“Taking the Waters”

Miracle Diet -- Tapeworms!

I found this old ad via Donklelephant, via Fark (yeah, sometimes I’m weak). I love the sales features: no diet, no bath, no exercise! –Wait, no bath?

I’m sure they mean the notion of “Taking the Waters” for weight loss and the curing of other ailments. This quaint European custom is still practiced today in such places as Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) and Baden Baden (literally, Bath Bath). If you’ve never had the opportunity to “Take the Waters” I’d recommend keeping it that way. Generally speaking, the “Waters” are loaded with sulphates, sulphides and other combinations of salts that will make you wish you we never born.

I stayed at one spa that had telephones in the toilet (restroom or bathroom for all us North Americans). When I checked in, my thought was, “what the hell? Who makes a call when they’re on the crapper?” Then I “Took the Water” and a few hours later, while attempting to eject all the major organs in my body cavity through an opening clearly not designed for such use, I understood.

“Ah, the phone is there in case I need to call for a paramedic. Or perhaps to dictate my Last Will and Testament.”

Seriously, walk around Karlovy Vary, and you’ll be able to spot the people who are “Taking the Waters” and who have already learned why there are phones in the toilets. They’re the ones shambling around like zombies (the slow, dopey kind), clutching their little porcelain cups to their chests, dreaming that one day, they will have visited all of the evil sulphur springs in town — consumed the vile, spurting aquia wretchia, and then they will be done, “Taking the Waters”. With any luck, they will die before having one last go at the room with the other porcelain instrument of torture (and phone).

So, yeah, tapeworms. If I can avoid the “baths”, why not?

If you enjoyed this, or found it revolting, or it made you feel all squingy, why not let everyone know?

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8 Responses to “Taking the Waters”

  1. diesel July 22, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    People in olden times were creepy.

  2. Hermann Treiblmayr July 22, 2008 at 3:07 am #

    The Carlsbad mineral water from the healing springs should be drunk exclusively from the traditionally formed porcelain or glass cups.

    By drinking from this cups the hot water will be cooled and it can be consumed in small quantities.

    The best healing spring is named “Becherovka”, a very good tasting liqueur.

    Videoclips and Informations about Karlovy Vary – http://www.TVKarlovyVary.com

  3. Alex L. July 22, 2008 at 4:15 am #

    ‘People in olden times were creepy.’

    hahaha, that says it all. Anyone else not convinced that Sanitised tape worms are any safer than regular ones.

  4. Mark July 22, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Well, they’ve brought back leeches and they regularly use maggots in hospitals over here to clean infections and eat away any dead skin so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the tapeworm make a return at some point. Thinking about all the weight loss programmes it’s clear that – yet again – what man can devise, nature can show it got there first and probably did it better and with fewer side-effects.

  5. Mark July 22, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    I don’t care. I’m not taking tapeworms.

    Hermann — yes, those are the little porcelain cups I was referring to; I’d be interested to know how many get dropped after the first taste of the “waters”. And I agree, on the whole, I’d stick with the Becher.

  6. Rickey Henderson July 22, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    Sanitized tapeworms, eh? Well, hospitals still use sterile leeches (one of the bonuses of being engaged to a nurse–you get to hear about wacky stuff like this) so why not?

  7. ud July 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    Well lets be honest, baths aren’t for everyone. Take bums for example, they make it by without them and they eat whatever they can also!

  8. LOBO July 25, 2008 at 11:05 am #


    This was so funny, I almost want to forgive you for NOT SHIPPING MY BOOK YET!