Thursday, April 22, 2010

sweet cream of jesus

When I was in high school, if one of our athletes had muscle aches and pains, the remedy our teams used was an analgesic cream. While I was merely the statistician for our basketball teams, and only played baseball my senior year (and even then, not often and not well), I spent a large chunk of my extracurricular time involved with our athletic programs. And the distinctive aroma of this product - somewhere between ammonia and Ben-Gay - still wafts across all of my high school sports memories.

I had remembered two things about this substance besides its smell, only one of which turns out to be true:

  1. It was called "Creamogesic."
  2. Most of our players inevitably called it - and they weren't joking, they really thought it was the actual name - "Cream of Jesus."
Misunderstanding the name kind of makes sense. Jesus healed the sick. Why wouldn't a cream named after Him miraculously cure your inflamed bicep? I can still remember basketball star Antonio Martin, who had a notoriously balky knee even as a junior, always calling out for the "Cream of Jesus." Jesus-infused or not, the ointment helped Antonio lead Northfork High School to the West Virginia AA final in '82-'83 and to a championship in '83-'84, so maybe it did have that saviouriffic touch.

Since those days, I had tried to Google "Creamogesic" a few times, with no success, but for some reason, I found it today. I also found out why I hadn't stumbled upon it earlier: I had misremembered the name. Turns out that it's Cramergesic, a product of (surprise!) Cramer Sports Medicine.

Despite my surprise at discovering that I too had goofed on the name, this makes Cramergesic's etymological transformation into Cream of Jesus even more amusing to me, since it involves misinterpretation of both halves of the product name.

Even though it turned out to be merely Crameriffic, this sports cream will always have a heavenly glint for me, especially when I look at those two West Virginia State Basketball Tournament plaques on my wall. Can't tell me that there wasn't divine intervention involved.

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