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7:49pm on Sunday, 29th November, 2009:

First Response


When I got a cold recently, I moaned that there wasn't a cold-stopper that you could take when you knew one was coming on. As a result, I was recommended to get some Vicks First Response in, ready for the next impending cold.

Well, the next cold is impending — somewhat sooner than I was expecting, as I still have a cold from the last one. I therefore broke out the First Response and gave it a shot. The instructions said to place it in my nostril and aim it outwards "in the direction of your ear". Hmm, well I have two ears, both of which are outwards, but I guessed it meant on the same side. The next thing to do was pump it three times, then do the same with the other nostril.

About 15 minutes later, my eyes had just about stopped watering. The last time they watered that much was when I was about 8 and we visited my mother's aunt. She had this small, purple container on her mantlepiece, and I asked what was in it. "Smelling salts", I was told. I undid it, and took a deep sniff. Yes. I can see why they use those things for waking up people who have fainted. They could probably wake up statues with them.

Anyway, the First Response didn't have any effect on the cold. I gave it another shot just before going to bed, but the cold is still developing. I thought it probably would — not because the stuff is ineffective, but because it didn't get as far back as it needed to get for it to do its job. I can feel the cold starting above my throat but before it gets to be the nose, and even if I'd have inhaled the First Response (which the instructions say not to do) I doubt it would have found it. I'd try again, but I think it's a bit too late now.

Oh, and by the way, Vicks: if you're going to make something that people are going to spray up their noses, could you at least try to make it not stink?

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).