150 Years of Keeping the Faith

Actually, I meant to say 150 columns. Sorry. One-hundred-fifty years is another thing entirely. For example, it was a little more than 150 years ago that Dr. William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist, used ether as an anesthetic in surgery. Before that, the chemical had been used mainly as a party gag. (“Hey, come over here and stick me with that bumbershoot. No really. I won’t feel a thing.”) It’s just a pity that something discovered in 1275 by Spanish alchemist Raymundus Lullus wasn’t put into standard surgical practice for another 600 years.

[Tee hee.]

I love doing that. Using lots of names and historical dates and mathematical calculations so the editors have to painstakingly research and do fact checks, not to mention confirming the spelling of words like “anesthetic” and “Raymundus.” They hate that. Especially since their usual editing technique with my copy is to simply hold their noses, set aside any shred of journalist standards, and pass it on. It’s a good system and it works.

Fortunately, you don’t read this page for historical facts or 19th-century colloquialisms for umbrella (You were wondering what a “bumbershoot” was, weren’t you?). You come here to get away from tedious and unnecessary things like “depth” and “analysis” and revel in false assumptions and wild conjecture that are my trademarks. Not to mention funny anecdotes about my daughters. (The early 20s is such a cute age.)

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Sojourners Magazine February 2007
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