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Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Say We Just Hold Him Down and Remove the Limb Entirely

If you’re ever in the area, I insist you meet Mary and Jon.

Mary, of course, you already know. Quicker witted than the average bear, able to clean your place for a mere $15/hour, if you ever see me wiping my eyes while bent double laughing, you’ll know Mary’s near.

Jon is her boyfriend. Jon is a special man, built, it appears, just for Mary. Like many women, Mary can be driven to the edge by her boyfriend’s lackadaisical attitudes toward the dirt/snow/engine grease he tracks into the house – and Jon laughs, in the good-natured, taunting way that we reserve for those we love; and she, after sweeping up and beating him with a broom, laughs too.

And Jon and Mary tell the best stories.

You know how some people’s allusions to stories are sometimes better than the stories themselves?

This is never the case with Jon and Mary. When Mary says, “Jon, tell Pearl about the time you used a front-end loader to drop several tons of snow into the neighbor’s yard”, well, you’re going to want to turn your phone off, make sure your smokes are in reach, maybe have a towel handy for wiping your eyes.

Same applies for the home surgery story.

Oh, come on! We all know people who’ve had surgery performed at home, don’t we? I myself once removed a skin tag from under my right arm with nothing but a nail clipper and my own steely determination.

But I got nothin’ on Jon.

So sit here, won’t you, next to me, and let’s listen to Jon’s story:

“Jon!” Mary shouts from across the room. “Tell Pearl about the time you developed Zombie Leg.”

Jon frowns. “Zombie leg…” he mutters, rolling the words off his tongue, his eyes staring up and off into the distance. He is looking for a connection.

“Remember?” she prompts. “The spider bite?”

Jon laughs. “Oh, yeah! Right! The spider bite.” He smiles, lights a cigarette. An ashtray in the shape of a motorcycle engine is on the coffee table in front of him, and he lays the lighter next to it.

“So I’m washing the truck, right?” he says. “In a car wash, one of those places where you do it yourself. And there in the corner of the bay was this enormous spider’s web; so as I’m finishing and the water pressure is dying down, I give it a good spray, clean it out, right?”

He pauses. Takes a hit off his cigarette.

“And I’ll be damned if this spider doesn’t shoot out, bite me a good three, four inches above the ankle! I mean, hot damn if that didn’t hurt!”

He takes another drag from his cigarette, lays it in the ashtray.

“I’d been bit before, got bit in the neck in Florida, so I knew I was in for some trouble; but at first it wasn’t that bad.”

He picks up his cigarette. “At first.”

“At first? Why, the very next day,” Mary jumps in, “he’s getting out of the tub, comes into the living room, and says to me “Does this look funny to you?” And there, where the spider had bit him, is a lump the size of a golf ball, right on top of his shin!”

Jon nods, inhales. “A golf ball,” he repeats. “A big ol’ lump. So I let it go a couple weeks –“

“Wait,” I say. “You let it go? It’s already the size of a golf ball?”

“We don’t have medical insurance,” Mary interjects.

“SO I LET IT GO A COUPLE WEEKS,” Jon says, giving us both the Evil Eye, “and the damn leg really starts to hurt. I mean, it’s turning colors.”

“It did,” Mary whispers, “it really did.”

Jon looks at her sideways but continues. “So Dan – the neighbor Dan? – his wife’s a doctor. Yeah, a real doctor. I mean, Dan’s not, but he comes over, takes one look at my leg and says, Man, you are going to die.”

I look at Mary, who pulls an imaginary zipper across her lips.

“So I go to the pharmacy, right? I mean, they have to have something that will clear this up, right? So I walk in there, pull my pant leg up to show the pharmacist and this old guy gets mad! Tells me, Get out of here!” Jon laughs. “I mean, I’ve been thrown out of places, but never a pharmacy!”

“It looked like a zombie leg,” Mary whispers. I look over at Jon, who winks at me. I look back to Mary. “Seriously. He even dragged the thing around, it hurt so bad.” She shakes her head, lights her own cigarette. “A zombie leg.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Jon says, winking at me. “A zombie leg. ANYway, the leg’s color is all wrong by this time. It goes from green to blue to purple, finally turning black. By now, it’s all the way down to my foot and I can barely walk on the thing.” Jon takes a long drink from the Fresca in front of him, lays his cigarette back into the ashtray. “I give Dan a call, who gets his wife’s medical bag, and he comes over.”

I shoot a look at Mary, who nods, bright-eyed, eyebrows raised.

Jon is silent.

“Well?!” I shout. “What happened?”

Jon arches his back, rolls his head from one shoulder to the other.

