As Summer slips away from us here in the Southern Hemisphere and the trees are losing the will to leaf, we have started to hit that transitional phase in which we’re still wearing our summer clothes in defiance of the chill that is coming. The downside of this act of defiance is that we’re all starting to get sick again.
Flu shots are being loaded into both barrels and supplements are carefully being suppled from the tender teats of the great big medicine companies to keep us all smiling. That said, I do remember somebody once told me that by taking flu shots en masse we were only perpetuating a new super flu that would be so resilient to our regular defences that it would walk tall like mortal men and pull a knife on us as we walk out of the chemist. As a result of this I spent many years just dealing with the sniffles in an attempt to single-handedly save mankind from such a freakishly absurd fate. No need to thank me, I gave up on that whole business when I caught pneumonia a few years back – now I take whatever I can and learnt how to handle myself in a knife fight. After all, if the germs are willing to become more versatile to new situations, so should we.
I’m not sure if many of you would remember “George’s Marvellous Medicine” by Roald Dahl but when I was younger I really liked the idea of just going into the kitchen and creating a perfectly balanced 100% cure for what ails you from whatever was lying around. I still like to think this can be achieved well, but one thing that cannot be included in the recipe is common sense. You have to think with a bit of magic for it to work, but it always made me feel better so it can’t be all that not right. So for example, if you’re fighting a cold, you just have to go find things that are hot like tabasco sauce and pepper. To bring the colour back into your life, you add something like tomatoes and different varieties of capsicum. There’s no great art to it – you have to go by gut, but by the time you’ve added the contents of a tin of chicken soup, a great deal of garlic, lemon and lime and ground up a few cold and flu tablets for garnish, the effects are startlingly positive.
If a more pharmaceutical method is how you’d prefer to roll this Winter, I can give you a bit of help with that too. For every comic I draw, I insist on doing a lot of research into them because I know that to my loyal readers, they are more than just silly little pictures but an insight into the human condition, so it’s important I step up and know what I’m talking about. Recently I infiltrated an Embassy to get into the mindset of a foreign dignitary and back even further, for the rent-boy comic I…perhaps that is a story for another occasion.
So here’s the scoop on the major players in the comic to help you all out…
Vitamin C has not been clearly proven to help reduce the effects of the common cold. Cutting down on your sugar intake will do more good for you whilst suffering from a cold. So even though a spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down, once it is down – you’re pretty much screwed.
Echinacea alone has been proven to reduce the length and severity of the common cold, and when combined with Vitamin C will achieve even more. They are the Voltron of the medicine cabinet along with the mighty Zinc (He was not mentioned in this weeks comic because I am an artist – not a doctor).
Cod Liver Oil does improve the immune system. A colleague asked me what makes cod livers so much better than ours? Well for one, they spend a lot of time in cold water and I have never seen a fish with a cold, so the livers are clearly doing something right. It is however, scientifically proven that cod liver oil is a douchebag and should be avoided on any social level.
You can thank Doctor Internet for those startling facts – although it is difficult to take medical advice from a website that does not have degrees stuck to the background. There’s something re-assuring about those things even if they were achieved online…
The upside of that advice being false is that I will have ensured more people will be staying at home looking at my webcomic. The downside is that my fanbase may have one of the highest mortality rates of all the online comics! So do be careful this year, and take all advice with a grain of salt. (next week we’ll find out if that will help).