Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Good for What Ails You

My doctor wants to kill me. Ever since I read about Jayne's anti-death medication, I have known this to be true. Because I have had my doctor for 15 years, and my doctor has never told me about anti-death medication. Neither a whisper nor a hint. Nary a clue. It's not like there haven't been loads of opportunities. Over the years, we must have put in a good, solid three hours of chitchat--varying in degrees of awkwardness based on what's happening. For example, during my last gynecological examination as I lay there counting the ceiling tiles (103), I learned a lot about the doctor's son's treehouse and the other son's plans for college. These vital moments were not, I repeat, not used to inform me of the possibility of taking anti-death medication and I cringe when I remember my girlish excitement over the treehouse plans--I practically demanded to see the blueprints!

As we have enjoyed a friendly relationship ('though clearly not as friendly as I thought), I want to believe that my doctor just forgets to tell me about the anti-death medication. Either way--whether my doctor has murder in mind or is just guilty of inadvertent sparkleslaughter--I'm going to have to prescribe anti-death medicine for myself. It's a bold step, but I've been going to the doctor all my life and feel qualified. I haven't totally figured out what to put in my anti-death medication, but I'm pretty sure it will contain many of the more entertaining Seven Deadly Sins and have a pleasing vanilla flavor with light citrus notes.

As I work on my formula, I've been thinking about various medicines. Seen this one?
This is a liniment--actually, I'm pretty sure this is straight turpentine. I bought it in a drugstore last year because I was fascinated by the package. If you google the product, you will find that it has a very long and involved history involving snake oil salesmen, the Alamo, and corporate malfeasance--firearms, too, in one thing I read. Does it work? We-ell. I have used it and I have felt less sore afterwards. I believe this might be because I got distracted by the fact I was actually putting it on my body--distraction factor is key in healing.

Now, this. This I practically use as a body wash these days. TECNU. TECNU the original outdoor skin cleaner. TECNU is also a good name for a robot--like the TECNU Helpatron 8000, for example. I digress. This is TECNU. It's good for washing poison ivy and poison oak stuff off your skin which apparently is going to constitute my summer fun this year. All I have to do is look at something that is green and I begin to feel The Itchy. But that's not all this product takes care of. Ask me. Ask me what else it does!
Thanks. Thanks for asking. TECNU was originally developed to wash nuclear fallout off your skin. I was fascinated by this and asked the pharmacist, "Is this really true?" And he said, "Yeah, y'know all that testing they did, they found that the guys who used this--" "Got cancer less quickly? Arms didn't drop off for 30 years?" "Yes, pretty much." The thing I don't get is how the chemical engineer's wife "just happened" to find out that it worked on poison oak and poison ivy. I can't get myself into her head in the moment. She's been out in the garden, she begins to feel The Itchy, and then what? Wouldn't every other housewife back then just slap some calamine lotion on it and call it a day? No. She heads into her husband's lab and grabs a random beaker? Well, however it happened. This stuff is excellent. And has a mild, pleasing aroma with lofty overtones of leather and cupcake frosting (I lie). And now, let me admit something briefly: When you have poison ivy, it feels extremely GOOD to direct a strong stream of hot water on it. Give it a try if you get poison ivy--really, it will be your only source of happiness for awhile. (Note: I'm sure it's bad to do this, but I won't tell. Also, I'm not sure that TECNU can stop you from turning into a brain-eating zombie or giant antwoman--it doesn't say that on the label.) Okay, so now I'm thinking about stuff I took when I was a kid and stuff people around me took. My grandmother, for example, was all about regularly taking laxatives. While it seems a tad unusual now, back in the day (and I mean back in HER day) it was quite normal. Let me introduce you to a pal of hers: Mr. Sal Hepatica. Sal Hepatica sounds like a nice old italian guy with a fruitstand. "Hey, Sal! How are the apples today?!" "The apples are GREAT, sunshine, the apples are bee-yoo-ti-ful!"

But, no. Sal Hepatica is a laxative. So, it's hot. Let's...get some lemonade? Relax in the shade? Take a dip in the pool? No. Let's take some Sal Hepatica.
Okay. That's weird, but not so bad. But this one is pretty odd--I'm not sure who they're targeting with this--circusfolk? And, I dunno, you'd think her symptoms ("sickish, headache, dizzy) might mean she should stay on the ground. But, no. The show must go on.
And this stuff? I actually had to take this stuff as a child. You know, when I couldn't do my trapeze act because I felt sickish. An important point: We did not cry FOR Castoria, we cried ABOUT Castoria. Being a pig and swigging too much wasn't the problem.
And this? Deeply disturbing. There are way too many scary things about this family to begin to count.
HAVE A GREAT THURSDAY! I'll be glad to share some of my anti-death medication with you when I figure out the formula.