There were times during my post-college schooling that I would resort to NyQuil just to get some sleep. Afflicted with psychosomatic symptoms which, of course, were thin excuses to take the cold medicine, I would reach for that trademark-shaped bottle.
I conjured up symptoms like a scratchy throat while knowing I could scarf down salty pretzels with ease. Is my nose stuffy? Time for NyQuil, but I knew inside I was breathing fine. Is it 10:00pm? Time for NyQuil. You say the moon is out? Hells yeah, pour me two fingers please.
For the record, my favorite was the blue-green liquid because I thought the worse it tasted, the better it worked. Also, it looked like it was from the future. You know how movies let the viewer know it’s the year 3000 by having people at a bar drink blue or green cocktails in silver clothing. That’s what I imagined when I drank it.
I know a lot of us out there abused NyQuil’s magical qualities at one point. Then those stupid meth heads ruined all the fun. Medicines are now cut with weaker ingredients that frankly do not work as well as the old stuff.
I had to give the pharmacist my driver’s license just to buy the original NyQuil (renamed NyQuil-D) when the poor wife was suffering from a bad cold. Thanks a lot meth addicts. You deserve the sunken looks, splotchy skin and the occasional blown up limbs.
Suspiciously, it seems Vicks is keenly aware of NyQuil and its uses regardless if one is suffering from a cold. I have no evidence of this but how else to explain their new product ZzzQuil?
Not one to pass up a good time, I was fascinated by its name. It looked like a fake product hawked on a Saturday Night Live skit or a bad Wacky Packages card. I couldn’t believe it was real but tossed it in my cart along with the gummy fiber pills and rectangle tins of mustard sauce sardines.
Taking a picture, I posted the product on my social network to get a reaction. Friends alike kept asking if this was real. Yes Virginia, there is a ZzzQuil.
I went ahead and experimented in various methods to see how effective this purple berry flavored elixir was. Taking the next four days to get familiar with ZzzQuil, I rubbed my hands together and hoped for the best.
Night One: I ate a pot roast dinner about four hours prior to getting into to bed. No dessert so my stomach should be fairly settled. I removed the plastic mini cup and poured a shot of ZzzQuil. I sniffed and gagged as the distinguished bitter medicinal smell was there to say “Hello.”
I slugged it as fast as possible and noted that it was much more palatable than the blueish or the red cherry NyQuil. It’s true, a spoonful (or three) helps the medicine go down because it was damn sweet. The “warming berry flavor” was more of a nondescript sugary taste, thus explaining the ingredient: high fructose corn syrup. As viscous the medicine was, the ZzzQuil did not coat my tongue or throat. Like my favorite gin martini, it went down easy.
Despite the berry flavor, true as it states on the package, there was a warming effect in my stomach. However, there was a problem as I never felt groggy or sleepy soon after taking it. In fact, it took maybe an hour for it to work, if it did work at all. I wasn’t sure if it was the medicine or it was just normalcy that lulled me to sleep time.
Waking up, I did not feel out of it or tired as sometimes NyQuil does to a person. I was left with the question if this stuff works at all.
Night Two: I took ZzzQuil an hour earlier before bedtime. Watching Les and family toss out crazies in Hardcore Pawn made me laugh, which has some of the best confrontations this side of Cheaters. Two episodes in and I still did not feel tired.
Don’t judge me, but I enjoyed the mini-marathon so much I almost forgot I had taken the sleeping aid. I was able to devour quite a few “eff-youze” and only crashed when I decided to go to sleep. I never got that “fuzzy” or slow-motion brain thing when medicine makes you take a nap. Again, it failed.
Night Three: With my wife gone out of state to speak at some superhugeimportant symposium, I chose to take it so early that the sunlight was still out. Yes, I imbibed the purple concoction as soon as I got home from work. The 6:30 pm news blagged on about the thunderstorm warnings as I went through my evening routine of a shower, a neat scotch, and reading my e-mail as I made dinner.
It did not work. I was able to watch television, play some Diablo III and search for some Mexican Ghostbuster II t-shirts on eBay. I fell asleep when I went to bed at my normal time and I even broke the cardinal rule of no alcohol when taking this medicine.
Day Four: After spending Saturday morning getting a haircut, shopping for power ties, and buying some songs on iTunes, I went over to the almost empty bottle. I slammed down another shot and settled down with a couple of episodes of Lizard Lick Towing. Complimenting my trash television, I drank a couple of bottles of Newcastle’s Limited Edition Werewolf beer I acquired at my local Publix supermarket.
I followed my dosage by watching the underrated “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” listening to M83’s album twice (which some of its lush ambient songs themselves can bring you to sleep) while working on some manuscripts, half watched a rerun of Bridezillas, and internet shopped for some argyle sweater vests. I also drank three martinis sans olives, ate a mashed potato sandwich and scarfed down a handful of gumdrops. Not once did I get that sleepy feeling. Although, I did get drunk and felt like a loser because of how I spent my Saturday.
ZzzQuil was disappointing. It was also expensive and, frankly, there are better over-the-counter alternatives that do work. I never felt tired, rather all I felt was regret and disgust. ZzzQuil is a non-habit forming sleeping aid, but it doesn’t seem to work, which is, perhaps, why it’s non-habit forming.
Speaking of habits, I believe ZzzQuil has gotten me addicted to truTV’s lineup of colorful reality (or Actuality, as they brand it) shows and mashed potato sandwiches. The only effects this sleeping medication have had on me are embarrassment and self-loathing. I don’t condone the methods (except Night One) I’ve used, but I’m in need of some sleep and I think my throat is getting scratchy.
(Active Ingredients – 30 mL dose cup – 50 milligrams of dipenhydramine HCI. 10% alcohol. Inactive Ingredients – citric acid, ethanol, FD & C blue #1, FD & C red ##40, flavor, high fructose corn syrup, polyoxyl 40 stearate, propylene glycol, purified water, saccharine sodium, sodium benzoate, and sodium citrate dehydrate.)
Item: Vicks ZzzQuil
Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: 6 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Goes down easy. The name ZzzQuil is pretty awesome. Nice warming feeling in my belly. The color purple is nice. Wacky Packages. No groggy feeling in the morning. Watching Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.
Cons: The price. It is way too sweet. It was seldom effective. Learning about yourself may cause disappointment. Wasting an entire Saturday. Watching Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.