Tuesday, June 22, 2004
don't forget the spoonful of sugar!
Today I'm gonna talk about a fine Canadian product, Buckley's cough syrup. This is a product whose marketing (as you can see in the picture) relies on the tagline "It tastes awful. And it works.". Strangely, the admission that it tastes awful has intrigued many a people try it out instead of repelling them as it ought to (if someone came up to you and said the drink in their hand was the worst thing they have ever tasted, would you try it just to see?).

After I left the doctor's office yesterday I walked over to the pharmacy. It's at moments like these that I am willing to spend any money in order to achieve at least some level of wellness. I needed something to make this coughing stop before the effects of becoming a zombie from lack of sleep were irreversible.

And so I stood in a stuffed sinus haze in front of a wall of cough syrup options. I of course need to avoid ones with alcohol, so that reduces my options somewhat. I consider that a help. Next I can eliminate the children's stuff; though the flavour options are more appealing, I'd have to drink half the bottle. It just wasn't potent enough for my liking. Then I saw the Buckley's cough syrup. Every Canadian knows about Buckley's and it's super-vile taste (as the site says: "When it comes to being sick, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who want comfort, and those who want to get better. We make medicine for the second kind."). How desperate am I?, I pondered. I picked it up, read a bit of it (it contains pine needle oil?? only in Canada...) and decided to go for it. How bad can it *really* taste? I bought it and took it home.

I developed my plan of attack as I opened the bottle. I would make it one big spoonful instead of two smaller ones and I would shove the spoon as far back into my mouth as I can without gagging so as to hopefully bypass my tastebuds. ^thumbs up!^
I poured the liquid onto the spoon, questioned my sanity for a fleeting moment and then knocked it back. For a millisecond I thought.... hey that wasn't too bad! And then a nanosecond later I was gripped by what is known as the 'Buckley's face'. (You think I jest, but there's a gallery of pictures devoted to it on the website. look there to get an idea of just how good it tastes by the looks on people's faces when taking it) To quote the website: "No one can keep a straight face when taking Buckley's.". And they don't lie.

For a moment it was locked at the back of my throat with my body trying to indicate to me that this was a bad idea. Negotiations began as I tried telling my constricted throat that holding it back was only going make it worse and if it would just let the syrup pass this would all be over in a minute. Eventually I swallowed it and was greeted by a brand new sensation. BURNING. I slammed the spoon down on the counter like I had just taken a rough shot of booze, and continued to slam my hand down on the counter a few times to express my agony. In a moment of panic I questioned just what the hell I had done; how on earth is this supposed to make my throat feel better when it is burning like the devil?? It was like drinking a vat of Vick's VapoRub; as it turns out it has a high menthol content. (don't know what VapoRub is? Ok, how about those super strong mint gums that burn your mouth? Yeah, now melt it down and drink it.)

I stood for a moment or two in shock as I took inventory of how my body was feeling. My throat was burning, but slowly subsiding as I felt the warming sensation now follow all the way down my throat and into my belly. It felt like I had just swallowed a really strong mint (without the delightful minty taste). Not long after that.....I felt better! I was amazed to find that within half an hour my coughing had all but stopped, and I didn't need to blow my nose nearly so often. It was a miracle!!
As so I was able to put a movie on, curl up on my couch and get a couple of hours of sleep.

thank you, Buckley's. I love you, even if you do taste like ass.