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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:05 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Why did people put raw steak over an eye injury?

I've seen this in countless cartoons and just came across it again in an old episode of Lou Grant. A woman has a black eye and the managing editor advises her to put raw meat over it.

So what is it with this? Is it an old wives' tale or are there really curative properties in raw meat?
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:11 AM
leftfield6 leftfield6 is offline
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Me thinks it's just the coldness of the steak that is the goal here. Why you also see the use of a bag of frozen peas.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:22 AM
robardin robardin is offline
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I suppose it's because before they invented soft cold packs (which evidently were invented in 1973), it was one of those readily available things that were cold without being freezing (i.e., an actual bag of ice), stayed cold for about 15 minutes at a time, could be molded to fit the over contour of an eye socket on your face, and had a soft surface (no pokey ice corners from a bag of cubed ice).

Why not a bag of frozen peas? My guess there is that the trope pre-dates widespread home storage of frozen vegetables (when people had iceboxes instead of huge refrigerators with dedicated freezer space).
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:27 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
I suppose it's because before they invented soft cold packs (which evidently were invented in 1973), it was one of those readily available things that were cold without being freezing (i.e., an actual bag of ice), stayed cold for about 15 minutes at a time, could be molded to fit the over contour of an eye socket on your face, and had a soft surface (no pokey ice corners from a bag of cubed ice).

Why not a bag of frozen peas? My guess there is that the trope pre-dates widespread home storage of frozen vegetables (when people had iceboxes instead of huge refrigerators with dedicated freezer space).
Yeah, as a kid I remember that frozen vegetables tended to be in cardboard boxes, not in malleable plastic bags. In fact, most people didn't get frozen vegetables at all -- they mainly kept them in cans.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:39 AM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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You guys have no idea. When I was a kid, we didn't even have ziplock bags! My mom was the genius of the neighborhood when she started keeping wet, frozen dish towels in the freezer and wrapping them in Saran wrap before she gave thm to the injured child.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:17 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
You guys have no idea. When I was a kid, we didn't even have ziplock bags! My mom was the genius of the neighborhood when she started keeping wet, frozen dish towels in the freezer and wrapping them in Saran wrap before she gave thm to the injured child.
You had towels? We just hosed down the cat and froze it.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:03 AM
drastic_quench drastic_quench is offline
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Yeah, cold and contouring, but then you also get to eat a steak -- which has to improve your mood after a black eye.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:11 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by drastic_quench View Post
Yeah, cold and contouring, but then you also get to eat a steak -- which has to improve your mood after a black eye.
Plus you get the steak all to yourself, 'cause who wants a steak after you've had your eye all over it? It's better than licking the cheese.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:19 AM
74westy 74westy is offline
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All of the above are correct but never underestimate the importance of a simple, arresting image in a cartoon. It's easy to draw and it gets the message across. I've never seen anyone do this in real life but the sad face of Fred Flintstone holding a steak over his black eye will live in my mind forever.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:29 AM
drastic_quench drastic_quench is offline
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Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
All of the above are correct but never underestimate the importance of a simple, arresting image in a cartoon. It's easy to draw and it gets the message across. I've never seen anyone do this in real life but the sad face of Fred Flintstone holding a steak over his black eye will live in my mind forever.
Good call. Will Eisner had a cartooning book that discussed such things. He'd concur.
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:38 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
All of the above are correct but never underestimate the importance of a simple, arresting image in a cartoon. It's easy to draw and it gets the message across. I've never seen anyone do this in real life but the sad face of Fred Flintstone holding a steak over his black eye will live in my mind forever.
It's part of a number of "conventions" not only in cartooning, but in pop culture. Like running a basin of warm watrer when you plan to commit suicide by slashing your wrists. It's pop culture shorthand that conveys the idea.
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:46 AM
lieu lieu is offline
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I remember walking around with a steak over your eye you couldn't see, would bump into stuff and injure the other one. Usually that one was best covered with a baked potato.

Last edited by lieu; 11-06-2012 at 10:49 AM..
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:52 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is online now
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Tangentially related, but given the question has been answered, wicketkeepers in cricket used to put raw steak inside their gloves as extra padding, which you needed when you could be catching a hard 5oz ball travelling at up to 90mph four hundred times a day. Allegedly, fielding next man out from the keeper on a hot day in Australia was no picnic as the steak would start to smell over a couple of hours.
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:06 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu View Post
I remember walking around with a steak over your eye you couldn't see, would bump into stuff and injure the other one. Usually that one was best covered with a baked potato.
Where did the carrots go?
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:09 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Where did the carrots go?
The only place they could go is in the nose. Or maybe the ears.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:53 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
All of the above are correct but never underestimate the importance of a simple, arresting image in a cartoon. It's easy to draw and it gets the message across. I've never seen anyone do this in real life but the sad face of Fred Flintstone holding a steak over his black eye will live in my mind forever.
Or, where I saw it, it was the sad face of a bad guy who had just been punched out by Obelix.
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