5/9/11

Ex-Lax - Psychological Shock.

You're probably sitting there in your internet-reading parlor thinking "My goodness me, but children of the past were so much resilient and emotionally stable than those of the present. They certainly could take the occasional mouthful of medicine with a stiff upper lip, by gum!" Well, prepare to drop your monocle into your sherry in slow motion.
Psychological shock, people! That's right! It was a constant threat to the children of 1952. What a bunch of.... One moment, readers. I've just been handed a note from the P.A.G. Historical Awareness Assault Force indicating that the ad is promoting Ex-Lax as a preferable alternative to the more traditional home remedy of castor oil. Incoming Wikipediation of castor oil in three, two, one, Wikipediation begins:

"Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (technically castor seed as the castor plant, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae), is not a member of the bean family). Castor oil is a colorless to very pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor or tasteThe United States Food and Drug Administration has categorized castor oil as "generally recognized as safe and effective" for over-the-counter use as a laxative, with its major site of action the small intestine.[14] Although it may be used for constipation, it is not a preferred treatment, because it can produce painful cramps and explosive diarrhea and its action can go on for hours, sometimes unpredictably and powerfully at inconvenient locations and during sleep.

Ah. Cramps and "explosive diarrhea". So, maybe the Ex-Lax guys were on to something after all. However, it is odd that castor oil allegedly has "mild or no odor or taste", when the mythology of cartoons would have us believe that it was the worst tasting thing you could put in your mouth.

Maybe the grossness comes from the thickness and oily texture? The taste of castor oil doesn't seem to be the worst of it's virtues. Explosive diarrhea would be enough to put me in counseling, though. I'm willing to concede the possible "psychological shock" of being woken from a sound sleep by blasting a deuce straight through your mattress and onto the bedroom floor.

Gosh. All this talk of deuces and the unannounced blasting of them has me kind of down. What about a cartoon with castor oil in it? Castor oil appearance at 7:06.



Some interesting things we can learn about the past, thanks to this cartoon:

-Any creature wearing women's bloomers, regardless of the observer's species relative to the creature in question, became an object of lust.

-It was customary to leave an infant at home unattended while the parent goes shopping. Babies that were insolent enough to leave their cribs during this unsupervised absence were punished.

-Castor oil, a medicine containing a physiologically active compound, was routinely administered as punishment to disobedient babies.

-Social stratification of urban animals resulted in psychological stress, which could be alleviated by violence and ridicule through musical performance.

-Any creature, when dressed as an infant, suffered a loss of strength and confidence, and was at the mercy of his/her peers.


3 comments:

Phil Jr. said...

I just found out that P.A.G. is the company that makes Ex-Lax. Its true. Proctor and Gamble make Ex-Lax.

Who did you think I meant?

Phil Are Go! said...

Oh yeah. Didn't see that myself. Also, remember the something or other about Toxic Shock Syndrome due to some tampons made by Proctor & Gamble. When was that? The eighties? Can't remember. BUt it sounds an awful lot like Psychological Shock.

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Anonymous said...

Actually, I think it is cod liver oil that is portrayed as nasty in the old cartoons. And having been dosed with it in 1970's, I'm here to tell you that it is indeed nasty tasting.

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