Thursday, February 7, 2008

Home Remedies

Have you gotten those emails that talk about how it's amazing any of us actually survived our childhood? You know, things like riding in the back of the pickup truck, not wearing seat-belts in the car, no call-waiting, no texting, no internet, having to actually go to a movie instead of renting it or having it delivered or getting it on your computer, and on and on. Well, I am actually shocked that I survived my Dad's home cold remedies.

My Mom will tell me about Daddy giving me an "elixir" for a chest cough that I have a vague memory of. His mix, like many mixes of the time, was whiskey with honey and lemon. According to my Mom, she called that mix off when I would fake my cough. Hey!

But the other mix, well, that one should have been reported to the authorities. Only at that time, the authorities were probably choking their kids with the same junk. I'm still not sure what it was or why he thought it was a remedy. On those long, cold nights when the deep heavy whooping chest cough would keep everyone up all night, the kitchen light would flip on, the heavy trod of Daddy feet would come through and I knew I was in for it. In would come the spoon full of sugar (NOT the Mary Poppins kind) with a couple of drops of what he called "coal oil". I'm still not sure what "coal oil" is, but it came from a oil lamp and smelled and tasted like I think gasoline would. The only "remedy" that would bring was for me to bury my head under as many pillows as I could to stifle the cough as to not have to go through that horrible tasting stuff again.

Man, what happened to the whiskey?

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