Watching TV Can Give You Toenail Fungus

Dear KK,

I know you don’t watch a lot of TV yet. Having visited recently, I was reminded that very young people, like yourself, like to watch the same thing over and over again. Now that DVDs exist, that has become incredibly easy. Especially when you have very indulgent parents, who will pretend to enjoy the same animated movie for the hundredth time.  When I was your age, there were hardly any channels on a TV, you had to get up to change those channels and there was no way to record what you watched. Don’t you just love it when old people tell you how hard they had it – with TV.

The reason I am writing to you today is to tell you to be careful of toe nail fungus. Your Tia was watching TV the other day and she’s become rather fixated on one particular advert, which has a cute little animated toe in it, promoting a cure for toe nail fungus. You might like this advert as it is animated and repeated frequently. Perhaps Tia has more in common with a two year old than I previously realised. Now, we’ve never discussed or considered toe nail fungus in this household until this ad came on, but your Tia, who also happens to catch diseases by reading a website called WebMD on the internet, has now diagnosed herself with toe nail fungus.

She looked somewhat panicked at the thought – even more panicked than when she decided that an inflamed zit was leukemia – and asked me what she could do about it. Considering that she has watched the same advert for toe nail fungus medicine for weeks, I would think that the logical answer would have been to get some of whatever it was they were selling, but I suppose I am all things to her and on that day, I was Dr. K.

Because we watch a lot of TV, there are a lot of diseases in our home – so we have a well stocked pharmacy in our bathroom. The first thing that came to mind was to suggest athletes foot cream. I didn’t even google it. I just said it with confidence, because that’s what experts are supposed to do. Now you may remember, in a previous letter to either you or your sister (I can’t remember which, so you should make sure to read both.) I talked about my disdain for experts.  You’ll probably hear me complain about them frequently. There are many experts like I am about medical things.

I got my expertise from watching TV adverts. For example, I know that there is a disease called mesothelioma and even more frighteningly, I can even spell it. I also know about something called trans vaginal mesh. I’ve never had trans vaginal mesh and I’m not sure I’d like to have whatever condition requires someone to put mesh in any part of me that relates to my vagina, but I do know that if I die from it, there is a number I can call.

So, now your Tia is religiously creaming up her toe nails with the prescription Dr. K gave her of twice a day. I have no idea if it will work, but if it cures one more disease we caught from watching TV adverts, it will be a good thing. I’m not sure what I’ll tell her if she starts to suffer from the symptoms of a very popular advert for medicine – erectile dysfunction. I wonder if atheletes foot cream would work for that too. If all else fails and you do take one of these TV medicines, there is another TV medicine to cure the dry mouth that the first medicine caused.  Aren’t you lucky?

Today’s wisdom from Badass Auntie is as follows:  When I was a kid, there was a book of diseases on our shelf called the Merk Manual. If you read it, you were probably going to find that you had symptoms of some terrible terminal illness. These days, you don’t have to read a book. Simply watch TV adverts. They are even inventing diseases so that they can sell you medicine. If you ever listen to these adverts, listen closely to the side effects of the medicine they are trying to sell you. They are almost always much worse than the disease they are trying to sell you. You come from healthy stock. You will be fine. Unless you get toe nail fungus. In which case, call me. I’m an expert.

Dear CK,

We’re speaking of diseases and so we shall discuss diseases that relate to children. There are a bunch of them these days, which didn’t exist when I was your age. They are usually a combination of letters like APRD or ABDRF. Being given diagnosed with these letter ridden diseases relates directly to the fact that you are smart, creative and possibly developing good critical thinking skills. If you talk back, you’re guaranteed to be labeled with letters and, from what I’m seeing in the news in your country, you might even get arrested by the school police. I mean, when the fuck did teachers lose the skill to terrorise a class into total submission and start needing the police to deal with teenagers who are behaving like..umm..teenagers?


When I was a kid I had all of those symptoms and I was also a PITA. (That’s not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice.) They did not have disease names for naughty children back then, or medicine. It simply depended on the philosophy of the adults present whether you labeled ‘badly behaved’ and punished all the time, or labeled as ‘bright’ and encouraged.  They did not drug you. They left that to us to do to ourselves as teenagers and, of course, once they invented these naughty child diseases they called our teenage exploits with alcohol and recreational drugs ‘self medicating’. Before that it was just called ‘getting pissed, stoned and having a laugh’.

There is also a rather bizarre bunch of people who are not only in love with labeling children with letters and finding medicine to cure them from diseases that have letters, but they like to blame the diseases on other medicines. Real medicines, that actually do stop children from dying. Some people, who are kinder than your Badass Auntie, might call them ‘well meaning’ and ‘misinformed’. I call them ‘fucking idiots’. Before I was your age, more like when your Mimi was your age and before there was TV and TV adverts, lots of babies and children died of real diseases. Diseases that didn’t even have lots of letters.

Something called science existed then. It exists now, but has, like lots of other things that used to be good, been taken over by rich arseholes. The people who did science back then discovered ways to stop babies and children from dying.  Now remember, no one ever died from being naughty, talking back in school (thought that could still happen with this school police thing) or asking difficult questions. They died of real and quite horrid diseases. Science created things called vaccines.

Apparently, these fucking idiots would rather give kids a bunch of medicine made for the benefit of rich arseholes and not children because they believe that naughtiness is caused by vaccines. Trust me. There were naughty children long before there were vaccines. But these days (and you have no idea how much I hope it changes before you grow up) all behaviour that does not fit within the ‘meh’ paradigm – meaning having emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, elation and hilarity – are labeled in children as diseases of many letters and drugged.

Badass Auntie will share this wisdom with you today. Drugs are for two things. Drugs are to stop you from dying and drugs are for fun. Whether a doctor gives you drugs or a drug dealer gives you drugs, they should never be used to stifle your personality and emotions. Now before someone reads this who actually takes drugs that change the way they feel because they need to do so to save their lives – that’s exactly my point. Unless your emotions are actually life threatening, ‘just say no’ if anyone offers you drugs to stop you from having emotions that might make you more than just ‘meh’.  ‘Meh’ is the worst disease you can have.




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