Superball Med Staff Forced to Revert to Medieval Health Practices

June 30, 2011

Watkins Glen, NY: Sources from deep within Phish’s infrastructure have informed us that the medical team at Superball IX, in anticipation of’ strange and uncommon’ ailments, has proactively abandoned standard medicinal practices, and is reverting to a broad range of obscure and eclectic forms of treatment, spanning from Pirate medicine to World War I field manuals.

Said NYU MD Paul Rice, “Typically, a music and camping festival requires standard 2011 Guide to Emergency Field Medicine manuals. A more than competent text, it covers a broad range of festival ailments, from heat stroke to seizures to infections. However, based on the comments from the medical teams at past festivals, and our own research, we have made some major changes to the medical policies this year.  We have come to the conclusion that such unconventional ailments required, uh, how do I say it, unconventional medicinal treatments.”

When asked for examples of these ‘unconventional’ ailments, Rice was hesitant to answer us. “Well, uh, I mean, in my professional opinion. Well, I can tell you this: at Coventry, we treated a surprising number of trench foot victims, which hasn’t really been seen since World War I.”

After a little convincing, Rice opened up a bit more. ” And of course there was enough Giardia cases to raise our eyebrows…and infections, but not typical dirt-in-the-wound infections. These involved fecal matter, and significant amounts at that.”

“And scurvy!” he continued without pressing. “We found more than a few cases of scurvy. I mean, who the fuck gets scurvy anymore?  And how am I expected to treat that with a mist tent, a cot, three Q-Tips and a small pack of Advil? Can you tell me that?”

Listen,” continued Rice conspiratorially, “we found shit that hasn’t been spotted since the plague! The plague! And one person had somehow managed to come down with a disease that can only be contracted by mating with a Centaur! I ask you; what the hell are those kids doing in there?”

The biggest problem, spelled out explicitly in the med staff’s preparation document, is that “after a cursory study of incoming patients, we found that almost 95% had already ingested the requisite medications before presenting for treatment.”

“These kids have already taken the pharmaceuticals needed to treat them,” explained Rice, “but they ingested them long before contracting the ailments they are expected to heal. Which pretty much null and voids the impact of the drugs themselves. We really had to improvise with this one.”

“We really had to think on our feet,” said Darryl Morango, a PHD in comparative literature, archeology, and a well-known expert in esoteric texts and shamanistic healing rituals, who has been called in by Rice to assist in aggregating treatment information from a wide range of sources.

“I was brought in to apply my expertise towards finding texts that may help us treat these, uh, kids. So far, we’ve managed to conglomerate a treatment plan based on these texts: a World War I Army Field Manual; The Modern Encyclopedia of Zoology ; Darwin’s The Origin of Species ; seventeen obscure back-issues of National Geographic ; The Odyssey by Homer; the complete works of Aldous Huxley; a volume of William Blake’s more esoteric poetry…”

“…and, we brought in a couple DVD’s of the film Old Yeller. Don’t even ask about that last one.”

“If all else fails,” remarked Morango, cautiously, ” we have alerted the CDC.  They’re on stand-by, awaiting our call.”

“If it comes to that.”

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