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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Another three score and ten or more meditation
I am off on vacation to visit one of the sons, and I had an old coot experience. Before I tell you about it though, I have to go back to the past. When I was young, and had not even acheived adulthood, let alone coothood, I played high school football for four years. In the ancient days, when football players sprained, pulled, pummeled or otherwise injured muscles and joints the universal ointment of relief was something called analgesis balm. In other manifestations it was sometimes called tiger balm or a number of other trade names. It was (may still be) a yellow colored petrolatum based ointment that, applied to the skin, was fiery hot, usually hot enough that one could forget the original injury. Jars of it were everywhere around the locker room.

One of the prevalant practical jokes was to apply a liberal dose of this stuff to the inside of a victim's jock strap (for those who don't understand jockstrap, try google or wikipedia). This was never done on game day because it almost disabled the victim.

It really never happened to me, I think because I was a lineman, and linemen tend to be large and have a bad attitude anyway. but it was a frequent occurence, especially early in the season (after a while one begins to inspect one's gear before putting it on). The result was a frantic dancing and screaming by the victim as he headed for the shower (useless, the fiery stuff is persistent), and loud laughter by all others.

I was reminded of that today, while visting in my son's new home. To explain that, I have also to give some back story. When one gets old, stuff happens to the body. In my case, I have arthritis in a number of spots and take liberal medication to slow the stuff down (Naproxin in quantities that are scary --with a Milanta tablet each time to keep the stuff from eating my stomach, think double or triple doses of Aleve that are supposed to last all day). At the same time, topical ointments are helpful. These heat up the skin surface and relieve pain, my favorite is something called Flexall. Other cootnesses include a peripheral neuropathy which means loss of nerve function in hands and feet. Makes fingers and legs tingle ,like you legs are "asleep" and makes the bottoms of the feet burn and hurt like hell. There are internal medications which help sometimes, but also surface medications applied to the bottom of the feet. (In my case I use a cheap athlete's foot fungal medicine and capsasin -made out of the juice of hot peppers and much like analgesic balm except that it is a cream.--If you are a neuropath, try it in small quantities first, but if you are like me, you slather it on, it can really relieve the burning-- sounds silly right?) Other coot medications are Vicks Vapor rub for toenail fungus (don't laugh, it helps, and doesn't kill your liver like the toenail fungus medications advertised on TV.)

In my case, I also apply the fungal stuff to my "private parts" because I am a fat old man and fat old men tend to chafe and develope fungus near the private parts so attacking it early seems logical. Now you know more than you ever thought you wanted to know about coothood, but you are about to learn more.
I left home without my Flexal, for my shoulders, and didn't sleep at all well the first night. When morning came, I went off to the nearbye Wally World to pick up some Flexal, and they didn't have it. (Have you noticed now often Wal-Mart gets you hooked on a product, only to discontinue it?) Not wanting to spend the day shopping, I bought some house brand "Muscle Rub", (I never use capsasin on my shoulders, it is too darn hot and stays that way long after relief is needed) and, as long as I was there I bought the house brand (EQUATE) foot fungicide as well (are you beginning to suspect the ending?). Last night, at bedtime, number three son rubbed the rather hot muscle rub into my shoulders and I slept like a baby. This morning, I showered and made my way to the bedroom to medicate feet, private parts, etc. , and get dressed. Feet medicated nicely, I grabbed the antifungal to apply to the "private part area" and slathered some on, not really realizing that Equate muscle rub and Equate foot fungal medication are in almost identical tubes. I slathered on a quantitiy of the muscle rub, and was instantly reminded of the analgesis balm victims on the football team. If you ever wanted to see a massive old coot move up and down and side to side more quickly than he had moved in years, you would have enjoyed the view. Fortunately the rest of the family had gone off to the farmers marked and was spared the view of the uncovered naked old man dashing to the bathroom and into (under) the coldest shower available in Mississippi. After considerable washing, rinsing and dancing the heat lowered to an acceptable temperature, and I was able to reflect back on the dancing screaming victims in the football shower room with real sympathy.
DONE (Well, almost, this is one post where you will not hear me moan about blogger's reluctance to post my photographs.)


At 11:07 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I saw the punchline coming but I still burst out laughing.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Oh my. You have my sincerest sympathy. Please, forgive me but I couldn't help but thinking coothood has a rather curious, pungent scent. ;o)

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

07 15 06

hahehehhahahhahahahaha You are too funny! That has happened to me a coupla times, but at least you got some relief from it!!! Funny how the ironies from youth come to bite us in the tail sometimes. You sure know how to tell a story Richard:) I was thinking about when I had a workers comp injury from typing with bad ergonomics and they gave us this Astrogel something or other, but it was by perscription and boy was it hot! One day I put some on my wrists and shoulders,but had to pee and forgot to wash my hands first. ICKKKKKKK scary jumpy UGHHHHH twas quite painful. However, it still makes me laugh to think of it. I hope you are laughing at the memory as well:) ahhahhahahaaHave a good rest of weekend Richard. I look forward to reading more of your tales.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger exMI said...

A guy on our fenign team once put Icy-Hot on his thighfor a sore muscle before a match, it seems about halfway thorugh his first bout his sweat casue it to migrate. At eh conclusion of teh bout he he unhooked from the scoring system and fled the room to the consternatioon of his teammates waiting to congratulate him on a nice victory, two of us found him in the bathroom sitting on a sink running cold wter over his privates and scrubbing like mad. Needless to say much laughter was had for the remainder of the weekend.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

*LOL* About the fungus. But the jock strap/itching powder combo! Ow!!!

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

I never wanted to stay young more than I do right now.

I was a waterboy before joining the sports program so I got to see the antics for a year before I joined and for some reason, waterboys were left alone. As a result, I always checked before strapping on equipment.


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