Tag Archives: Old West

I Normally Write in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Genre

Even though I normally write in the science fiction/fantasy genre, I have one book that dabbles in time travel. It opens a completely new world, in fact, it opens an infinite number of worlds, each with a vast amount of situations; a number so high, it boggles the mind.

Have you ever known someone who commented about returning to the days of the old west enamored with the romantic side of life at that time, moreover, the way television portrays life in the 19th century?

Take for instance, something as simple as a toothache. Today,an antibiotic would clear up an abscess. If the tooth required extracting, an injection of lidocaine would numb the area allowing the tooth’s painless removal. After a day or so of recovery, the patient could return to a normal lifestyle.

By contrast, 150 years ago liquor was the anesthetic. The dentist, who may sideline as a blacksmith or barber, along with several burly assistants, restrained the patient in the chair. Industrial type instruments were used for extractions.

Simple things, such as a urinary tract infections, an ingrown toenail, or even an ear infection that can be eliminated today with a course of antibiotics, could prove fatal not so many years ago.

Got an inkling to live in a past century? Doesn’t really matter unless someone pulls time travel out of their hat.

Hopefully, just a little something to give your Monday a chuckle. Have a great week . . . on second thought have a better week than that . . . and to take it one further have a wonderful Fourth of July.

May God richly bless and keep you!

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Filed under On writing

My Kingdom for an Asprin

(animated stereo) Bismarck, Dakota Territory (...

Bismarck, Dakota Territory (9/3/1883) (Photo credit: Thiophene_Guy)

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I had been born back in the Old West!”? Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of this statement.

Let’s go back 150 years. For my part, this notion could begin and end with two words: Air conditioning. But we will delve deeper.

We’ll start with something as simple as a scratch. Today, this could be cured with an antiseptic ointment and a band-aid. In 1862 however, this could potentially become a life-threatening ailment. This simple scratch could become infected and lead to death. Of course, there was always the option of amputation. But thanks to unsanitary surgical equipment, additional suffering was a nice little side-dish on your heaping plate of death.

Skipping to the world of dentistry, a simple tooth extraction in today’s world would require no more that a needle full of a local anesthetic. The tooth would be painlessly removed and the patient would be ushered out of the office, no more the worse off.

The same procedure 150 years earlier would require one bottle of “anesthesia” (re: liquor), “restraints” (re: four large men), and a dirty pair of pliers wielded by the same man that would cut your hair.

A headache. What to do, what to do? I’ll let you figure that one out.

Today, a trip to the grocery store supplies the household with a week’s worth of groceries. Back then, a trip into the woods may or may not yield food for that evening’s dinner.

Here is another no-brainer. The average lifespan in the 1860s was 45 years.

I’ll have to give you one thing: Riding around on a horse wearing cool clothes and holstered six-shooters would certainly have been cool. But that’s about as far as I can take it.

To finish this post, imagine having to write using an 1860s typewriter, as opposed to the computers we are blessed with today.

‘Nuff said.


Filed under On writing