Kelley at Suburban Blight discusses annoying home remedies from long ago (you youngsters probably don’t even know of half this stuff- try to use these home remedies now and Jeb Bush and the DCF will take your kids away from you):
Have you ever experienced this barbarity? Having strep or tonsillitis is bad enough, but having your mother hold you down while she paints your throat with a long Q-Tip and a bottle of Mercurochrome – slapping you with every trigger of the gag-reflex (like you’re doing it on purpose!) – just sucks the big one. Not only does it sting like the proverbial mutha, it tastes like you’ve just drunk a bottle of that liquid metal they inject you with to provide contrast for an MRI.
I second her sentiments about the little vial of orange death known as Mercurochrome, and I add some others to the evil Hall of Fame for home remedies:
For poison ivy, scrubbing the afflicted area with Fells Naptha soap.
Three words- Cod liver oil
And most of all, the pinnacle of public humiliation, the spit bath. Dad would lick his thumbs and then vigorously rub whatever was on your face off so hard that you felt he was breaking the skin. Think of it as an indian-burn on the cheek. To make the humilaition worse, it was usually prefaced with the following statement:
“Come here- you have something on your puss.” For those of you who are aghast, ‘puss’ meant something completely different to German families when my dad was growing up.
I am serious- some of this stuff would pass as child abuse these days.
I don’t know if this qualifies, but when I was very young my mom bought this vile liquid to put on my fingernails, the idea being to keep me from biting them. It didn’t work, of course, I still bite them today.
My dad’s cough medicine – hot water, honey, lemon and whiskey. Drop a five year old like a three foot putt.
And then there are those times when you see some adult driving their car while with a three year-old bouncing around in it, not in a carseat, and you say to yourself, “What kind of parent would drive their kid around without putting them in a car seat?!?”
And then you realize. “Oh, yeah! Mine.”
I hadn’t thought about Mercurochrome in a long time.
Another one is sweet oil, warmed and ensconsed in a throbbing ear with a swash of cotton. Just makes the pounding from a an ear infection twice as loud. This was before we succumbed to the middle ear infection must receive antibiotics trend.
“My dad’s cough medicine – hot water, honey, lemon and whiskey. Drop a five year old like a three foot putt.”
Damn. I think my mom and your dad may have known each other growing up.
Actually, my mom’s home remedy was just whiskey and honey for an earache – served in a teaspoon…I honestly still have a tough time drinking or smelling whiskey.
My Aunt had kidney problems as a baby, and the doctors told my Grandma to put beer in her baby bottles.
In Taiwan, the doctors try to spray the stuff into your throat. I always decline.