Igor's Famous Sugar Tits

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


Never underestimate a janitor.

Submitted: November 21, 2017

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Submitted: November 21, 2017

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The topic of today’s discussion is sugar tits.  If you are not familiar with the term, they are a type of baby pacifier.  Made by placing a spoonful of sugar in the center of a small square of cloth.   The cloth is wrapped around the sugar and secured with a rubber band or string.  When a child sucks on a sugar tit, the part of the cloth that sticks out of its mouth resembles a flower.

 

Sugar tits have been around for a long time.  References go back as far as 1802, when German physician Christian Struve condemned the practice for the tooth decay it caused.  In Russia, sugar tits are known as soskas, literally, nipples.

 

In America, they were popular enough among Scottish immigrants that there was once a community called Sugar Tit, South Carolina.  The town is long gone but you can still buy whiskey from the Sugar Tit Moonshine Distillery in nearby Reidville.

 

My childhood gang was introduced to sugar tits at Whitesburg Junior High School.  By a janitor, who shall be referred to only by the nickname we gave him.  Igor.  

 

He was short, pot-bellied, and big around the ears.  With missing teeth and a strong southern accent, he was a natural target for cruel prepubescent males.  We loved to poke fun at him.

 

“How many janitors does it take to change a light bulb?”

 

“Just one, because changing a light bulb is so easy even Igor can do it.”

 

We took turns doing our best Igor impressions.  Davie Cannon had his walk down perfect.  I nailed his southern accent.  But there was one thing about Igor that fascinated us.  He liked to suck on sugar tits.  He always had a pocket full of them.  It was not unusual to see a bit of white cloth hanging out of the corner of Igor’s mouth, as he pushed his mop around the school.

 

Davie was in the habit of asking him for one.  Igor always said no.  I’m sure there was some rule about employees giving stuff to kids.  Davie wasn’t the kind to take no for an answer.

 

It became a running joke.  “Hey Igor, can I have a sugar tit?”  Davie must have asked him a hundred times.

 

Davie was also a troublemaker who couldn’t resist a practical joke.  It was near the end of eighth grade.  We, mostly Davie, had been tormenting Igor for two years.  

 

He saw an opportunity during morning break.  When students were allowed to mill around the halls, relatively unsupervised, for fifteen minutes.  Our gang tended to hang out in front of the band room.  

 

Just so happened that Igor was up on a ladder in the hallway.  The building was old, and suffered occasional leaks when it rained.  He was replacing some of the ceiling tiles that had gotten wet.  

 

Igor came down the ladder with an armful of debris and headed in the direction of the dumpster.  When he disappeared around a corner, Davie sprung into action.

 

He popped his head in the band room.  It was empty.  In a loud, conspiratorial whisper, Davie said “Serge, hold the door open for me!”

 

He ran down the hall, grabbed the ladder, and carried it past me, into the instrument closet.  I heard the ladder clang against the floor.  Davie emerged, and we resumed our customary position in the hallway.

 

Turns out Igor was smarter than we’d given him credit for.  When he came back, he paused for a moment where the ladder had been, then made a beeline for Davie.

 

“Okay kid, where did you put my ladder?”

 

“I don’t know what you are talking about.  What ladder?”

 

“Kid, I’m busy, I don’t have time to play games.  Don’t make me have to go get the principal.”

 

“Seriously Igor, I have no idea where your ladder went.”

 

I was wondering how far Davie was going to push it.  Back then, paddling was an acceptable practice.  Principal Culbreath’s paddle had holes drilled in it for better aerodynamics.  We’d nicknamed it Big Bertha.  

 

Davie and I had both been introduced to Bertha.  I wasn’t eager for an encore.

 

That was when Igor showed his true genius.  “Alright, I’ll make a deal with you.  If you bring me back the ladder, come by my office after school and I’ll make each of you a sugar tit.”

 

I’d never seen Davie move that fast.

 

When sixth period ended we lined up in front of Igor’s office, awaiting our custom made treat.  Davie was first, of course.  The office was just a narrow closet with a small desk in the back.  Davie stood, looking over Igor’s shoulder as he worked.  

 

Assembling a sugar tit does not take long.  Davie let out his usual crazy laugh when Igor handed him one.  He popped it in his mouth as he ran out the door down the hall.  Now it was my turn.

 

Igor pulled a small square of white cloth out of a box.  “Now, I make these out of my old tee shirts.  But you don’t need to worry.  I wash with hot water and bleach.”  I wasn’t worried.  I’d seen Igor mopping floors and cleaning toilets.  He was a professional and I trusted him.

 

He poured some sugar in the center of the square, from a dispenser that looked like it came from the cafeteria.  Then twisted the fabric around the sugar and wrapped it with a rubber band.

 

“Here you go, your first sugar tit.  Enjoy!”

 

I can still remember the ride home, on my purple Schwinn Stingray.  Breeze blowing through my hair, sugar tit in the corner of my mouth.  You don’t understand when you are young.  But it doesn’t get any better than that.

 

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If you think the manufacture and consumption of sugar tits is some archaic practice, and humans know better now, think again.  I googled “pacifier candy for sale” and got 1.8 million hits.  Dentists will not go out of business anytime soon.

 


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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