Molly left me a note yesterday to remind me that her last request as Fun Monday hostess is for bloggers to write about a child hood memory. She knew that I would be drawn to this topic like a fly to manu… Er… No, I mean a bear to honey.
A memory had already been evoked in me earlier this month when suffering with a horrible fever blister that covered the end of my nose and part of my upper lip. While doing some errands for Auntie Fern, one of the owners of the retirement village suggested I slather my affliction with Bag Balm. Immediately two thoughts popped into my head. One was of that big fat wedding movie – where the father character pulls out a spray bottle of Windex (window cleaner) every time someone appeared in the script with a skin ailment.
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The other sentiment was of my dad. My dad would never have been so bold to suggest his remedies to strangers, but he did share his opinions freely with family.
If you had a headache it was because you didn’t have your morning constitutional. (Bowel Movement – for those who might not have been clear on that description.) Enough said about that.
Dad didn’t use deodorant, aftershaves, or colognes. And, he had a low opinion of the men who used them. He considered it “stinky” stuff. When he put down his razor, dad slapped on a few splashes of Campho-phenique, an antiseptic liquid.
During my childhood, Campho-phenique came in a dark green glass bottle that, when opened, could be detected immediately by my nose at the opposite end of the house. Granted, our house was small; but that does not in any way denigrate the size of its smell. I will add that mom sometimes used the liquid on our scraped knees and minor cuts which probably made it more hostile in my scent memories.
And then there was that other proven product: Bag Balm. There was always a big green canister of the stuff in the bathroom, and another one on dad’s work bench. He used it to alleviate any sore or lesion that beset his body. Because his overworked hands were so calloused and cracked, he used the medicated salve as his hand crème of choice. On more than one occasion I heard my mama chastising dad because the morning or evenings milking was tainted with a tincture of bag balm, and thus not suitable for consumption.
* * *
Here’s where I have to admit that I arrived home the morning of my Bag Balm encounter and went straight to my bathroom medicine cabinet. In there, I found two canisters of Bag Balm. Curiosity send me to the the hallway cupboard. Sure enough, a third canister.
Yes! Of Course! I opened one and generously dabbed the ointment all over the end of my nose.
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