Sunday, December 06, 2009

More Bad Ideas & Why I Shouldn't Be Left Alone at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix

















As I was cleaning out my laptop case before heading to Canada, I came across a pack of generic nicotine gum.  I've been thinking about doing a blog on how I came in possession of this decided to recount my experience::

Date/Time:
22 December 2008, 11AM
Location:
Kingston, ON, Canada {Pop 117,207}
Shoppers Drug Mart (Shoppers)

Suburban area of smaller city with an economy dependent on public institutions, including Queens University.  Catataraqui Town Centre is the largest mall in the greater Kingston area with 141 stores.  The anchors are Sears, Zellers, and the Bay.

The Shoppers was attached to the mall and has entrances from the mall and outside.  Shoppers is a large chain in Canada, based in Ontario, with fairly large stores.  They also own Pharmaprix in Québec.

Consumption Experience:
I was sequestered into 1/2 of the Shoppers, so I couldn't see shopping for stocking stuffers for Christmas.  So, the half of the store I was in had salty snacks and candy, which I perused.  I got 2 bags of potato chips and I also picked up shaving cream and went looking in other aisles on my half of the store.  I felt I was just buying stuff just to pass time.

I came across the aisle with nicotine gum.  I recalled from 2002, trying a piece of Nicorette gum when an acquaintance who was trying to quit offered me a piece.  When I tried it in 2002, I noticed it was "curiously refreshing" and I felt the tang of the chemicals, as they went down my throat.  The effects of the nicotine were immediate.  It offered a rush without the health risks associated with smoking, although nicotine is far from a harmless substance.

This time, I saw the house brand, "Life" of nicotine gum.  I thought this might be a good way to start my day, as opposed to quaffing large mugs of strong coffee.  See, bad idea.  I was looking at the various options and couldn't help but think of the ridiculousness of "ramping up" to the equivalent of a pack a day habit—in gum.  So, I bought the 2mg generic nicotine gum and couldn't wait to try it.  I must say it was a lot harsher than I remembered.  Maybe it was the dosage or the fact it was generic, but it felt like taking medicine.  One thing I cannot stand is flavourless gum and I usually get rid of gum as soon as it starts to lose flavour.  The nicotine gum lost its minty flavour fairly quickly and the texture turns to waxy plastic.  Nevertheless, I noticed I kept on chewing it and chewing it and chewing it.  This reminded of this old Taxi episode, where Latka's {Andy Kaufman} grandmother died and left him the recipe for her cookies that everyone was strangely drawn to.  Here's a summary from tv.com {highlight to see}::
"When Latka's grandmother dies, he is pleased that she has left him her famous cookie recipe, complete with a supply of the secret ingredients. He bakes up some for the cabbies to enjoy, but the cabbies don't enjoy them.
Nonetheless, Latka begins his own cookie business. In the days to come, the cabbies find that they are indeed starting to inexplicably like the cookies, and are also unusually happy and energetic. When Jim samples one, he determines that the secret ingredient is cocaine, which accounts for why everyone's behavior.
Upon learning this, Alex visits Latka, busy baking cookies to fill supermarket orders, to tell him the bad news. Latka is noticeably high from the cookies, and hallucinates that Famous Amos tells him to do whatever it takes to be successful.
Although Latka can no longer sell the drugged cookies, he is excited at the taste of capitalism because it means he's now a true American."

The episode is here::









Back to the gum.  Nevertheless, my use of the gum never took.  So, almost a year later, I still have most of it and I still drink large mugs of strong coffee.

Twitterversion::  Left to my own devices @ #ShoppersDrugMart, bought generic #nicotinegum I thought would be curiously refreshing. #Fail.  @Prof_K


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