The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Monday, February 12, 2007

Conversation Overheard at the Decongestant Factory

First worker: "Okay, here's an idea. Let's stuff about a pound and a half of cotton into the bottle on top of....oh....let's say 6 pills. But let's push it deep. It's no good if the sickies can just pull it out. Gotta make 'em find tweezers!"

Second Worker: "True....true....but let's also make sure we use that special cotton. You know--the one that shreds into pieces no matter how good a grip you get on it? We don't want 'em getting it all out on the first try!"

First Worker: "Good point. Glad you thought of that. You know, for sheer irony, let's make sure one of the pills is broken anyway. I like having them pull the cotton out, only to find out that it didn't actually do any good. Now, what about the lid?"

Second Worker: "Whoa....hold on there! The lid? What are you--a rank amateur? You put the cotton in, and then you take this steel reinforced disk of material that looks deceptively thin and fragile, and you superglue it over the opening to the bottle. A real pro leaves just enough lip around the edge of the bottle that it LOOKS like you could get ahold of it but not enough to ACTUALLY get ahold of it. Of, if you prefer, you can leave enough for them to get ahold of, but make sure the lip of paper will tear off if they do. It's all in the details, you know."

First Worker: "Wow, you're really good! Okay, so we superglue this paper on....then what? No--don't tell me. The lid? How about one of those "push down while turning" dealies but make sure that it won't actually come off unless the sickie can exert approximately 500 psi while rotating in a clockwise direction during a full moon while standing within two miles of the equator?"

Second Worker: "Good, good. But another nice touch is to make sure it's slippery. That way, if it unexpectedly pops off, it will fly out of the sickie's fingers and land somewhere on the bathroom floor. That will require the sickie to bend over, thus launching a tsunami of snot to go crashing against the insides of his or her skull. If only we could universalize bathroom floor color so that we could make the lids blend in, it would be perfect."

First Worker: "I like that. The slippery lid is nice. But let's go one better. Let's put a cellophane sleeve around the bottle, that's more or less shrunk to it so that it's impossible to get ahold of it anywhere. And I think it's more tormenting to have it cover only about a third of the bottle-you know, the part where the lid meets the bottle plus a little above and below. That exposed bottle really taunts the sickie, who has the objective in plain sight but still can't get to it!"

Second Worker: "Nicely done! But I'll go you one better. Let's make it look like it has a perforated line, but not really give it one. The sickies will be convinced that if they just keep working on this little dotted line, it will actually tear away! Man, I crack myself up!"

First Worker: "You know, I do worry a bit, though."

Second Worker: "Worry? About what??"

First Worker: "Well, what if the sickies get REALLY frustrated? What if they use a scissor or something in desperation and end up cutting themselves?"

Second Worker: "Oh no, that's not a problem. We make the bandaid boxes, too. Wait until you see the new fake cardboard we came up with. You'd never guess it was steel."

Bastards. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I am so grateful for all of your kind wishes and I swear, I'm not ignoring you for any reason other than, as my mother used to say, I feel as though I've been shot at and missed, and shit at and hit. My lungs are rebelling and my immune system has apparently decided the best solution is to periodically attempt to boil me alive by raising my temp to 102. It's been fun. Still, I do believe I'm turning a corner (hopefully the one that leads to the house where the little assholes who design the pill bottles live) and should be back to making comments and generally being semi-human again soon. For now, I'm going to go lay on the couch like a hot, snotty log. Love and germ free hugs to all of you.


  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Paula in Iowa said…

    My semi-universal remedy for heads that weigh 40 to 45 pounds of stuffed-up-ness:
    Tang or Crystal Lite or something similar
    Ground Ginger
    Hot (very) water

    Spoon the ToCLoss into a mug, add 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. of ginger. Fill mug with hottest water you can drink. Then sip on it while it's hot. The ginger-in-hot-Hsub2O will open just about ANY noggin. The Tang is for vitamin C and to keep the ginger from killing you! Sending healing thoughts your way, too.

  • At 10:13 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ahh, that disk of material under the lid. Y'know, a pair of sharp embroidery scissors deals with a multitude of sins committed by pill bottle designers. It's especially fun when you think of the designers as you use the (closed) points of the sharp embroidery scissors to stab viciously through the disk of material and jerk sideways a bit, so you can get a finger in the center of their chest-- Er, I mean the disk, that's it, the disk - and rip that lil' sucker off. Much more fun even than using the scissors to clip that so-called 'tear here' supposedly perforated plastic sleeve. 'Cause, you know, hacksaws are just too dangerous.

    Yep. Never approach a pill bottle without your embroidery scissors. Even if you are hallucinating from running a high temperature. Sickies and sharp pointy objects; always a good idea!

    (Sending lots and lots of get better vibes! And thanks for the non-germy hugs, 'cause I still haven't quite stopped coughing from that damned cold I had in January. This shite is nasty.)

  • At 12:14 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Give them hell Florence ..they sound like Satan's minions to me so I guess they'd like that ..give them Heaven ? Anyhow do you guys steam with Vick ..I know you have it cos after tucking into so much Mex-Am . lit I was delighted to find they are as Vick addicted as my Mum was . I think it does really work as long as you keep it up at least it must scold the little snot-makers!

  • At 7:01 AM, Anonymous marti said…

    i hope that you are on the mend and are feeling better soon. you were missed at knitting last nihgt.

  • At 8:45 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Hmmm. Either we use the same brand meds, or all factories are staffed by the same type!

    Feel better soon!!!

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    They do the same nastiness at the headache medicine factories. Hit us at our lowest points, why don't you?

    Healthy thoughts! Furry good wishes!

  • At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Angeluna said…

    You are seriously funny!!!! Been there, done that. Thanks for a good laugh. Hope you are feeling more human.

    BTW, the simplest cure for DHs snoring is earplugs. Hope you are feeling better.


Post a Comment

<< Home