Bottle Of Stress

Christmas Eve at Stella’s apartment… on the coffee table in front of me is one of those gigantic bottles of multi-vitamins. It is labeled in large bold type: B-STRESS. I decided the “B” stands for “Bottled” or perhaps “Bottle of.” Think of the commercial possibilities of Bottle-of-Stress. In particular, think of the ad campaign…


Behold, I present you a Bottle of Stress!
Ennui is the problem it’s made to address:
Take two or three tab’s when you’re utterly bored…
Relief, at a price you can surely afford!

Your life is too peaceful? disgustingly calm?
Prescription: a course of our nuclear balm:
You won’t have the time to be glum or depressed;
In three or four weeks, be assured… you’ll B-Stress’ed!

Your boss paid a bonus? your spouse was too nice?
We’ll shatter your joy at a minimal price.
A dose of anxiety, fear and unrest…
You’ll not be unquiet, unless you B-Stress’ed.

Whatever becalms you, our pill can undo;
Our mission in life is discomfiting you.
Your doc will prescribe, and there’s stress on the way…
It starts when you learn your insurance won’t pay!

Most potent of potions, it’s sure to compare
With that which engenders your deepest despair:
The races you lost, or a stain on a dress;
Results guaranteed… buy our Bottle of Stress!

– The Yellow Doggerelist

(December 1998)

Copyright © 1998 Stephen S. Bates

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