Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Foiled by Cold Capsule Packaging

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Foiled by Cold Capsule Packaging

Article excerpt

Byline: gary bainbridge One man's struggle with the 21st century. Follow Gary on Twitter @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

THE sun had been beating down for days, turning the world around me into a shimmering Mediterranean paradise. The beautiful people filled the pavement cafes with tans and laughter. Diners in Greggs were considering the salads.

Even I was wearing a slightly less heavy tweed jacket - next stop, a mankini, no doubt.

And so the ground was prepared for me to get a cold. Nobody knows why colds are called colds. I only seem to get them when the weather is sunny, and when the night air is warm and stagnant, and when people do not seem to believe that I might have one.

The full packet of tissues I took with me to work had expired just after lunchtime, the final one looking like a string vest. I had to replenish my supplies.

This led me to a nearby branch of a nationwide chain of newsagents. I will not say the name of this company, but if I just say that you can't buy a pen in there nowadays without them trying to sell you a family-sized Fruit & Nut for PS1, you will know of which I speak.

I found the tissues, and near them was a packet of Lemsip Max Day & Night Cold & Flu Relief Capsules. I was not sure how severe my cold was in the range of colds, but I decided that something called Max would do just the job. There's no point in pussyfooting around with cold medication. I don't mind using a sledgehammer to crack a nut as long as the nut ends up cracked.

I took the items to the counter. "Ooh," said the shop assistant, "Have you got a cold?" I peered at her through bloodshot eyes, with a throat that felt like I had swallowed a cheese grater for a bet, and a red nose that was crying out for the tissues that lay between us. I looked like somebody miming a cold in a game of charades.

Sarcasm would have been so easy. "A cold, you say? Tell me, what gave me away, Miss Marple? Was it my Barry White voice? Or was it the fact that I have just put some aloe vera tissues and cold medication right in front of you? …

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