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  • The first time you drink Listerine--intentionally--you wonder if it might kill you.

    You read the label over and over, trying to divine what is meant by "DO NOT SWALLOW." There's a fucking Poison Control Center phone number on it, after all.

    But you're shaking. And sweating. It's dawn, and you haven't had a drink in six hours, and the only alcohol in the house is in that friendly clear plastic bottle filled with liquid that's an iridescent shade of blue not found in nature.

    The only thing worse than dying is enduring another few hours of the way you feel right this moment.

    So you drink.

    First a sip, then a lusty gulp.

    And it burns. A sour, awful burn that convinces you that they're serious--you're not supposed to drink Listerine.

    You wait for it to come up in a foaming blue gusher. But it stays down.

    One minute. Two minutes. Five minutes.

    Your breathing slows a bit. You hold your hand out, and it trembles only slightly. You stand up, your underwear soaked in sweat and clinging to your skin.

    You can go back to bed and fight for another couple of hours of restless sleep.

    And you've made a new friend.
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