Greetings from Dr. Hurley and Co.

To our dear, devoted Snake-Oilers,

We have languished in your absence (and ours!) in the past weeks, but are thrilled to reappear today, having shaken off the summer’s dust! Dr. Hurley’s tinkerers have been hard at work in this space and today marks the Snake-Oil Cure‘s first, halting, creeping steps out of the chrysalis of redesign. We hope you enjoy the spruced-up aesthetic and streamlined navigation. Do let us know how you like our new appearance! There are likely to be further changes over the coming weeks as we settle into our new (Snake) skin, but we will not disappear again!

The Doctor has asked us to advise you of one further change to his Prescription. Ever a proponent of moderation in all things (especially the good ones), the Doctor has directed us to publish fewer works each week in the hope that scarcity will highlight the quality of these works. Our new publishing schedule will be, roughly, new works on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the traditional Sunday digest.

The intention is NOT to wean you from the Snake-Oil Cure‘s tedium-conquering powers, but rather to distill a more potent remedy and, further, to combat tedium by increasing your appetite through anticipation.

That being said, do send along your best works – all formats are welcome as always – and your best friends, both to read and to write in service of Dr. Hurley’s mission:

to attack tedium in all its forms, to root out its deteriorating influences, and prescribe our patients a course of healing that will lead them back to vitality, interest, health, and youth.

Best and warmest regards from

Your Editors

on behalf of

Dr. Seamus Hurley

Presenting this week’s Guest Editor

Dear Followers of the Snake-Oil Cure,

During these days leading up to Christmas, Dr. Hurley is wont to take a mental trip back to his homeland and hum hymns, hang holly branches about the house, and become thoroughly engrossed in the steaming of his traditional Christmas Pudding. As such, it has been deemed necessary to find some assistance in prescribing this week’s course of treatment.

Emily Markussen Sorsher (long-time, dedicated Snake-Oiler) hails from the warm and sunny land of California, but brings us a selection of rather chilling tales, very suited to telling around the fireplace while sipping a Dr. Hurley-approved cup of Glögg (rumor has it he picked up the recipe from a German patient at his spa).  Do read on and enjoy these thrilling, chilling tales.

The very best and warmest wishes from

Your Editors

(on behalf of the Doctor, who is currently to be found lighting candles and whistling “Deck the Halls” and isn’t to be disturbed)

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 19

  • This week was a SCORCHER at Dr. Hurley HQ and also on the blog itself!  What fantastic content!  But before we get to that, a couple of Announcements!

Announcement № 01: 100 Word Story Winners!

It’s woefully overdue, but Congratulations to the winners of our 100 word story contest!

Readers’ Choice:

Editors’ Choices:

Each of you will be receiving a beautiful hand-letterpressed print of Dr. Hurley’s anti-tedium manifesto, suitable for framing and feeling proud of yourself!

Announcement № 02: Another Contest!

As you may know, the Dr. Hurley crew is bundling off to Ireland to dig up some more information about Dr. Hurley’s roots, his spa, and his eventual departure for America (by way of the Orient, we’re learning).  While in Ireland, we’ve always been greatly amused by the names of places we come across.  Some funny, some over-long, some downright bizarre, they all set our imaginations going.

What we want from you: A 100 word fictional etymology or brief history of an Irish place with an odd or otherwise interesting name.  Suggested names are below, but feel free to pull out an atlas of Ireland and find your own!  Also, we’ve put the Anglicized names here, but feel free to use the actual Irish names, if you like!

Winners will be chosen again, and you will be receiving a stunning prize as well!  (Guess what!)  And remember, linguistic/historical research will not be rewarded as much as imagination!

Deadline: NOON on Saturday, July 23, but earlier would be better.

Irish place names, to get you started:

    • Belgooly
    • Carrickfergus
    • Bloody Foreland
    • Derrynasaggart
    • Knockmealdown
    • Ballybunnion
    • Mullaghareirk
    • Dingle
    • Knockboy
    • Ballinskellig
    • Aughty
    • Slieve
    • Coolgreen
    • Rascalstreet
    • Turnaspidogy
    • Ringarogy Island
    • Glandore

And now, here’s what you missed this week:



Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 14




It was another week of high quality prose, poetry, and art here at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure.  Here, for your delectation, is everything you missed last week as well as a couple of announcements.





This weekend we’re having our very first very short story “contest”!  We’ve already gotten a handful of great submissions, but we want more!  Here’s the scoop:

  • Send us a 100 word story about anything. Just keep it under 100 words,
  • With a title,
  • And your name,
  • By midnight tonight.  That gives you about twelve more hours to do it.
  • If we like it, we’ll publish it this week!
  • Send to snakeoilcure[at]gmail[dot]com

We’re also continuing our POTUS and Smithsonian series.  More info on those here.