I came very close to becoming a breeder, like most of the rest of my college classmates. Far too close for comfort to following the prefabricated path pharmacy graduates were expected to take back in the early 90's, which I can only assume still applies.
1) Buy a new car.
2) Get married.
3) Buy a new house.
4) Pump out the offspring. And cease to live for the rest of your physical existence.
Fortunately there was the bleach incident. Were it not for the bleach incident you might be reading about my little Tyler's basketball game, or perhaps about the unfairness of a school board's decision regarding bus routes. I would be writing to you from my aboveground coffin and you would be bored.
My post-graduation McMansion, however, was located in the middle of nowhere, which meant it got its water from a well. A brand new well. My crowd didn't do used houses. Thinking back, I can't recall one member of my old posse that bought themselves a used house. New wells have to be sanitized, which is done by pouring a gallon of bleach down them, running the water in your brand-new house until you smell bleach coming from your brand new pipes, leaving the bleachy water in your pipes overnight, then flushing out the system in the morning. Simple enough. Unless you decide you're thirsty in the middle of the night like I did. I went to get me a drink of water and it wasn't until the feeling of my esophagus being on fire about a minute later that I remembered. My last thoughts would have gone something like this:
Crap, the bleach water.
I remember I'm not supposed to throw up. I think I'm supposed to eat bread or something.
I should call poison contr.....ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz...........
And off to sleepyland the king of the McMansion went. Fortunately a painful esophagus for the next week or so was the worst I had to show for my absent-mindedness and preference of sleep to action. It did give me a chance to reflect a bit though, on what I would have left behind if that really would have been the end. I always credited the bleach incident with being the genesis of the process that ended with me making a break for the coast and you being able to read about Mom's who force their children to kill pet hamsters with hammers instead of little Tyler.
I was reminded of the bleach incident today as I read about the new Governor of New Jersey's plan to eliminate that state's poison control center in a bid to save the state all of $529,000. The Governor obviously has gotten wind of the bleach incident story, and has come to the conclusion that all anyone needs to do in the event of a poisoning is sleep it off, like I did.
The Governor needs to realize that I am a extraordinary individual. Superhuman almost. And that most people in New Jersey are of a weaker constitution than me.
He also should know that had I stayed awake, I, a licensed pharmacist, would have called a poison control center. And if they disappear, we will be reliant on the judgement of emergency room doctors like the one I saw in college who made a man throw up after accidentally ingesting 60 mg of nifedipine two hours ago.
Sixty milligrams of nifedipine is well within the normal adult dose if you're playing along at home, and after two hours, it was already in his bloodstream.
So do the people of New Jersey a favor and sign the online petition to save their poison control center. Because there's no way that stench along the turnpike is gonna get any better if we start adding in the smell of rotting corpses of people who've poisoned themselves.
Not even bleach would cover that up.