I am herein reporting a supply chain problem

Halls sugar-free cough drops.

Because of a chronic lung problem called bronchiectasis, I’ve developed a mild dependency on Halls. They’re the strongest cough drops, with the most menthol.

I’m willing to admit some of my dependency is, well, addictive behavior but unlike, say, alcohol, it’s a harmless addiction. Except for the sugar. Sugar does things to our teeth and other parts of our bodies, but I’ve never had much of a sweet (rotting) tooth so the other effects don’t concern me.

So when I first noticed a bag of Halls labeled “sugar-free” I bought it immediately. What a great idea! In case you need a review: Halls sugar-free cough drops taste exactly like Halls sugared cough drops. Indeed, it wasn’t too long before I wondered why Halls even bothered to make cough drops with sugar.

It was maybe a few months ago, maybe less, when I found myself buying the last sugar-free bag of Halls from my pharmacist, who’d become the only reliable supplier. Duane Reade didn’t do the sugar-free, Harmon’s often didn’t have the sugar-free, and forget about anywhere else.

Uh-oh. So when I went to my pharmacy and put on a crazed desperate face when I didn’t see my sugar-free drops, I asked Jay, my pharmacist, what was going on.

“Supply chain problems,” he said. Halls sugar-frees had been on back order for a while.

My pharmacist is a wonderful guy. “I can call you when the sugar-free ones come in,” he offered but I told him I’d never ever put him to the trouble of such a phone call. I mean, Halls sugar-free cough drops are not epi-pens or insulin, right? (Although if I have to keep sucking on the sugared ones, I might need insulin some day. But maybe not; I’m nowhere near diabetic and don’t know whether sucking on an occasional lump of sugar will induce diabetes.)

Halls, I’m begging you.

I have started rambling. That means it’s time to stop now.

The end.

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