Killing pain on the cheap

brand valuesI’ve definitely saved a fortune of late by adjusting my brand value ethos in the direction of money-saving (OK, penny pinching). There’s no avoiding the fact that Ibuprofen is good for relieving back pain, and fortunately there’s an easy way to reduce the cost as it is no longer classified as a POM.

Now look, I’m certainly no a label junky. I don’t feel the need to wear the latest fashions from Diesel, Calvin Klein, FCUK, etc., which is just as well since they never have anything in my size anyway!

But I am a firm adherent to the principal that an original brand product is better than a supermarket’s own-label substitute.  Baked beans, for example.  You’ll only ever find Heinz Baked Beans or Salad Cream in my trolley, it has to be Heinz: brook no substitutes … 

So it is something of a guilty confession to admit that I have lost count of the number of packets of cut-price Ibuprofen that have been purchased, either by me or for me, in a supermarket over the past five months. Various garishly coloured own-brand products that have augmented the existing selection box of medication adorning my bedroom mantelpiece these days gives me cause to rue the day that I declined an invitation two years ago for my medicine collection to be included in an installation by White Chair Press entitled ‘Make Do & Mend‘.

Of course there’s nothing new about cut-price painkillers and other medicines. I thought it would be helpful to give other brand conscious friends an insight into some of the other effective medicines which are now available on the shelves of your local supermarket that you might now, instead of passing by without so much of a glance, now see in a prodigious light.

If you need a pick-me-up after a hard outing to the shops I would recommend a bottle of Lidol, or maybe Sainsbury’s Mixture, both of which come in lemon or blackcurrant flavours. The Lidol does tend to cause drowsiness, so it is not advisable to attempt to reverse out of the store car park until three hours after taking it. With Sainsbury’s Mixture, pour a few drops onto a loyalty card and lick it.

For injuries sustained at the delicatessen counter I would suggest Deliceze, a antiseptic soothing balm and just the thing when the person next to you leans across you too eagerly to point to the Stornoway black pudding she wants, causing you to stab yourself in the cheek with one of those cocktail sticks for trying out the minuscule sample cubes of cheese.

I find Deliceze also helps after I have absent-mindedly rolled up my numbered ticket at the delicatessen counter and stuffed it up my left nostril. Of course, three or four squirts with Tescspray will deal with the immediate problem and should stop the bleeding.

Dizzy spells, caused by walking past different barcodes too rapidly on an empty stomach, can be quickly remedied with Barcodet capsules. However, if you are with child – that is if you have a squirming offspring in the pull-down seat in your trolley – it is advisable to consult your nearest shelf-stacker before taking Barcodets.

In some cases your shelf-stacker may wish to refer you to the provisions manager for a second opinion and he or she may recommend Barcodoxon instead. However this can only be administered to you under the supervision of the deputy store manager. That is when you hear those words on the public address system: “Mr Henderson, please, line two, customer services.”

Barcodoxon is a refreshing effervescent mixture (white raspberry flavoured) and is also good for treating check-out stress, but most people are advised to avoid the preserves and beverages aisles after taking it. In a very few cases it has the side effect of making you unable to open the flimsy plastic bags in the vegetable section.

By the way, mild cases of barcode dizziness can also be relieved with Metricet pastilles which are normally taken for tense nervous headaches caused by excessive mental arithmetic when converting from kilos. However, these pastilles are quite effective as a mild pain relief. Some people even take them after minor trolley collisions. More serious abrasions arising from a trolley being driven hard at your ankles are best treated with Trollofen ointment and perhaps a dressing of Waitroplast.

Rashes – particularly allergic reactions on the hands from the fuzz of kiwi fruit when you are trying to pick out the best one – are common ailments. Most store managers now recommend Freezomine cream. This is really for ailments associated with the frozen vegetable aisle, and particularly frostbite from handling the giant packs of peas, but it brings rapid relief to all types of skin irritation.

There are dozens of remedies for stomach complaints and the most common stomach complaint occurs, if you are not so tall, when you lean over the edge of your trolley at the check-out trying to get to the items at the bottom of it. There is always some household item, probably a can of spray for cleaning windows, and the wire edge of the trolley presses painfully into your midriff. This affliction is known to supermarket medical experts as “trapped Windolene”. This soon goes if you chew a couple of minty Trollegels or a Baskocalm. 

If that fails, take an aspirin and go to Boots for your groceries, or