I’ve spent almost every summer of my adolescence in a summer camp in Maryland, just north of Baltimore. For those unfamiliar, the experience of summer on the east coast, particularly in the swamp areas like Maryland, is akin to weeks spent marinating in a hot tub of snake venom.
Allow me to explain: temperatures in Maryland during the summer are able to easily hit and surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine this with daily humidity levels of 100%, and suddenly life as you know it is a slow cooker. Dealing with this amount of heat in a summer camp environment boasting zero air conditioning has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. There is only so little clothing you can wear while remaining decent, and there is only so much water that you can drink until your own sweat begins to boil under the oppressive sunshine. This environment turned out to be exactly the right impetus for me to discover the life-hack of all life-hacks: I managed to find the cure to being hot.
Yes, you heard it here first: nevermore will you complain about global warming making summers unbearable, and nevermore will you go to bed alone because being with someone else’s body produces too much warmth. The cure is simple: analgesic heat rub, or liniment.
Bengay, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, Flexall, Mentholatum and Capzasin are all examples of liniments that, when applied to the skin, create a sensation not unlike what Han Solo experienced on Hoth while filleting a Tauntaun for Luke to relax in. This sensation of cooling is unlike anything I have ever experienced on Earth, and it is so great that I honestly believe it to be a cure-all for any ailment.
I have personally used Bengay to ease the pain of bruises, gas pains, depression, potential exposure to asbestos, overwork, pink eye, homesickness, tonsillitis and so many more ailments. This balm is capable of producing a sense of bliss — an orgasm so sublime that any pain you once felt evaporates into a soft lingering smell of menthol. This is achieved just through the exceedingly simple process of absorption into the skin.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Simone, you perfect simpleton. You blooming imbecile. Are you trying to kill me? Methyl salicylate, the key ingredient in analgesic heat rubs and liniments, can be toxic in large doses! A teenage athlete died in 2007 from overdosing on an analgesic heat rub! She had over six times the safe amount of methyl salicylate in her body! In addition, these liniments can cause first to third-degree chemical burns! You are completely and utterly senseless for suggesting this horrible ‘life-hack’ to me! Furthermore, you will never amount to anything and your writing is garbage.”
Yes, I myself encountered this same sentiment when I first learned of the potential harms of analgesic heat rub. However, if this provides any ease of mind, I have been slathering myself in Bengay and Icy Hot like a breastfeeding woman slathers lanolin on her sore nipples, and I have not been shafted to the point of receiving burns from analgesic heat rub. As long as you do not apply too much at once, I have found using liniments as pain relief to every problem I run into nothing but complementary to my physical health.