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Saturday, June 2, 2012

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?

43 comments:

joeh said...

How much would you pay for a hemorrhoid?

Cranky Old Man

Lisa Golden said...

I've never heard of such a thing. I'm going to have to go ask my kids. For a moment I thought you'd asked do kids still BURN warts off each other?

Which might see more likely.

Beach Bum said...

Never heard this type of wart story but down around my hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina there were stories of an old black man that could "press" a wart away. Never went to him but for what it is worth I heard enough people talking about him and his ability to think there might be something to it.

On the other hand, one time when I heard the story repeated for the hundredth or so time a very religious buddy was with me and he freaked out literally saying such an ability was "black magic."

We did not hang out after that.

Pearl said...

joeh, I'll have to ask around. :-) I have no idea what one of those are worth.

Lisa, it's absolutely true. :-)

Beach Bum, I think it speaks more to our own sense of fair play than anything else. As for "black magic", I'm with you...

NotesFromAbroad said...

Having spent my childhood in North Carolina, where warts did happen, but not to me ! I never heard of such a thing.
Just think of all I missed :(

<3

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Someone should have told my sister that "way back when". Instead, some old timer told her to put milk weed juice on it once a day. She did, and in a few weeks it was gone. Tell your brain something will work and it does.

Camille said...

Oh sure, I've heard about buying warts off each other, but we Yankees can be strange creatures. I love Cranky's comment. Find someone who can buy a hemorrhoid and you'll be looking at a millionaire - several times over. You both made me laugh out loud this morning.

Shea Goff said...

This past weekend I saw a wart (pretty huge) on the back of my Dad's head. I asked him if he had ever considered getting it cut off and he replied no because is China it is a sign of wealth.

I showed him the one on my ring finger because I was all of a sudden kinda proud of it but he dismissed it saying it was just a little seed wart so now I am trying to figure out how to make one grow.

All that to say I think you sold too early.

Chantel said...

No comment, I just love my window into your life babe! (and I'm still chuckling over Shea's comment)

Pearl said...

ABroad, and now I feel sorry for you. :-) Imagine! A wart-free existence! :-) Love...

Delores, honestly, I think that's true in a lot of ways. Doesn't seem to work with my checkbook, but I've been wart-free for a number of years now!

Camille, I'm glad! And yes, the secret to hemorrhoid removal could make you a couple bucks, huh?!

Pearl said...

Shea, that is hilarious. :-)

Chantel, thank you, and yes, Shea's comment was funny. "Sold too early." Why I oughta...

TexWisGirl said...

too funny! and a little icky!

Eva Gallant said...

I'm with Joeh; I'd gladly sell you a hemmorhoid!

Eva Gallant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ms Sparrow said...

The heck with silly little warts or out-of-sight hemorrhoids, how about buying some wrinkles, brown spots and jowls?

Pearl said...

TexWis, I always wondered where that thing went. :-)

Eva, the second I figure it out, I'm gonna give you a discount!

Ms Sparrow, they have stuff for that, but it involves doctors and medical insurance, so I'm gonna say to just go ahead and rub a lemon on the affected areas and apply tequila internally. :-)

ThreeOldKeys said...

laughing ... as always ...

bill lisleman said...

Pearl you had me by the end of the post title. The story is amazing.
Seems my best trick is making food and beer disappear.

Suzy said...

It wasn't until I became a devotee of Louise Hay that I looked up the meaning of warts. "Little expressions of hate."

MANY years ago when I lived w my mom and sister in Paris for 3 years, I kept developing warts on my right fingers. I had them burned off over and over only for them to grow back. I can still see the remnants of the burn marks all these years later.

By the end of the 3 years, we weren't getting along AT ALL. Mom and my sister were always ganging up on me. I decided to leave and move to NY. They treated my idea with derision. Scorn. I left.

I arrived back in the States to discover my Dad gone, our house locked and silent. Turns out my Dad had remarried, not told us, and was living in Illinois with his new wife!

I lived in the house alone and on day 3 WALKED to the mall (no car key!)to get compound W. I searched the aisles of the People's Drugstore but couldn't find any. I walked up to an employee and asked if she had anything for, and I held out my right hand.

The warts were gone.

Little expressions of hate. Gone.

jenny_o said...

