The Time a Tow Truck Driver Gave Me the Cure for the Common Cold

So when I was in college, I worked about 30 to 50 hours a week at 2 jobs and usually had a side hustle selling things. In general, they were things I had lovingly handmade, but I also sold my plasma to a local lab to make Hepatitis B vaccine. As you might imagine, I ran myself ragged, and was generally at least slightly infirm.

One of the multiple times my car broke down, my tow truck driver was a little Eastern European man. Seeing me in my pathetically snotty state, he told me “Get garlic bulb, roast in oven very short time with olive oil and salt. Eat whole thing. Go to bed. You be fine in the morning.” Best advice a tow truck driver’s ever given me. 2nd best was when the alternator was going out in my old truck, the driver told me to tap it with a stick when it wouldn’t behave. Worked like a charm.

Anyway, that night, after we dropped my car off at the mechanic, I had Ben swing by the grocery and pick up some garlic. I did exactly what the mechanic said (except I ruined the first bulb because, I totally can’t cook) and it worked! Over the years, I’ve modified the recipe, but the principal’s still the same: 1. Introduce as large and as raw a quantity of garlic into your system that you can possible stand. 2. Prepare to feel better. Now days I usually just crush raw garlic into some butter and put it over pasta, or toast. Pasta if Ben is cooking, toast if I am. I have to say the toast medium is not for the faint of tongue. It can get really burney, especially if you follow the maxim of more is better.

This works best if you do it in the first day or so of being sick, right when your throat starts to get scratchy and your energy levels drop, but it will still perk you up if you’re already well into a cold. In my experience, over the counter cold medicines only help abate symptoms so a person can work or sleep through the worst of it. This garlic thing actually makes me feel better every time. So, while I did call this a cure in the title, it only gets rid of the cold if I get to it in time, but it does more than any other remedy I’ve ever heard of to help me feel better, no matter when I do it.

This blog goes out to all the tow truck drivers. You guys always see people on their worst day, and yet, you stay helpful, sometimes even cheerful. Thank you for all the time I have sat in your trucks and cried while you patiently drove me to the mechanic like I wasn’t having a conniption.