Pharmaceutical companies: doesn't matter what Country you live in - just the phrase alone makes your sphincter clench, but apparently their products can also have the same effect.
I limped into a pharmacy recently looking for some innocuous cream; Savlon, that type of thing to rub onto a sore toe, just an average complaint on the hierarchy of medicinal problems. It needed more than a vocal curse (I had, of course, tried that remedy when I had created the injury when stepping on the appropriately named Vlad the Impailer action warrior) but less than amputation, so I figured this was certainly in the realm of self-fixes from the corner Chemist.
The aisle seemed bountiful enough as I scanned the creams and ointments…acne, no way too anatomically lofty. I needed to go a little more south, if you know what I mean….hemeroidal ointment….getting lower, but still nowhere near the feet (and certainly the stuff of mail order ointments – all that embarrassing conversation and knowing nods with the check-out clerk would be too much)…ah, here we are, a good old fashioned salve, the kind your grandmother would use on your grandfathers carbuncle or thrush.
The decision seemed made until I read in very small writing: May cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue with headaches, fatigue with nausea, and you guessed it, fatigue with dizziness. Has been linked with vomiting, projectile vomiting, vomiting on the sidewalk, vomiting such that your best friends think you’re a drunken bum. May cause too much saliva, may cause too little saliva (dry mouth). May promote the development of West Nile Virus (with or without the help of Mosquitoes). May create penile dysfunction (write and ask us about this as it’s too embarrassing to print on this label). Please ensure that all users have had all childhood vaccinations and innoculations as may cause Malaria, TB, Measles and Dropsy. Dropsy! that doesn’t sound good! May promote hair loss on head, hair growth on shins, shin splints, splinters. Do not ingest, digest, use suggestively. May cause a rash, spots, blemishes, boils and all manner of socially unnacceptable scarring. Will discourage dating and may even stop your mother loving you. May cause wasting of bone mass and swelling of thumbs, ankles and unmentionable areas. Promotes internal bleeding, gum bleeding and bleeding by leeches. Has been linked to the black death. Yes, we mean that trouble that Europe had a few years ago. Do not apply to rats.
Mmmm, maybe I would give my toe a couple more days to heal on its own. I limped back down the aisle. My toe was actually not hurting anymore but for some strange reason my anus was gripping the inside of my underwear.