Offside Excerpt

I ran my finger and thumb across the last zip-lock bag, shoved it into my ski sock and nudged my bureau drawer closed.  Finished for another week and nobody suspected a thing.   Sweeping my hand through the thin stream of light on the desktop, I checked my fingers for telltale powder streaks and clicked off the lamp. Then I burrowed back into bed, glanced at my alarm clock and groaned.  Quarter to eleven and a 6:30 practice tomorrow morning.

Downstairs, the volume of the TV suddenly increased as a commercial interrupted the news.  “Stuffed up and sneezy?  The solution’s easy…” I winced at the catchy slogan of Lise’s favorite cold remedy and mimicked the commercial.  “Stuffed up and sneezy?  The solution’s easy.  Doesn’t matter if you’re young or old.  Just mix up Sinus Minus and throw away your shyness.  For a healthy sinus, minus the cold.” I pulled my pillow down squarely over my head.

That was how it had all started.  Some muscle-bound musician, who had probably never been stuffed up in his life, had hooked my stepmom, Lise, on Sinus Minus.  From that day on, lime-green boxes in the shape of enormous noses had begun appearing in the medicine cabinets.  Inside each enormous nose were ten shiny foil packets adorned with the Sinus Minus schnoz. One small sniffle was enough to elicit some serious advice to mix it with something warm for the throat.  It was definitely one of Lise’s latest crazes, but at least she hadn’t decided to market the stuff – that was my department.  In just six weeks, I’d managed to get my entire hockey team hooked on Sinus Minus.