Lighter note: Shout-out to the brave experimenters

FOLKS, I'm not the brightest bulb on Life's Christmas Tree, but I'm smart enough not to put unknown objects into my gob. That was the job of my childhood mate, Crackers.

Crackers would eat anything we gave him, often with comical results for those of us watching. I often wonder what happened to old Crackers.

Anyway, I recently learned that an ancient remedy for headaches was to chew on some willow bark, and immediately wondered who discovered this remedy. Also, who was the first person to prise open an oyster and think, "Struth! I wonder if this thing tastes as disgusting as it looks?"

I suspect the answer is some ancient ancestor with a mate like Crackers.

Imagine the scene way back in BC 4305: "Okay folks, listen up! We learned a lot about those purple berries yesterday and so far the death count is seven, oh, make that eight… sorry Mrs Yertt.

"Also, a big hand to good old Graggers here for eating some willow bark yesterday, which he reckons has cured his headache!

"After clubbing several volunteers until they had headaches, I gave them willow bark to chew on and am happy to announce that nearly everyone was cured! Except my wife, who said her headache didn't go away until I went to sleep last night.

"Now, regarding the mushrooms near the river; people, I can't stress this enough, lay off the fungus!"

So, thanks to these brave, or stupid, prehistoric experimenters, we have a good idea nowadays of what things will sustain us and what will drop us faster than a school bag on a Friday afternoon.

And while this vital research continues today, I'm happy to leave it to others to discover what the side effects are. I may not be real bright, but I'm definitely not Crackers.

Greg Bray blogs at Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.

Topics:  column greg bray on a lighter note weekend magazine

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