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John Winters Columnist

Published Sunday, March 03, 2013

Eau du Bengay

There were few visitors to our abode over the last 10 days or so.

Few ventured past the Black Death warnings posted by the Centers for Disease Control. For those brave enough to enter anyway, another surprise awaited.

And that would be The Aroma.

Said aroma courtesy of the Little Black Dress, who herself finally succumbed after valiant attempts to whatever plague is visiting our area. Known in various connotations and spellings, to many it is the healing elixir of all time, namely Eau du Bengay.

Before we get too much into this column, let’s all get on the same page regarding who, or what, is Bengay.

“Bengay, spelled Ben-Gay before 1995, is an analgesic heat rub used to relieve muscle and joint pain. It was developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengué, and brought to America in 1898. The name Bengué was anglicized to Bengay. It was originally produced by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare which was later acquired by Johnson & Johnson.” Or so sayeth the fine folks on the Internet who save every school kid the night before they somehow just forgot about that massive written report due on the nocturnal mating habits of the Amazonian Izula due tomorrow. Namely, Wikipedia.

I realize I have opened up The Debate, namely that between the diehard Bengay loyalists and those of the Vicks Vapor Rub persuasion. Time does not permit me to go into the pros and cons of either. Let us just agree to disagree and each to his own. The Dress is of the Bengay line, thus so is our clan.

It’s like arguing over whether baptism should be with one being immersed backwards, frontwards or straight up and down. Or be Methodist and go for the sprinkle. Yeah, and now I’ve really started it, haven’t I?

Anyway, back to whatever point I’m trying to get to.

Over the past couple of weeks, the three SONs of Thunder have gone through five separate bouts of The Strep. Said Strep hit Youngest first, who politely passed it on to Eldest two days before Winter Break. Not to be outdone, Eldest responded in kind and apparently gave it back to Youngest before heading off on a mission trip. And upon his return, Eldest once again tested positive for The Strep, the first day back after break.

And where was Middle in all this?

He got The Strep as well, although we are not sure from whom. However, The Strep changed to some other malaise and he and his younger sibling spent pretty much the entire Spring Break in bed or on a couch. Two siblings stuck in bed, on vacation, yeah, that was a fun time.

And just to make my life miserable, The Dress somehow succumbed to what we believe Middle later got. Being the precautionary/proactive type, she went to get tested for The Strep, which she did not have. After long consultations, throat swaps, massive blood work, an MRI or two or three and consultations with the Mayo Clinic, a diagnosis was finally reached on Middle and the LBD.

I believe the Latin medical term is called The Crud. Or, in layman’s terms, “that bug that’s going around.” Said bug is pretty much wreaking havoc on my mental and physical well being.

Sometimes we forget how much our significant others, especially when children are involved, contribute to maintain some semblance of normality in this journey we call life. I remember promising to love The Dress in sickness and in health, but I do not recall anything about her being sick as a mom.

Moms are not allowed to get sick. It’s just not natural. And for The Dress to violate the code, well, you know it’s not good.

So I am now head doctor, nurse, dispenser of drugs (approved and in their original containers dear law enforcement friends), carpooler, school note excuse writer, grocery shopper, dinner fixer, dishwasher, bed maker, the “no, I mean go to bed now do you know how many times I’ve asked and how late it is?!” enforcer and a few other things I’ve forgotten. I do not do bottles.

And here it comes. Wait ... Wait ... Almost ... Now ...

“Welcome to our world!” says every woman.

Okay, I get it. On behalf of all dads, moms, please get well.

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