The Absolutely Necessary Cold Remedy Roundup

Welcome to flu season, everyone.By Ned Hepburn

It's flu season. While that may be a scary idea to some, it doesn't mean that you have to venture out into the world with a surgical mask and an economy-size tube of Purell. (Though if you're choosing that route, here's some useful intel.)

But here's what I say. I say: get sick. I say: give yourself a mini-vacation. I say: shake the hands of everyone you meet and be sure to lick subway poles because there is nothing better than sweet, sweet cold medicine. You may want to get over this cold or flu as fast as possible... but instead I say: this is your day off, and you're supposed to be getting messed up on over the counter medicine for as long as is socially and medically acceptable, not immediately getting back to normal.

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Theraflu

Dear God, Jesus, and Justin Bieber this stuff is incredible. While the daytime stuff surely will do a number on your cold or flu, the nighttime stuff sends you on a wild goose chase of drug-induced joy that will make you feel as if you're living in the soundtrack to the movie Drive. Increasingly harder to get thanks to a 2012 partial shutdown from the FDA, Theraflu is still the king.

Airborne

Completely doesn't work. Might as well just hand someone $8 and tell them to slap you in the face with it.

Zicam

This has a cool name and works really well for about an hour before completely giving up, not unlike an Israeli graphic designer named Yoni I used to work with.

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Chicken Soup

What could be better than a nice hot bowl of nutritious and wholesome chicken soup to make you feel better? A lot of things. Most of them are available over the counter. Save your soup for when you want to write a dystopian novel by candlelight.

NyQuil

Again, you don't want the Daytime stuff. NyQuil has the unique albility to both give you French Stewart eyes AND make everyday conversation sound like dub reggae.

Alka Seltzer Plus

Plop plop, fizz fizz, say hello to at least two hours of relaxation. While it doesn't have even half the sloppy sass of Theraflu, it does cure your cold for a while, giving you enough time and confidence to run a few errands. But this is your day off, and you're supposed to be getting messed up on over the counter medicine for as long as is socially and medically acceptable, not immediately getting back to normal.

Cold-Eeze

This has Zinc in it. You know what else has Zinc in it? Nickels. Eat a bag of nickels. Much better conversation starter at the ER.

Afrin

Nasal sprays work for some people, but so does Born Again Christianity and college football and there is no way I'm reading a pamphlet on how this thing works before I stick it up my nose and take two hits to the dome, kapiche?

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Vicks

Do you like having a chest that smells like a permanent marker and looks like you just spent the night at Peter North's house? I think not.

Hot Toddy

This is basically two shots of whiskey (floating in about as much hot water) masquerading as a seasonal beverage. The water keeps you hydrated, while the whiskey gets you drunk enough to forget you even had the flu in the first place.

A+ to whoever invented this.

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