Many years ago, during my first weeks as a registered man, I felt like a complete failure when I was asked for a concoction that I was clueless about. The guy wanted something called Doctor Hardy’s Hot Drops.
I was 25 years old and I suffered from a bad case of doctor syndrome. I thought I knew everything. If you could walk like a doctor, I did it. If you could talk like a doctor, that is how I talked. I certainly looked like my picture of a doctor. Dress shirt. Regimental tie. White lab coat. I was insufferable. My head was huge. The Hot Drops request was only one of many incidents that brought me back to Earth.
I asked the guy, a farmer from the south of Ashtabula County, what Doctor Hardy’s Hot Drops were for.
He gave me a look and turned red. He stuttered and stammered and finally came out with, “The drops. They help me do my husbandly duties for the missus.”
I stared at him. Remember, I was 25 years old. I did not have a missus yet.
My experience was limited. I said, “You mean the drops help you in bed?”
He blushed redder and looked around to see if anyone was eavesdropping. “Can you sell me some Drops or not?”
I admitted my ignorance and the farmer, with shoulders slumped, turned on his heel and left the pharmacy. I was actually relieved to see him go. I did not want to deal with patients who tested me that much. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone.
Men don’t need Doctor Hardy’s Hot Drops in the twenty first century. All they have to do is ask their doctor and they can get free samples of Cialis, Viagra and Levitra.
Most of the customers I deal with are very comfortable with it. There is no embarrassment.
There was one notable exception. The guy had a fit when I said the word Viagra out loud. He frowned at me and said, “Shhhhh. Don’t say that word.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, “There is no one here listening to me.”
“I don’t care. Don’t say it out loud.”
“There is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Jane Austen’s Mafia! trailer
“That’s what you say.”
“You shouldn’t be embarrassed.”
“I am not embarrassed.
I never saw the guy again. He took his six tablets of Viagra and disappeared into the murky world of sex and humiliation. His wife was the one to come in and have the prescription refilled ever since that incident. She was always chatty and friendly, but I never said the word out loud again. I am a quick learner. When I talk to patients about any of the big three, I always refer to it as the pill.
Then there are the guys who expect to be super studs. They hear on television that erections that last longer than they should require a doctor’s intervention. They love it. They want some of that stuff. Here I am, baby. Come and get it. These are the guys who probably spent big bucks for Bob’s male enhancement pills from TV.
I had a guy practically salivating as I filled his prescription. “Can I really get one that will just last and last?” He had a dopey grin on his face. I immediately felt very sorry for his missus or girl friend.
“I doubt it,” I said. This guy was a boomer throw back to the 80s. The top three buttons of his silk shirt were open at the neck. He wore a thick gold chain with a heavy Italian horn hanging from it. He was poured into tight black slacks and wore shiny pointy toe shoes. His hair was slicked straight back. In two words, I thought of Joe Namath. Sorry, Joe, you just came to mind. This guy probably drove a vintage Plymouth Charger from the 70s. He probably watched re-runs of The Dukes of Hazzard.
“I don’t know, man,” I said, “I have heard the television commercials too, but I just don’t think that the side effect of a dangerously prolonged erection is very common.”
“Why not?” He was chewing his gum furiously now. Snapping it and switching it from side to side. A young woman showing the jewelry in her belly button walked by and Joe Namath leered at her, nodding his head appreciatively.
That is when I realized that this man was just not aging gracefully. He was in his mid-fifties and it was scaring the bejeezus out of him. He wanted to be young and virile and he was suffering from erectile dysfunction. Not a good combination.
I sold him the prescription and did not see him again until it was time for a refill. I couldn’t help it you guys. I had to ask him. “Did you get that hard on that lasted a day and a half?” I couldn’t say it with a straight face.
He tried to look studly, but he failed. “Not that long,” he said, sort of quietly, but with that same dopey grin.
“But the pill worked the way it is supposed to, didn’t it?” I was egging him on a little.
“Yeah, it worked.”
“You are satisfied with it then?”
“Yeah, but is Cialis better?”
“Well, Cialis is supposed to work for 36 hours.
I knew that he had visions of a long lasting erection again. What could I tell this guy? I did my best explaining that he and his partner could be more spontaneous.
“Well, give me Cialis then.” He was swaggering a little bit again. “That sounds good to me.”
I told him that he needed a prescription if he wanted Cialis. He said that he already had a prescription. I told him that his prescription was for Levitra. You get the message. He finally left with the Levitra and told me that he would have his doctor call in Cialis. His final words were, “What happens if I take both?”
Erectile dysfunction has been an issue for decades. The difference is that it is now a problem for the baby boomers. They do not want to get old. They will pay anything and not just for ED medicines. That is just one small expense for only one small expenditure in the enormous keep me young industry.
Now, you are still asking, what are Doctor Hardy’s Hot Drops? I asked my boss the next day. He laughed and told me that they were just a very dilute solution of Nitric Acid. They irritated the urethra and caused the desired effect. He told me where to find the solution. A 60ml dropper bottle sold for $5.00 and that was when $5.00 was money.
I said, “$5.00? Why so much?”
He said, “Because they wouldn’t work if they were cheaper.”