Bad Pharmaceuticals

The following exchange took place a few years ago on that virtuous (or was that virtual) bar, alt.callahans. Here we feature John Barnstead followed by Magus Firecow.

Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat tsk tsks sadly at the misinformation willfully propagated by this no doubt well-intentioned morality tale (a tale formerly included in this collection): imagine ANYONE considering being made a MOUSE to be a PROMOTION (in anything but the advertising sense of that word…). He meows mournfully, which, being interpreted, means:

I am sorry to be forced yet again to make corrections to a Patron’s really laudable, albeit inadequate, attempt at an accurate account of this famous medieval tableau, but a decent respect for the facts compels me to inform the Patronage-at-Large WHAT REALLY HAPPENED…

It is a little-known fact of medieval history (by which I mean that the Society for Creative Anachronism has yet to codify, classify, calcify, or stultify it… although I am told that a procedure for doing so is currently in committee…) that King Babar was several hundred years ahead of his time in the invention and and deployment of novel naval equipment. A fleet of his specially-designed hypothalassean vessels served to transport large quantities of calcium oxide from his mines in Kentucky to France, where (I trust that Anne Gwin, our resident expert on Medieval French, will confirm the truth of what I say) it was much in demand to produce that hint of a blush which was the dernier cri of high fashion among the pert posteriors of Paris, as well as the, shall we say, ruder contents of visiting Anglo-Saxon codpieces… Alas, fashion had to yield to health considerations when it was discovered that the alkaline properties of the imported white powder was conducive not only to rubicundity, but also certain parasitic insect infestations… It was only a small step, you see,


Pernicious falls silent.

“Thank goodness for that!” says his faithful amanuensis and general factotum (Barnstead, of course), who is rather embarrassed at the lengths to which the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat will go for a pun…

The challenge was taken up by Magus Firecow (aka Lin Ka-Ming).

Magus Firecow is startled that Pernicious did not actually tell the whole story. You see…

The guilty chalk was not the last attempt at this bizarre cosmetic practice. In fact there were multiple attempts making powders of different colours, but the dyes used all had the additional side effect of being irritating to the skin. Now if it were just a rash that these pigments caused, that might not have been so bad. Goes on blue and comes off red sort of thing. But the real problem was discovered by a group of testers -read torture victims- who broke out laughing when the powder was applied. They would laugh so hard they would cry. And to show the further inhumanity of cosmetic testing, these tests were repeated with at least one other group of testers. All this is true, the proof is in a centuries old memo to King Babar:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *