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Just to go along with the theme of things here . . . .
St. Anthony's Fire is the old name for the group of symptoms, most notably gangrene and hallucinations, caused by eating the rye-fungus Ergot. In case ergot were to be eaten, the St. Anthony's Fire Brigade would step in and rush the victim(s) off
to the nearest hospital for treatment. Otherwise, they would go about preventing ergot from making getting into food in the first place by various means (crop inspections, etc.).
(?) St Agatha
[pottedstu, Jun 13 2002]
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||According to one theory I have heard, a lot of the witch trials and burnings in the 16th and 17th centuries were inspired by people who had experienced Ergot hallucinations. So the St. Anthony's fire brigade would help keep down the number of witch burnings too !
||Our beloved Prime Minister Mr Blair is bound to go for any public service named after him ....
||What next? St Christopher's fire brigade: if you have a river to cross, they'll pump the water away with their hoses. St Cecilia's fire brigade: have a really melodic siren. St Patrick's fire brigade: for snakes. St Francis of Assisi's fire brigade: talks to cats and gets them to come down from trees. St Andrew's fire brigade: protection if your football team's really shit. St Peter's fire brigade: helps if you're locked out of your house. St Valentine's fire brigade: puts out the flames of your heart. St Sebastian's fire brigade: points you the way to the fire with his numerous arrows. St Thomas Aquinas's fire brigade: integrates Aristotelian philosophy into Christian doctrine and provides support for the concept of just war when you need it most. St Agatha's fire brigade: providing prosthetics for flat-chested women. St Catherine's fire brigade: for all your fire-work related catastrophes. St George's fire brigade: blah. etc. etc. etc.
<aside>St Agatha is the patron saint of bell-founders.</aside>
||Croissant for pottedstu's annotation. Surely St. George's fire brigade would put out fires caused by fire-breathing dragons?
||pottedstu: Thes onyl work because ther is actually a thing called St. <meta>'s fire. Otherwise, its just silly.