Members of the pharmaceutical industry, our preventative sanitizer affiliates, advertising executives, medical personnel, hot liquid ingestion representatives, regurgitation and diarrhea experts, our disposable nasal mucous wipes constituents, and, of course, our esteemed Washington lobbyists — I’m happy to report that the common cold is alive and well.
Thank you, thank you. Okay, settle down. Please, take your seats.
Alive and well is a conservative estimate. More like blossoming and fantastic. In 2012, members of this convention grossed more than $24 billion from people either trying to prevent or cure the common cold. And because there were 617 deaths attributed to runny noses last year, the anxiety produced is projected to gross us more than $27 billion in 2013.
Please, if we keep up these standing ovations we’ll never make the Holiday Inn happy hour.
Now, before we show the PowerPoint slideshow, which this year is set to a live performance by the Beastie Boys’ “Time To Get Ill,” I’d like to mention a few highlights of the 2012 cold and flu season.
First, when the bonanza hit last February — a goldmine of three different strains of virus circulating the country at once — it was our New York advertising affiliates who saw the opportunity and introduced Involuntary Flatuhicculitis, a virus that causes hiccup-esque flatulence. The advertisements were shown at two in the morning, when only the social media addicts and hypochondriacs are awake. Even though it does not exist, the disease spread through social media like wildfire, leading to 217,000 confirmed cases and at least 17 deaths. The folks at Pfizer even got a new patent antibiotic out of it. The City of Scranton was quarantined for three weeks. A round of applause for Flatuhicculitis. A lesson to us all — let’s be more proactive about exploiting hypochondriacs through late-night infomercials.
Second, I’d like to acknowledge the flu virus proponents. Every year, you folks convince a willing populace that your inferior serum will prevent sickness. Every year, people pay for the injection and get sick anyway. The next year, they all line up in workplaces and pharmacy kiosks to drop another $29.95 on your placebo juice. Keep up the good work, you sick bastards.
Third, our beloved lobbyists. We appreciate you continuing to dispel rumors that a cure for the common cold was invented in 1952. It was not. And if we occasionally come up with a cure for the common cold, please know that it’s simply because we ran out of marketing ideas.
Lastly — and relatively new members to our brethren, who are quickly attaining a reputation as earners — I’d like to acknowledge the creators of the magic elixirs, who have convinced people they can stave off the common cold with vitamin C powders, magic bracelets and even magnetic toe rings. Stand and take a bow. I speak for this entire auditorium when I say we are truly looking forward to your line of tattoo cures in 2013.
I know we’re all excited to get to the happy hour and toast our good fortune, but I’d like to reminisce for a moment. I don’t mean to get sentimental — we all know the danger of contracting conjunctivitis from public crying. But whenever I see people sharing a ChapStick, or an obviously non-monogamous couple kissing in public, or someone ordering a draught beer in a seedy bar — it brings a tear to my eye, not to mention a ka-ching to my soul, because I know the state of the common cold is strong.
Okay, enough dripping eye and nasal secretions all over each other. Queue up the PowerPoint. And because this convention is flush with cash, I present to you at a ridiculous cost the one, the only, Beastie Boys.
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