Tuesday, 2 June 2009

We’re living in the wrong era. Or are we…?

My friend T sent me a very interesting email this morning, detailing over-the-counter medications that could be bought for little readies – if you were alive in the early 1900s.

There was, for example, Bayer’s heroin, marketed as a ‘non-addictive substitute for morphine’(?). It was also used as a children’s cough medicine. What happy, hack-free kids those must have been!

If cocaine was more up your alley, there was always Metcalf’s coca wine, a ‘pleasant tonic’ that was recommended for ‘despondency’, among other things. No doubt it worked a treat.

And if you (or, again, your child) had toothache, you could always just drop a couple of cocaine tablets for an ‘instantaneous cure’. I’m sure!

Finally, for peevish infants, there was the kick-in-the-head relief of Stickney and Poor’s Pure Paregoric, containing not only opium but a whopping 47% alcohol. I know who I would have been giving that to if my baby were fractious, and it wouldn’t have been the baby. (‘Adults, one teaspoonful’? What, didn’t they have glasses in those days?)

I found this all very quaintly enlightening and passed it on to my friend Ronaldo, who immediately shot back with an article published today about… cocaine having allegedly been found in Red Bull Cola. Red Bull, as anyone with a TV knows, ‘gives you wings’, and now perhaps we know why. (Although I find it surprising that they haven’t given their ad-agency writers more of it to drink – the TV ads, although cutely animated, are always so embarrassingly lame.)

The cocaine was apparently present in ‘tiny amounts’ that ‘posed little health danger’, and Red Bull flatly denied the allegation. But demand for Red Bull is now soaring in those countries in which they've been removed from the shelves. As another TV ad once famously said, makes you think, doesn’t it?

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1 comment:

ali g said...

In light of that just ate a packet of coco-pops.
Worked OK but I used alcohol instead of milk.