Doolittle Pain had worked as a chemist, pill-pusher, druggist, pharmacist, and in his spare time he experimented on producing his own medicines.  Doolittle traveled the globe because he was interested in doing something about the opioid addiction that was ravishing the country causing major health, social, and economic problems because of over-prescribed pain medications.  He visited a city park in Budapest, Hungary where he collected this curious looking spider known as a Hahniidae Bertkau and he began testing this spider’s venom to research its neurotoxin capabilities.  He found that the spider venom worked wonderful on back pain and he felt this would be a way to cut back on opioids.  After six months of study, he was able to reproduce this neurotoxin in his lab and once it had a name, he could take it to the FDA and then try to market it for distribution.

Pharmaceutical drugs have at least three names, being their chemical name, generic name and their trade or brand name. Chemical names are the scientific names, based on the molecular structure of the drug, while generic names usually indicate what drug class the drug belongs to and being a chemist these names would be easy for him to create.  He knew that the brand name of the medicine can’t say what the drug does and he wanted a brand name that would not be too awkward to pronounce.  He needed it to be more memorable than its generic name, and also much more noteworthy than its chemical name, which was some unpronounceable string of characters.  He wanted this trade name to trigger some relevant connection to his product so it would create an identity while remaining memorable and easy for doctors to spell accurately.

Doolittle Pain decided to watch a re-run of the Jerry Seinfeld show, so he could relax and it was the one where Jerry is dating this attractive woman whose name he cannot remember, though she told him her name rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.  Jerry spends the episode avoiding the use of her name, and trying to find ways to ascertain it, including digging in her purse and having his friends stop by, hoping she will introduce herself.  Jerry and George try to guess the name, with choices of Bovary, Mulva, Loreola, Celeste, Hest and Gipple.  She finally realizes Jerry doesn’t know her name, and breaks up with him, leaving his apartment in a huff.  Jerry then suddenly remembers her name, and calls out to her from his window, “Dolores!”  Doolittle decided to call his new pain relief drug Mulva.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #21.

10 thoughts on “Apothecary

  1. I saw a show where an old guy kept a scorpion as a “medicinal pet.” He let the scorpion sting him on his arthritic joints and said the venom eased the pain. No idea if its true, probably is, but your story reminded me of it.

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    1. Spider, scorpion or snake venom is probably pretty much all the same thing and I heard it can be used for pain relief. It is not as easy to produce as opioids, but it is probably less addictive.

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