I Want an Old Drug

We’ve seen it a thousand times: by day she’s the epitome of efficiency, finding resources with a flip of a page or a click of a mouse. She’s able to unjam a printer and give a Goodnight Moon puppet-show with her feet at the same time. She chairs ten committees and fifteen roundtables over the phone and manages to make a complete home-cooked meal, while all the time watching MacNeil-Lehrer. Yet when the first sniffle strikes, your local librarian mysteriously disappears for days, hedging awkwardly when you enquire about her health when she returns. Why?

It’s because Your Local Librarian Has a Problem.


Yes, your librarian has a dirty little secret–she’s heeded the Circe-like call of a drug so insidious, so seductive that many librarians find themselves trapped in its hypnotic charms.

What is this drug? Is it crack? (nah–involves smoking) Is it heroin? (too many implements) Is it pot? (too hippiesque) It’s something so dire, so devilish in its commonality: Nyquil.

And not just any flavored Nyquil–it’s got to be cherry-flavored Nyquil.

Why? The same reason why David Wayne fell in love with Katherine Hepburn in Adam’s Rib: because it’s there and it’s so convenient. Who can resist something that’s a combination of antihistmine and 20-proof alcohol? Not only do you sink into a delicious stupor, you also have the added bonus of waking up with a case of dry mouth so complete it actually hurts when your saliva glands kick in.

How can you tell? Ask a librarian what he or she takes when they come down with a cold. If they get misty-eyed and stare distantly past the circulation desk, you just know they’re jonesin’ for that *sweeeet* cherry cough juice. After a while, they begin using “just a touch” of it to help them go to sleep at night, even if they aren’t sick. Next thing you know, they’re up in a tree next to the main library entrance, laughing hysterically and throwing back issues of Booklist at unsuspecting patrons.

Some will even try exotic, depraved ways to consume the elixir, such as making donuts out of Nyquil or faking it with a cocktail. Others simply load up during a 2-for-$5 sale at Target and pray for a cold. (Hey–we may be hooked on the stuff, but we aren’t stupid.)

Next Week: Ghirardelli No More: one librarian’s personal story about her recovery from vendor-supplied free chocolate….

6 Responses

  1. Brian
    Brian August 7, 2003 at 7:59 am |

    Even at 2-for-$5, Nyquil is awfully expensive by the ounce, for someone on a librarian’s salary. Cheap schnapps is (are?) a decent substitute, but Bloody Marys are my cold drug of choice. You get yer alcohol, yer sinus clearage, yer vitamin C …

  2. absherl
    absherl August 7, 2003 at 10:56 am |

    But does it contain the magic ingredients doxylamine succinate and (my fave) pseudoephedrine hydrochloride for that lovely one-two punch? I think not.

  3. Sulkbrarian
    Sulkbrarian August 7, 2003 at 1:36 pm |

    It’s like Denis Leary says:

    You take that NyQuil, ya better be near your bed, ’cause BAM!! You’re gonna be laid out in two seconds!!

    He also lauds the package design:
    “How to find it in the store? Just look for the box. Big N! Little y! Huge f*cking Q!”

    And a song from Denis. More of a ditty, actually:
    “NyQuil, NyQuil, NyQuil, we love you, you giant f*ucking Q…”

    Denis also recommends the original, the baddest of the bad, “Green Death” flavor!! None of this limp-wristed “Cherry” for him, nosiree bob!

    And from They Might Be Giants:
    “Hey, NyQuil driver/It’s NyQuil drivin’ time…get out my wayyyyyyyy!”

    Yep. Now then. Ya also gotta give mad props to the Robitussin. When I was a DJ, I had extended laryngitis once. Like, for two months, nothing but a whisper. Did I miss a show? NO!! I chugged a big bottle of that Robitussin on-air like a champ, like it was water, jacked up my mic volume knob to 11, and continued to communicate with the masses. ‘Course, when the show was over, I had to be peeled off the floor.

    All hail these twin wonders of modern medicine. Where would we be without them, I ask? ­čśŤ

  4. Sulkbrarian
    Sulkbrarian August 7, 2003 at 1:37 pm |

    Now wait a second. Do you really mean that there’s a chocolate-free, non-cocoa-enhanced librarian out there somewhere? The heck you say.

  5. Original Cyn
    Original Cyn August 8, 2003 at 7:21 pm |

    [sigh] Guilty as charged.

  6. Sulkbrarian
    Sulkbrarian August 8, 2003 at 9:46 pm |

    Wwwwwwwwwwwwow. How’d you do that? (I know…gotta wait for the blog entry!)
    ­čśë
    (hangs head in shame over wretched pile of candy wrappers)

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