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Monday, October 17, 2011

Nowadays You Just Can’t Get a Good Wart for Under a Dollar

I was 17 when I sold my wart.

“I hate it. It sits right here on my ring finger.” We are sitting in his pickup in the Dairy Queen parking lot. I push my left hand in front of him, and he dutifully takes it, takes a look.

“I’ve been using so much Compound W that I think it’s going to burn through to the bone,” I say to the top of his head as he bends over the hand, “but the wart won’t budge.”

He straightens up, pushes my hand back. “I’ll give you 35 cents for it.”

Silence.

“What?” I say.

He laughs, puts his hands back on the steering wheel. “When I was little, like 8 or 9, I had two warts on my right hand, on the palm. The neighbor lady gave me 25 cents for the both of them, and just a day or so later they were gone. I figure with inflation and all, I’ll give you 35 cents for just the one.”

“That’s not what I meant,” I say, holding my hand out, “but I’ll take the 35 cents.”

And when my alarm clock goes off the very next day – a Monday, a school day – I glance down at my hands.

And the wart is gone.

My mouth drops.

I tear out of bed, run over the concrete floor of the as-yet unfinished basement. I pick up the phone attached to the wall outside of the downstairs bathroom and punch the numbers as only an excitable teenager can.

“Hello?”

“Chris! It’s me! It’s Pearl!”

“Oh, man! Pearl, it’s really early and if my dad –“

“CHRIS!” A shout from the hallway.

Chris pulls the phone from his mouth, talks to his dad. “She says she’s really sorry, she really does.”

“It’s true,” I say into the phone. “I am really sorry.”

There is the sound of a large irritated man snorting in disgust, and then of Chris’s bedroom door being shut.

Chris puts the phone back up to his ear. “OK, so what’s going on? Why are you calling so early?”

“My wart! It’s gone!”

He laughs. “Of course it’s gone. You sold it.”

“Well, yeah, sure but it’s gone! You know? It’s completely gone. How can that be?”

He laughs. “It just means you’re an honest person, for the most part. You sold something, so you knew you couldn’t keep it, so you got rid of it,” he said. “That’s all there is.”

And that’s all there was.



Do kids still buy warts off each other?

61 comments:

R. Jacob said...

I am speechless!

The Jules said...

Did he have it?

The Jules said...

I was going to write that I give them away for free, but that would be in bad taste and unacceptable, so I won't.

Audubon Ron said...

Women don't usually sell warts. That's a new one on me.

Esther Montgomery said...

I tried to work up the confidence to buy a troublesome verruca from a twelve-year-old boy. I wasn't sure it worked with verrucas and thought my apprehensive vibes might interfere with the process. Were there special qualities I would need before I could practice as a wart buyer? You aren't the first person I've heard of who has sold a wart - and I still haven't got round to buying one.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I. Love. This. Outstanding! That's all I'm going to say.

Leenie said...

Compound W is a major rip-off. I was going for Freeze Off but it costs $20. Now looking for a voodoo friend. Hope inflation hasn't taken warts up to $25. Thanks, I'll let you know.

KAT said...

I have heard of selling warts before. Thanks for always making me laugh!

Hospitable Scots Bachelor said...

A fine story! - Warts and all!!!!!!!!!

Shelly said...

Wow! That is amazing! And, I loved the memories it brought back, pre cell phones, of how everyone in the house knew when you got a call-

powdergirl said...

Never heard of this before, I'll be trying to by a wart from son James as soon as I kick him out of bed.
Also, I just read your post from yesterday. I was reading on this topic a while ago, and all kinds of other body-language stuff. According to what I've read, I'm a total slut and possibly a pathological liar.
I'm appalled at myself : /

Scarlet Blue said...

Will somebody buy my corn? It's on my foot and it's been driving me nuts for years. Please Pearl, could you auction it?
Sx

Ms Sparrow said...

All right, what's the trick? Can I sell the brown spots on my temple and get the same results? Or, does this only work for the pure at heart! LOL

Beach Bum said...

The story I have about warts is a little different. Down here in South Carolina superstition still runs rampant in many ways with old beliefs from many different cultures intertwined to the point its hard to know where one begins and another ends.

