MARTY RUSSELL: As in politics, cure sometimes can be worse than disease

I was sick last week but it wasn’t a result of the election outcome. To be honest, I was sort of halfway rooting for the Tea Partiers and Republicans to regain some control in Congress just so I could watch them fail to deliver on much of anything that was promised. Anyone who expects any real change in Washington politics is either delusional or named Obama.
No, I was sick because some nasty bacteria crawled up my nose and decided to set up camp there, including a huge bonfire in my sinuses, which I think will be Tom Wolfe’s next novel. The medical term for my condition, according to my doctor, was “the crud.” Think of it as suddenly going from the status quo of never thinking about your nose except when it needs scratching to suddenly becoming obsessed with cutting it off, even if it spites your face. Sort of like the first two years of the Obama administration.
I tried the usual home remedies including, yes, tea, and over-the-counter medications watered down so, in the depths of my red-nosed misery I wouldn’t be tempted to cook up some meth, but I inevitably wound up at the doctor’s office. The doctor took one look at my throat, made the sign of the cross, and wrote me a prescription for some antibiotics.
When I opened the bottle I was tempted to call the doc back and ask her if she was sure these were meant for me. “Why?” I’m sure she would have asked. “Because my name’s not Secretariat,” I would have told her.
But I was sick enough to swallow anything so I took my medicine without questioning it, even though the doctor had warned me it might not sit well with my stomach. That turned out to be the understatement of the century unless you count the voters’ purported desire for change in the last presidential election.
Turns out, the antibiotics worked so well that they not only killed all the nasty bacteria camped out in my nose, they also killed all the bacteria in my stomach which I never knew existed. Apparently we all have bacteria in our digestive tracts that protects the lining from all the digestive juices that break down and process the foods we eat. In other words, without the protective bacteria, my stomach was literally digesting itself.
After some frantic research I learned that the only way to reverse the problem was to replace the dead bacteria with live bacteria.
“Wait a minute,” I told my wife. “You mean to say that in order to solve one problem we have to kill all the bacteria and in order to solve the other problem we have to replace it?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Isn’t that what just happened in Congress?”
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by e-mail at


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