Eye of Newt

Eye of Newt

“Shorthand,” to me means, “an abbreviated method of delivering information.” My shorthand version is, “Eye of Newt.”

This is where the data and the specifics gets a little sketchy, as there’s a problem with my internal timeline. I know I’d been exposed to the play long before, I doubt that I knew its actual allusion, or the fact that it was drawn of real magical spells from the Elizabethan (and Jacobean) era.

Scottish Play 4.1

Eye of Newt

  • Second Witch

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of pow’rful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

  • Three Witches

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

  • Scottish Play 4.1.12

The challenge for me, I first encountered this with clients — years and years ago — but the challenge to translate what I say into a plainer form of English. Vernacular and common-speak rather than any kind of poetical mythological crap I frequently spew.

It was an aging person situation, and what the problem was? Medications. Some western medicines, some holistic, and mostly in a state of total disarray. It’s about finding the correct balance.

“Eye of newt, toe of frog…”

Typically garners a quizzical look. The other afternoon, at the grocery store, the clerk ringing the cash register asked if allergies were bad for us.

“Not me, not this year, combination of wholistic and western works well.”

Sort of depends, and it all goes back to a female friend in old South Austin. She was not native, and her solution? “Oh honey,” she drawled, “take a Claritin every morning like a vitamin.”

I tried that. Didn’t really work for me, as that brand of third-gen antihistamine made me foggy.

“Like, who could tell?”

Also gave me a slight headache, and 24-hour drugs? Never lasted 24 hours. A decade later, I was flying into a San Antonio’s airport, business trip out west, and the mid-January sky below looked like a brown smoke hugging the ground like morning mist, cf., Pisces here Pollen. Pollen from the dreaded Cedar Season. Pollen so thick it looked like smoke on the water driving a raging wildfire. Just pollen.

That image, though, reminded me, and I searched for the best answer, which, in part, is a one or two-step with straight up allergy medication, over the counter, like, for me, generic Zyrtec, once at night, before bed. The sleepiness, the drowsy headache? All in my sleep.

Then there a couple of wholistic, naturopathic oil and unguents — those work, too. Sort of. There was some kind of Cedar-X oil, apply to the wrist points, and cedar in its highest season, when the pollen count is off the charts, and the natives are choking on the dust? The combination of science and pseudo-science works really well — for me.

What’s it’s called?

“Eye of newt, toe of frog…”

My regular doctor wasn’t available one summer’s eve, and I could feel the dust of the city allergy turning into an infection. I used a doc-in-the-box place, and the capable physician suggested the “Third-Gen. antihistamine,” as part of a solution. Western medicine, always works one way, but it does work for specific targets. What I was looking for was a balance.

Likewise, one of my buddies is a heart bypass guy. Had the surgery, and was “reborn,” in a way. Finding the correct dosage of medicines, that’s the secret, can’t be too happy, can’t be too sad, blood can’t be too thick or too thin.

“Herbs and spices, man, just got to get the right herbs and spices.”

Truth. Simply put. Or, as I would refer to his illusive search for a combination of blood thinners and thickeners?

Eye of Newt

There’s variations on theme, a version of the same quote, from early 80’s pop culture, a comic strip. Historically, desktop computers were all the rage.

Realistically, though, that’s the balance point we’re all seeking, and it starts with “Eye of newt, toe of frog…

Pink Cake: The Quote Collection – Kramer Wetzel

Pink Cake


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