You learn new things all the time, and recently I learned that Robitussin is a recreational drug for people who can't get their hands on real drugs. I woke up two days before the Holiday Renegade Fair with an itch in my throat and an ache around my glands. Uh-oh. I dragged myself over to my neighborhood Vietnamese noodle shop and downed a bowl of Pho with lots of extra red chili to, you know, burn out the sickness. Then, since I could still walk, I went to the studio and worked all day. I repeated this routine on Friday. When I woke upon Saturday-- the first day of the show-- I had a terrible cough and hardly any voice.
Saturday was so busy I didn't have a lot of time to think about how crappy I felt. But by Sunday I had this dry, hacky cough that wouldn't stop. So I swig down 3 or 4 doses of Robitussin thinking I can drown the cough in suppressant. Isn't that how it works? You just coat the throat in medicine and feel better? About 30 minutes later I stood up and had two thoughts that occurred one right after the other. The first was, "Whoa, I am like, reeeeaaaally dizzzzzzy." That thought came very slowly, and I swayed in my booth as I thought it. The second thought was, "Whoa, I think I may puke right here, right now." That thought came very slowly too, which alarmed me, because I have a fear of puking in public. If I was going to puke, I needed to run immediately, and not slowly, to the nearest exit door, which was about 100 yards away.
I've never puked in public, but I still have the fear. One time, I was really high and thought I puked in public when I actually didn't. That was a long time ago, before I was a potter.
Oh, and there was a third thought: "I think I drank too much Robitussin." And then I started coughing so hard I almost did pass out and then puke.
Overdosing on Robitussin is kind of like tripping, but without the interesting thoughts or pretty colors. I was not registering the activity around me in real-time, so my responses were delayed, which was throwing off my timing with customers. It was also kind of like being drunk, but without the good-timey feeling. I couldn't make my face do what I wanted it to do, so my lips and eyes and eyebrows were not matching up in expression. Think about that for a second. It was also kind of like being on nitrous, I couldn't really feel my body. I was trying to make change for someone, and ripped a twenty dollar bill right in half as I was trying to unfold it and hand it to them. We both stared at the bill, and then I tried to make it become whole again by holding the edges together. I am magic. It didn't work. My stage presence drained slowly away along with my sales as I just sat in my booth, kind of melting off my seat. My friend, who didn't know I was sick, brought me a frosty beer, which I just stared at as it slowly warmed up. You know I'm about to die when I cannot drink a beer.
My brain came back online about 2 hours before the show closed, and I looked around and realized almost everything was gone from my shelves, and there was a spilled bottle of Robitussin on the floor next to me, and a big pile of money in my cash box. So it actually was a very merry christmas, I hope yours was just as good!