Just the other day, for the first time in 40 or 50 years, I got both a flu shot and a pneumonia shot, and I am here to tell you that they are quick-acting.
Two days have passed and I haven’t caught either ailment, so they must be working.
I think that’s remarkable, considering that most treatments, medications and cures take much longer to be effective.
Many of the most highly recommended hangover cures, for instance, aren’t that effective that quickly.
It’s been more like, “Drink pickle juice with a raw egg, put a boiled carrot in your ear, say ‘never again’ five times while facing the sun, and I guarantee you’ll feel better in a day or two.”
Personally, I tend to doubt the boiled carrot business and think it might be a joke, but I’m hardly qualified to question the medical wisdom of others, especially when even stranger hangover cures abound.
Interestingly, or maybe not, one Puerto Rican belief is that you can avoid hangovers altogether by rubbing a lime under your drinking arm before you go out. It’s true — you can look it up.
I have no idea what the effect of this might be other than to remind you the next morning that you are twice as stupid as you thought you were.
That would be once for believing it would work, and then twice for going to the extreme to put it to the test.
I suppose, however, it could come in handy if the bartender runs out of a certain ingredient for your mojito.
“Oh, wait, give me the glass and I’ll …”
But that would be completely wrong, although it might cause a seat to open up for you at an otherwise packed bar.
In the meantime, going into my third day of flu-free excellent health, I should remind others who wish to inoculate themselves against one or both of these viral scourges that you might consider wearing a muscle shirt or some other sleeveless apparel if you plan to get your shots in a public place.
I got my shots at a local pharmacy, where the process obligates you to get needled at the counter. That was fine with me, as I rolled up my sleeve as high as it would go, which was not quite far enough to expose the target area.
“I need your shoulder,” the pharmacist said. “Otherwise, it’s going to hurt.”
I pushed, and rolled, and yanked my sleeve ever upward until I realized there was no way to hike it up enough without dropping my shirt, which I did.
Bear in mind that I’m a person of some years, so when you remove your shirt and thrust out your shoulder, what you don’t want to hear is …
“Hahahahahahaha!” which was what she said, give or take a “Ha!” here and there, before she jabbed me.
“I’m not that funny-looking,” I protested.
“Oh, it’s not that,” she replied, suppressing a chuckle. “It’s just that I realized where you’re going from here.”
“And how would that be?”
“I can smell the lime.”