That historical object I referred to is, to put it crudely, a metal baster. Actually the whole episode was very crude. My memory is quite sieve-like so apologies in advance for any errors.
The story goes that a family (?) was shipwrecked in an ocean/sea and were surviving in one of the lifeboats. They’d run out of food and water and were slowly expiring. It was imperative they get some water. The mother/a woman came up with an ingenious – if yucky – idea. The ‘baster’ was cobbled together. Using said baster, sea water was introduced into the rectum (you heard me!) as far up as possible. The basic premise is that the colon absorb as much water as possible before the contents fo the digestive are evacuated and so introducing sea-water into the colon ought to rehydrate the body. What was left would come in the normal way.
A brilliant, brilliant idea. While I have a glass of water to hand it is difficult to imagine saying ‘yes, let’s do it,’ and consider for even second going down that route (pardon me). It always amazes me how resourceful human beings are when it comes to the crunch.
We asked the Year 10s and 11s to come up with an explanation for the object and you can imagine the expressions we were regaled with once they found out its true purpose.
Okay, all you Bear Grylls fans, you can take that smirk off your faces and stop shaking your heads because you knew this already. For the rest of us couch potatoes it is a revelation.
Why was history never this much fun when I was school?
Next time you use a baster you’ll remember this story. Hope it doesn’t ruin Christmas dinner for you!
Oh, btw, if you google (images) baster you get loads of pictures of Jennifer Aniston. What’s that about? I wasn’t interested enough to investigate it.