Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cough Syrup

Many years ago a friend of mine told me about a time when he went to buy a bottle of cough syrup from a pharmacy in New Mexico. At the time he had a bit of a habit and the law said you had to sign your name if you wanted a bottle of the good stuff, that is cough syrup with codeine. So he's standing in line at the pharmacy and he's wondering what name to sign on the ledger. Don't want to use your own name, after all you don't want anybody else pointing at you and calling you a drug addict, and the pharmacy doesn't ask for identification, so any name will do, but you need to decide just what name you are going to use. He finally settles on George Washington as a perfectly reasonable name and then he gets to the counter and the clerk opens the ledger and he goes to sign his name and he happens to glance at the name on the line above, and - wait for it - it's George Washington.

I'm reading A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block and it is a fine story about a recovering alcoholic private eye, Matt. Matt and another character have just dumped a bourbon soaked mattress out of a hotel window and are discussing the event:
"That dude at the desk. Jacob? He was pretty cool about the whole thing. He high on something?"
"He has a fondness for cough syrup," I said.
"Well, shit," Mark said. "Who doesn't?"
I howled.

Update April 2016 added Amazon link.


Ole Phat Stu said...

It's not the coff
that carries you off,
it's the coughin
they carries you oughin ;-)

Charles Pergiel said...


Lawrence Block said...

I remember when they changed the law in New York State and made terpin hydrate w/codeine a prescription item. I took it personally, figured the bastards were out to get me.

Charles Pergiel said...

It's always nice when the talented and famous drop by to say hello.
Thank you Mr. Block. You made my day.

Jody B said...

I want some cough syrup.

Charles Pergiel said...

Jody: You want some cough syrup? Shit, who doesn't?