There’s this pharmacy right near my doctor’s office. Really convenient if you need to get a prescription right after your appointment, but I can’t bring myself to go there any more.

You see, every time I go there, it’s to get medication we’ve been prescribed. And each time, they try to sell me on other things. I get it. It’s the retail version of “Would you like fries with that?”, but with this particular pharmacy, it’s not fries they are selling. More often than not, it’s a “complementary” treatment. So far, it’s ranged from naturopathic preparations to homeopathy and supplements. But it’s the homeopathic treatments that really get to me.

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I can’t even count the amount of times I have been guilty of googling my symptoms to try to figure out what is wrong with me. I have bashed my hip on the bench, forgotten that I’ve bashed it, googled the symptoms (pain) and diagnosed myself with secondary cancers. I have had a suspicious looking rash (it was food colouring- forgot I’d used it making play dough) and come up with meningococcal. I’ve even googled my forgetfulness and wondered if I have some kind of early-onset dementia.

So imagine my surprise when I read something on the internet that other people had google-diagnosed me with. An interesting turn of events, right?

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I’ve been stewing on this for a few days now, since reading your recent comments. I’m wondering if you can actually define “frivolous”. And while you’re at it, I’d love you to provide evidence that women are making “frivolous domestic violence complaints”. Because, as far as I know, domestic violence saw 79 women in Australia killed in 2015. Another 32 so far in 2016. Doesn’t seem like a “frivolous” issue to me. Many people are granted protection orders these days and I find it hard to believe that the police and the courts follow through with them if the complaints are so minor or petty. Did you know that between September 2013 and September 2014, just for a snapshot of the numbers, there were more than 26,000 domestic apprehended violence orders issued in NSW alone and approximately 80% of them were issued to women? Would you like to give an estimate of how many of these orders were made by the courts because a man said he didn’t like the colour of a woman’s dress? Because that is the example you gave of a woman making a “frivolous” complaint.

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I first started reading Joe Hill based on the promise of genetics.

My love of Stephen King’s work is no secret, so finding out that Joe Hill was following in his father’s footsteps was a foregone conclusion for me. For those not in the know, his full name is Joseph Hillstrom King. I don’t blame him for writing under Hill; the Grand Master of horror, among other things, must cast a long shadow.

Having read a lot of Joe Hill’s work, though, I can confirm he has definitely earned his stripes in his own right. I see hints of Stephen King here and there; a little nod of acknowledgment and a bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling for us King fans. More on that later. Hill is a hell of a story-teller in his own right and The Fireman may be his best yet.

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