Although I never had the pleasure of meeting my mother in law, my husband and sister in laws have passed on many stories of this remarkable lady.
One such story concerned my departed brother in law Manolis. In his teens, around 14 or 15 years old, he had been delivered home from a rather rowdy, end of term party with his fellow classmates, almost unconscious, drunk as a skunk, as they say. His mother, beside herself with worry, but forever conscious of the shame of the neighbourhood understanding that her son was pickled, sought out a “home remedy”. Finding a prickly pear cactus, she lopped off a pad, cleaned the spikes, sliced it through the middle, exposing the pad of gelatinous flesh.
So, on to the male anatomy. Apparently, somewhere in the “under carriage” behind their “equipment”, there is a little hollow (too much detail?? – I know, but this is necessary for the story!) – This hollow is where my dearly departed mother in law considered the appropriate position to slap on the slab of gelatinous flesh from the prickly pear cactus, in an attempt to sober up her wayward son!
I never learnt whether this rather unusual “remedy” was a success or not. I do think that even if no miracle remedy was witnessed, my wise mother in law, having an ulterior motive, understood that the sheer knowledge that his sisters witnessed the extremely embarrassing procedure of having a slab of prickly pear slapped on his under carriage may deter him from getting into too much mischief again!
Strangely, whilst reading a little on the prickly pear here, I learnt that taking prickly pear cactus before drinking alcohol might reduce some symptoms of hangover the next day!