Dr. West has been called in by Muse Swings to give his inexpert opinion on the exact causes and possible cures for my addlepated, scattered, inarticulate, tongue-tied, scrambled mush of a brain. As we all know, the not so good doctor is the redoubtable avocate of the women's non-liberation movement. I am somewhat wary of his ministrations towards me. He prescribed his patented tonic, Dr. West's World Famous Elixir of Health for Those of the Gentler Feminine Persuasion, Useful in the Inducement of Restorative Rejuvenation of Glandular Activity. It seems his motto is "what doesn't kill you must cure you." I don't know about you, but I'm not completely onboard with this.
Must I resort to a bottled curative in order to find the fog dispersing, mental focus I seek? Is an old fashioned Snake Oil in order here? I admit that I long to return to my former sparkling self. I long to be able to work calculus problems while reading treatises addressing metaphysical questions as I surf the Internet, post riveting blog entries and paint intuitive self-portraits.
Upon reflection, I realized I'm not familiar with the history of or the etymology of that medical phenomenon known as Snake Oil. Was real snake oil an ingredient of that infamous medicinal potion? What raw materials were used to concoct those ever popular cures of 100+ years ago?
This is what my sleuthing uncovered.....
It seems that some Indians rubbed rattlesnake grease on their achy bones as a cure for rheumatism. Pioneers, knowing a good thing when they saw it, began to copy their native brothers. A little research uncovers tales of men hunting snakes and being given permits to sell the curative grease.
These original snake hunters metamorphed into traveling medicine showmen who hawked their homemade "patent" medicines and tonics to the public. Most of these concoctions didn't contain any actual snake oil, but were combinations of mineral oil, turpentine, camphor gum, paprika, fish oil, tar oil and extract of Capsicum.
Lavinia, the yenta matchmaker, seems to think that my mental malaise can be side-circuited by pairing me with the formidable Richard Gere. ( see this) I don't remember, if I ever knew, just what about my mental incapacitation makes me a good match for Gere but I'm not complaining. I come out a winner on this deal no matter what or why.
Debby, thank you for trying to warn me about the hijacking of my cautionary tale relating the effects of aging on the middle aged female brain. Can't a girl post a simple lament without her words being stolen, misused, misconstruted and re-written?
Watch out. It could happen to you too!