Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Quick Remedy ...


It's once again that time of year when students all across the country are anxiously preparing for their return to school, and for some classes have already commenced ... reminiscent of a tale I heard a good while back about when Grandpa DooLittle was just a young feller, and how he hated school so bad that each year he would feign some type of life-threatening, albeit overtly suspicious malady such as pseudo injury or phony illness in order to delay his inevitable return to academia ... Grandpa's scheme that particular year had been to take a branch full of ripe elderberries the very day before school was to begin for the year, and to slap those purplish-black berries all across his bare skin thus leaving purplish-black splotches from front to back, head to toe all over his pale, lanky body--the results being something which vaguely resembled some exotic and severe rash ... the mischievous lad then splashed warm water on his face and forehead, and dampened his stringy hair so as to make it appear that he was running a high fever ... then he jumped into bed, pulled up the covers and feebly called for his mother.

Upon discovering her son's abrupt and potentially debilitating condition there was but one thing to do ... she sent word and summoned "Doc" Spencer ... now Doc Spencer was one of those old-fashioned country doctors, as a matter of fact, Doc Spencer was the only doctor for miles around ... he had been doctoring in those parts for decades and had delivered several generations of folk during that time ... and besides being the only physician, Doc was also the only dentist, the only veterinarian and the only funeral director in the area ... if one were to require any of the four services provided by Doc Spencer, he could usually be found at home in his office or barn diagnosing some disease, repairing some injury, pulling some teeth, shoeing some horse or preparing some body for burial ... and if for whatever reason one was unable to come to Doc Spencer, then Doc Spencer would come to them--unheard-of these days, such response was commonly known as a "house call" back then ... Doc usually rode an ol' mule named "Molly," with his huge, black, leather satchel strapped to her side which contained all necessary "doctorin'" instruments and elixirs, often riding for days to reach some of his less than ambulatory patients ... Doc never got in a hurry neither, he figured you would eventually fall somewhere within one of his four specialties no matter the condition he might find you in ... so Doc Spencer headed over to the DooLittle's place ... and Grandpa was none the wiser!

Upon the doctor's timely arrival, Grandpa's mama met him at the gate and began describing the symptoms of her piteous son's sudden onslaught of unwellness as she hurriedly led him to the beguiling yet suddenly thunderstruck bluffer's bedside ... the old practitioner stooped down and gently felt the lad's damp forehead with the back of his leathery hand and found it to be surprisingly cool to the touch ... then he pulled down the bed covers so as to inspect the alleged rash ... as he rubbed that same hand across those purplish-black spots they seemed to miraculously disappear right before his eyes ... he brought his hand up to his nose for a quick, educated whiff and strangely caught the tangy aroma of American elder ... by this time Grandpa's mama was beside herself with worry as she nervously enquired of the good doctor "are you going to be able to help my son Doc?" ... "oh I imagine so ... 'tain't nothing fatal" he assuredly replied ... then slowly unlatched his black "doctorin'" bag, opened it wide and began digging around inside until he retrieved a large bottle of castor oil and a thick razor strap ... "now I want you to give the boy four tablespoons full of this here castor oil at least twice a day, also take him out to the woodshed at least once a day and use this here razor strap on his behind ... then I think he'll have a speedy recovery" he prescribed ... Grandpa DooLittle's mama was quite confused by these unusual orders so she politely asked "Doc are you sure that is the correct and proper remedy for a simple rash?" ... with the amusement of the situation clearly showing on his weathered face Doc Spencer exclaimed "oh it's certainly not for any rash madam ... that there remedy is for bald-faced lyin'!" ... needless to say the next morning Grandpa DooLittle was up bright and early, dressed and ready for his first day of school!


--sja
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13 comments:

Sunmallia said...

Think this would work on my boss?

sja said...

Sunmallia, if your boss is as observant and wily as ol' Doc Spencer ... maybe you better not try it!

BOB said...

I do wonder how long ago it was when the first lad thunk that one up ... were you to have a penny for each time it's been tried, my guess is that you'd challenge Warren Buffet and Bill Gates for our richest title!

Gee said...

I wasn't so inventive but my schemes did work when I had the guts to try one in order to stay away from school. Great story!

sja said...

Thank you Gee!

Doc Spencer said...

How be ye?

PJ said...

Boy How I yearn for the good ol' days! I can't count the times that I told mom I didn't feel good so rather that argue (because she had to be at work at 7:am) she would let me stay home. Nor can I count them when I called mom's work and "went home sick". She finally caught on though and I got a whoopin' when she got home from work.

God Bless!
PJ

sja said...

Yes PJ ... the good ol' days!

BOB said...

My mama didn't work, 'cept at being my mama ... well, Daddy's Lynda's and Billy's too ... but, my experiences were similar to PJ's, at least the whoopings part!

Yesterday was Miss Carol's birthday ... we had a good time, and she sends her best ... she would have especially liked ol' Doc Spenser, methinks!

Our Doc's were "family" ... and I know for sure that had it not been for Dr. Davenport's many house calls, me little sister would not be with us ... double pneumonia, measles and Scarlet Fever, all at the same time, when when she was four. He must have been independently wealthy for he lived on an estate in a giant mansion, but he was "family" ... 24-7-365.

BOB said...

Oops ...

Boss, lest I forget, there's a new post in Ye Old Barbershop!

"Parties" ... still a draft, but it's up!!!

sja said...

Good post Bob!

Victoria's Voice said...

Just the thought of Castor oil......Blach! I had a great grandmother who thought a daily dose kept us all healthy. We hated visiting her house!

Great post!

Vickie

I am following you.

sja said...

Victoria's Voice -- thank you for visiting, commenting and following the blog ... am now following you also!