On the now-forgotten Island of Essex, just off the coast of Ancient Greece, is a pile of rubble at the bottom of the sea that was once a hub of invention and trade. King Simonis ruled over the island with a firm but fair hand. That was until his people were hit with a curse from the god Psoriasis.
Psoriasis was a little known god. There were no shrines or altars in his honour, unlike his fellow gods. “I am the god of skin!” he roared atop mount Olympus. The other gods would laugh at his complaints that no one worshipped him.
“I feed them with fish from the sea and give them safe passage to the mainland,” Neptune would say. “Why should they worship you?”
Psoriasis would slouch and grumble to himself as the other gods mocked him. He heard Aphrodite boast, “They love me, and I love them, but who would love Psoriasis?” she asked with a laugh.
“I give our people beauty. They are the most beautiful people in the world!” Psoriasis said, thinking to himself, “Hmmmm, that gives me an idea. I will show the people of Essex!”
King Simonis lay in his bed sleeping. It was not an easy sleep. He tossed and turned while voices taunted him in his head. “Do you think you’re handsome? Ha! You will not be much longer,” the voices said.
King Simonis jumped out of bed, his skin crawling, itching madly. He scratched at his skin, drawing blood. “What curse is this?” he cried as he saw his reflection in a mirror.
The face of the god Psoriasis appeared. “This is my curse on you and your people,” Psoriasis said. “I will make you pay for not worshipping me, for not showing your respect.”
His face slowly faded, and Simonis stood peering at his reflection. His wife appeared by his side, also hit by this curse, then they heard the cries. The whole palace had woken to find their skin flaking and scarred.
“Call for Jason!” King Simonis commanded, and a dove was sent to the mainland for Jason and his Argonauts. The next morning he sent Jason and his Argonauts on a mission to find a cure for this curse.
Aphrodite had appeared in a vision and told Simonis of a faraway land where there was an ancient relic that could cure them. The journey would be dangerous, but Jason was known to be the bravest man in all of Greece.
Their ship set sail as the people of Essex cheered from the dock wishing them good luck and a safe, quick return. Jason consulted his map and the stars to find the remote island that Aphrodite had told them about.
When they finally hit land, they made their way to a nearby temple. There they met an old man with grey hair and a long beard, which he stroked while in deep thought. “Old man, wise sage, can you help our people? They have the curse of Psoriasis,” Jason said whilst keeping his distance somewhat.
“Ahhhhhhh, Psoriasis!” he exclaimed, “My cousin had that once. I gave her this cream. It’s cleared it in a few days.” He handed Jason a small pot. Jason studied it curiously.
“Um, it’s a bit small isn’t it? There’s a whole island of people we need to cure.”
The man opened a cupboard. “I have much more, only £50 a pot, miracle cure it is.” He put on a straw hat and pulled down a sign saying, “Honest John’s Psoriasis Cure,” except the words “cold sore” had been crossed through and “psoriasis” was written over them.
“We have no money. We were told of a relic,” Jason said. And with that, the man shut his cupboard and ushered them out. “No money? No cure!” he said, slamming the door of the temple in Jason’s face.
“Let’s try this place called ‘The Super Market,’” he said, pointing at a large building on a map held by one of his men. “It’s only five minutes away and open late. We should be able to get something there.” The men cheered as they set off.
They reached The Super Market, and it was a wondrous place. There, in golden light, with a sign above, saying “Limited Edition! One of a kind available here only!” was what Jason thought had to be that relic Aphrodite had described.
“Someone distract the guard,” Jason commanded. Two of the lads started to fight and were escorted out. Jason seized the opportunity and grabbed the relic, sliding it inside his tunic, whistling innocently as he walked out.
They ran back to the boat and headed back to the Island of Essex happy that they had succeeded in their quest and that they would cure King Simonis and his people.
Back at the palace, trumpets blared as Jason and his Argonauts entered carrying the relic on a large tray. “King Simonis!” Jason shouted proudly. “I bring you your cure!”
King Simonins rose from his throne and looked at the relic. He picked it up and stared at it. “Jason, a golden fleece? Really? Do you know how itchy wool is?”
Simon Jury is a blogger living with psoriasis who is based in the United Kingdom.
The opinions expressed by National Psoriasis Foundation Blog contributors are their own and do not reflect the opinions or positions of the National Psoriasis Foundation. The information posted on the NPF Blog is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice.
Driving Discovery, Creating Community
This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. See how far we’ve come with this timeline of NPF’s history. But there’s still plenty to do, and we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funding to promote research into better treatments and a cure by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or even create your own DIY event. Contact our Patient Navigation Center for free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today! Together, we will find a cure.