While I was in college during the early 1990's a newspaper from Charleston ran a story about an elderly African-American with the talent to push warts down making them disappear. He was part of the Gullah culture that use to stretch from coastal North Carolina to just north of Florida. Their traditions were heavily influenced by African culture which survived everything including slavery and the Civil War but have been slowly disappearing due to contact with the modern world.

Now I've got admit I am fairly skeptical about claims that all a man had to do was lightly push down on a wart to make it disappear but one of my classmates swore he saw that gentleman do it. Another guy in the class turned white as a ghost and just about freaked out saying such powers were "demonic" in nature.

Whatever the case between one person who believed wart pushing was cool and another ready to contact the Catholic Church it was an interesting semester.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could buy cancer off our dear friends who are suffering so...but just not receive it?

~sigh~

Congratulations on the loss of your wart!

Laraine Eddington said...

I'm still making payments on a wart I bought off the cutest boy in first grade.

mermaid gallery said...

i cut mine off in the bathtub with a razor i found in the cupboard....that worked too...but it hurt more.....i will also never forget it....

Eva Gallant said...

I never heard of such a thing. Amazing!

Joshua said...

I got robbed! I had to pay a co-pay to have a wart removed.

Daisy said...

I never heard of selling warts before! what a great idea! But you need a friend who loves you enough ... warts and all...to be willing to take the risk.

Pat said...

Do you think it works for birthmarks?

Diane said...

I've put mine on E-Bay. I'm up to 42 cents. I notice, though that Bruce Willis' is going for $10,000.00. I don't get it. Isn't a wart a wart?

jabblog said...

How strange!

Camille said...

Does he accept Pay Pal? Just wondering as I've got a really big and nasty...nevermind.

Amber Star said...

I've never heard of that before.

Vicus Scurra said...

Wanna buy a mother in law?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

My sister had a wart on her hand when we were kids. An old couple my folks knew told her to put milkweed juice on it several times a day and it would disappear. It did.
Now, I don't want to scare you Pearl..but..did you look EVERYWHERE for that wart?

JeannetteLS said...

Well. This is a first... and the comments are equally compelling. Dang. I'm on disability. If only I were to start growing warts, I could make some bucks to supplement my income.

JUST KIDDING, Oh Gods of such things! Really. Kidding.

jenny_o said...

Compound W really did work for me - I followed the instructions to a T - although I was almost ready to give up. Then one morning when I took the bandage off to soak it, etc., it just fell out - had about five roots on it. Sort of fascinating-gross. I guess the W "killed it dead".

I like your story better, Pearl!

That gentleman's lady said...

How the hell did that happen?

I would have been freaking out.

Douglas said...

I thought you had to twirl a dead cat over your head in a graveyard at the stroke of midnight to get rid of a wart.

I know of a good way that actually works: pick at the wart or cut it till it bleeds then soak it in hydrogen peroxide. t least, it worked for me.

Joyful Things said...

My grandma told me to steal a cloth from someone (anyone) spit on it, rub the spit on the wart, and hide the cloth under a rock. I did and the wart disappeared. She also told me if I wanted curly hair I should eat coffee grounds. I did and I still have straight hair.

aBroad said...

I knew all the wrong people , growing up.
The ones I knew- gave you warts.

Happy Monday, Pearl ! C

Simply Suthern said...

I had a wart when I was 12 or so. I remember Compound W lighting me up when I put it on. It hurt like the dickens but eventually it disappeared. I'da sold it for a penny or give it to the girl next door if I had known that worked.

Kara said...

Of course you can buy warts! My father regularly traded the neighbourhood kids a quarter for a wart. They always went away.

Doubting Thomas said...

Amazeballs!! I wish I had known of this years ago... oh, the warts I could have sold... ;)

Suldog said...

That's a wonderful story. Odd how things work sometimes, isn't it? I wish I had had someone to buy my warts when I was a kid. Haven't had any since grade school, but had three or four on each hand, off and on, then. The only way I got rid of them was to basically pick them off, tug at them and yank them out of my skin. I'm surprised I don't have big scars, or that I didn't do some sort of serious wart damage to myself.

Mandy_Fish said...

Can I sell you my son's wart? Poor guy has endured at least 3 or 4 dermatologist appointments and this weekend was hobbling around with a giant blister on his foot.

Joanne said...

In the last century my girlfriend, who's a nurse told her 8 year old son he had to not want warts to get rid of them. It took a couple of tries, but he ditched them. He probably would have preferred a quarter. Good kid. Great big about to retire Marine now.

