The Stranger offices have been ravaged by some cold or flu over the last week; the kind that makes even the heartiest stay home and stay horizontal. I assume it's the same strain of something that's taken out hordes of other people (other offices have seen this, yes?), and perhaps even a couple city council members who have been out sick various days in the last week. It could also possibly be some doorknob-licking monster who's taken issue with something we've written. Who knows.

When you really, really need to get back to work and life, you spend much of your sick-day energy devising a magic plan to kill the sickness and become human again. This time, I think what put me right were the weird-tasting zinc lozenges a friend offered. She said she'd been feeling off all week but taking two of 'em a day kept her on her feet. I was ready. "They taste gross," she warned. She was right. They taste a little like an orange peel rolled in dirt, they coated my tongue in awfulness, and they activated something dark and terrible in the back of my mouth (a Balrog?). But instantly, I felt a tiny bit healthier. Now I walk amongst the living once more, mostly—I think they really must've worked! But how do I know if my ability to type this sentence was given to me by the zinc things, or the two Emergen-C packets per day I've been drinking, or the trick of switching between chamomile, lemon-ginger, and licorice tea, or the amazing and surely health-inducing gumbo another friend cooked for me Sunday night?

I don't. But it got me wondering what all the get-well-quick tricks are, since I'd never had a zinc lozenge in my life before this week. So! To the polls!