Friday, June 18, 2010

Musinex Frogs and Other Myths

It was recently called to my attention that (dun, dun, dun) there is no Musinex frog. That's right. Commercials for the cough suppressant actually feature a talking ball of phlegm clothed in a wife-beater and suspenders. Lame! I mean, what kind of mascot is that? Flem doesn't talk nor does it wear clothes because a) that is just so unrealistic and b) it would be very messy and sticky.
So this little misunderstanding got me thinking: What other concepts have I mistaken for entirely different concepts (like say, lung-dwelling reptiles) that apparently are strikingly obvious to anyone else.

My childhood dreams ruined sugar cereals. When I was little, I was never allowed to have an unhealthy breakfast. While I was taunted with commercials of smiling little shits stuffing their happy faces with colorful puffs and chocolaty flakes as their obesity-pushing mom's looked on with blissfully ignorant approval (News Flash: Adding a glass of orange juice and a banana to a bowl of sugar does not make it a complete breakfast.) I was forcing the senior citizen special of Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran softened with non-fat milk down my little six-year-old throat. By the way, Honey Smacks - a cereal that, contrary to it's name is not heroine - actually does feature a cartoon talking frog. Yay.

Anyway, I grew up with the impression that I was missing out on these little morning meals of heaven. In my early teens I was finally given the opportunity to try some of these illusive cereals. So. Disappointed. First of all, Lucky Charms does not consist entirely of wonderful, delicious marshmallows. No. I would say the ratio of wonderful, delicious marshmallows to crappy, little cardboard crap-morsels is probably only 1 to 20. And don't get me started on Cookie Crisp. Those aren't cookies! For the first 13 years of my life I envisioned Mini Chips Ahoy floating gloriously in a bowl of milk. But disk-shaped corn flakes with brown spots do not equal chocolate chip cookies.

Now I know I may be going up against a whole movement of sugar cereal lovers everywhere, but look where I'm coming from. Imagine being a kid and thinking Candyland was an actual place. You get a little older and finally venture out there, only to find that Candyland is actually just a bunch cafeteria desserts.

Huey Lewis is not ordering me to hit the B square. When I was younger (again, another childhood misconception - a statistic causing me to believe that perhaps I was a very stupid child), my parents would often play a tape of Huey Lewis and the News on road trips. Ah, dorky white families in the '80s. Being a very stupid child, I would gaze out the window from the backseat with absolutely no intelligent thoughts of my own and let whatever images the lyrics produced play numbly in my head. One might argue that this was not a sign of stupidity, but it is important to note that this is all I did. No matter how long the road trip, no matter how many times I had heard the song before, no new or independent thought ever stemmed from this exercise. What made it worse is that I often had the lyrics wrong.

Lewis's hit It's Hip to Be Square was Hit the B Square in my world. Forget the fact that this statement, or command rather, made absolutely no sense. There I would sit, swinging my dumb little legs, imaging someone hitting a cement square with an engraved B with a stick. And get this. Every time this "B Square" was hit, it would light up like the sidewalk Michael Jackson walks on in Billie Jean. I don't even remember when I realized my mistake, but I don't think I ever told anyone. That is until now, my beloved Internet universe of strangers.

I was going to provide an (embarrassingly long) list of misconceptions, but it's now 2pm and I'm still in my robe and this post is already turning out to be a lot longer than expected. Feel free to save me from drowning in stupidity by outing your own and share a misconception. Please?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Heart Mucus

So I've been sick with what my mother is now convinced to be the whooping cough for the last three weeks. It's not the whooping cough because it's not 1906 and my mother thinks everything is a disease you get when playing Oregon Trail. But that didn't stop her from handing me a grocery bag of half-full prescription bottles for anything that cured coughs, sore throats, sinus infections, ear infections, labored breathing, and/or hiccups when I visited her this last weekend. Most people need a Michael Jackson-type doctor (sorry, too soon?) or know somebody that knows somebody to get all the shit I got, but I just need good ol' Mom. Never mind that half of it is expired or in Ziplock baggies so who knows what the hell they are or what they do.
Anyway, my mom is not a drug dealer (in case you were wondering) or a pill-popper, just your average mom with a case of care-too-much and thinks calling you every hour to ask what color your flem is will eventually cure the sick right out of you.
Maybe she's right, but in the meantime I'm keeping my phone on silent and having fun with my mucus. Yeah, you heard me.
Mucus can be fun, and here's why:
  1. If you're not a good spitter, you entertain yourself in the learning process. For example, say you're sitting at a traffic light next to a cute guy. You eye each other, a red light romance. Then, just as he's snuck a third or fourth glance over at you, you feel a flem ball lodge itself in your throat. You try and swallow it, but the fucker grabs onto your tonsils and won't let go. So you make a choking noise that sounds like a cross between a dying chicken and a weed wacker. You are so disgusted with yourself that you stare in wide-eyed horror at your admirer with your mouth trapped at a four inch radius. You attempt to eject the offending mucus out the window (no sense in saving face now) but instead it loses momentum at your tongue and oozes down your chin and drips down onto your open window, leaving a shinning spit connector between your mouth and the car. Cute guy reevaluates his traffic crush and speeds off. Not that this happened.
  2. You get to take Musinex. If a cough suppressant is going to feature a cartoon frog in its commercials, one would think that same frog would be featured on the cough suppressant box. But it doesn't. Instead it looks like all the other cough suppressant boxes with just stupid stripes of blue or green and no reptiles of any kind. That's how I ended up standing in Walgreens for 20 minutes with a fever staring at rows of medications in white boxes. No frog. But when one finally locates the Musinex (with no frog on the box I might add) it's a trip. For real. Now I've never smoked crack, but I imagine it feels like a Musinex-induced stupor. First, my neck decided it had been tired of holding my head up for the last 28 years and just sort of checked out. My eyelids gained about 15 pounds, but because of the caffeine wouldn't close. So I just ended up walking around with my head leaned all the way back so I could see forward. When my roommate came home, I tried to tell her about something that happened earlier that day but somehow ended up telling her my favorite burrito recipe. I also had to pack because I was leaving for San Diego later that night. For some reason a pair of shorts I tossed into my bag struck me as hilarious and I began to laugh uncontrollably. This lead to more flem balls which I attempted to spit into the toilet, but missed and spit onto the toilet. Every time. When I finally came down, I decided that a) I needed to re-pack and b) I will not be taking Musinex again unless my only responsibility for the next eight hours is to lay on the couch and watch TV.
  3. You get to drink cognac. And whiskey. And rum. And brandy. It's good for the throat, the Internet said so. There's this drink called a Hot Toddy, which I refuse to order at a bar by name because it makes me feel like a hobbit (already being short, I don't think this will bode well for me), and it's hot water, lemon, honey, and ALCOHOL! I get ridiculously delighted at the thought of being able to use being sick as an excuse for drinking because nobody can say shit to you. It's medicine, mother fuckers! And my theory is that if you do away with the hot water, lemon, and honey (those all are just middle-man components) you get your medicine in a more concentrated form. A throat you can't feel is a throat that isn't sore.

So here's to your health, but here's to your sickness too. Because mucus can be fun, and I encourage you to count the blessings in your mucus.