By Dan St. Yves
With appointments booked and a full day of work to be conducted well into the evening, I am instead seated on a wooden barstool at my kitchen breakfast nook. My head is covered in a big fluffy blanket, and my face is as close to a boiling kettle as I can safely position it without the scalding steam loosening off my freckles.
It is winter, and I have a cold up inside my head as big as a doctor’s bank account after flu shot season.
I’m hoping this boiling kettle sauna will break up some of the lingering mucous matter pressing back up towards my eyeballs and allow the free flow of all my various passages again. I’m as clogged up as an Irish step dancing audition!
The effect of this congestion these last few days has caused my wife to phone PETA, in some considerable distress. After blowing my nose for the 80th time, I overheard her telling someone on the phone that it sounded like a Canadian goose was being strangled in our bathroom, and the murderer of said goose was obviously quite inept.
Over the years, I’ve tried nearly everything when these head colds flare up. Modern medicine has yet to craft a cure as inventive as I have conceived when I’m at my wit’s end – although in retrospect I would advise against my home remedies, as I recollect them.
As a younger man, I would mix a few crushed Tylenols into a half-cup of double-dosed Neo-Citron and add just a couple of fingers of rum for extra measure. As an older man with diabetes and theoretically well-controlled high blood pressure, I understand that I should leave those sorts of experimental amalgamations to my pharmacist, under the strict guidance of a general doctor.
The single and most pleasurable relief I can rely on in the congested grip of the winter cold season is chicken noodle soup. Not tomato, nor those high-brow mushroom blends, just good old Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, like Mom used to make. It may not be a lengthy cure, but for a few wonderful moments after consuming a bowl, my nose is damn-near dancing with joy, or more accurately, it doth finally runneth over.
There are folks who truly believe that chicken noodle soup just might possess miraculous healing powers, aside from the CEO of Campbell’s Soup, that is. Writer Kate Wickers commented in Augusta Magazine a few years back on a study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, finding that the steaming broth of the soup actually has an anti-inflammatory effect.
There was a whole lot more scientific and/or technical stuff in that article, but to be fair, if the University Of Nebraska Medical Center tells me that chicken noodle soup eases the effects of a throbbing nasal dike, then you don’t have to tell me much more than that…pass the can opener, soup’s on!
On Campbell’s own website, their soup was actually described as “a way to soothe that nasty cold”. Could it get anymore validated than that?
I for one am always going to reach for a friendly can of delicious chicken noodle soup before I would consider even a half-teaspoon slug of Buckley’s eau-de-pine-needle juice, effective as that legendary cough syrup may be. I may be miserable when I’ve got a head cold, but I’m not suicidal.
My kettle appears to have run out of boiling water, and so in these few minutes before my passages and head begin to swell once again under the pressure of this persistent head cold, I must bid you adieu, and open another can of my winter’s amazing miracle.