I haven't been to see The Sweater Queen in a long time.
I've had this horrible cough that's not going away, and I'm hearing reports of it lingering in some co-workers for six weeks. I can't live like that for so long - I sound like I'm in the final stages of some ruinous 19th century disease, and this morning my 'normal' doctor told me there's nothing he can do to make it go away faster, so I went to the Dark Side - of hippie curative tonics, chakras, and discussions about the moon's feelings (or whatever it is hippies discuss. I tend to tune it out).
The Sweater Queen has long fuzzy hair, wears a long fuzzy sweater (no matter what the temperature), a long fuzzy skirt, and has quite a few long fuzzy cats and dogs running around her slightly fuzzy-looking Topanga shack*. She's an odd duck, but boy does she know her shit when it comes to herbal remedies.
She gave me this vile tea to drink - and I mean vile. Bilge water vile. Boiled dirty gym sock vile. Korean acupuncturist vile**.
When I got home and actually made the tea, the smell from the steam was so bad it made the cat run and hide for an hour, but the stuff really works. Minutes after drinking it, the cough hadn't gone away completely, but was noticeably improved. I have to screw up my courage (and hold my nose) in order to drink another cup before I go to bed tonight. I would spike it with vodka (it would still taste bad but then I wouldn't care as much), but The Sweater Queen specifically mentioned no alcohol whatsoever until the cough is gone.
So I'm back at work tomorrow - we're tearing out the Sports Arena rig, and I have to carry a container of this nasty tea with me so I can 'sip it at intervals throughout the day'. Blech.
At least I won't have to worry about someone else drinking it.
*For my non-Los Angeles based readers: Topanga Canyon is what's politely referred to as an "artist's colony" and has been for years. Quite a few of the residents built their own houses - some out of whatever they could find - and despite the real estate boom, there are still quite a few home-built shacks in Topanga Canyon. Hence, "Topanga shack".
**Korean acupuncturists are apparently famous for making patients drink unbelievably nasty-tasting stuff. I learned this from my chiropractor, who, when I was complaining about not wanting to see an acupuncturist like he'd recommended because I didn't want another round of drinking something that came in a packet with no English on it and tasted like radioactive dirt, he said "So don't see any more Koreans." "How did you know he was Korean?" I asked. "That's a trademark of Korean acupuncturists," he said. "I think they think it's funny."