Wednesday, May 19, 2010

rub a dub dub

Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
'Twas enough to make a man stare.

have you ever been told the true story about
these three men in a tub?
in reading about
treatments for syphilis and leprosy
(not by choice)
i came across the meaning of this nursery rhyme

mercury was used in the 1800s to "cure" syphilis
it was a belief, that was later marked as a hoax,
that mercury cured diseases of the skin

patients undergoing mercury inunction
sat in a tub
in a hot closed room
where they would be rubbed with ointments
several times a day
shakespeare referred to as "rubbing and tubbing"

more highly class doctors would not perform this
it was too dangerous
they would have patients rub other patients
as to not infect or be exposed to the dangers of mercury

you decide.......
but when googled this is what i came up with

Why would these three men be sharing a bath? Latent homosexuality, maybe? Not enough water for three individual baths? No, this is a case of not hearing the whole joke, just the punch-line. The part of the story we aren’t getting was the setting. A fair side-show, where three young, beautiful women were sitting in a bath-tub, entertaining a mostly male audience, when three of the men jumped up and climbed in with the girls, to be promptly thrown out again by the fair manager. Just three, horny, working folk.

i would rather it mean something historical
but that's just me

either way...which story would you rather tell YOUR kids?