I bruise really easily. Hug me too hard, and I’ll bruise. Jokingly poke my arm and there’ll be a mark there later. One time my roommate in college was drunk and bit me. The next day I had a perfect imprint of her teeth on my upper arm. I always have bruises and I usually have no idea where they came from.
After my summer trips, I was covered in bruises, mostly on my legs, so I didn’t wear skirts until they went away. Today I was walking to the elevator (in a skirt) and my co-worker was behind me and was like “another bruise on your legs – how did you do that?” To which I replied “I don’t know – I never know. I just bruise easily – plus I have scurvy.” I said that last part as I rounded the corner to the elevator, where a guy was standing, giving me a rather horrified look. My co-worker started cracking up, while I was trying to explain to the guy that I don’t REALLY have scurvy, it’s just an explanation for the easy bruising. Plus, duh, everyone knows it's totally not contagious.
Scurvy is basically something you get when you have a severe Vitamin C deficiency. You see, back in the day, pirates (and other sea-guys) would get scurvy because they were at sea for long periods of time with no access to fresh fruit, and therefore they would become severely deficient in Vitamin C.
In 1747, a ship’s doctor finally figured out the cause by dividing the 12 sick men on his ship into six groups and while they all ate the same stuff for three meals, each group received different supplements, one of which was oranges and lemons. The men who ate the oranges and lemons recovered immediately, while none of the other groups showed any improvement. As this discovery caught on, ships would be stocked with limes, which while they were cheaper than lemons and oranges, weren't as effective in curing or preventing scurvy. THAT is how the word “limey” ended up in the British vocabulary. Limey means “a British sailor or English person” and it is actually sort of a slur to mean that the person in question was too cheap to stock their ships with oranges and lemons, and resorted to cheaper means even though it might mean the health of their crew. See how those guys were? Limey bastards, they were.
And so ends your history lesson for today. The things you can learn reading a blog written by someone who thinks pirates are hilarious and even though scurvy is actually really no laughing matter, the sound of the word itself makes me laugh. There may be a pop quiz later, so I hope you took good notes. In the meantime, stock up on limes and perhaps integrate them into your daily diet -- because there aren't a lot of fruits out there that can cure scurvy and yet simultaneously add tart deliciousness to your vodka tonic. Savvy?
What? I can't really pull that whole pirate lingo thing off? I'm not Captain Jack Sparrow? Huh. Maybe it was just the Grey Goose talking.