Snake Oil

It’s been the longest time yet for me between check ups and my next one is due a week tomorrow, already I am getting anxious and having the odd sleepless night convincing myself that any pain in my body is a sign of cancer. And as one enters their seventh decade on Earth the old body experiences more aches and pains to worry about. I’m also beating myself up because the appointment is on Kate’s birthday, how solipsistic am I?

I also did my first talk about myself and my unction with a lovely cancer support group, The Living Tree, in Bridport. Found my self choking up when I began talking about my crabby experience, especially when recounting how we were given the diagnosis and my realisation of how hard it was going to be for Kate. Anyway, I enjoyed the experience and want to repeat it with other groups. Though on reflection all the crabby talk and being with a bunch of crabby folk does rekindle stuff and the timing just before my next check up probably gives the old anxiety a bit of a boost. Still, made some new friends and given a few new contacts and opportunities to spread my unction, as it were.

Yesterday spent a long day at a place called the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth spreading my unction at an event called Zest4life. Did OK and it started with a friendly psychic medium coming over and telling me how well my unction has been treating her child’s skin, I didn’t foresee that. What I also didn’t foresee was my little stall being placed next to another flogging some silver infused water that cures all manner of bodily stuff including all my unctuous claims. And their stall looked more ‘professional’, and there were 2 of them, and they were more ‘aggressive’ in their grabbing of punters and I started stewing, I’m still quite an immature person despite approaching my seventh decade. After stewing a while I approached next door Dick, we’d already exchanged pleasantries during which I’d said how I occasionally get bored and call out “get your snake oil here”, “ooh, you don’t want to put punters off” he replied, anyway I asked him about their product, he goes into his spiel going on about electrolysis, silver, the purest water, how all bad bacteria are negatively charged and the positively charged colloidal silver gets rid of all the bad bacteria and so on. Got a degree in immunology (slight exaggeration) boast I, I’m a water engineer ripostes he as I want to know more about how this colloidal silver actually gets rid of bad bacteria, fortunately punters need puntering so we separate. I go back to my less professional stall and get my phone out to look up colloidal silver claims. For a start the very scientific term colloidal simply means a bit of insoluble stuff is dispersed in another, like water. There are then many grand claims for the effects of colloidal silver on the body, particularly the immune system. These seem to be extrapolated from some facts such as silver can act as an antiseptic and is used in dressings and to coat medical equipment to keep it free of nasty bugs. What is not supported by any clinical evidence is that it can do any of the grander claims, such as curing cancer and making your immune system capable of fighting off all baddies. Sad git aren’t I? But I did learn something quite interesting in that an excess of silver, which is not an essential bodily mineral, can cause something called argyria and this turns your body blue and it has been posited that this is why royals are called ‘bluebloods’ because they ate and drank so much from silverware.

Anyway, I ended up giving the silver lady an unction sample, ooh er missus, and felt guilty about thinking them being real snake oil salesfolk. But they did cost me a fair amount of trade, I’ll learn from it though.

So, is the sight of gove with manbaby worse than manbaby with the gargoyle?

Garry Glitter is playing at the manboy’s inauguration.

And I’ve just been accepted to be a marine volunteer warden at Kimmeridge Marine Nature Reserve, although I had got the fancy that it was for a marine volunteer ranger and I’d get a ranger uniform and badge.


Keep on keeping on, love Duncan


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