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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I can honestly say I don't get scammed that often...anymore.

There was a time I might have bought that bridge you were offering or that perfect-for-condo-development swampland you were trying to unload. But in recent years the scales have fallen off my eyes and I've gotten smarter.

One thing I did fall for though was Airborne, that fizzy, alleged cold-preventing, immune system-boosting pill sold at drugstores everywhere. A federal court just issued a $23 million class action judgement against the company that makes Airborne, because apparently everything about the pill was baloney. In fact, baloney would have tasted better and probably cured your colds quicker. Turns out that even the scientific trials conducted by the company to prove it's healing claims about Airborne weren't conducted by doctors, scientists, or even skilled lab techs. They were done by two schmucks who knew the pill's creator. After being called out over the cold-curing claims, the company backed off and said the pill was an immune-system booster. Then they backed off a little more and said it was just an herbal supplement.

My first clue should have been that it was developed by a second-grade school teacher. Not that I have anything against elementary teachers. Mrs. B is one. But if this woman's scientific skills were that off the chain then why was she teaching 4+4 instead of working in a lab somewhere developing medicines?

My second clue should have been that she claimed to study "Eastern" herbal treatments in the development of Airborne.

My third clue should have been that my dad, who is a pretty health-conscious guy broke down laughing when I told him I was taking Airborne for a cold back in January, and encouraged me to enjoy my "sugary alka seltzer."

My final clue should have come when South Park clowned on people who take Airborne. If South Park is making fun of what you do, you know you've got problems.

I may as well have drank a Zima to cure my cold. I'd have gotten more fizzy and less bloat from it.

I have to go now. My allergies are bothering me this morning. And I need to find 500 mg of eye of newt.

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  • Another one duped.... I was taking some generic version... air defense or air shield... and that icky sucralose taste seemed like a small price for a great immune system. LOL I was giving my family the fizzy drink too. Oh well. Maybe I can sell what's left in the bottle to someone on eBay.

    By Blogger CrystalChick, at 11:29 AM  

  • I liked the flavor so I put airborne in some gin and voila I couldn't feel my cold anymore ;)

    By Blogger Hammer, at 12:35 PM  

  • Crystalchick, hang onto that stuff. Who knows? It might be worth something on eBay in a few years.

    Hammer, I haven't tried that one. I wonder how whiskey would go with it.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:27 PM  

  • I prefer tequila with a malt liquor chaser for a cold; you don't get any better, but you don't care if you're sick.

    By Blogger BobG, at 2:18 PM  

  • The stuff doesn't really work?! Crap! I just bought some yesterday...

    By Anonymous Michelle, at 6:22 PM  

  • Miracle inventions by amateurs always raise questions in my head. You didn't buy one of those "Amish" miracle heaters, did you?

    By Blogger david, at 8:53 PM  

  • The fiance swears by that stuff. I keep telling him that it's just a supplement, but I guess there's something to be said for the placebo effect?

    By Blogger Melissa, at 11:20 PM  

  • Try 50 mg. of zinc. There's actual, scientific research to back you up on that for helping you with colds. Won't prevent them totally, just helps a lot. Ask your pharmacist first.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 12:08 AM  

  • You could just try avoiding people a bit more. I haven't been out much the past year (depression related) & haven't had a cold in that time either.

    Mind you, the real time for getting colds is when the children go back to school in September, then after Christmas! That's something else they don't tell you about being a parent.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 7:47 AM  

  • James,

    It is sad though that so many people fell for that "a second grade teacher developed" line - however I do believe some herbal supplements are good alternatives to chemically developed drugs.

    By Blogger C, at 12:37 PM  

  • Don't feel too bad. It was sold everywhere and touted approvals. Personally if I feel something coming on, I have a couple drinks to cleanse the system. Then if that doesnt' work and a cold happens, I take dayquil and use lots of puffs plus.

    Good luck finding your new cure-all!

    By Blogger Say It, at 4:59 PM  

  • I'm a "zinc" fan myself.
    Anything that taste that bad has to be worth something.

    New play on the old saying;
    "There's a sucker airborne every minute"

    By Blogger Pamela, at 6:33 PM  

  • My wife is into over the counter supplements. I don't believe in them and they cost big bucks. But I'm still going to enjoy my Jack.

    By Blogger Mickysolo, at 3:23 PM  

  • Maybe that garbage Focus Factor would at least sharpen the mind during those hazy mental stages of having a cold. Problem with that stuff is the ad. The pitchman's haircut is a little crooked across the front bangs and makes him look like a dropout busboy.

    By Blogger Tigertail, at 3:49 AM  

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