Sunday, February 13, 2011

The sniffling, sneezing, so you can rest column

Everyone talks about Nyquil as if it’s the most powerful drug you can buy without first consulting a doctor or the bad neighbor kid, so I was expecting that I’d either be comatose by now or running naked down the hallway, swatting at mosquitoes that aren’t really there.

Unfortunately, I’m still conscious and maintaining whatever grip on reality I could previously claim. I usually don’t even bother with taking over-the-counter medicine, since whining seems to be just as effective, and much more cost-effective. But this time, I’m willing to try anything, even if it costs five bucks for a pack of twelve near-placebos.

Do you remember when Cash for Clunkers was going on, and they’d pour liquid glass into old cars’ engines to make sure nobody could ever drive them again? Someone has done that to my head.

“Babe, you’re snoring again. Can you go sleep in the guest room?” my wife Kara said last night. Lest she be accused of lacking in sympathy, her head has also been clunkered for the past few days, and it does make sense for the snorer to be the one to take his blankie and his respiratory cacophony elsewhere.

Snoring is a proud tradition among the men in my family, one that thankfully skips over me when my cranial ductwork is functioning. If the situation doesn’t improve soon, though, I might wind up like other snorers in my family, who have to strap pointy cushions to their backs to keep them from rolling over in their sleep. If you ever see one of these Todd men heading to bed after donning their anti-snoring cushion, now you’ll understand why they look like a sleepy stegosaurus.

I was hoping I’d feel a little more festive today, since this is the sixth anniversary of the birth of this column. I suppose that would make it a birthday, not an anniversary, but the point remains that it is indeed possible to write 312 columns without dispensing a single fact or useful piece of advice.

While the vast majority of these columns have been produced shortly after their respective deadlines have passed, the only deadline I ever flubbed altogether happened on the day my son Evan was born, which I vividly recall because I had a really good round of Assassin’s Creed II going that day.

It’s funny how six years doesn’t even sound like that much time anymore. To a ten-year-old, being sixteen is an unimaginably distant future. As you age, though, time accelerates, so that if you put a Mama Celeste pizza in the microwave on your thirty-third birthday, you’ll be forty before the cheese melts.

It might not seem like that much time has passed, but there have been a lot of changes since I started writing this column, mainly that my bald spot has gone from DEFCON 5 to DEFCON 1. I always thought DEFCON 5 was the worst place to be, but Wikipedia informs me that DEFCON 1 is actually the worst, 5 is the best. Remember that the next time you’re the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From what I understand of the demographics of my readership, if you’re reading these words, there’s a very good chance that you gave birth to me, married me or spent your childhood giving me wedgies. Even if you’re not one of these people, the very fact that your eyeballs are here is the main reason that this column has survived, and I sincerely thank you.

I’d also like to thank all the editors over the years who have done me the twin favors of dispensing wonderful advice while maintaining generously low standards. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time here, and I understand how lucky I am to have had it.

Also, this will be my final column. Not really, but it felt like the ending needed to be punched up a little.

You can mentholate Mike Todd at


  1. Go take some more Nyquil, and don't even THINK about ending this delightful weekly joust with reality. Your faithful readers don't take kindly to such jokes.
    Aunt S.

  2. Happy Birthday/Anniversary. I believe they have changed Nyquil. It just doesn't knock a person out like it used to. Thanks for all the great reads and get some rest. You need to rethink that ending! :)

  3. Happy annibirthday! Man, I had no idea I'd missed out on nearly 5 years of this!! I'm glad I stumbled upon it when I did. Imagine what else I would have missed! =)

  4. Another great column! And just think, Airborne would have made this column impossible to write! :))

  5. Damn! You had me going when I read "...this will be final column." Thankfully you will continue.

    I am happy to say that I did not give birth to you, nor marry you or attempt any wedgies. However, I did climb onto the roof of Pollock Commons with you several times along with a few fire towers. And those are good memories.

    PS: I have never had much success with the miracle drug they call Nyquil either.

  6. Dang, homepeople, thanks for all the kind words! And Happy Valentine's Day, if you're into that kind of thing.

  7. Okay, you're not allowed to ever do that again. Repeat after me: There is no escape from Blogworld.


  9. Marcia -- Thanks! Fortunately, I ran out of things to write about four years ago, so it's pretty easy to just keep going with it.

    Anonymous -- You sound suspiciously like someone who's related to me. But I shan't deprive the Internet of toddler pictures for too much longer, I promise.