fiction

Pass the Soma

huey lewisI think Huey Lewis of, with, or and The News said it best:

I want a new drug
One that won't make me sick
One that won't make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick
I want a new drug
One that won't hurt my head
One that won't make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley called it Soma, and it made everyone perfectly happy. Well, maybe not perfectly. There were those pesky haluciantions, but other than that, you could live without pain or brave new worldany of the bad memories. Or family, art, literature, science or religiion, but who’s counting.

I see a lot of new drugs being advertised on television, for allergies, acid reflux, alzeimers, impotence, sleep disorders, high cholesterol, blood pressure, depression, arthritis, weight loss, genital herpes, menopause, asthma, and toenail fungus. The rollcall reads like an Advertising Hall of Fame -- Vioxx, Lamisil, Viagra, Celebrex, Claritin, Prilosec, Paxil and Allegra. What do I not see? A drug for aggravation! Aggro, as the British call it, is my number one affliction, and what do the drug companies make for aggro? Nothing. That’s right, billions of people around the world suffer aggro every day, but no drug company has the pill for that. Sure, you say marijuana is a pretty good antidote to aggro, but it’s illegal, remember? And then there’s that whole inhaling thing and potential lung damage.

We need a pill that’s safe and effective at combating ordinaryblue pill aggravation. Think of the strides we could make with such a pharmaceutical solution. Maybe an end to wars, less partisan politics, decreased domestic violence, fewer homicides, and happier drivers. I’m thinking they could call it Amos -- Soma spelled backwards. Commercials would extol the virtues of this new wonder drug -- “You can’t blame it on us, we’re taking our Amos. When the pressure of everyday irritation has you feeling the blues, it’s time to take the little blue Amos tablet, and within minutes your aggravation will melt away.”

Of course, there will eventually be a big class action suit against the manufacturer of Amos when it’s discovered that one of the long-term side effects of the drug is that you turn into a lazy, good for nothing, shifty bastard. But even then, if you can just get the lawyers to take their Amos, everything will be OK for the rest of us.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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