tobacco enema, anyone?

the pearls are a nice Viennese touch, yes?

One cannot utter the word Vienna without conjuring Freud and medicine and, well it must be said, the bowels. Did we not invent the term anal-retentive here in Austria?

Late in the 18th century there was this theory flying around that one could resuscitate the dead by blasting tobacco up the rectum. I Scheisse you not!

That smarmy Habsburg, Joseph II, wished to fortify his army with the latest surgical techniques, so in 1785 he opened the Medical-Surgical Military Academy and stocked it full of Florentine wax models, all anatomically fitted with organs, in order to advance medical science for the Empire. It was here that the tobacco-as-resuscitator theory bloomed.

Thankfully, by the time I sat on the throne, this idea was disproved (thank God nobody marched out to my assassination site with a bellows and a pail of tobacco water!). But it did serve as the basis for the notion of resuscitation, and paved the way for electric stimulation to the heart and all those other 20th-Century miracles … in addition to providing fodder for Bram Stoker.

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