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On the Edge of Common Sense: Pills

Baxter Black Published on 07 December 2011

While sitting next to a 20-something young woman on the airplane, I shook a handful of peanut butter M&M’s into my palm. She said, “I wish I’d bought some of those, too.”

I offered her one, but she declined, “Oh, no,” she sighed, “I’ve got these.”



She indicated a plastic baggie with enough pills and capsules, big and little, to fill a dinner plate!

I looked at her more closely, thinking she was allergic, had a contagious disease, was trying to get pregnant or had recently been diagnosed with malaria. But no, she had clear skin, pink cheeks, bright eyes, perfectly sculpted brows and dark, shiny hair.

“Vitamins and …” she said, scrolling through a quick inventory of enough patent medicines, supplements, tablets, pallatives, pills, purges and boluses to stock a third-world Whole Foods market!

She explained how each protected, eliminated, balanced, disrupted, prevented, increased and/or cured virtually anything she might be exposed to on the planet Earth.

I was taken aback. She asked me what health supplements I took.


“Does coffee and Copenhagen count?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said, “I mean something that makes you feel better. They’ve got a pill for everything, ya know!”

“Well, I try to eat at least one jalapeño a day with Miracle Whip on it,” I said. But then I got to thinking … Do they have a pill to prevent forgetting your grandson’s name? Or one to protect me from rudeness? Maybe a spray to protect me from animal rights lunatics. How ’bout one to give me more hours in a day?

I thought of rushing to get the calves sorted for shipment. The trucks arriving at 9:30 a.m. We would have been working since daylight and still have 275 cows and calves to sort.

I could stop the crew and administer each of them a TIME-OUT pill that will give each of us another hour and a half that day. Everyone would set his watch back and relax!

Have you ever put your credit card bill in your box and forgot it? On the date your bill comes due you remember, but there’s no way to avoid paying that extra 17 percent interest on the next bill! I have.


I panic; what a waste of money! But say you had a bottle of PAY-BACK capsules that you could take that instantly eliminate the penalty … penalty pills. You take them, then send your bill in late but the pills keep you from being charged the interest!

Have you ever raised your hand at a livestock auction, only to find that you’re still bidding on the last animal that went through and not the one in the ring. And you don’t really have a place for a burro. You pop a “WHOA, HOLD IT!” pill! It works like nitroglycerine and immediately wipes out the last thing you said.

There could be “WHOOPS” pills, “OVERS” pills, “WAIT UP” pills and “IT WAS AN ACCIDENT” pills – and “SILENCER” pills for those times you spoke your mind … and shouldn’t have. Which could be me. Pass me a SILENCER; I’ll swallow it whole. PD