She-Who-Tolerates became weary of talking about and watching shows about everyone’s favorite subjects, pie and politics. The talk somehow turned to Grandma and her jar of Vick’s that fixed everything. I remembered fondly that I haven’t had Vick’s in decades. I remembered the new generation doesn’t know anything important, like pie, politics, or Vick’s.
In the before-time I was at “work,” which is the opposite of career fun-day activities. Generally, activities that include a paycheck aren’t fun and haven’t been fun since forever. Hence the evil, cursed word, “work.” Anyway, I was at work long ago and mentioned uses of Vick’s Vapo-Rub. The pimple faced youths thought I was insane. It’s like I’d told them the world is flat or that Elvis is really dead. They had no knowledge of Vick’s. I just can’t believe an adult doesn’t know that. It seems the youngsters are missing more than just math skills. How can they survive when they don’t even know how to help themselves?
In the interest of educating the iPhone generation, we’re going to discuss traditional home remedies. Be aware that this information is for discussion only. Your results may vary, so never practice home health without the supervision of a certified grandparent or licensed Geezer Shaman.
My family healer was my Grandma Fern McKinney-Mecum. She’d spent a lifetime perfecting her medicinal skills. They consisted of two protocols. First, don’t let the kids be stolen by the Gypsies. Second, use Vick’s. You may have seen or heard of Vick’s Vapo-Rub. It’s a petroleum based jelly with camphor. It has lots and lots of minty smelling, eye watering, and sinus clearing camphor. It cures everything. Got a cold? Put a big plug of Vick’s under, or even in your nostrils. Never mind that it burns like a hot poker. Don’t you remember that pain means it’s working? Coughing? Grease your chest with the stuff and put a hot towel over it, then go to sleep if you can. Think you broke your arm? You’ve got it, Vick’s will straighten it right out. Put the Vick’s on your sunburn because it isn’t painful enough already. In addition to healing you, the Vick’s regimen teaches you to suck it up and not whine where Grandma can hear you. Don’t make her get the Vicks.
Castor oil is the staple of families that haven’t discovered Vick’s. It’s made from castor beans, the same beans used to make the deadly chemical warfare agent ricin. It tastes like greasy corruption and oily death with a side of rotted agony. Castor oil uses are legendary. Most often the oil is used to lubricate industrial machines. A sadist who is lost to history said, “This stuff makes my steel press run real good, so let’s eat it,” and we did. Castor oil lubricates the bowels even better than it lubricates machinery. It makes your digestive tract scream to get it out ASAP. Castor oil is said to heal acne because even pimples run from it. Cut yourself with a chain saw? The remedy reduces inflammation and causes the body to hurry up and heal to get that vile stuff away forever. You can still buy it for friends, family, and that pesky boss that makes unreasonable demands on your mental health. Just kidding about the boss. My recommendation is don’t go near it.
The element sulfur as a medicine goes back to before biblical times. It was called brimstone in Genesis. When it burns, it smells like rotten eggs and is assumed to be what Hades smells like, so why not make it a medicine? Parasites run from it, so sulfur is often used as a dewormer and to run off salesmen and in-laws. Burning sulfur in your house evicts evil spirits, roaches, fleas, and your daughter’s boyfriend. Allowing the smoke to soak into your skin kills body lice. Technically, the smell causes the lice to commit suicide, but the effect is the same. There was even a tonic made of sulfur and molasses that was supposed to fix a variety of blood ailments and probably kill the appetite forever.
More recently, parents used the remedy Paregoric for their kids. When I was a kid you could get it without a prescription because it only contains morphine. It stops cough and ceases energetic activity. Mellow toddlers were desirable and Paregoric created mellowness. The kids like being mellow and not coughing. They’d follow Mom around wanting more mellow-maker. Kids would knock each other over to get the syrup. I’d be curious to know how many junkies were fed Paregoric as kids. The stuff is still available but takes a prescription. It’s for parents that aren’t content only making children neurotic. They want to make them neurotic and drowsy addicts.
The few remedies I’ve listed teach the young about survival. You can find more in the encyclopedia while you’re at the library. Take a young adult and educate them today. Maybe it’ll help them survive until they’re receptive to pie and politics perfection.