Onions (was Re: DWJ birthday card(s))

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Aug 19 16:44:25 EDT 2004

Dorian wrote:

>Minnow said...
>> The only horses we ever seem to get round here are
>> on their way to the local police station with policemen (and policewomen)
>> riding them and looking superior and benign as only mounted policemen (and
>> policewomen) seem able to do,
>Over here, only about half of the mounted gardai (see how useful our
>language is?  A garda can be male or female, and one never has to mess about
>with silly words like "policeperson"!) ever manage to look superior and
>benign.  The other half invariably look as if they would rather be anywhere
>else at all than sitting on top of that horse.

I think the horses are rare enough, in England, that only the policepersons
(you're right, gardai is much more useful, but I am never sure how to say
it: "gard-ih"?) who are really determined to be on horseback get the
chance, so they know they are superior not just to the civilian pedestrians
but to all the other police as well.  This makes them benign except when
people throw darts at the horses, at which point they get really almost
peevish and quite right too.

>> and police horses are probably trained to be
>> impervious to onion-breathing pedestrians, so I can chomp on the raw
>> onions without let or hindrance if I want to avoid scurvy.
>The horses may be, but I bet the aforementioned other half would panic if a
>pedestrian came and breathed onion in their vicinity. :-)

Panic?  Them?  Never!  Look disdainful, possibly.  Don a gas-mask and look
smug, perhaps.

>> One thing I *do* know about onions is that pickling them in large
>> quantities completely stomps on a head-cold: by the time you have peeled
>> and topped-and-tailed about thirty pounds of small onions, there is
>> left in your sinuses to have a cold *with*.  Drastic but effective.
>I prefer to dose a cold with vast quantities of hot whiskey (made with one
>part whiskey, one part lemon juice, two parts hot water and half a dozen
>cloves).  Causes any self-respecting cold germ to run screaming for the

*Which?* magazine once did a test of all the "cold-cures" on the market at
the time, and concluded that if their research subjects didn't take any of
them, a cold usually lasted three days and made their research subjects
miserable and made them make silly mistakes a lot, and if they did take the
remedies a cold usually lasted three days and made them miserable but they
could function to a certain extent (and spread the germs to the whole of
the rest of the office), but if their research subjects took the
old-fashioned remedy of going to bed with a toddy made as you have
described (and with a spoonful of honey as well if a sore throat was
involved) being brought to them every two hours, the cold lasted for three
days but the research subjects didn't mind.

I sometimes liked *Which?* quite a lot back in the early seventies.  They
also did a thing on pets once, in which they rated different species of pet
for things like "durability" and "interaction time" and "trainability" and
"affection quotient", and in which they concluded among other things that
goldfish were very durable but only gave three seconds of real interaction
a day (when you fed them), couldn't be trained at all, showed no affection
and tended to die when cuddled.  It was done very straight, and it took
quite a while to notice the date on which the issue came out.


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