than going to the doctor and the pharmacist. Afterwards all that remained was to ingest them. Repeatedly, but not altogether nor at the same time or even place.
The process could be further refined if I knew which of the two was the indispensable ingredient or at least in what parts the optimum congress was formed. However as often as the ailment has struck there has also struck the remarkable desire to be done with it. Accordingly there has never been the discipline required to mark one as control while the other got the variable charge.
The cure was something I’d discovered on the Internet while suffering at work and implemented shortly after having arrived at home from that work. In between there was a trip to the store and an acquiring of the cranberry juice and the garlic pills. That store was one of the 600 Rite Aids we have around here locally.
The Rite Aids had arrived some time ago. At first they were like an invasive species of something or other that I don’t want to put much effort into remembering the name of just now. Think of those insects that lay their eggs inside of bumble bees. The eggs go through their putting on of the Samsa suits and sometime shortly after their hard drives have overridden the hard drives of the bumble bees and the situation is then a matter of masters and slaves.
In our case the zombified carcass of that former was a regional chain that was also called a B but only when there was a K to precede it. This store was the K/B and the K&B had come up from New Orleans only to -some decades close to a century later- die all across the South without a bang, without a whimper, without ice, without fire but with an acquisition and no doubt some signatures. I think it had been summer when all of this occurred. It seemed to be to me at least. And while I’m at this business of remembering things the way I want them to have been I will recall that this change had nothing to do with a failure of K&B but was rather the working of a disinterested benefactor of an old inheritance that had decided to sell off his legacy for thirty shekels of something that was backed in neither gold nor silver . . . but rather a monetization of debt owed to a central bank in China.
For a time the Rite-Aids operated out of the old buildings. With the floor tiles I liked and the layouts and an entrance that above had yellow fluorescent bulbs scattered and broken in such a means as to put the observer in the know of a sun rise or heaven or something grossly similar. Eventually the Ride-Aids built buildings of their own. The old buildings then became abandoned or indoor flea markets or DIY homeless shelters. With a number of those later destroyed by a hurricane that retired something significant for a great number of us..
This time around I was not going to Rite Aid. I was going to the Dollar General. If there are 600 Rite-Aids here locally then there must be at least 12,000 Dollar Generals. Which is why I would be stopping there instead. I pass something like 1500 of them on the drive home.
In a sense the Dollar Generals were doing to the Rite-Aids what had been done to the K&B’s. That sense was that they were putting them out of business. Most anything you could get at one you could get at the other. Only for less money. Just so long as it didn’t require a prescription. As of this writing no prescription is needed to purchase garlic pills or cranberry juice. Likely this is because the anti biotics lobby has yet to learn of their sugnificance.
Once inside the Dollar General I could see that some things had been moved. These things were the dietary supplements. They were now on the other side of the store. I looked them up and down. Forward and back and back and forward. I looked at them numerically. I looked at them wistfully, ostensibly and even once alphabetically. Tragically. There were no garlic pills there.
This fact brought out the big plans. I considered buying some garlic and some empty capsules and making my own pills. I considered buying the garlic mashed potatoes, building a very fine sieve and straining the garlic myself until I had enough to meet my needs. I considered some other things as well. Some of them seemed impracticle. All the rest were imposible. So I considered doing that other thing. That other thing was going to the Rite-Aid after all. Which is actually and eventually what I did.
Only after I got there and walked past all the suckers in a pharmacy line that I had no necessity to que up for I decided to reward myself with a few extra purchases. As I figured it I could spend as much as fifty dollars minus the costs of two containers of cranberry juice and one much smaller container of garlic pills and could still be to the good. I walked a little ways. At the end there was the discount aisle.
It was well picked over. Little remained. Various candies. Ginger Ale. And a new type of light that boasted an active life span of up to 22 years. It had only been on the market for about six months.
I grew bored with the aisle and more importantly I grew impatient with something else that was happening somewhere else. And so then I just wanted to get out of there. Just wanted to start the miracle and know that the sake of my nose had been determined and was for the good. I walked forward.
The lady at the checkout ran a hand scanner across bar codes built into the packaging surrounding my items. She didn’t seem very judgemental even if her machinery did.
Jelly Beans. Butter scotch discs. Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Garlic pills, two containers of the cranberry juice. She asked for my rewards card. I didn’t have one. Instead I had this proxy item they give you at the same time you get the card. It was much smaller and easier to keep up with and I’d attached it to my keyring. Right next to a NASA keychain I had picked up in Huntsville when lucky enough to catch site of a dummy Saturn V and a replica of a bicycle that the brother of Werner Von Braun may or may not have ridden during or right after the war.
The cashier informed me that I had saved money on that day’s transactions. I don’t recall the actual amount. But there was an actual amount. She then said “Ah, so this is what rocket scientists buy.” I don’t know if it was a question. I don’t know if it was an exclamation. So I’ve used a period here in hope of satisfying neither.
I do know that it is a good thing that she didn’t expect me to have shown her the contents of my left pocket instead. Otherwise she might have concluded I was either an officer in the Swiss Army or a period of time lasting between Mardi Gras and Easter.
I thought about saying something clever. But there was nothing clever I thought of to say. Had there been other items in the discount aisle . . . then maybe. Had there been Mentos and Diet Coke I could even have given her a demonstration. But it didn’t work out that way. So I just nodded and provided a tentative lie as the cashier stood and bagged as before.
“Oh ginger ale, I haven’t had any of this in like forever.” Here I could have noted cleverly that it was the perfect beverage after partaking in all the candy I had also purchased. But I didn’t think of that either. Rather I affirmed my affinity to the largely forgotten soft drink.
As it turns out I’m not the only Ginger Ale fan there has been. One of them was even President of the United States until they forced him to resign. He even had a quote about it.
The quote is as follows and designated by indicators rather often referred to as quotations marks:
“You can’t turn on the TV without seeing Polar Bears drinking Coca-Cola or some Spanish lady with breast implants drinking Pepsi. But what about Ginger Ale? Why the hell doesn’t anybody like Ginger Ale?”
Well I like ginger ale. Perhaps not enough to capitalize it without referring to any specific brand or choose it over dancing polar bears or Spanish ladies with plentiful bosoms. But I do like it. The above quote, by the way, was provided by Wikipedia. Who provided it to them I do not know. Its veracity is by no means guaranteed.