Bachelor’s Cure for the Common Cold

By Dave Fox
Seattle, Washington 

I can’t take credit for this. The original idea came from a guy who I played in a band with in Madison, Wisconsin, many years ago. And I can’t even remember his name.

But I do remember what he presented to me as his official “bachelor’s cure for the common cold.” I’ve never actually tried it before. Tonight, I am going to.

I’ve been sick for about a month now. It started out as the Worst Cold Ever… the sort of epic phlegminess that usually only exists in Nyquil commercials. For the first few days, I tried to quash it with tea, orange juice, and copious amounts of pho and tom kha soups. When that didn’t work, I moved on to a sampler platter of over-the-counter cold meds, followed by a 10-day course of Amoxycillin. The antibiotics reduced my cold from the Worst Cold Ever to something much worse — one of those weaselly little viruses that isn’t bad enough to warrant staying in bed all day, but which makes you feel run down and achy enough to spark frequent whining sprees.

That brings me to today. I am still sickly — a little achy, a little run down, a little phlegmy — really wishing I could just get a 102-degree fever that would knock me on my ass for a couple of days and burn out the virus in the process.

Enter the aforementioned cold remedy.

Here, courtesy of a guy I played music with in a band in Madison, Wisconsin, sometime in the early to mid 1990s, is the bachelor’s cure for the common cold:

1) Catch a cold

2) Buy three beers. (You may buy more; however, the cure calls for three of them.)

3) Wash all of your bed sheets so there are no lingering germies when you crawl under the covers later.

4) Fill your bathtub with the hottest water you can stand.

5) Get in the bathtub, and do not get out until you have finished all three beers.

6) Go to bed.

The logic behind the three beers in a super hot bathtub is that it usually takes a while to finish three beers. The super hot bath, in theory at least, raises your body temperature enough to zap the virus.

When this was first presented to me, I questioned a couple of things, and my friend had answers:

Why does it have to be beer specifically?

A: It doesn’t. Any three beverages that take a little while to drink will do. (However, since this is my first time trying this experiment, I am sticking to the original recipe.)

Q: What if you are unable to stay in the bathtub for the duration of the three beers, due to the fact that beer tends to cause one’s bladder to demand attention?

A: If you need to get out briefly, fine, but you must get back in as quickly as possible until all the beer is gone.

I’ve wondered for years if this actually works. Tune in Wednesday morning for the results!

Published on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Response to “Bachelor’s Cure for the Common Cold”

  1. Erin
    December 17, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    So if this works you’re well, and if it doesn’t, you get to loll around in a bath drinking beer. Sounds like a win-win!

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