anne mikolay 2012 120According to a recent advertising campaign by Carlson Labs, the smartest smoothie add-in today is cod liver oil. SAY WHAT? Cod liver oil?? That stuff could kill you!

For those of you who did not grow up in the era when cod liver oil was touted as a cure-all for everything from rickets to gout, allow me to elaborate. Cod liver oil is exactly what you think it is - a nutritional supplement derived from the liver of a cod fish - and it tastes as disgusting as it sounds.

Back in my Catholic school days, the nuns were fond of telling my mother I was too pale (what part of Irish did the nuns not understand?). The remedy for my perceived shortcoming was a nightly dose of cod liver oil. Armed with a spoon in one hand and a peppermint in the other (to kill the taste of the fish oil), my mother insisted the elixir was full of vitamins (vitamins A and D to be exact). If it had been permissible for proper, little girls to spit on the floor, I would have done just that; the sweetest candy could not mask the repulsive taste and stench of that poison on a spoon. Though widely regarded as “good for what ails you”, cod liver oil did nothing much except repeat on me for days.

I think I’m on to something: the world today needs a great, big dose of cod liver oil!

Ours is a nasty world often without repercussion. Perhaps the remedy for bullying or violating someone’s personal space should be a steep monetary fine coupled with a healthy dose of cod liver oil. Believe me, we would all think twice about our actions if threatened with that vile concoction. I kid you not! Just think of this: the next time Republican Presidential contender, Donald Trump, calls his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, “crooked Hillary”, or “heartless Hillary”, someone should stick a giant tablespoon overflowing with cod liver oil into his very big mouth. Ditto for any politician or public figure engaging in dirty politics. That’s right! Did Hillary just call Donald “thin skinned”? Get the spoon; fill up the smoothie! Silence the contentious among us with strong doses of the “gold of the ocean”, as cod liver oil was once called! They will reap the health benefits, and we will all sleep more peacefully at night knowing we cured America of what ails her.

If only it were that simple!

Seriously, there is no miracle cure for what ails America. There is no magic medicine to halt bigotry or untruth, which, come to think of it, are quite similar to cod liver oil. Bigotry and lies, like cod liver oil, are repulsive, stink, and repeat on you for days. Like that “gold of the ocean” intended to cure my Irish complexion, bigotry and untruth will not deliver on their promises.