Bad colds or flu can be nasty. It creeps up on you and hits you like a brick wrapped in tinfoil. Coughing, sweating, dizzy, limbs aching, totally unable to sleep. We've all been there so I guess you know what I mean.
Isn't it strange that medicinal products function in direct proportion to their taste? The palatable ones don't do anything for you at all. But those ghastly horrible noxious products that make you sweat with anticipation of its vile taste work like a charm. We have a product in Britain - I don't know what the rest of the world call it - but its advertised as a miracle cure for colds and flu. Of course is isn't, it just makes you feel better for a few hours, but I'm definitely feeling a lot more like your average Caldrail. Now.... Is that because the stuff really is a miracle cure, or is it because I can't bear the thought of another dose?
However, there are some substances you shouldn't really touch. I'm not into drugs. Never was. Never saw the point. If you need a pill to enjoy yourself then you're not doing so. There was one instance in my past though when I encountered such things.
I don't mean the offer of cannabis from some lowlife in a club. Its inevitable that having been involved in rock bands I was going to encounter it. Funny thing is, I was very rarely offered any. Maybe I looked spaced out already so they never bothered?
No. Something more insidious happened. So lets explain the background.
I used to work for a large retail chain, and my responsibilities were to manage the database overnight and download the picking data for the next day onto the scanning guns. It was a lonely sort of job that. The only human contact I had was a cleaner who popped in every two or three days to scatter my papers over the floor, and the good lady who worked in the office along the way. She was a tolerant sort luckily. Not so the workforce. Comprised of the usual layabouts and ner'do'wells, I'd become somewhat unpopular with them because I'd had some of their mates hauled across the coals for misdemeanours. It wasn't pleasant, and to this day I don't think the company really appreciated what a miserable place that was to work.
This wasn't the first time I'd been feeling a bit odd. I'd been phoning and emailing radio stations, getting hyperactive and stressed out, going on long drives around the west country for no apparent reason. Then there was that final night. It wasn't like feeling drunk, I just felt oddly chirpy. Feeling fed up with any grievances I'd had at work, I decided to do something about it. I scrawled 'Goodbye and thanks for all the fish' on the board, and text'd somebody on my mobile that I was on my way. Don't know who it was, but I knew they'd understand. Somebody was cheering me on. From that point forward I was utterly convinced I was on some sort of quest to reach France. I was also convinced I was supposed to take people along and that they'd arranged to meet me in town. So I wandered around for an hour feeling a little disappointed at a no-show. Well, I can't wait, must reach France. So I drove out to the motorway to go east. Then it occured to me the police would be waiting to catch me. So... I'll go by the country road. That'll fox 'em... Huh? Was that a red light?... Wow, this is getting seriously foggy... Hey wait, I was supposed to pick someone up... Turn around.... Must get there quickly to pick them up... Awww I can't be doing with this, I'm going down the motorway...
Eventually my car ground to a halt with some sort of breakdown, lights flashing on the dashboard all over the place... This was a freezing cold november morning and I phoned for recovery. I think the police telephonist got the gist of what I was rambling on about. The return to Rushey Platt was a sobering experience. I froze for an hour waiting for a tow. I froze for another two hours at railway station carpark waiting for a tow back in the right direction.
I lost the job. You might not be entirely suprised at that. So I suppose the idiot who spiked my drinks at work with whatever substance that was felt pleased with his handiwork. It was a miracle I wasn't picked up for driving under the influence - I daresay that would have pleased him more. How would he have felt if I'd crashed? Killed? Disabled? Or would he have been satisified with death and injury on the roads if an innocent person or two had been unlucky enough?