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Step 1: Heart attack mitigation
If you’re feeling a bit of a heart attack coming on, pop some aspirin and dial 911. (Or your local emergency number.)
The aspirin has an anti-clotting effect that inhibits platelets from doing their little plateletty jobs. You know, hanging out together in large groups, getting rowdy, and creating thromboses. This is perfect for those occasions when you’re on the verge of death due to an unplanned cardiac episode.
According to the American Journal of Cardiology, chewing the aspirin has a more immediate effect than washing the pills down with a cool glass of water. So that’s good to know. Especially if you’re a man over 50 with less plaque on your teeth than in your arteries.
Step 2: Remove sweat stains
Sure, the collar of that undershirt looks fine, but the armpits are caked and yellow like you’re developing uranium for a nascent nuclear weapons program. Gross. Apparently the aluminum salts in most antiperspirants mixes with sweat to create a mostly-waterproof stain. The salicylic acid in aspirin makes a nice little anti-yellowcake mixture that can eradicate those sweat stains.
Crush up enough pills and mix with water to create enough paste to cover the sweat stain of your choice. Let it sit for several minutes then rinse. Launder as usual. This treatment is good for any protein-based stain, so pull it out for those times when you get some of that nosebleed on your shirt or dribble egg yolk onto your pants due to over-over-easiness.
Note: pound for pound, this is an expensive method of removing sweat stains (compared to using lemon juice, enzymatic meat tenderizer, or white vinegar), but it’s a good thing to bear in mind if you’re surprised by a serious stain in a random hotel room that stocks aspirin, but not meat tenderizer, in the lobby gift shop.
Step 3: Restore hair color
Big swimmer? Blonde? If so, you know that chlorine can do a number on your hair. But a little aspirin can take care of that.
Dissolve 6-8 aspirin pills in water, then rub the solution into your hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse it out. The greenish effect should start to disappear after a couple of aspirin washes.
When I was in fifth grade, there was a girl in my class with hair so blonde and fine it looked like fiberoptic wire. She was a swimming fiend, so her hair was always just a touch too green in the summertime. In middle school, she acheived the Edenic self-consciousness of Eve and began to use aspirin to fix the greenness. She is now incredibly successful and one of 17* female engineers in the whole world. Aspirin helped her become a foxy materials engineer, imagine what it could do for you.
*I know that there are more. But there are still too many girls being discouraged from careers in science and math. The real number is probably in the low to mid 50s.
Step 4: Zap zits and punish pimples
Salicylic acid. It’s one of the topical applications used for acne treatment, and it just so happens to be a natural part of aspirin.
Crush up the pill and add some water to make a paste. Apply the aspirin paste to your pimple and wait for several minutes. Rinse off without rubbing too much, and the pimple should diminish in redness and size. Spot treatment for those “haven’t showered since Friday” weekend camping trips where you want to look your best.
Possibly true fact: the taste of salicylic acid can discourage bears from gnawing on your face.
Step 5: Treat bug bites and stings
A great little camping piece of know-how: willow trees and their ilk contain the natural equivalent of Bayer. Some bark will have a similar effect to the paste described earlier. When I was a Boy Scout in Colorado, we used to strip small sections of bark off of aspen trees and treat the bug bites we brought upon ourselves by being fragrantly scrumptious.
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