Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If I Could Save Time in a Bottle I Would Label It Paregoric


It is once again time for Theme Thursday.  My how time flies.  I apologize to everyone I normally read and comment.  I have been at a seminar this week.  I just now checked and saw what the topic was and decided to share my ship in the bottle with you.  Go read all the other wonderful submissions to Theme Thursday after of course you read mine. 

She looked up from her pillow and saw the bottle sitting there. She winced and swallowed. It felt as if she had swallowed a mouthful of glass shards and they were shredding her throat on the way down. She heard Nurse Meme in the kitchen and knew what would come next. She cowered lower in the covers.


Oh make no mistake she enjoyed being home, lying on the couch watching Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans explain how the mail man knows who gets what mail; she did not enjoy having a sore throat. She reached over to the cup of still steaming sweet hot tea and tried to take a sip. It hurt so badly as she tried to cauterize the raw tonsils. She wanted to cry out but she couldn’t. She couldn’t cry out because it hurt so much. She really knew she couldn’t cry out because as soon as she did it would happen.

Nurse Meme waited for these days. She longed for these days. She would relish in the nursing and mending of her youngest child. Well that is what Nurse Meme called it; Gladys knew it was really medieval torture. Gladys’ eyes watered as she sat the cup back on the coffee table and unwrapped the Sucrets cherry flavored throat lozenge. She moved the heating pad over just a notch and laid her pounding ear back onto the doubled over pillow case. Gladys and Matilda both suffered from ear aches and sore throats. Sometimes they would suffer at the same time which would cause Nurse Meme to spin around the kitchen grabbing bottles of this and jars of that out of the medicine cabinet. Then she would chase Matilda through the house until she had her in a head lock and administer her “cure”. Gladys would take this opportunity to hide in the corner behind her bed. Sometimes she was successful and would hide long enough that her throat or ear would actually get better; but mostly she was ratted out by her older sister.

Gladys would then be forced to march into the kitchen and stand under the brightest light. Nurse Meme would take the amber colored bottle from the cabinet and mix it in another bottle. She would shake the two together thick and dark rust colored. Gladys would watch helplessly as her mother would pull a twenty-seven foot long cotton swab from a white bag. Nurse Meme would then dip the swab into the iodine and glycerin mixture. She would grab Gladys by the chin tip her head back and then do the unthinkable. Gladys was sure her mother was trying to train her to become a sword swallower in the circus that had long ago left her under the rock.

Nurse Meme would jab and stick and swab until she had coated every inch of the rotten little tonsils in the back of Gladys’ throat.
Then she would take cotton tipped telephone pole and ram it down her throat just for good measure. This would invariably cause little Gladys to choke and gag and gag and choke. She would spit and sputter as soon as the white tipped tree trunk had been removed. She would spit orangish brown liquid into the sink and rinse her mouth with salt water trying to rid herself of the nasty metallic taste. Gladys however would have already by no fault of her own swallowed some of the oily brown mix which would cause her mother the next day to bring out the other dreaded bottle.

The second bottle was marked with the name Paregoric. Well at least it wasn’t the bottle of Castor Oil, but that is a story for another day.

9 comments:

California Girl said...

Good grief! You must have had a truly dismal childhood. Dad made us take eyedroppers full of cod liver oil each day but we liked it when we were toddlers; not so much when we were kids.

Alan Burnett said...

Oh that is a frightening tale. But well told.

Brian Miller said...

makes me want to go brush my teeth...

willow said...

Yikes!

(Captain Kangaroo was my hero)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Great post! And I totally believed Mr. Green Jeans wore green jeans even though the show was in B&W. -J

croneandbearit said...

Ick ick Paregoric, Castor Oil, and the oh-so-dreaded Cod Liver Oil. I remember all those bottles. I remember wanting to grow up and marry Mr. Green Jeans. sigh...

Titanium said...

Acckkkkkk. Brought back memories of the not-so-good tinctures and other home remedies of childhood.

Need my tongue-scraper, now.

Mine is here.

Tracy said...

I think the worst we had to endure was Vick's rubbed on our chest and then one of my dad's red 'hankies' tied around our necks...I hated that geasy feeling of Vick's.
I thought cough medicine was pretty awful too. I had one son who used to sneak it, he like the taste so much!

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!