In the beginning there were three wonder drugs...
You had a cough, runny nose... bronchitis? No problem, take some Robitussin. I grew up in a house where "Bless you!" was replaced by "Take some 'tussin."
You fell off your bike and shoved the pedal through your calf? Dab some Mercurochrome on it.
You got bit by a brown recluse and you rolled around in poison ivy all afternoon? Smear some Campho Phenique on that smelly, oozing rash... You'll be fine..
That was all we needed. Three meds. The miracle trifecta that just might cure a cancer given the chance. Someone really should conduct a study to look into that.
I stopped by my dad's house after work. I can't remember exactly why, but I was in the middle of the 924 engine swap and probably needed to borrow some tools.
Like the perfect storm, two of my brothers pulled in the driveway behind me. I don't really know why or how we all managed to converge at dad's place, but we did and I didn't mind. It's always a good time hanging out with everyone in the old house. It wasn't ten minutes before my brothers were in the basement digging out old slot cars and the Atari. Good times.
I was upstairs in the kitchen trying to find something to eat when I touched the back of my neck. "CRAP!"
My dad looked up, "What's wrong?"
"Jesus." I rubbed my neck and squirmed like a little bitch. "My neck is killing me. I think I'm getting a zit."
"Let me see that." He fumbled for his glasses. "You know what's the best thing for something like that?"
"A dab of Campho Phenique."
A shout from the basement: "PUT SOME 'TUSSIN ON IT!"
That was the moment where everything went down. The second my brother yelled the funniest thing I heard that year, my dad pulled a move I will never forget.
In one well-timed, well-honed, one-handed move he conjured up a bottle of Campho Phenique, opened it, stuck his big thumb over the opening, flipped it over, flipped it back and wiped a big swath of smelly, greasy goo right on the back of my neck.
Like a dirty hitler, but... not as dirty... and on my neck...
There we were, standing in the kitchen. Grease-neck and captain of the monkey squad. His actions were swift and precise. He was proud. It all happened so fast I couldn't think. I had nothing.
I took a deep breath, shrugged and said, "Ok then." I thought, This'll be funny as hell if it actually works.
I woke up early the next day... The pain was amazing. Who kicked me in the back of neck? I headed straight to the bathroom. I could feel this was a zit unlike any other.
It took a minute of bending and contorting before I realized the bathroom mirror was useless to me. I yelled. "DOOD! Get in here. I need you to look at something for me."
Thinking back, that was probably not something any room mate would want to hear. Especially at 7am from behind a closed bathroom door. Of course he came right in. I turned and pointed.
His eyes got big - "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!?!?!? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?!?" He was jumping around like a lunatic, laughing. "WHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!!! Holy hell. That's the biggest zit I ever did see.”
"Don't let it pop. I gotta get the camera."
"Let me get a penny we can use to show scale."
He calmed down a bit, "That is UNREAL. How did you grow that thing?"
"My dad got me with the Campho Phenique last night."
"Yep. That'll happen."