July 2009


Kaopectate Memories…

A couple weeks ago my PseduoWife was trying to explain to somebody here in Germany what Pepto-Bismol is—and she turned to me for an assist.

Unfortunately I was not the right person to ask because as a child my Mother was serving up Kaopectate whenever I was in a position to need it—and, as a vaguely understand it, Pepto-Bismol is designed to cure the same problems, only it’s pink and it probably tastes better than Kaopectate.

I’d managed to forget the taste of Kaopectate—although now as I think back I can remember the too big tablespoon being pressed against my lips and a thick chalky mint-like liquid slowly making its down my throat. The bottle was stored in the linen-closet directly outside the upstairs bathroom–it was in the top drawer, along side the bandages, back-up toothbrushes, combs, and other assorted toiletries.

There was also a peculiar smell about Kaopectate.

Along life’s way, Imodium AD came out (perhaps the wrong word) and, as an adult in college, I switched allegiances to something that came in tablet form—something that’s certainly easier to swallow.

As for Pepto-Bismol memories—I actually associate it with newspaper delivery. In one of Denver’s neighborhoods, specifically one for the up and coming faux-socialites, I would deliver a Sunday New York Times to what had to be an expensive custom built house. For new drivers there were usually descriptions of houses—the description for this one read, quite simply, “Pepto-Bismol Pink.”

There was no mistaking which house it was—you could see it half a mile away in dense fog.

Unlike the house that had the helpful comment, “Elephant Knockers.”

4 comments to Kaopectate Memories…

  • Just the act of reading this post brought back to me the taste of Kaopectate in all its horrible awfulness.

    Once as a ten-year old, I had “intestinal troubles” and my mother gave me Kaopectate. I promptly threw up. That was the first and LAST time I took it.

    Enough sweetness & light for now.

  • B’s grandmother loved the color pink. The outside and inside of her house was pink, the carpet was pink, the walls were pink, and dare I say at least one of the upholstered pieces of furniture was pink.

    I always felt like I was stepping into a bottle of Pepto-Bismol when we visited her.

    Now that she’s passed on, I’m sure heaven, or at least her little corner of it, looks like cotton-candy.

  • I didn’t take any of those potions with enough regularity to form a distasteful opinion. However, as a kid, I was force-fed castor oil. Now, there’s a potion that really, really tastes bad. For years after, I couldn’t drink orange juice. Today’s lucky kids, get to take it in pill form.

  • Reminds me of a quote from Steel Magnolias:

    [Referring to her daughter’s many pink wedding decorations]
    M’Lynn: That sanctuary looks like it’s been hosed down with Pepto-Bismol.