061113.Bathwick, Chemists are Pharmacists here.

November 13, 2006 at 12:06 AM | Posted in Bath, Bathwick, Columns, Ionic Order, people, somerset | 11 Comments

060924.04.Somset.Bath.Great Pultney St

Chemists are Pharmacists here.

After over a month and a half of just saying no to aspirin, I finally broke down and purchased some. The store brand tablets were 34 pence for 16 300mg tables. I couldn’t find any bottles so at least I don’t have to bother with the stupid childproofing, and the individually wrapped tablets are indeed environmentally wasteful but good for taking along on trips.

This might very well be the most boring post I’ve typed thus far, and it’s competing against many of my attempts to understand structural engineering. However, my point was that in buying only 16 aspirin for the equivalent of a little over 50 (US) cents, I had to speak to the chemist (pharmacist) at the cashier’s counter after having already given them my coins.

Chemist: Are you buying these for yourself or someone else?
Me: What? Are you talking about the aspirin?
Chemist: Yes. Are these aspirin for your own use?
Me: Yes, I have a headache. Please give me the box.
Chemist: Just one more question, sir. Have you ever taken these before?
Me: What? Aspirin?!
Chemist: Yes.
Me. Yes.
Chemist: OK then, enjoy your day.

Now, I want to know if she was just pulling my leg or if this country is insane. Do English people get headaches? I’m sure as I was leaving the store, the chemist thought: “Gee, that foreigner was dumber than he looked.” But in my defense, I believe it’s very difficult to overdose and die from aspirin. And in my humble opinion, I imagine on the off chance that one does succumb to aspirin poisoning (and is subsequently nominated for a Darwin Award) that it is even more difficult to sue over it!

Now, I actually do feel like poisoning myself with aspirin and directing my relations to sue in order that that chemist learns her limited liability precaution can’t hold up in a court of law and was just a waste of my time. Who’s with me? And who wants to poison themselves first and save me the trouble?

Also, note the Greek Ionic columns on this Georgian shopfront. Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting Ionic update!



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  1. Are you ok? Have you taken some vitamins? I usually take some vitamins, drink a lot of water and take a rest when I feel not well, and it works. I think you might be work too hard on the Woodchester thing and the food evening. I also have some medicine (includes Chinese herbal powder), tell me if you think you might need some or want to try some to help you feel better.Take care!

  2. Thanks. I think it was just because I stopped drinking coffee this weekend after guzzling it for the past few weeks.

  3. Crazy. I was just having this discussion about “pharmacists in England = chemists” yesterday with my parents.

    P.S. This is actually one of the least boring posts you’ve written. But then, when I’m reading books, I usually skip descriptions and just read the dialogue, so my classification of what’s boring and what isn’t may not necessarily be, uh, useful in any respect.

  4. Well, you might want to avoid tomorrow’s post.

  5. I probably would anyway.

  6. its not a boring post at all. I didnt know they call pharmacists chemist in England. But it seems to be more honest to me…because looking at the activity of drug companies nowdays, I am not sure that it is about healing or rather just about selling as many chemical products as possible.

  7. maybe you looked all forlorn and bereft and in need of looking after….. :0(

  8. I hope you feel better now.
    I didn’t know pharmacist were called chimists in England!! Wow, this word sounds more serious to me.
    I’m very surprised that you cannot get aspirins over the counter. Usually, in Europe, they are not that concern with aspirins.
    Anyway this greek revival style facade is quite imposing and very beautiful, as well as the other buildings in this street. This is a very nice photo.
    Take care.

  9. Rules are rules in everywhere – even aspirins rules 😀 Don`t take too many of them, you can get acidosis!
    In my post is now Town Hall of Joensuu. Photo is poor, but perhaps you are interested in a architect, who created it. His name was Eliel Saarinen.
    Your posts are fine lectures !

  10. In the UK, the word “pharmacist” refers to the occupation of someone who dispneses medicine; the word “chemist” usually refers to the kind of store in which you bought your aspirin – they’re a dying breed, however.

    A pharmacist will ask you if you’ve had aspirin before because of aspirin allergy, not because of overdose risk. Btw, most people in the UK will take paracetamol, not aspirin, for a headache.

  11. Thank you Paul! Well, I know I learned something from this site now. I’ve never even heard of paracetamol.

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