Colds and Flus and KAl(SO4)2·12H2O! (Oh My!)

::Ahem::
Cold and Flu Season Will Nigh Be Upon Us.
Make that Cold, Flu, and Ebola Season if you watch CNN or Fox News.
(No, wait, Fox News thinks Ebola is a Foreign Country which the United States Must Invade…)
But I Digress.
When I was a Wee Child and my Family lived in the Catskill Mountains I used to get every Head & Chest cold that came to Town.
Which is curious, as I rarely even went to Town, except when my Mother dragged me the Three Miles There.
And Back.
Literally.
Anyway.
There was *one* Doctor in the Town of Greenville, New York at the time.
Dr. Bott.
Dr. Bott said my Tonsils were Swollen.
Dr. Bott said my Swollen Tonsils would cause me Years of Endless Serious Illnesses.
Dr. Bott suggested that my Father shove a Toxic White Paste on my Tonsils to Shrink Them.
That Toxic White Paste was…
Alum:
Both a Specific Chemical Compound and a Class of Chemical Compounds.
The Specific Compound is the Hydrated Potassium Aluminium Sulfate (Potassium Alum) with the Formula KAl(SO4)2·12H2O.
The Wider Class of Compounds known as Alums have the Related Empirical Formula, AB(SO4)2·12H2O.
Perhaps in his Warped Mind Dear Old Dad thought he was Being Funny:
In years past, much use was made of the Supposed Shrinking Properties of Alum as a Comedy Gag in Films, primarily in the 1920s and 1930s.
In a typical situation it would be introduced by accident or intent into Foodstuffs, with ingestion causing the victim’s mouth to assume a Tight Pucker.
Speech was usually Difficult or Impossible.
In animation, Cartoon Physics could magnify the effect — the victim’s head might shrink (as in the 1949 Bugs Bunny Cartoon Long-Haired Hare)
or the voice alter to a Shrill Squeak.
All it did was make me Vomit & I ended up having a Tonsillectomy instead.
So did my older Sister, even though her Tonsils were Fine, because Catskill Hospital was having a Remove-One Set-Get-The-Second-Set Half-Off Tonsillectomy Special.
Good Times.
::Please Make A Note of It::

Couldn't Someone Have At Least Brushed My Hair?
“Couldn’t Someone Have At Least Brushed My Hair?”

 

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