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1. How can I get some pills?

Getting pills is a breeze. Just select a psychiatrist from the Yellow Pages—and make an appointment! Mental health professionals will hand over a prescription without any fuss or bother. They like pills as much as you do!

Have you, at any point in your life, ever been a drug addict? Well, you might not want to mention that to your doctor. It may cause you both unnecessary worry—and who needs that? You don’t want to worry. That’s why you’re taking the pills in the first place, right?

If something unpleasant about your past does slip out—don’t sweat it. Most mental health professionals will overlook little things … such as your history of substance abuse. After all, prescription pills aren’t illegal drugs, like the ones you took in college. They’re the real thing: medication.

2. I read somewhere that pills are prescribed more often to women than to men. Should I let that disturb me?

Some people say it’s easier for women to get pills from their doctors. Some people say this is bad. But the truth is, women need pills today. I know I do, and I’m a woman. You probably need them, too.

3. By the way, why should I take pills?

Cool people are taking pills. Hollywood actors. Supermodels. Artists on the cutting edge. Wild, up-and-coming rock stars. Pale people who wear black are taking them … and becoming vibrant and upbeat. Buttoned-down corporate drones are popping them … and relaxing. Pills are the ultimate fashion accessory: They’re even making winners out of losers. But, hey, no pressure. The choice is up to you!

4. When do I need to take them?

You’re not the type who reads instructions or follows orders, are you? You’re creative. And reckless. And impulsive. You decide.

Stuck? Can’t think of a thing? Here are just a few ideas, to get you started:

9:00 a.m. Monday.

Right before that PRIVATE MEETING with your BOSS, a seventy-year-old alcoholic who runs one of the country’s top pharmaceutical companies. Lately, he’s been beefing up the advertising department … and that means he’s paying lots of attention to YOU. The company’s losing money fast! He needs to find markets for unnecessary products! You’re under pressure! You’ve got to radiate self-confidence and sang-froid!

Skip the watery coffee and take a pill instead. This time, when he winks and slips you his home phone number, you won’t miss a beat! Who has time to go through the legal department’s six-volume report on sexual harassment? Just keep your wits about you. Treat him to some HOT IDEAS … about product development and innovative marketing. Keep smiling! Brush his hand off your thigh and show him your passion is for BUSINESS.

11:25 a.m. Monday.

You run into an ATTRACTIVE, MARRIED CO-WORKER at the water cooler. So what if he never called you back after you FOOLED AROUND TOGETHER in the darkened mailroom during the office CHRISTMAS PARTY. So what if it’ll soon be against company policy for staff members to DATE. If it suits your style, ignore the rules. Who can keep up with them, anyway? Be coy, charming … and aggressive. Ask him out to lunch.

1:10 p.m. Monday.

Almost time for that LUNCH DATE. Don’t get NERVOUS and blow it! Take a pill, instead. Stay poised! Be friendly, open, and available. Act aloof. Play hard to get.

Feel like you’re juggling a bunch of awkward, contradictory FEMININE ROLES? Are you cast as a powerful AMAZON in the morning, a BITCH in the afternoon, and a HELPLESS VICTIM the next day? Don’t even try to figure it out. You’ve come a long way, baby. Hang in there! Pop an extra one! Just be yourself.

3:11 p.m. Monday.

You’ve just designed a witty, tongue-in-cheek brochure about PILLS. It’s a work of advertising genius. But your older, more experienced, and better-paid COMPETITOR takes credit for it—just like he did the last time, and the time before that. Don’t get so ANGRY that you start to shake all over! Get revenge.

Why not change the copy on the brochure, ever so slightly? Now, something is SERIOUSLY ASKEW. Send it off to the printer, and send a hundred thousand copies through the mail. Distribute your PERSONAL PAMPHLET to the WORLD!

6:40 p.m. Monday.

Just this once, you manage to sneak out of the office before nine o’clock at night—two hours early. But, thanks to your unexpected change in schedule, you run into your old GIRLFRIEND on the street. Why let unresolved RELATIONSHIPS or conflicts about your SEXUALITY get you down? Take a pill! Join her for an early dinner! (And try to share your feelings about your pills. Remember: Your friend might like to have some of her own!)

9:00 p.m. Monday.

You stop at the all-night supermarket and bring a bag of groceries to your aging, sickly, housebound FATHER who REPEATEDLY MOLESTED you when you were a child! There’s no reason to hold grudges, is there? And what have you got to be afraid of? You’re invulnerable, as long as you’ve got those pills! Don’t forget … he’s slowly dying of CANCER! He’s got one year to live. Uh, oh. Time to overcome your AMBIVALENCE and tell him that you LOVE him before it’s TOO LATE. And even though death and ILLNESS are REAL BAD NEWS, you can handle them. You’ve done it before, haven’t you? If you live in New York or Chicago or L.A. … any place, really … at least one of your friends have already DIED of AIDS by now. No need to get unhinged, though. Confront mortality—WITHOUT PAIN!

10:10 p.m. Monday.

You take the SUBWAY to your apartment. Worried about that guy carrying a GUN? Or the lunatic who’s exposing his GENITALS to you? Relax. You can deal. It happens every day, right? You know what to do.

11:30 p.m. Monday.

Your ATTRACTIVE, MARRIED COLLEAGUE shows up unexpectedly, right on your doorstep! He’s feeling AMOROUS. Don’t be ill at ease! Invite him upstairs. Or, tell him to get lost. Make the first move. Or, take a CLASSIC strategy and BE REAL PASSIVE … just WAIT AND SEE what he does! Anyway, why be hung up about it? It’s all the same to you! You’re on medication! And, when things get down to brass tacks, you’ll handle that sticky conversation about AIDS and SAFE SEX—no problem!

9:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Your attractive colleague turned out to have a VIOLENT streak. Luckily, you’re SUPER HIP, and you know how to PLAY IT ROUGH. You don’t mind a little PHYSICAL BRUTALITY or SADISM now and then! Just cover those BRUISES with the perfect foundation to match your skin tone! Put your pills in your pocket and head out for that SUBWAY. Another shooting on the subway platform? Ambulance and police cars gonna make you late for work? Go on, admit it. You don’t give a shit! It’s a brand new day! You’re sedated—heavily—and, girl, you’re READY FOR ANYTHING that comes!

This brochure courtesy of the Munroe Drug Company.

Lisa Dierbeck is the author of the novels One Pill Makes You Smaller and The Autobiography of Jenny X. She previously wrote for The Baffler under the pen name Viki Dillon.

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