Dad’s Infamous Vapo Smear!

“Like everybody else, when I don’t know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds.”  ~ George Jean Nathan

Catching a cold is the body’s way of telling you to take it slow and chill out for a few days, because it’s ALL about them.  Colds remind me of spoiled rotten brats, and they like to show up with their entire entourage: body aches, snotty noses, fever, chills and chest congestion  — sometimes the whole damn brat-pack pays you a visit.

(ITALIAN LESSON – Fever = febbre)

vicks 300x205 Dads Infamous Vapo Smear!

Now my Sicilian grandmother (Nonna in Italian) often covered me from head-to-toe with raw pototoes (an “old world cure”), but in our household Vicks Vaporub was the ticket.  “Noooooooooooooooo, not the VICKS, dad!”  I’d shout out when Dad came to my room with that funky little blue jar in hand, ready to rub its pungent menthol-scented goop onto my chest as he tucked me in for the night.  Now that part I loved, but what came next was the WORST!  Dad would take an extra dollop of Vicks goop, smear his finger in it and rub it SMACK DAB under my nose! It was like the “Dirty Sanchez” of cold and flu season!

How I wish dad were here to give me his infamous “Vicks Vapo Smear” these days, but whenever I’m down and out with a bad cold (like last week) I consider it a gift to give myself a good ol’ smear, as it offers up some of my fondest memories shared with my dad.

I love you Dad, and I miss you beyond words.

dad me tickle Dads Infamous Vapo Smear!

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8 Responses to “Dad’s Infamous Vapo Smear!”

  1. Professore says:

    My mom used to do the same thing to me, plus chest plasters!

  2. Annette says:

    It was like the “Dirty Sanchez” of cold and flu season!

    Laughing so hard I’m crying.

    I so know what you’re talking about though. My Mom used to do the same thing to us.

  3. style maniac says:

    That photo–precious.

    What was up with all the parents using Vaporub back then? Vicks must have had some kind of brainwashing campaign going on–that stuff was awful!

    Hey, thanks for adding me to your favorite links :) Right back at ya!

  4. barbara says:

    My mother actually tried to take it a step further one time when I had tonsilitis… she wanted me to swallow a glob of vicks! I always knew she was trying to kill me!

  5. "Me" says:

    Thanks so much for the comments guys! I think our parents all followed the same VICKS VAPORUB childcare commandments! :) Barbara – Your mom took it to the extreme – geesh!

  6. Irene says:

    Aw!!!! Its amazing how those moments from childhood (even the sick with a cold ones!) are everlasting in our “child” brains. My Mom did the same thing with the Vicks. Feel better Lee! I can’t remember how they protected our clothing from that stuff! Did it rub in completely? Can’t remember!

  7. "Me" says:

    @ Irene:
    Nope – it never really rubbed in – you would just stay greasy, and those fabulous polyester PJS would be a bit damp all night. Ahh… those wonderful memories! :)
    "Me" recently posted..Melts in Your Mouth…Oh God Nooooo!My Profile

  8. Irene says:

    Oh, the PJs! Wow, amazing we never burst into flames considering most of our parents smoked back then!!! You just brought back memories of that God-awful nightwear for kids. And then, when you were around 11 or 12, you graduated to nighties that were one solid color, in polyester of course, with a layer of chiffon over it in some wild 60′s print! I just wish I had my tan colored, fringed suede vest!!!! It won Larry a 4th grade Halloween costume contest at Sacred Heart Cathedral School (I dressed him as a hippie, sadly no pics of that!!!). Do they still sell Vicks Vapo Rub????

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