Wittgenstein’s elbow


6346007798_160c79aa85_bFollowing on from the saga of Gert’s knee, here are some other body-part afflictions you may or may not know about:

Wittgenstein’s elbow:  the damage caused by getting your elbow stuck in a jar of Gemusemilbe (the German equivalent of Vegemite) as happened to Ludwig on that famous day in 1940 when he invited Bertrand Russell on a a picnic. Ludwig threw such a tantrum that Bertrand stormed off, falling into a pond on his way. They never spoke again.

The Pope’s nose: no, not the one on the Xmas turkey, but the real nose of  Pope Clement VII, who died in 1534 after eating a poisonous mushroom. If he hadn’t broken his nose falling from his litter during a procession, he would have been able to sniff out the bad one.

Virginia Woolf’s ankles: VW was given to falling down suddenly when her ankles gave way. She said her ankles had been hurt during a very vigorous game of hockey (a secret passion of hers until the ankle problem got too bad).  It may, however, have been a psychosomatic condition.

Johnny Hallyday’s bottom: enough said.

Can you add to this list of little-known bodily afflictions?

10 thoughts on “Wittgenstein’s elbow

  1. Don’t know of any other such ailments. I did try to Google “Gemusemilbe” but Google rejected the search — no such thing. I am intrigued by (but not surprised by) the notion that there is a German equivalent to Vegemite.

  2. As always, your lists are never exhaustive. Here are two you may have missed:

    1. Chaucer’s Prolapsed Disc (also known as The Poet’sTail) came from trying to slip another narrative into his already too heavy account of Canterbury pilgrims. It laid him up for weeks, curtailing his undercover job as a government spy — their was no back-up.

    2. There’s also a psychological ailment known as Lao Tzu Disorder in which students of Taoism, in their quest for the so-called Three Treasures of compassion, frugality, and humility, find not only that they lose Dao ‘The Way’ but their sense of self. Sadly, those suffering from LTD tend to gradually fade from view, leaving behind their medical records as the only evidence of their existence.

    1. I think these cases are getting into the complex area known only to doctors studying for higher qualifications. Our readers are simpler folk who enjoy a good biff on the elbow or a face-plant. But thank you Chris, as always. for your erudite contribution.

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