Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night because you knew you were getting sick?  Sometimes it’s the scratchy throat, or maybe it’s a nasty headache that gets you.  The worst is when the nasal congestion suffocates you in your sleep and you wish someone could invent Draino for your nose.

Or worse yet, maybe you wake up with the chills and body aches and you think, “Oh no, this is gonna be a bad one.”  Everyone has suffered through it, the very first sign of a nasty virus.  And if you’re anything like me, you run to your bathroom medicine cabinet and shift through all the crap looking for something to save you from progressive misery.

Then you find it.  Nyquil.  Your long, lost love that saves you when you’ve hit rock bottom.  That beautiful magic liquid, though you’ve never really been able to tell just what color it’s supposed to be.  It looks black, but then again maybe it’s just dark blue.  Wait, no it’s deep burgundy.  But then there’s the one that’s green.  Whatever, it’s the stuff that cures ALL and you LOVE it!

The Good Stuff

You grab the bottle and hug it lovingly, knowing that once you take it, you’ll fall fast asleep and pray that maybe, just maybe, when you wake up tomorrow, it’ll all have been a bad dream.

The bottle is half empty but still, plenty is there to get you through the night.  The only problem is that the little cup that comes with it is nowhere to be found.

You check the entire medicine cabinet, under the sink, even behind the toilet (maybe it fell) but it’s nowhere to be found.

Okay fine, who needs a measuring cup?  You try to remember how much you took the last time you actually measured the stuff out and think, oh yeah, it was four swallows.  So you do what any desperate parent who has to work and can’t afford to be sick does… you swig the stuff down.

Not the smartest of ideas but who the hell has time to look for another stupid medicine cup that never seems to be anywhere near the liquid medicine it comes with.

You tip the bottle back and take a few swallows…ok, fine, maybe like eight or nine but who’s counting?  Just for kicks you say, “Ahhhh.”  The warmth of the alcohol spreads through your body and you already feel better.

Then you go back to bed.

But a sudden thought pops into your head as you lay there waiting for Nyquil to kick some serious virus ass and you bolt upright.

Because you realize its been a really, really long time since you last took Nyquil.  Like, maybe years long time.  So back to the bathroom you go and you pick up the Nyquil bottle once again, but this time not so lovingly.  Now the bottle appears somewhat threatening with its silky black color of death liquid inside.

You search frantically for the expiration date but can’t find it anywhere because that’s what drug companies do.  They make it so that in order to find the expiration date you have to read everything else on the damn bottle.  Unable to find the date, you sullenly turn the light out and are about to put the bottle back when you feel a raised indentation on the plastic and you pop the light back on.

With closer inspection through your CVS magnifying glasses, you read the date on the bottle and then have a full blown panic attack because the bottle says November 2012!

Your brain synapses trying to figure out what happens to the body when you take expired medicine but since you’ve been poisoned you suddenly can’t think straight so you do what anyone in the same dire situation would do… you google it.

Did you know that studies show some medicines are good for nine years after the expiration date and that Nyquil can stay good as long as it’s unopened and stored in a cool dry place?  No, not for nine years but hell what’s a few years, give or take?

You breathe a sigh of relief…you’re not going to die tonight from Nyquil poisoning.  I mean, sure the bottle was opened and yeah you’ve taken a hot shower every single day over the past six years but at least it was in a dark place.

Your hyperventilation slows down and you go back to bed, feeling slightly more confident that you won’t die tonight.  But you decide to write your husband a note anyway and tell him that if anything odd has happened to you by morning, blame the Nyquil and send it for forensic testing.

Well, long story short, you don’t die but you sure don’t feel better in the morning so obviously, the expired Nyquil had probably lost all of its potency.  You throw that baby in the garbage and go to CVS and buy a brand new shiny bottle of Nyquil!

Another night approaches and you open up the package, pour out the right amount of liquid this time into the plastic medicine cup and drink it down.  Laying in bed, about to fall asleep, your husband walks into the room holding the brand new bottle of Nyquil you just purchased.

“Hey Hon?”  he says.  “You might want to throw this Nyquil away and buy a new one.  This one’s expired.”

Son of a bitch…

I’m now a proud owner of Theraflu.