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Justin M. Stoddard

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Fed Up
February 26, 2007 — 8:14 pm

I’ve never had the flu. Ever. When I do get sick, it’s often a very severe sinus infection. When it’s not serious, it’s still pretty bad. I’ve been dealing with this for as long as I remember. I know the symptoms. I know how long it will last. And, most importantly, when suffering from sometimes agonizing pain, I know what makes me comfortable.

Hot tea. Sudafed. Sleep. In that order.

I went Walgreens this past Friday to get a box of Sudafed so I could prepare for a ritualistic weekend involving the afore-mentioned items.

Apparently, you can’t just buy Sudafed anymore. On the great wall of therapeutics, where the Sudafed should be, is a card directing you to take it to the pharmacist, where you can purchase your deliverance.

“Hmmm”, thought I, “There must have been a rash of Sudafed thievery lately.”

Walking up to the pharmacy counter, I presented the card symbolizing the particular strength and dosage of Sudafed that I required and waited.

“Drivers licence, please.”

I presented my drivers licence without much thought, holding my wallet up so it could be seen through the transparent plastic most wallets come with these days. I assumed she just wanted to confirm I was over 21.

“You’re gonna have to take your licence out because I have to type some information into the computer.”


“It’s required.”

“By whom?”

“It’s the law.”

“Isn’t Sudafed an over the counter drug?”

“Yes, but we have to enter your name into a database because you are limited to how much Sudafed you can buy in a certain time frame.”

“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Yes, I did say “fucking”, which is a word I rarely ever say in public, particularly to a stranger. This gives you some measure of how completely pissed off I was.

And so, I gave her my drivers licence. And now, I’m in some state-run database that notes the date, time, name, drivers licence number, the amount and strength of the over the counter drug I purchased.

If I accidentally damaged my recent purchase of Sudafed in anyway, say by dropping it in the toilet, or accidentally throwing it out in the trash, etc…, I would not be able to return to any store in Missouri to buy more within a 24 hour period. If I were to do so, I would be eyed with great suspicion. In fact, the police might even be called out.

It is nobody’s damned business how much Sudafed I purchase. Not to sound overly dramatic, or hyperbolic, but this has just made me a victim of our amazingly incompetent war on drugs. It makes me so incredibly angry to be treated with suspicion and forced to give up my privacy in order to remedy a common occurrence in my life.

This is one of the reasons I view people like Mrs. du Toit and their notions of free association with complete derision.

Please, kindly go fuck yourselves.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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