Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Fat Stick Cure

I'm visiting with a friend today and she's telling this story about how her brother accidentally set her on fire with a fat stick. She was okay but it did singe her hair up pretty badly. Her mother put the fire out.

A fat stick is one of those super charged sappy pine sticks that you use to start fires with.

But out of the telling of this story comes a local cure that I had not heard before. It's for the croup or any sort of respiratory ailment that causes shortness of breath.

What you do, is you set the fat stick on fire. Then you wrap it up in a piece of "meat skin".

I'd not heard "meat skin" before, so I asked.

"Like a piece of chicken skin?"

She looked at me like I'd gone out of my mind.

Evidently, "meat skin" is a piece of pork rind...I guess a pretty big one with the fat still attached to the skin.

So, you wrap up the burning fat stick with the meat skin and put a spoon under it...I guess where the end of the burning wood/pork rind burrito is.

What comes out and is gathered in the spoon is a sort of kerosene/pork fat/pine tar elixir.

Give this to the patient and it will open the bronchial tubes.

She swears she's seen this save babies lives.

But it's not exactly kosher.


  1. Sista Cala said...
    Nothing like those old-timey hill people cures. Some of those things really do work.

    My granny used to give us a teaspoon of vic's salve and tell us to let it dissolve slowly in our mouths. Same principle as the fat stick. Worked too! I'm just not sure of how many times per day would be appropriate.
    Mamma said...
    Not sure I'd be willing to be the first to try it out.

    But you can't argue with years of success.
    Jessica said...
    I'm supposed to save a baby with a hunk of pig ass wrapped around pine tar?

    Okey dokey.

    I'd throw stones if I didn't have a favorite psychic to refer you to but since I do...
    Omnibus Driver said...
    My German great grandmother would melt lard, add pine tar oil, slap in on a chest and wrap the whole mess up in red flannel for a bad cold or bronchitis. Then she's make the poor victim down about a tablespoon of the stuff for good measure. Your explanation of the fat stick makes absolute sense to me.
    samuel said...
    I can't help but wonder how it would taste. Pig fat never hurts the flavor of anything, but burning pine stick doesn't quite sell it as a snack.
    Anonymous said...
    ... my goodness....


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