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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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.”


“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.


“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?


Shelly said...

I had students with warts when I taught, but none ever tried buying them off of the other. During the Michael Jackson uni-glove era, one boy did successfully hide his warts by wearing different and increasingly embellished gloves on the afflicted hand.

I think His 35 cents was well spent.

Shelly said...

*his (not meaning to deify him, although he did a very kind deed)

Should Fish More said...

I have an ingrown toenail, any takers out there? Six bits and it's yours.

joeh said...

Now I want one, just to see if it works.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I got some blubber to shift here - you interested? YAM xx

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Wish I had known about this - as I had a wart on my index finger for years. Also, I could've used 35 cents. Still could.

Drake Sigar said...

You don't know about the wart fairy?

Cheryl said...

Oh, Pearl, I remember my mother taking me to a neighbor lady who magically removed a wart from my left middle finger. I swear to you this is true.

Joanne Noragon said...

My friend told her little boy he had to tell his warts to leave. Tell them at bed time, gone by morning. It worked.

Jacquelineand.... said...

My Granny used to buy warts for a nickel; talk about inflation!
Two of my cousins were afflicted with a plague of warts and every time they'd visit our Granny she would buy the whole lot for a $1. They'd clear up, but before long there was a new crop...they finally ran out of warts in their teens.

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

Can you get more for a plantar's wart? Also, are you allowed to advertise them on ebay?

My ... er ... friend ... wants to know.

Daisy said...

Well, I've always heard honesty is the best policy. Apparently it's true! :-)

Elephant's Child said...

How amazing. And I wonder what price the rich and famous would try and put on their warts?

Sioux's Page said...

Ha! It only happens in Pearl-land. ;)

Jayne Martin said...

Only you, Pearl. Only you. :)

Catalyst/Taylor said...

I think he just Photoshopped it off.

Leenie B said...

Certainly much cheaper than selling it to a dermatologist!

Esther Montgomery said...

Have heard of this before. I'm off to buy a verruca. Will report back on whether it works.

Linda O'Connell said...

I am living with a boat lot of crap right now. I wonder who would offer me a nickel? I'd love to see half of it disappear overnight :)

Diane Tolley said...

Hmmm . . . I have a couple I'd like to get rid of. I'll try E-Bay...

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I have never bought a wart nor have I ever sold one.........just saying
Also warts are gross

Chicken said...

Your bedroom was in the basement, too? No phone or bathroom in my basement, though. Just a laundry room, a Ping pong table, and the liquor room. Poor design, some might say, but I found it convenient as I got older.