But first I need to tell you about my Jewish Mother. It was a brief relationship but responsible for about the only health legend I fully accept.
We were living in Guilford. I was working in New Haven. The Peter Principle intruded, and I was ordered to report daily to 50 Rock in Manhattan for several weeks of "executive training." At first, the most efficient way of getting there was by bus. Kiss the wife good bye and ruffle the kids' hair about 6 a.m. Monday, then brave the depot diesel fumes until the driver slammed the door and embarked for Gotham.
(So I already know a little about Hell. The American bus is Cosmic punishment for not being rich. But this once it profited me.)
My seat mate was undeniably Jewish and almost certainly a mother. That sort of thing shows, and not too subtly, a certain comfortable heft, authoritarian ways of expression, and an iron will to make younger people do things for their own good.
About the time we hit the Throgs Neck bridge, she noticed my sniffle. From her handbag came a pill bottle, "C" tabs. I'd given smaller ones to sick ponies.
I suppose my eyebrows raised, but one does not defy Mama. "It will stop your cold. But only if you take six."
I decided it was best to comply as a wise man would when, for instance, confronting Harry Callahan in one of his moods. I was grateful for enough dregs in the cardboard cup to wash them down.
It made my day. Glowing health blessed my first week on a large Big Apple expense account. In the many ensuing years, I've popped hundreds of big Cs immediately after soiling the first tissues. It has usually worked.
I hope it does this morning. I don't have time for a goddam cold, and I don't favor plan B, a trip to the pharmacy counter to stand in line for a DEA investigation of my background, lifestyle, political beliefs, and propensity to repurpose pseudophedrine for fun and profit. (Strictly as an aside, that might also be a Homeland Security, TSA, NSA, et al. investigation. Like you, I live in a province with a fusion center. )
Criminalizing the private purchase of Sudafed came here about ten years ago. My buddy the sheriff tells me it has slightly reduced the number of Mom and Pop meth operations in ramshackle old farm buildings. The number of idiots screwing up their lives is about the same, however, because Mexico has been proud to fill the manufacturing and distribution vacuum.
In other words, we exported the good-paying jobs.