27 March, 2012

My Cough-Drop Pep-Talk Collection

Because I often get a scratchy throat, irrespective of the season, I go through a lot of cough drops throughout the year. They come in particularly handy before I make phone calls. If I can annoy myself with too-frequent throat clearing, the person on the other end of the line is bound to be doubly irritated. The same goes with visitors. Call my cough-drop dependency a social device, then.

Not too long ago, I sliced a fingernail into a pack of honey-and-lemon Halls to find unfamiliar wrapping and another reason to appreciate them. If you prefer another brand or haven’t had an excuse to pick any up at the store recently, let me save you the trip: inside the outer foil sleeve are eight lozenges, each enveloped in waxy paper on which are now printed inspirational mottos to uplift the spirits of the ailing. At first I thought these were incredibly lame. “Hi-five yourself”? — seriously? But after I’d unwrapped a few more and saw no repetition, I started saving them. Now, I have a whole bundle of wax-paper rectangles accumulating in my wallet, which has taken on the smell of menthol (but not in that overpowering elderly-man way, thank goodness).

“You’ve survived tougher.” “Don’t give up on yourself.” “Be resilient.” "Inspire envy.” I’m especially keen on the sassiness of “Put a little strut in it,” which seems like the sort of tip a kindly elder drag queen would give. The list goes on, and my collection grows by at least one wrapper a week.

I haven’t decided what to do with them once I’ve saved every possible motto. It’s occurred to me to piece the lot together in an overlapping collage that returns them to the layout the sheet they were cut from had. I lack tape or glue, but there are other options for adhesion. Whatever I decide will be in the name of posterity, for I can’t bear the idea of simply throwing the little gems on these wrappers away.

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