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Finding a cure for the common cure

October 14, 2012
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor ( , Times-Republican

As anyone who has attempted to watch network television in the past month can tell you there is an election coming and that your candidate is the only candidate that understands America, while the other guy may or may not be some kind of fascist/socialist/Bond villian.

Blofeld/Jaws in 2012!

While we poor Iowans once again suffer for our lack of partisanship and regrettable ability to make up our minds based on reason rather than rhetoric it may seem like there is little that actually binds us together as a people.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by politicians, political parties, and an endless series of political action committees to remind us just how divided of a country we are, and how only their candidate can bring us all back together.

Well, I'll bet I?can think of at least one thing we, the citizens of Iowa in these early weeks of October, can agree on: we are all sick.

I know I am. Currently my body is playing host to some kind of virus that has seemed to leap from the pages of a Robert Heinlein novel and settle nicely into my sinuses.

As with every incidence of infection I always try to retrace my steps, attempting to figure out just where it all went wrong.

Maybe it was celebrating my 31st birthday by jumping into a pile of leaves that I quickly found support the weight of children much better than that of immature adults?

Maybe it was the subsequent half an hour of sifting through said leaf pile attempting to find my cell phone? (Which actually WAS found, thanks Allison!)

Maybe it was at a friend's wedding where I spent most of my time between the dance floor (115 degrees) and outside (-100 degrees) because they wouldn't let me smoke in the reception hall because of some lame excuse like "there is no smoking in here" or "the whole building is made of wood" or "you're scarring the kids, stop Gangnam style dancing and get outside!"


While the cause of my current alien infestation my be lost to the ages the results are all too known. I?have a cold.

And no phrase since "who are you voting for?" elicits so much unwarranted advice quite like home remedies for the common cold. Unfortunately, most of them are total garbage. Case in point:

Lots-o-Vitamins: This theory is usually pushed on you by a friend who just so happens to take a lot of vitamins themselves. They tell you it is the best thing for you, and it works wonders when they get sick. Well, if you take ALL the vitamins, then how did YOU get sick? Check and mate, Guy at GMC!

Feed/Starve a cold: I don't know which one it is and I?don't care. Since the common cold will always feel like the greatest personal suffering one can endure your eating patterns switch from "selective" to "survival." You don't have "meals" you have "rations" that must be consumed to maintain enough cognizance to switch out between discs of "The Office."

Exercise: This is a cruel joke perpetrated by sadists that like to watch people sneeze on treadmills. You know who doesn't think this is funny? Everyone else.

Sweat it out: The basic idea here is to get a bunch of blankets and then sit under them. Eventually everything will turn out fine. This is the most reasonable of all the aforementioned cures.

Chicken soup: Ye olde standard. Developed sometime in the early 1400s by a chicken concern operated by the Bourbon Kings of Europe chicken soup allegedly cures your cold with the healing power of chicken; an indisputable medical fact that is demonstrated by the fact that people who eat nothing but KFC never get sick.

Personally, I don't really like any of these cures. Sure, I like a good bowl of chicken noodle soup, but leave out the vitamins and bring on the NyQuil. And with that, I am going to sleep for 30 hours straight, because I'm pretty sure the alien infection is starting to talk to me, and I don't care what it says I'm not buying "Prometheus" on Blu Ray.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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