You might not know this but they are putting gold in cough syrup these days.

I know, because my wife, Marianne, developed a bad cough and, when I went to the pharmacy to get the cough medicine her doctor prescribed, they charged me nearly fifty bucks for it. No kidding, fifty dollars for a few ounces of cough syrup that probably cost the pharmaceutical company twenty-five cents to make.

The pharmacist also told me, “This prescription isn’t covered by your insurance. Do you still want it?”

I asked her if they could switch if for a brand of cough medicine that did not have gold in it. She looked at me funny there for a second then told me none of it had gold.

I paid the money and left.

Maybe I’m a cheap skate – I don’t know, but fifty dollars for cough syrup is crazy if you ask me. At that price you should drink it and anyone within fifteen feet of you should stop coughing, too.

If it was for me and not Marianne, I would have told them where they could stick it. Before I left, I would have coughed a few times, too, without covering my mouth.

I guess it could be worse. I once read this article about the plight of the African rhinoceros. Poachers are killing them primarily for their horns, but they are selling other stuff from the rhino, too. One lesser known, but much sought after rhino product, believe it or not, is rhinoceros urine.

They give it to children to cure coughs.

I can absolutely assure you it would cure mine.

One dose of rhino urine and I promise you my mother would never hear me cough again. I could have double pneumonia and you wouldn’t hear a peep out of me.

I once read something else about a remedy back in the old West where they cured a cough, or maybe it was a cold, by curling up a rattlesnake on the top of your head then placing a cowboy hat over it. It would cure me. I would be the healthiest man in the West. If anyone asked me how I felt I would be feeling just fine all day every day.

“But, you have a temperature of 110. You’re pale and shivering?” they would say.

And I would say: “I feel great.”

“How about we get out the snake and let’s see if we can cure what ails you,” they would say.

And I would say: “Now that I think about it, I feel better than great. I think I’ll go outside for a jog.”

I don’t know what a dose of rhino urine or a good, old-fashioned rattlesnake head wrap would cost you these days, but I bet it would be a lot less than fifty bucks. Even if it did cost you that much, you could almost justify the price. At least in those cases someone had to take on either a rhinoceros or pit viper for the cure.

But fifty bucks for an easy-to-make drop or two of cough medicine? I don’t think so.

The next time I go to the pharmacy for cough medicine, I’ll probably just ask for a cowyboy hat and the snake.