I love the idea of selling warts - or anything else we don't want. Got a couple of plantar warts that have not had the decency to leave even after numerous rounds with Compound W and my latest weapon - duct tape (saw that in a newspaper doctor's column, believe it or not). The duct tape was just nasty after a few days - I don't recommend it :)

Susan in the Boonies said...

Tell Chris to call me: I have some cellulite I'd like him to make me an offer on.

laughingmom said...

Wonderful story! Kind of like a tooth fairy for warts!

Almost Precious said...

Hmm and I thought one got warts from playing with toads. Haven't touched a toad since I was 6 -- come to think of it that was the last time I had a wart as well.

Diane said...

For years, my youngest son was our little 'Wart'. I know. I know. And I'm not selling him, either . . .

SherilinR said...

you posted this last year and at the time, my daughter had several warts that would NOT go away no matter how many different treatments we tried.
after i read this post, i turned to my daughter and handed her a fistful of change and told her she could keep it if she'd sell me her warts. it took two weeks, but they were all gone. this was after years of treating them with no success.
it worked and i have you to thank, pearl. =)

Dawn in D.C. said...

I know kids didn't buy warts back 20 years ago, because if they had, my daughter would have been rich. Warty, is what she was.

Vicus Scurra said...

I had quite a witty thing (by my standards) but I thought better of it because it was cruel.
I wish some bastard would buy my conscience.

esbboston said...

I wöndêr íf thērë ïš å wärt įñdéx füńd ēxçhāñgę (WIFE) ńéàr thè Ñëw Ÿørk Štœćk Ēxčhâńgė ìń Ńèw Ÿōrk Ćïtÿ, Ńèw Ÿōrk?

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh MAN! I struggled with a stupid plantar's wart for AGES. I've never heard of selling warts before but I'm definitely going to see how it works.. now all I need is a stupid wart.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Ok... I've just asked my whole family if they have any warts and, lo and behold, my husband has one! So i bought it for a quarter. Let's see what happens tomorrow morning!!!!

Juli said...

I love this story even more the second time. Which, I might add I think I commented the first time, that I had one on my foot... which sadly, no one has offered to buy....

Cheryl said...

Oh, Pearl. What an opening sentence. Note to self though, don't take a swallow of milk while reading Pearl's posts. It's not a pretty sight when it blows out my nose from laughing.

I remember having a wart on my finger when I was nine or ten. My mother took me to a neighbor lady and I don't remember what she did, but it disappeared, too. Thanks for the memory.

Shelly said...

I am wartless, but you make even reading about warts fun~

River said...

I've heard of buying warts and now I'm wondering if it would work for corns as well? I have a stubborn corn on my little toe that's still there after many years of "on again-off again" corn treatments. the problem with those is the burning pain is so crippling I can't walk or wear shoes while the corn pads are in place. I think I'll ask a friend if he'll "buy" it for 50 cents.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

That's so wierd I don't know what to say.

I know my Dad used to burn of styes with his gold wedding ring.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I have heard of this before, but had completely forgotten about it. I love Joeh's question. Then again, who in the world would buy a hemorrhoid?!?

Linda O'Connell said...

Pearl, funny girl, does this work with wrinkles?

the walking man said...

Change the W to an F and i would have plenty of merchandise for sale. A container though would cost extra.

Simply Suthern said...

That Compound W burns don it. I had one on my pinky knuckle. Thought it would never go away. I used Compound W for a while till it went away. I had only known.

Lo said...

When I was about 9 I developed dozens of small warts all up and own my legs from knee to ankle.....there was no Compound W in those days so my mom took me to the doctor. He asked if we had any Fels Napftha Soap (that strong yellow stuff) and my mom said we did He told her to wet a bar and rub it all over my warts which she did as soon as we got home. I was reading a book and had forgotten all ab out the treatment when she came back in an hour to check on me......
"How are your warts", she giggled.

We both looked........ALL GONE.

NellieVaughn said...

Pure voodoo, I tell you. No matter. If it works, someone needs to buy mine. I've been using the duct tape method, and after just two days, I am getting tired of it.

Pat said...

Would it work with my birth mark?

bill lisleman said...

I tried leaving a comment on your newest post and it didn't appear so I will try on this post that I successfully left a comment on before.