Monkey Blood, July 24, 2014, # 1342

Ivan Eftink and some of his family come down from Missouri each winter to hunt hogs with me. Recently I got a text message from him asking if I ever heard of the antiseptic mercurochrome called by any other name. Sure, all we ever called it was monkey blood. Somehow that didn’t sound as scary as the longer, technical term of mercurochrome. Maybe he was having an argument with someone. Maybe he had heard of monkey blood and wanted to see if the nickname made its way down to Texas. With curiosity aroused I searched for more monkey blood information.

Mercurochrome was discovered by Hugh Young in 1918 and is known by several names, some of which are merbromin, sodium mercurescein, superchrome, and cinfacromin. Monkey blood was used for minor cuts and abrasions up until 1998 when it was banned due to fear of mercury poisoning. Mercurochrome is available in most countries except the U.S. and is a very important and economical way to prevent infection. Germany and France banned its use in 2003 and 2006. Many of you may remember the stain on your skin produced by monkey blood.

Another skin staining antiseptic is merthiolate, also called thiomersal. This one also has its controversy because in one place the internet says it is for use as an antiseptic and antifungal agent while a few lines on down it plainly states thiomersal is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and contact with the skin. The puzzle gets more complicated since it is also commonly used in tattoo ink.
If you can stand a little more information about skin staining antiseptics, here is some on iodine. This widely used antiseptic was discovered in 1811 and was widely used for cuts and scratches. Basically though it was just too strong and damaged the skin. In 1955 a method was discovered to weaken it and mix it with other chemicals to form pyrodine, also called betadine. Here, the iodine is only 9-12% and is widely used as the skin staining surgical scrub. Now you know all about three kinds of “monkey blood.”

For the record department. Thursday’s rain and three day cool spell probably broke many low temperature records. At Charleston we got four and a half inches and I was excited about plans to fish as water should come into the lake for days. How sad to find Commerce only got about an inch. The river barely ran. Saturday, Junior Larkin and I motored up past the mouth of Jernigan to near the mouth of Middle Sulphur. Several blue catfish were caught using cut shad. No telling how many total hours I have fished in that lake since it was officially opened but Saturday I had two separate occurrences like never before. Each time, my rod was propped up on the side of the boat and almost jerked over before I could grab it. Instinctively I grabbed the rod by the reel and both times my thumb was burned as a big fish stripped line. I fought each one about ten seconds while trying to find the right combination on my drag. Too tight and it breaks the line. Too loose and it “spools” you, then pops the line as the reel becomes empty. About ten seconds each was all I had them on before my twenty pound test line broke. One of them did surface and splash, showing its large size. I was not able to “turn” either fish. Now I have changed to thirty pound test line and may have to go to forty. Can’t wait for another try at those big boys.

Last week I noticed bois d’ arc apples being eaten by squirrels for the first time this year.

From my ledger. Wednesday, July 2, 1986. Rained a lot last night. At Charleston I talked to David Worden and Rio Ingram about two NBA stars dying of cocaine overdose lately. One was Len Bias drafted by the Celtics. I went south of Charleston and dug worms to fish on North Sulphur. Mosquitoes too bad at South Sulphur. My pet coon Buster was with me. He likes to “help me” dig worms. He digs and eats all he can find.

Thursday, July 3, 1986. Larry called me to come float the river with him and several others. Billy Poteet was in from Dallas with his family and they want to go. Larry’s pickup was stashed at the Templeton gate south of Charleston so we would have a ride home. Three small boats were rounded up and we drove to the Highway 19 Bridge. Matt Poteet would watch for cars while the rest of us used a rope to lower the boats over the side close to the water. Twelve of us shoved off at 4:30 that afternoon. On the trip we saw two beaver and a baby coyote. Beneath the boat we could hear drum fish making the noise that sounds like someone’s stomach growling. The twelve on the trip were Larry, Kelley, Leslie, and Adrian Trapp. Billy, Mickey, Hunter, and Matt Poteet. Cade and Lynn Alley, Greg Williams, and me. Mickey said it was the best time she had in a long time. Later, the twelve of us and three more went in one Suburban to Commerce for pizza where one of the women spilled a TV type tray full of pizza smack on the floor.

Saturday, July 5, 1986. Jean, twelve year old Greg, and I left on vacation for a few days. Down Interstate 30 to Texarkana where we quit the boring big road in favor of the more interesting one to Prescott, Arkansas for lunch. To Memphis about dark. Set up tents at Lakeland KOA east of Memphis. I asked Jean and Greg their likes and dislikes of the day. Greg liked the Mississippi River and didn’t like the interstate. Jean liked seeing the little houses on the back roads and didn’t like Greg opening the glove compartment every two minutes. Trip continued later.

More Phyllis Diller sayings. Most kids sometimes threaten to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going. Burt Reynolds once asked me out. I was in his room. What I don’t like about Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day. His finest hour lasted a minute and a half. My pictures don’t do me justice—they look just like me. I have a tremendous sex drive—my boyfriend lives forty miles away.
etrapp327@hotmail.com

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