Thursday, 24 January 2008
All sulphured out
I was at a family dinner the other evening, enjoying some lovely glasses of sparkling water, when I happened to mention to the distant cousin sitting next to me that I had a bit of a stiff neck. Quick as a shot she was off, and returned dragging behind her the family medicine box. Italians are enthusiastic first-aiders and most of them have an arsenal of bandages, ointments, plasters, drugs and pain killers at home that wouldn't look out of place in a NATO field hospital. After rummaging around for about ten minutes she triumphantly extracted a rock-hard, yellow cylinder (above) to the general approval of the assembled family. "Right", she enthused, "let me at you! Where is the stiffness?" and when I indicated the general area, she got me in a headlock and started rolling said cylinder up and down my neck with the palm of her hand. I could hear the occasional little snick, as if there was a small electrical discharge. "That'll be the negative ions coming out!". Anyway, it would seem that pure sulphur applied to the affected part can be a great help for a colpo d'aria (what you get if you sit in a draught) or indeed any general aches and pains. Did it work? I have to say there was some short-term relief. But it could have been the headlock.
By the way, we are now told to spell sulphur, sulfur. I blame Blair.