• Hayley Zablotsky

The Cure Is Here and Probably It Won't Kill You

The cure, presumably.

I don't enjoy thinking about my job prospects, mainly because I have so few.

I will defend the liberal arts education with my dying breath, but the fact is that it's hard to find a well-paying job that allows for examination of the human condition and writer-ly creativity.

I had an internship at an advertising agency in college, which I did enjoy. I'm told that going into advertising is the answer to all my problems. It requires creative writing and actually pays a decent salary.

So I've started practicing my promotional writing. Below you'll find a sample for my hypothetical big pharma client.


Dear Patient,

You've suffered from psoriasis for too long. We know it's exhausting and uncomfortable, and we want you to live a life free of flare-ups. Thanks to Xyleeeena, your struggle is over. Xyleeeena is a new first-line defense drug with targeted relief technology.

Side effects include: increased skin irritation, burning, redness, inflammation, discoloration, and pain. Shortness of breath, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Numbness and tingling in extremities. Muscle weakness. Nausea. Vomiting. Dry heaves. Constipation. Dizziness. Drowsiness. Insomnia, trouble falling and staying asleep, sleep walking, and night terrors about the Muppets.

Decreased libido, impotency, sometimes phallic shrinkage. With this of course comes crippling insecurity and intense feelings of inadequacy.

Hair loss, weight gain, weakening of nail beds.

High blood pressure. Kidney stones. Occasional internal bleeding.

If you suffer from depression, your depression might worsen. Suicidal thoughts and actions have occurred. And though unlikely (well not totally unlikely), our attorneys require that we state that death from Xyleeeena is possible.

Also possible: seizures, hallucinations, and brain damage.

Bumps, boils, growths, scabs, warts, pox, and occasionally skin tags.

Mouth dryness and back acne have also occurred.

In some cases, patients have lost all sense of self and the ability to love.

We have to mention here that, in a recent focus group, most patients said the potential results weren't worth the practically guaranteed side effects.

However, one patient was extremely satisfied, saying, "My skin cleared up like a dream. Even though I had two toes amputated due to severe side effects, I owe everything to Xyleeeena."

Doctors everywhere are recommending Xyleeeena for moderate to severe psoriasis. This is your chance to see the Xyleeeena difference and—

Oh and CANCER, we forgot cancer. Colon cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer — all the cancers, okay? But anything can give you cancer. Sun exposure, Sharpie pens, chest X-rays, tofu. So chill out.


This is your chance to see the Xyleeeena difference and start living free. Assuming all goes well, enjoy your new life with Xyleeeena — a gorgeous life free of psoriasis. There will be sunshine, a slender middle-aged wife who laughs at everything you say, and a golden retriever. Probably you will fly kites every day.

This is what your life could look like with Xyleeeena. DON'T YOU WANT XYLEEEENA???

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© 2020 Hayley Zablotsky

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