Friday, 29 February 2008

Notes from Camp Dipso-Manee

My mother's remedy for sore throat consisted of equal parts lemon juice, honey, and whatever booze was in the house. I remember getting this in a baby bottle as a child, and later in a squeezee bottle (like for ketchup or mustard) to squirt it directly to the back of the throat. I don't know how medicinal this was, and how much of this was getting the child drunk enough to stop whining for five seconds (my mother raised six children, so I presume those respites while the child slept it off were quite precious).

My mother's solution to teething, I recall when watching her with my nephews at the appropriate moment in their lives, involved pouring some whisky over ice, dipping a finger into it and rubbing it on the child's gums. I never saw my mother take a sip from the glass in between gum massages, but I presume that was part of the deal.

Okay, so when I've gotten sick, I've taken to mixing up combinations of lemon and honey and some kind of booze (lately crown royal, just because a) I live in Canada now and b) it's what I had in the house that wasn't tequila), and taking it by whatever means seems appropriate--by the spoonful or two to take the edge off the sore throat, a squirt from a squeezee bottle for the same purpose, a couple of spoonfuls in some hot tea to keep everything loose and moving.

Since my current illness does not involve sore throat, so much as mobile congestion, I haven't dug out my squeezee bottles. On the other hand, I have been trying to force liquids, and my new thing is mint lemonade. This consists of a glug or two of lemon juice in the bottom of a 900 ml cup, a few spoons of sugar substitute to take the edge off the lemon. Fill the cup with water, and top with a glug (or two) of peppermint schnapps.


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