Oh my darlin', Unguentine.

When a magazine is squozen dry of anything funny, noteworthy, or, in the case of The Seventies, astonishingly stupid, that magazine is thanked for it’s service and retired to a cool, dry shelf where it can live out its days being flat, and not bent, twisted or spindled, or cut up one page at a time and sold on eBay.

This 1962 issue of Family Circle didn’t have much to offer, but what it did give us was almost beyond belief. Remember the post for the fake instructional magazine “Easy Food Hats”, written by our own Vorbia Goatstain? You can recite the line alongside Neo when he realizes there is a robotic bug in his stomach. “Jesus Christ! That thing’s real?” Yes, as you say, that thing’s real.

The Phil Are GO! Resources Management Manager was about to put this Family Circle out to pasture when one last kooky ad jumped out at him. October 1962’s Family Circle still had one more weirdness to offer us. What the hell is unguentine?

Well, unguentine was is, most recently, a first aid goo. Yep. It’s still around. I’m sure the manufacturer of unguentine would be slightly engrumpened to know that people treat the name of their product as an archaeological curiosity. Actually, you can still find the stuff, buried deep within the many folds of Amazon.com’s soft, flabby underbelly.

Okay, so it’s a poorly named product. There must be a good reason for that, right? Well, there’s a reason. Call it “good” if you want, cuz I don’t.

an ointment or salve, usually liquid or semiliquid, for application towounds, sores, etc. 1400-50; late Middle English < Latin unguentum, alteration (probably byassociation with the suffixes -men, -mentum) of unguen fat, grease,derivative of unguere to smear, anoint.

So, you could interpret “unguent” to mean “smeared fat”, which is only one step better than “smeared fat covered in ants”, and only three steps better than “Senator Strom Thurmond”.

Let’s see if Wikipedia can be less gross about it…

An unguent is a soothing preparation spread on wounds, burns, rashes, abrasions or other topical injuries (i.e. damage to the skin). It is similar to an ointment, though typically an unguent is less viscous and more oily. It is usually delivered as a semi-solid paste spread on the skin and is often oily to suspend the medication or other active ingredients.
During the Victorian era, the use of the unguent Macassar Oil on the hair became so popular that the Antimacassar was invented to prevent damage to furniture.[1]

Yep. Wound goo. Usually with some kind of oil in it. As a bonus fact, Wikipedia threw in the fun story about hair grease ruining the furniture, precipitating the invention of those cloths with the weird name. I guess a lot of Victorians had sore hair, and needed hair unguent.

Thanks, October 1962 Family Circle. You’ve earned your rest.


Jim D. said...

"I need unguent" is one of the few complete sentences uttered by the woodchipper man in Fargo. Wait, there are a lot of woodchipper men in Fargo. I meant to say, the woodchipper man in the 1996 Coen Brothers film Fargo. Have a complete weekend.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

I need to see that movie again. Thanks forthe reminder, Jim!


Mat Black said...

I was under the impression that Unguentine was a former South American country was ultimately absorbed by Uruguay some time in the 1830s.

blat mack said...

Absorbine Jr.!!!!!!

cyclotronboy said...

Lily Dache: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Dach%C3%A9

Jack_Dayton_72 said...

Unguentine was my grandpa's cure of choice. Grandma on the other hand preferred black salve. Ah, the good old days. And you know? That stuff worked...unlike our modern sanitizing placebo gels and diluted cough medicines.

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