Today I was outside walking past some really tall stinging nettle plants. I brushed the back of my hand against one and knew I would soon feel the sting. I wasn’t sure if I could find some spray-on sting-stopping stuff we usually have in the bathroom cabinet and decided instead to invent a home remedy.
I had no idea where to start as I opened the kitchen cabinet and poked around. Let’s try some bicarbonate of soda. I wet the stinging area and sprinkled on some baking soda. Nope. Maybe I should try the opposite, some acidic thing. Vinegar produced the same non-relief. Well let’s try oil. Even extra-virgin olive oil had no effect. Ketchup? Nope. Same for prepared mustard. Well now, it’s time to get really creative. How about salt from the sea harvested by barefoot Frenchmen—fleur de sel. Surely something that costs so much would have magical powers. Nope. I licked that off the sting so as not to waste it. Tasty!
Maybe there’s something magic in the fridge. A leaf of bok choy? A carrot? Some three-day old creamed chicken on egg noodles? Hmm-m. This is getting ridiculous. Mayonnaise? Lemon sorbet? Ice? None worked.
Back to the kitchen cabinet. Worcester sauce doesn’t work either, and I decided against opening a new jar of chunky peanut butter. Okay, I give up. Oh, by the way, I just noticed that the stinging has subsided. Which of these remedies was the one that worked or was it the combination? I looked at the clock. I had been trying all these things for about fifteen minutes; was it time instead that did the trick? I’d better write that down so I don’t mis-remember and later think the magic remedy was—Thyme.