A Curse

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
A painful boil, caused by an argument.

Submitted: July 11, 2016

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Submitted: July 11, 2016



For about a week, Alan had felt a sort of tingling on the inside of his buttocks. More accurately, he admitted to himself, it was right beside his arsehole. This time as he was wiping, he felt a very tender nut-sized lump there, and he cursed because he knew very well that it was a boil!

His eyes watered at the memory of the boil he had on his neck when he was a boy. His ever-practical father had heated the top of a beer bottle and jammed it over the boil, pressing hard. Young Alan had to be held in the chair by his mother to stop him squirming! Through the burning pain, he had felt that awful pop as the boil erupted. Mother then cleaned up the mess, squeezing some more just to make sure all the gunk had been evacuated. Even today, fifty years on he could feel the small dent on his neck that was a permanent reminder.

He didn’t want to tell his wife about the boil, because she would want to have a look probably poke at it, and that would embarrass him. Or hurt! And she might get the idea, to save some money, to use the heated beer bottle trick – the thought made his eyes water again. No, he would go to the doctor in town who would lance it.

Alan walked into the surgery bent like a half-open pocketknife, protecting the red hot boil. He also splayed his legs as if he was carrying half a bucketful of pebbles in his underwear. Suppressing mirth, the doctor had him remove his trousers, lie face down on the bed and open his legs. Sadistically he prodded and poked at the boil with a wooden spatula making Alan wince in pain with every touch.

‘Ok, you can put your trousers back on.’ The doc said.

Alan had expected the lance, or at least a big needle to be used - even though he didn’t much like the idea. He remained standing, goofily, with a quizzical look on his face.

‘It’s a good, big boil,’ Doc explained, ‘but it hasn’t developed a proper core yet. Come back in a couple of days!’

None too happy, Alan went back home and spent the next two days protecting the throbbing growth between his buttocks and his wife Edna didn’t help! Almost hourly she suggested that she could deal with it. Those two days were miserable for him, what with his wife’s badgering and total lack of sympathy doing nothing to improve his mood.

It was much the same scenario when Alan again went to the doctor. As he lay there, vulnerable on the bed, the doctor plunged the blunt, six-inch-nail-size needle into the boil to force out the yellow stuff inside – Alan squawked like a Sharapova serve but felt huge relief when the job was finally done!

While driving home, his face reddened, fed by the bulging veins of anger in his neck as he recalled the dispute with his farming neighbour, Bert. Their boundary was an overgrown gorse hedge that was no longer sheep-proof and Bert’s sheep often popped through to feed on his lush grass. Frustrated he had gone to Bert to insist they erect a new fence. He had accused Bert of having lousy sheep, which he admitted to himself was a pretty offensive thing to say!  

Reluctantly Bert had cleared the gorse and the agreement they made was that Bert would supply the fencing materials and Alan would carry out the work to erect the fence. But greedy Alan had cribbed a yard or so of land. The survey pegs had long since rotted away, but Bert knew the boundary all right because years before he had parked his old horse-drawn mower right beside the old corner fence post.

Angrily Bert had stormed down to Alan’s place and did not accept the offer of a cup of tea from Edna nor did he step a foot inside. Bert and Alan had a flaming row, each casting doubt on the other’s ancestry; Bert’s best line being that Alan had come from a long line of maiden aunts and bachelor uncles; while Alan’s was that Bert had been sired by an ass and was hoicked out by a wonton turd-sucker’s assistant!

The dispute ended unresolved with Bert jamming his pipe into his mouth, pulling his coat collar up, and the brim of his hat down to just above his steely glare.

‘May your arse fester and never burst!’ he spat as he turned and stormed off.

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