Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vicks VapoRub abuse

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
In case you're not into hardcore drugs, or quite as rock 'n' roll as myself, "Vicks VapoRub is an ointment which is used to relieve nasal catarrh (inflammation of mucous membranes in the nose and throat), congestion (a blocked nose), sore throat and coughs due to colds".

What I use it for is to alleviate all the twitching, itching and general sniffiness I suffer from due to being allergic to everything; we're talking about sensitivities on a scale that make Millhouse look Unbreakable. Sometimes snorting a dab of Vicks from a tissue isn't enough so I stuff the Vaseline-like gunk up my nose and squelch it together to make sure it coats the lining thoroughly. This numbs the spasming blighter and gives me some relief for a few hours.

You've not heard the weird bit yet, hold onto your hats! After a few hours up there, the substance's pungent anaesthetic properties begin to wane, the clean, fresh, aromatic vapour dissipates and is supplanted with an entirely different odour. The resemblance to stale, gym-sweaty socks is uncanny. If you actually bunged month-old tramp socks up your nostrils the smell wouldn't be any more intense.

I bet you're all nodding your heads in unison reading this now, on the bus, walking the streets, heads bowed, engrossed in your mobile phones, on your couches at home cradling a tablet. You all know what I'm talking about of course. This must be a daily occurrence the world over.

What I'm less certain about is the chemical process responsible for turning a glistening pine forest on a summer's day into an olfactory train wreck. Come on all you alchemists, this is a call to arms. What gives?

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