By Otis Griffin
Neighbor, at a very young age what you see or hear, ain’t what you mostly get! Several of us tree swingers were eavesdropping on Mr. Bright give a dissertation on modern day (back then) medicine. After a demonstration that would make ‘Miss’ Kitty and Festus backslap congratulate ‘Doc’ Adams, methodically Mr. Bright gave the entire congregation a featured first class surgical procedure.
The grownups on Mr. Ben’s wooden store porch would not let us get very close so maybe we didn’t absorb all their intellect. That way we wouldn’t be as smart as them. Although we admitted it later, we thought Mr. Bright said he was going to cut a car bumper!!! In reality it was a fitting medical procedure that would have made our illustrious Kerrville veterinarian, ‘Doc’ Hall, very chest expanding and broad grinning proud. Guess we needed our ear-wax dug out. Yep, we are wrong again!
Later we understood the slicing operation. Mr. Bright was explaining to the class the medical operation performed by ‘Doc’ Flippin to lance a “carbuncle”, not a car bumper. There is a slight difference. Also affectionately and often referred to as a rising or boil. The self-appointed instructor relayed; just grab, squeeze and slice. After the imaginary operation was demonstrated, Mr. Bright cleared his throat, took a draw on his famous crusty pipe filled with Sir Walter Raleigh and proudly declared, “that’s how he done it ’cause I ‘wuz’ ’ere.”
Excitedly and making sure by glancing out of the corner of his eye that everyone was attentive, Mr. Bright got into overdrive. Similar to a hastily called cow-pond baptizing at a brush arbor hot summer revival. Continuing, “after a little cleaning and wiping, Peter (DOC) grabbed a handful of that rotten duck egg, stinking sulfur and fist ground it in the hole, real deep like.” Onward with, “it weren’t that much to it really.” Mr. Bright said, “furthermore, then Peter covered the slicing with some white gauze and a couple of strips of hospital tape and I believe Bobby Joe looked like to me he was good as new.” “At least Peter done got rid of all that swelling.”
“The good Doctor reminded Bobby Joe to keep it clean and change the bandage once in a while.” “Additionally, check to make sure there ain’t no infection and puffy.” A little lye soap washing and coal oil soaking should do the trick. Just once in a while? Right!
Although we were shocked at the change of events, slowly we pieced the puzzle together. Not to be left out in the cold, ‘Rabbit’ had the answer, “I know what he did.” Lynn asked, “what was ’zat?” ‘Rabbit’ confidently replied, “the same thing Daddy did with our cow last week.” “Huh?” “Yep, he grabbed the hide of the milk cow to cut one of them diggin’ wolves out of her backside.” “Sounds ’bout the same to me!”
Friends what we had deciphered as hacking a car bumper was actually a carbuncle (Southernese language back ’en). We don’t hear that expression too much any more, now do we? I’m not saying what is right or wrong. The medicine, operating, curing, healing or handling, but for all my Southern Country loved ones that remember when a ring went in a hog’s snout and not in a human beings’ nose, that’s the way we come up and what we experienced.
A Little Cuttin’ is Fine, But Just Don’t Cut on Mine — GLORY!
By Otis Griffin