The Daily Dump

A place where everyone (me) is welcomed to express their opinions openly and honestly. I encourage free thinking, free wheeling, off-the-cuff banter and monetary donations.

Friday, December 30

2005 A Year In Review
The Most Fascinating Person Of 2005: The Ricola Mystery Cougher

Apropos to the subject of this post, I’ve been getting sicker and sicker over the past four days, spiraling against all hope and will into an all out “bad cold” – the kind that are just devastating enough to make you not enjoy your New Years Eve party as much as you should. Maybe I got it from the asshole who came into my office on Tuesday and said, “Good morning, Dan. I feel like crap. There’s NO WAY I should be here today.” Or maybe it’s because the weather went from 18 degrees to 51 degrees in a matter of one week.

Whatever the cause, everyone suffers. Because, while I have a few more categories to my year in review, my head is doing that thing where when you turn it from side to side you feel like you’re underwater. And staring at a computer screen trying to find pictures of Michael Jackson in his pajamas isn’t helping my cause. So I guess I’ll just have to save these other ones for next year. Instead of “2006: A Year In Review” it’ll be “2006: The One Year Anniversary of the End of 2005.”

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. Here’s to 2006 being even better than 2005. Unless of course your 2005 was totally awesome, in which case I hope your 2006 is very similar to your 2005.


Every week or so, I get another email from the Ricola Mystery Cougher with a clue as to his whereabouts, and every single time I say to myself, “How come no one is making a bigger deal about this?” You can’t honestly tell me that you wouldn’t:

a) love to see what the Ricola Mystery Cougher looks like;

b) love to see footage from some sort of secret hat camera of a winner offering a Ricola to the Mystery Cougher over the din of his own hacking; or

c) prefer to watch a reality show based on the life of the Ricola Mystery Cougher on the road instead of a reality show based on the life of the Gotti family.

I’m legitimately mad about this. This Mystery Cougher guy is the most intriguing person of 2005, easily. Consider such tantalizingly cryptic clues like:

This week, the Mystery Cougher will be trying to elude you out there in the open air. Just remember that the cougher has a fondness for all things Italian. And he or (she) always enjoys behaving like Julius Caesar, "roaming" from place to place to place.

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN! That the Mystery Cougher will be outside somewhere “Italian,” screaming, “E tu Brute?” And why is “she” in parenthesis? Or “roaming” in quotations? Does the Mystery Cougher have no conception of how to properly use punctuation? Or is he (she) some hermaphroditic genius, like an editor of a NY Times Thursday crossword puzzle . . . who refers to itself in the third person?

And just when you think he (she) is toying with you, penning impossible red herrings in an effort to never be seen or heard coughing again, you get a clue like this:

The Mystery Cougher will be in Philadelphia on Thursday, December 8th. Catch the cougher at the 9th Street Italian Market near a House of Cheese between 1:00 and 4:00. Good Luck!

WTF?! Why not just say, “Email me with your address and I’ll show up coughing at your front door.” WHAT’S YOUR AGENDA, MYSTERY COUGHER!? Like I’ll show up at the exact location described in the “clue,” Ricola in hand and suddenly I’ll get a call on a nearby payphone with a scratchy, phlegmy voice on the other end saying, “You didn’t think (cough, cough) I would make it that easy, did you? (cough, cough),” and he (she) hangs up as you scream, “Can I offer you a Ricola?! CAN I OFFER YOU A RICOLA!!!”

Bottom line, I know this contest is going to run it’s course with minor fanfare and that’s going to be the official “Shame of 2005.” Because with all the oversaturation of people like Brad Pitt and Tara Reid and Paris Hilton and Bob Sagat, wouldn’t it be nice to learn a little more about some guy (girl) that coughs and gives away money in exchange for Swiss throat lozenges? That’s a rhetorical question, but the answer is yes. Yes it would.


I hope you feel better so you can enjoy ringing in 2006. Thanks for the entertaining, if somewhat controversial "Best of" posts.

~ Christina

By Blogger Christina, at 1:56 PM  

I second this motion. I'm certainly intrigued, and I haven't gotten a single e-mail from Mystery Cougher, even though it sounds like the two of us might be related.

By Blogger mysterygirl!, at 6:07 PM  

Finally, somebody who knows about the Mystery Cougher! I have a package of Ricola cough drops in my purse, just in case, and I LOVE the idea of the promotion, but nobody in my tiny circle of friends/coworkers/acquaintances has ever heard of it. I enjoyed your post very much, and hope the MC finds you while you're sick and coughing.

By Anonymous Suzi, at 9:57 PM  

Feel better. Just got over my cold. As for this mystery cougher promotion, it's clever, but they didn't do a very good job promoting it if no one has heard of it.

By Blogger Neil, at 1:42 AM  

OMG!! I too have been carrying a small baggy of Ricola around the Panhandle of Florida for weeks - although I am reasonably certain that even RMC has the foresight to stay far away from the Redneck Riviera.

Oh well, perhaps I'll have better luck in the UK next month. Otherwise, if I lose my chances at a cough remedy fortune, I shall hope I have lost them to someone as entertaining as you.

Happy '06 and I hope you feel better soon! =)

By Anonymous Hill, at 10:28 AM  

I want to know who it is because I'd like know how they got their job. What a kick ass profession!

Over the summer a local radio station did something called the $10,000 Fugitive. They gave clues away for a while about who this person was and where they would be, and you just had to walk up to them and say, "Are you the $10,000 Fugitive?" and they'd give you $10,000. It went on and on for months, and then... nothing. I never heard about anyone winning or that the time ran out or anything. It just disappeared. I want to know who the $10,000 Fugitive is dammit! They better not do that with this Ricola thing!

By Blogger Hope, at 3:46 PM  

It seems to me that all you'd really have to do is just search "Michael Jackson" and the pajama pictures should abound.

By Blogger Dirk the Feeble, at 4:10 PM  

Rad (very awesome) post!

I hope you're feeling better. I have strep. Damnit...that's what I get for being too insane on New Years Eve...

By Blogger Vesper, at 8:51 PM  

Oh, damn. I think I met a mystery cougher... but it must have been someone from Halls or Luden. I gave her a Ricola (not even knowing I could win anything), but she just looked at me all annoyed and stuff. She was about to hack up a lung, so I thought I was doing us ALL a favor.

Hope you have better luck.

By Blogger don't call me MA'AM, at 6:29 PM  

I second Hope's comment. What a great job... Walking around, coughing on people.

I too am sick. What's the deal?! Also, why is "H" on my keyboard sticking?

By Blogger green_canary, at 9:47 AM  

I disagree vehemently.

but...I do like your writing a lot. finally visited after the high class jackass wrote about you.


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