27 September 2011

topical tuesday, terrific tales of tomorrow, today!

What does topical even mean? Did you ever wonder why the essence of something and being cruel share the same word. I mean to be mean to you today!
Topical means: 
1  a : of, relating to, or arranged by topics <set down in topicalform>

b : referring to the topics of the day or place : of local or temporary interest <a topical novel> <topical references>
: designed for or involving local application and action (as on the body) <a topical anesthetic> <a topical remedy>

Today, I've decided to go with the second meaning. I am going to discuss goo-like stuff we spread on our surfaces to remedy problems we may have. Three of these leap immediately to mind: 
Clearasil - I was a somewhat pimply kid. This stuff stunk. It left a muddy-orange-like deposit on your face, which, face it, was worse than pimples. My Dad, bless his tiny little head, thought I should put Noxema on my pimples. I liked Noxema - its fragrance was so refreshing and yet it smelled effective. Ha! Finally, my skin completely out of control, my mum took me to the doc's. He said - Never ever use Noxema on pimples! It makes them worse!!
The second unguent that springs to mind, is Calamine Lotion - oh dear, remember that? We went to the cottage every summer. It was heaven there - outdoor biffy, endless swimming, mosquitoes and poison ivy. One year, in particular, was baaaaad. My sister always got it worse than me. I remember her lying on the little cottage couch, her legs wrapped in calamine lotion infused rags, her eyes leaking tears. She couldn't walk, her legs were so infected. I like the smell of calamine lotion still, but I hated poison ivy. So, I got mad. Very mad. And I went out to where I knew the leaflets three thrived and I stomped around in them, in my bare feet. Yes, I did. I never got poison ivy again. True dat.

Third thing put on body in youth - Dettol - this was another of my Dad's remedies. He couldn't wait until we got a scrape or a bump, so he could take the stuff out and put it on us - protecting us from evil germs and causing us to scream in pain at the mere odour of the stuff. Our reckoning was that it must be a really bad hurt for him to go to so much trouble. We'd be hauled into the bathroom and sat up on the counter. He'd pour hot water in the sink and the yellow Dettol - it would immediately make the water milky. What was in that stuff?

I miss my Dad. I wish he could put some dettol on my heart so I wouldn't miss him so painfully. But he can't. So...


Unknown said...

I used Noxzema as a teen and it didn't work for me either. Clearasil was even less effective. I have never come across poison ivy. However, my aunt lathered me in calamine lotion when I caught chicken pox in second grade. It was horrible!

Hart Johnson said...

teehee-I love this twist, Jan. Thankfully, I think I am immuned to Poison ivy, but man, i've had nettles, bad. I used that little teeny Clearasil spot stuff, but I think what really worked was neutrogena soap--no cream. My topical disasters have mostly related to sunburn--my under-skin is WAY too sensitive for that stuff that is supposed to make it better--leads to skin on fire. Better just let it all dry out for a few days.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I have all kinds of unguents I use on my skin to this day. I've always been plagued with skin problems but no over the counter stuff works. I have prescription dermatology stuff and thankfully, it keeps me from suffering.