Searching for a cure for life’s screwups

While sitting next to a 20-something young woman on the airplane, I shook a handful of peanut butter M&M’s into my palm. She said, “I wish I’d bought some of those, too.”

I offered her one but she declined, “Oh, no.” she sighed, “I’ve got these.”

She indicated a plastic baggie with enough pills and capsules, big and little, to fill a dinner plate!

I looked at her more closely, thinking she was allergic, had a contagious disease, was trying to get pregnant, or had recently been diagnosed with malaria. But no, she had clear skin, pink cheeks, bright eyes, perfectly sculpted brows and dark, shiny hair.

“Vitamins and…” she said, scrolling through a quick inventory of enough patent medicines, supplements, tablets, pallatives, pills, purges and boluses to stock a third-world Whole Foods market! She expla-ined how each protected, eliminated, balanced, disrupted, prevented, increased and/or cured virtually anything she might be exposed to on the planet Earth.

I was taken aback. She asked me what health supplements I took.

“Does coffee and Copenhagen count?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said, “I mean something that makes you feel better. They’ve got a pill for everything, ya know!”

“Well, I try to eat at least one jalape