“I died,” he says.

“Shut up,” Mary says. “You did not.” She turns to me. “They cut it open. Right there in the kitchen. Dan pulls out a scalpel and goes, You hold his leg down, and I’m like, Oh, no you don’t!" Mary shudders visibly. "I left."

Jon laughs. “Mary couldn’t take the heat. She had to get out of the kitchen.”

“Wait, now,” I say. “What happened?”

Jon picks up his cigarette. “Dan cut it open,” he says. He pulls on the cigarette, exhales smoke toward the ceiling. “He cut it open and took out this big black ball of blood or something. I don’t know. All I know is it was pure relief.”

He laughs. “Went to a doctor a couple days later, just to make sure we got all of it. Shoulda seen his face when I told him who did the surgery. His eyes went all big and round. He tells me, stay right here, I’ll be right back. He takes off, probably going to get his doctor buddies and I just thought, aw, screw this. I left before he could get back.”

Jon takes a hit off his cigarette and smiles. “Whole leg was back to its normal color in about three weeks.”

He stands up, stretches.

“So we gonna call for pizza or what? Who wants pizza?”


Simply Suthern said...

I've done some minor surgeries on myself and the youngins on occasion. This is the second post this week I have seen where someone let a friend put a scalpel to use on them. I've had medical training but I must'a missed the "How to Save Time and a Buck By Cutting a Friend" seminar. Where do I sign up?

Will Burke said...

We've all thought about removing skin tags with nail clippers, but honestly? you're braver than I. And who doesn't want pizza after a good home-surgery story?

Pearl said...

Hey, when the things get tough, the tough perform a little home surgery!

Pearl said...

Oh, and Simply? Seminars are held in my backyard. Bring a 12-pack and a friend to drive you home later. :-)

Simply Suthern said...

There should be The HMC, The Home Medical Channel.

Programming suggestions,
De-Lyme on a Dime
Boil Busters
Surgery Virgins
Fungi Fun Guy
Recreational Accupuncture

Pearl said...

Simply, I know you're kidding, but those are great ideas. :-) I know a number of people without insurance -- or money! -- who would be willing to learn how to lance a boil properly and save themselves a couple bucks!

Charlotte Ann said...

shhhh...don't tell a soul...I performed a "procedure" on the husband. Fool that he is, he believed I could "fix" it. "It" being a gnarly looking sebaceous gland that needed lanced. I did lance it and the gunk that poured out was..well sickening. It needs a second "procedure" and with the tools I bought at Hobby Lobby, the ones made to cut matting around pictures? Works the best in case you might be interested in a side job.

Pearl said...

Charlotte, I just knew there were more closet doctors out there than we suspected. :-)

Jhon Baker said...

ahh, self mutilation with a purpose and no need for appointments at the psychiatrist office!

f8hasit said...

It'a amazing that I can dig in deep getting and pulling at a ingrown toenail (ick. Hurts too!) every so often, but if at the doctors it takes 3 nurses to give me a flu shot.

Funny story! But what was the black ball?!! A blood clot? Amazing that he didn't die!!!

Oh...and I'll be there for the backyard seminar with Suthern....

Sweet Cheeks said...

I notice from Jon's story that zombie spiders move a lot faster than zombie people usually do.
This concerns me.

Do you think Raid makes a special zombie type spray that'll kill zombie insects?

Fragrant Liar said...

DANG! What a great kitchen surgery story. You can't make that shit up!

a Broad said...

I have this tight, can't swallow feeling in my throat .. it started when you, Pearl ... said you removed a skin tag with a nail clipper ... then , well, I have this Thing about spiders.... and home surgery and black balls of something ... choking... be back later... so glad John is OK... I love Mary and can see that zipper across the lips gesture clear as glass.... love you too, if you only hadn't talked about spiders and home surgery in the same story :(

Noelle said...

I'm speechless.

Slushpile Slut said...

That was hysterical! Maybe Mary & Jon should have a blog or their own TV show. Thx for sharing!

diane rene said...

my stomach is wishing I'd eaten this morning, while I am thinking I'm not sure I could eat again for days :::gag:::

I love home surgeries tho - did ya see the one on youtube where the lady lances some nasty cottage cheese spouting thing off a guys back? :::gag:::

this could do wonders for my diet

Bass said...

Surely somebody in this story should have held down the spider and pulled off several entire limbs.

Not that I condone revenge or things like that.

mrwriteon said...

Damn it, I like Jon's attitude. If that had been me I would have ordered a casket by that point.

Joanie M said...

