"Vitamin M"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 14 20:52:56 UTC 2007

I remember APC's only too well. "APC" was jokingly said to stand for
"all-purpose cap(sule)," though they were, of course, tablets.
Military medical service was far superior to what I've experienced as
a civilian, if you could get it. The distance between my unit and the
nearest military hospital was about the same as the distance between
the Harvard station and the Quincy station on Boston's Red Line. The
only way to get there was via a two-hour trip on an Army bus through
Berlin traffic. As a consequence, the sicker you were, the less likely
you were to be able to go through the hassle of seeing a doctor
(Catch-22). However, if you were too sick to be dealt with by a medic,
but nevertheless well enough to work your way through the red tape and
tough out the bus trip to see a doctor, you dealt with someone who'd
probably been sitting on his hands for a couple of weeks, just itching
for something to do. He was more than happy to have a warm body to
play with and you were treated like a king. E.g, only Army doctors
have ever cleaned out my ear canals.

That was Cold-War West Berlin. Doctors in hot-war Iraq work like dogs,
needless to say. Which means that, if you're merely too sick to get
out of the bed, you're even less likely to be able to see a doctor
than you would have been in Berlin.


On 7/10/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Vitamin M"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Am surprised to find nearly 1,000 raw Googlits for "Vitamin M" as a mostly military term for Motrin, which is now ostensibly handed out as a remedy for all human ailments and illnesses.  The earliest, on Usenet, is from 1999.
>   In the Vietnam era and earlier, the corresponding cure was APC's (containing aspirin, phenacitin, and caffeine).
>   Am not sure about WWII, but in the 1917-18 installment, the practical equivalent was "C.C. pills" (i.e., "compound cathartic"). Hence the jingle,
>   "The Medical Corps they held the line,
>   With C.C. pills and iodine.
>   Hinky dinky parley-voo."
>   Aspirin was available by that time but may have been too pricey and newfangled for officialdom.
>   JL
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