I was pretty excited to hear the other day that Tylenol has been shown to ease existential dread.
I've been feeling fairly existentially fit the past few weeks, which puzzled and of course worried me, so I was relieved to be able to pinpoint the why of my relative lack of anxiety.
See, I take a couple of painkillers each day to keep the ol' ankle from throbbing too much, or to treat a back twinge, or sometimes just out of habit.
Only, it turns out the past few weeks I've been taking ibuprofen, not acetaminophen (the active ingredient in the Tylenol brand).
I was able to follow the Boston Marathon story more closely than I would normally as we do have satellite TV on the boat. With the older brother dead and the hunt intensifying for the younger man, I went to bed Friday morning figuring it would all be over by the time I got up.
Nope, but it sure was entertaining (in a horrific way) to watch the news channels fall all over themselves reporting complete conjecture and bullsh*t. First trumps right every time these days, I guess.
The denouement: police riddle the kid's hiding place (a boat) with gunfire, then approach in an amored personnel carrier with an RBCLD (remote boat cover lifting device).
Why did they have to do all that?
Didn't the home/boat owner walk outside unarmed and unarmored, lift the cover, see the guy, walk back inside and call 9-1-1?
One headline today read: "The Week from Hell."
The marathon bombing was horrific. The fertilizer plant explosion in West was tragic. And then there was that nut with the poison letters ... it's all kind of crazy.
But I'm pretty sure that most weeks in this old world are just as bad for someone, somewhere. Many have been much worse.
Maybe that sounds crass and unsympathetic. Oh well.
I opted-out of involving myself emotionally in most of these events a long time ago. Somewhere between a mass grave in Srebrenica and the squalor of a remote Ecuadorian village and a 2-year-old raped by her drunken father, I had my fill of strangers' tragedies.
I have only so much emotional bandwidth, and given the nature of existence I figure I'll reserve it for the inevitable frights and tragedies that occur in my life and in the lives of those near and dear to me.
But I understand how folks get swept up in it all. Twenty-four-seven global news just brings it all together and packages it neatly (or not-so-neatly, as the case may be) for us, and we sit there and drink it in, no matter the cost to our existential health.
Fortunately, we have Tylenol.