Amazing! I've done tags (tie floss around it and yank quick!) and ingrown toenails, but nothing like that!

vanilla said...


Pearl said...

Jhon, :-) Jon has a little sign in the house “You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office”.

F8hasit, this is just one story. There are a lot of stories that end with someone saying “I’m surprised he didn’t die…”

Sweet Cheeks, really, you’d think there’d be SOME kind of zombie repellant on the market by now…

Fragrant Liar, I have to tell you, there is nothing better than Jon and Mary’s stories!

A Broad, I am so sorry! Yeah, I have a couple of friends who can’t bear spider stories. And my mother couldn’t read it because of the blood. I’m sorry!!!

Noelle, then my job here is done. :-)

Slushpile Slut, Sons of Anarchy meets I Love Lucy!

Diane rene, ack! The Too-Freaked-To-Eat Diet!

Bass, man, you should hear his Bit-In-The-Neck-By-A-Spider Story. THAT’ll make ya wanna hurt a spider or two!

Mrwriteon, Jon’s a trooper; and dagnabit, he doesn’t have time to bother with infirmities! The man has things to do!

Joanie, the floss idea is good. Wish I’d thought of that…

Pearl said...

vanilla! SWEET!!!

HulaBuns said...

OMG, this is such a great story. I'm a big fan of Jon & Mary and the Zombie Leg story. I especially like the part where he gets kicked out of the pharmacy and where Mary couldn't take the heat, so she got out of the kitchen. lol

Gigi said...

I'm completely and utterly speechless. Completely. Oh, and I may never eat again.

But I do have a painless home remedy for skin tags - those wart remover bandaid looking things work wonders.

Stacy Q said...

That is so cool! He shoulda kept the black ball... put it on a keychain or something.

Are you going to tell about the front-end loader and the snow?

a Broad said...

Don't be sorry, I read things at my own risk.
If it was THAT bad I woulda quit, there were no spider photos so I am good.
The best thing about stories like these are telling them to people that you know have little quirks.... like my husband, he gets all squirmy and twitchy if I talk about certain things happening to people ( like men.. in their nether regions etc ) So I am definitely reading this to him .. later .. when he is all comfy and doesn't see it coming :)

Jeanie said...

I don't think there are enough beers in the world to make me want to do kitchen surgery...on the other hand you gotta do what you gotta do and if you don't die I guess it's all good and leaves you with a good story to tell.

Linda Medrano said...

OMG! I am so glad you visited me so I could find you! This is awesome! Absolutely the BEST! Pearl, you are a gem amount women!

Irish Gumbo said...

I...don't want pizza now.

I want to get a shop vac, a hazmat suit and a mallet, and get after all the spiders out on my porch...before they get me...

KathyA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KathyA said...

This is a riot! I've removed skin tags with cuticle nippers, but I don't think I could actually take a scalpel to someone else's body!

I'm up for pizza!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I have a friend who shaves those skin tags off..... I am not brave enough and have been known to let the underwire of my bra do the trick. I was told that those little round bandaids will make them shrivel and fall off. Hasn't worked so far and it takes a whole box to cover all mine. I have tried to convince he who loves me to clip them off with my sharp little embroidery scissors, but he is too afraid it won't turn out the way I want it to.We have no health insurance either and fall into an age group that qualifies for nothing other than high rates. I love this story!

Hilary said...

You could eat pizza after that story? Too funny. Gross.. but funny.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Ask Jon if he has a Cousin in Penna...'cause one of the guys I hunt with is the same way when it comes to his various wounds....hilarious story!!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

That was just as amusing as it was gross, and very well written - as always. I liked all the cigarette action in the midst of the story-telling.

brite said...

Amazing! A story where people still smoke...love it! Also..you removed a skin tag with a pair of nail clippers? *shudder*

Schmutzie said...

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!

Symdaddy said...

Ain't nuthin'! Once chopped ma'own head clean of'f ma'neck. Hadta stitch that sucker back on ma'self.


Pud-i-don back'ards firs' tahm!

Kelly said...

Wow! What a story!! I've wanted to perform a few home surgeries, but never got brave enough. Now I HAVE removed my share of skin tags, though, and no clippers for me. Just my bare hands (nails)! Only problem is, they bleed like a stuck pig!

Thanks for visiting over at my place.

SUEB0B said...

I had a cyst on my scalp that I went to the doc for. He gave me a shot and then started to cut before it was numb. It hurt BAD! Having someone use a scalpel on you without anesthesia is not a walk in the park. Gah.

Roses said...

After that, no pizza thanks. I'm not good with bodily fluids and zombie body parts.

But that's a damn good story.