That Baldy Fella said...

I've never had warts. I feel I'm missing out on a marketing opportunity.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Wow! I never heard of that. If I ever get a wart now, I'll know what to do!:-)

Vinny C said...

Just out of curiosity, how much do you think a wart goes for nowadays?

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. A new mythology I hadn't heard. I wonder where they go - did Chris get your wart?

Shrinky said...

OMG, I think I DID hear that somewhere - but here you are, living proof that it works..HOW AWESOME IS THAT??

Lo said...

When I was about ll I suddenly developed small warts all over the calves of my legs......dozens and dozens of them. My Doctor examined them and asked if we had any Fels Naptha Soap at home. (You know....that strong brown bsr) I said we did and he told me to go home, wet the bar of soap and rub it all over my legs where the warts were.


My Momma helped me and I settled down on the porch to read a book. I became so engrossed in my book I forgot to check on the warts. An hour or so later my Mom came out laughing and asked me how my warts were. They were GONE!

Sioux said...

I don't think so. However, my son had one burned off by his doctor once, who told us that duct tape--left on for so many days, then a shower with the tape off, then back on for so many days--had the same success rate as the burning off. (He said there was even a medical journal on it.)

Have you thought of "patenting" your secret to wart removal? The piles of money you'd make could keep those two lovely cats in catnip and gin for a long time...

Gigi said...

Well, I'll be! I hadn't heard of this before. Now I'll be looking around for warted kids to try it myself!

ipenka said...

Wow, this is a really cool story.

Never had a wart yet *knock on wood* so actually don't know any home remedies. I think if its serious they have to "ice" it off right?

Belle said...

I think the "power of suggestion" is pretty powerful.

Julianna said...

I have a Plantars Wart on my foot. I've had it for 3 years. I have spent over $500 in surgical procedures to get rid of it. Tried over the counter stuff. Even tried the vinegar trick (which ironicaly did the best) but alas... I still have it.

Want to make an offer?

vanilla said...

I am, well, old, yet I've never heard of this wart removal technique. And virtually all of the ones I've heard are quite ineffective. That includes the doctor's attempts to remove my plantar wart. Like Julianna, I am open to offers.

David L Macaulay said...

gross and funny -remind me to visit here more often

Bodaciousboomer said...

Does that work with other unwanted body thingies?

Please advise ASAP. I have issues.

Symdaddy said...

I used to love my wart!

I really did.

But then one day the top fell off it! My finger hurt like hell (pinky, right hand).

Two days later, my wart began to restore itself to it's former glory by rising and crusting.

But it didn't stop growing! I soon ended up with a wart that not only scared me but, on those rare occasions I dared venture outside with it, appeared on satellite images.

I tried every known wart cure to no avail. Doctors would VISIT ME just to look at it and say "Hmmmmmmm?"

But no one could help and my wart grew and grew.

After a year of having a continent sized growth on my finger I took a very drastic step.

I cooked my finger!

Yes, Perlchen, I turned on the hotplate of the cooker and (after a short prayer and a swift slug of the hard stuff) I pressed my wart onto the hotplate for just a second.

And yes, I did make some un-heroic screechy-type noises and there was a slight moistening of the eyes, but after a mere one week of pain, my wart had been defeated!

To this day, my pinky is wart-less!

I strongly suggest that no one tries this method of wart removal at home unless, of course, you are as brave (insert stupid if you wish) as I am.

The Savage said...

Wow, did I ever get gypped. I had a whole investment strategy around warts and Bernanke made mention of hating warts over lunch one afternoon with some high rollers and the bottom fell out of the wart market.

Tempo said...

Amazing pearl... How cool is that!

River said...

I'm hoping this will work for corns too, I have one on my little toe that's been there for years and years.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! Many I traded my gall bladder for 'Difficult's spleen. Now he can enjoy a fat-heavy diet, and I can do twice as much of whatever the hell it is that a spleen does. Indigo x

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh wow, this is inspiring me to set up an Etsy shop. I have SO many unwanted things I'd like to wake up and find gone :-)

chris wallace said...

If gas was 28 cents a gallon back then I wonder what that wart would cost in todays money.

Argent said...

Yeah, if anybody wants a flabby belly or sagging butt? No? Oh well.