Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Springtime in Belvidere.....
(An example of the hand carved wooden greeting cards mailed by frontier laboratories to patients unlucky enough to have tested positive for Bloody Flux.)
March is usually an exciting time here in Belvidere. Sadly I have been in nearby Hebron, Nebraska over the past two days arranging the affairs of my recently passed away Great Aunt Ephromina Jenkins. She lived until the ripe age 97 years young, finally succumbing to the ravages of time and a bottle a day grain alcohol habit. I tried for years to get her to stop but she refused, citing a study published in 1860 in the Annals of Pioneer Medicine which associated decreased rates of Bloody Flux and Possum Fever among early settlers of Nebraska with daily grain alcohol ingestion.
With hindsight at my disposal, it is easy to point out the numerous flaws in this study:
1. There were, at the time, no established diagnostic criteria for either Bloody Flux or Possum Fever. Many of the included cases may actually have been of Prairie Rot or Sorghum Fever.
2. The type and amount of grain alcohol ingested was not taken into account.
3. Some of the participants were women.
4. Some of the participants were non-Christian.
5. Some of the participants were Chinese.
6. There was no use of healthy convicts as control subjects purposefully inoculated with Bloody Flux or Possum Fever.
7. The authors of the study were likely biased as they were also the producers of Hillbilly Jim's Bloody Flux and Possum Fever Tonic which consisted of over 90% grain alcohol.
8. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Frontier Medicine.
Regardless of my earnest and persistent entreaties, my Great Aunt would not listen to reason. I guess that isn't too suprising considering how many years she spent in Hebron. They are known for their ill manners and unreasonable sheep policies. Many an irregular sheep has found refuge in Hebron and there is word that Turkey Death Brigades have been given safe harbor within their city limits. I'm sure glad to be back in my home town where the sheep are regular, the turkeys are shot on sight, and the meatloaf costs $3 dollars.
(The Belvidere Possum, carrier of Possum Fever and right tasty with taters!)