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Is it tasteless to mention syphilis here? Or digress?

August 16, 2010

I heard someone say (or possibly read somewhere) that it was more socially acceptable these days to have syphilis than to admit to being lonely. (That’s debatable).

There is also the very good advice (though somewhat difficult to arrange) that it is best to avoid having syphilitic forebears. People look at me oddly when I say things like that to them. That doesn’t stop me.

St George is the patron saint of syphilis sufferers. Everyone knows who St George is, I know. What they might not know is that my sister was born on St George’s Day (and was married in St George’s in Yenda, NSW). My two younger daughters were born in St Georges Hospital, Christchurch, and my parents-in-law (both deceased) were married on St George’s Day, 1947, which was also Easter Sunday. (None of these people are afflicted with the disease as far as I know).

One of the more interesting theories I have heard on the topic is that put forward by Prof Daellenbach (sp?) at Canterbury University in my German History and Culture course some years (!) ago. He maintains that one of the reasons the Germans didn’t ‘win’ WWI is that they took their troops out of the front line to treat them for syphilis, thus depleting the fighting ranks. Apparently no-one else (especially the French!) bothered with such niceties.




P. Uccello

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