A few years ago I had a bad cough that was taking way too long to go away. I decided to get some cough syrup before my next class so that I wouldn’t disturb everyone with my endless hacking. I went from the pharmacy straight to the campus Starbucks, hoping to find a tablespoon so I could take it. And to get a drink so I could immediately drown out the taste.
I was also hoping that the addition of coffee would manage to stave off the drowsy effects of the medicine.
Unfortunately, to my dismay not a tablespoon was to be found, but it was ok. They graciously offered me one of the sampler sized cups. I measured out approximately what I thought a tablespoon was, and if I’m being completely honest, I erred on the side of having a bit more. Cough syrup always just sort of barely works for me anyway, so I figured it wouldn’t do much harm.
It took only minutes for me to start feeling the stuff going to my head, and I realized that class was probably not in the cards. I needed to find a bed to sleep in and fast.
I took the bus over to Alyssa’s lab, not really wanting to walk in the cold November air in my condition. As I made my way over to the building, I was surprised to find a little toad in my path. Just a little brown warty toad.
“What was it doing here?” I thought to myself. “It’s the middle of November in Ottawa, surely it’s too cold for toads to be out and about. Not to mention I don’t think there are toads in the canal. The river sure, but the canal?”
“Perhaps it escaped from the labs? Should I return it?” As I thought this, images of a dramatic escape by the little toad in front of me flashed through my brain. I could see it getting past the locked doors of the labs, navigating through the hallways and dodging students, finally to make it outside and most of the way to water, only to have its way blocked and escape prevented by me. I was debating whether or not to pick it up, when I remembered Alyssa telling me about all the times she had to inject radioactive material into fish. What if this toad was radioactive?
As I was considering the ramifications of a radioactive toad merging with the population of regular toads, perhaps even being led in an uprising, when the wind blew. The brown toad I had been staring at for a good five minutes at least, was actually a leaf.
Stricken, and sure I shouldn’t be walking in the street on my own, I made my way quickly to Alyssa’s lab. Once there, I found her engaged in conversation with her supervisor.
Something about my stricken condition must have shown on my face, because they were soon asking me if I was ok.
“I think I’m hallucinating” I answered.
Her supervisor suggested that Alyssa take me home. Unwilling to interrupt them however, I told them I would just sit down until they were done talking. By this point, I the cough syrup had establish a fairly firm hold on my faculties. My head was swimming and most of my inhibitions were pretty far gone. I started spinning in the office chair I was sitting in. On its own that wouldn’t have been so bad, except that my “wheeeeeeeeee’s” of joy were sadly not confined to my head.
By this point, Alyssa’s supervisor was equal parts trying not to laugh and seriously concerned for my wellbeing. He suggested that Alyssa and he could talk later and that perhaps I shouldn’t be trusted to make my way back to her apartment by myself. There was moving traffic out there after all.
So Alyssa, gently guiding me along, started walking me home.
I remember being in a good mood, even though everything was a bit blurry. My excitement only increased as I noticed that Alyssa’s lovely tanned skin was taking on more and more of a golden hue. Everything about her seemed to me to be elongating, and suddenly I knew exactly what she was.
“You’re a Dragon!” I called out in excitement. “Can I ride you?!”
When I woke up several hours later, it was with fairly severe stomach distress. I took a closer look at the bottle of cough syrup and gasped as I realized my error.
Take one TEASPOON maximum two per day.
Needless to say, I had overdosed on cough syrup. But at least I got to see a Golden Dragon.
Moral of the story: When taking cough syrup, always confirm the dosage before taking.