1st “Christmas Parade” casualty of the season; Amelia, Ohio mayor gives tradition tapeworm


No Parade for Santa This Year in Amelia, Ohio

tree2It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and we’ve already had our first Christmas Parade casualty. Not long ago, the village of Amelia, Ohio voted to remain classified as a village and not dissolve. For the past 28 years, the Amelia Business Association had sponsored the annual Christmas Parade but this year did not do so. The event was taken over by the village but the mayor was advised by attornies that the name should be changed to a “Holiday Parade.” The reason was a fear of lawsuits. Yet, no one is reported to have threatened to sue. The key word is “fear.” Unhappy citizens wanted a “Christmas Parade.” Church groups threatened a boycot and one church denied the use of its parking lot for the event. A group of citizens were working feverishly to fund the “Christmas Parade” going so far as to get insurance. But, lacking the wisdom of Solomon, the mayor of the village of Amelia cancelled the parade altogether. Read the first paragraph of the story carefully. It says that they were afraid of possible lawsuits from “religious groups.” However, nowhere in either story does it say anything about a religious group threatening a lawsuit. The threat from the lawsuit was apparently from no one except the minds of the lawyers and the mayor. Fear and possibility trumped reality…and as usual, the media got it wrong.  But, one thing I’ve always pondered.  These Christmas Parades typically are filled with more secular entries such as snowmen and Santa Claus.  If it is truly to be a “Christmas” parade, why haven’t there been calls for the elimination of the secular portions of the parade that have nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas but instead secular tradition?

Fishing For Worms

Fishing For Worms

A Nutty and somewhat disgusting This Date in History:

Figure 1

Figure 1

I guess in the 19th Century the tapeworm was a problem in the United States.   The tapeworm is relatively
common in the 21st century in Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. It comes about because of poor hygiene or undercooked meat. It’s really pretty nasty as it lives in one’s intestine and the only real clue that one has it is when it appears…use your imagination of how that happens. From what I have read, there really isn’t a symptom of weight loss. Anyway…so there may have been a problem of tapeworms in 19th Century America. Along comes American ingenuity, which isn’t always so great.

Dr. Alpheus Myers was a doctor in Logansport, Indiana and he came up with a “cure.” He called it a “tapeworm trap” and he received a patent(read details here) for it on this date in 1854. His invention was one that involved no surgical procedure or medicines. All a patient had to do was swallow a capsule of sorts that had bait inside it. Not sure what he used for “bait.” The patent said, “any nutritious substance.” Wonder if a Twinke would work?

figure 2

figure 2

The capsule was attached to a string and the patient swallowed it “for a suitable duration to make the worm hungry.” What does that mean? An hour? A week? Someone was expected to walk around with a string hanging from his mouth waiting for the worm to get hungry. The worm was then expected to “seize the bait” at which time the trap catches its head in the trap. The string is then pulled out of the patients mouth and the head and entire length of the worm soon follows. I have no idea when one knows he’s caught a worm…does it tug on the line? Can you use a bobber?

If you try this at home, make sure that “in constructing the trap, care should be taken that the spring is only strong enough to hold the worm, and not strong enough to cause his head to be cut off.”

I’ll make a note of that.

Weather Bottom Line:  Enjoy the weekend.  Saturday some folks could kick up toward 70.  Sunday we’ll be in the upper 60’s as clouds increase but I really think that it will be dry for Sunday.  Cooler weather next week with a frontal boundary that will bring some rain.


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