Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"Common" knowledge ...

I do not - nor have I ever - claimed to be omniscient. To know *everything.*

I mean I do know a fair amount, but some of the stuff I know is a little, well, obtuse. Like not stuff you'd run into every day.

And it's shocking how many things other people would consider "common knowledge" that I don't know.

No excuses - I just don't.

But I'm a quick learner!

Like yesterday.

Victoria, a wonderful French woman who gives me reflexology treatments to assist my healing recovery, recommended I get a particular oil to rub on my surgical wounds to avoid scars. She said she didn't know the name of the oil in French; it was a new oil she had never heard of during her stay in the US.

But, she insisted several people at her school spoke highly of the oil - that I was to rub it liberally on all the surgical wounds; that the oil would also help them heal more quickly.


I was off to the store and try as I might, drifting past aisle after aisle, I could not find the oil.

Finally, I asked a clerk, who kneeled in front of a cereal display, putting the final sales price signs on it.

"Excuse me, could you please tell me where I could find castor oil?"

The attractive young woman popped up, looked me square in the eye and asked, "The L-A-X-A-T-I-V-E??!!" (emphasis and punctuation overload mine)

Her words seemed to echo across the room.

Were all those people staring at me?

"Um, NO!" I pleaded. "No, no, not the laxative. The skin oil. I had surgery and someone in the health care profession told me to lather it on my surgical wounds .."

I mimed rubbing the oil on the affected wounds as I explained.

To no avail.

She looked at me as if to say, "Uh-hum. Right. Skin oil," then did an immediate about face and headed up an aisle. I dutifully followed, trying to clear up this misunderstanding. "The stitches .... gone now .... but the red lines .... scalpel ... seriously .... major surgery ..."

She suddenly snap turned, handing me a bottle of castor oil.

A bottle whose label read in letters large enough to be read by astronauts floating around the moon: CASTOR OIL - STIMULANT LAXATIVE!!!

"There you go," she smiled, and beat a swift retreat back to her cereal sales display.

"But ... "

I held the bottle momentarily, then tossed it in my basket, covering it with vegetables. Then I realized I also had to go through the checkout stand - where someone would have the mistaken idea that I'm .... irregular.

I buried the bottle under the vegetables and other stuff and distracted the checkout clerk with lots of chitchat about the superbowl, weather (there had actually been some sunshine here in Seattle recently), yanga yanga yanga.

Until he held up The Bottle, when, once again, I explained what a great skin oil it was reported to be. Surgery. Etc.

His eyebrows raised as if to say, "Huh. Interesting." And shrugged as he put it in the bag without further discussion.

Driving home, I thought that whatever castor oil is called in French, I knew Victoria would slap her palm to her head as in, "I coulda had a V-8" when she realizes it's huile de ricin because it is such a commonly used natural elixir there.

I also can't believe I didn't know that castor oil is a very commonly known and used laxative.

Meanwhile, FYI, I've not just slathered it on my surgical wounds, but on my dry skin as well - which drank in the huile de ricin, making my skin soft and silky!

The oil is pretty sticky at first, but then over several minutes becomes smooth and supple-

Yes, seriously!

I'm using it on my SKIN!!!



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