Untotaled: Stepping 23 (June 19th, 1965) Bumps, Clumps, Humps, Lumps…Mumps July 19, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2296)

(Transcript)

Mackey lived right next door to me. He was still my best friend, even though as we got older we found ourselves in different circles.

He got the mumps.

Since vaccinations have come along and practically eliminated this condition, people don’t realize how frightening it was in 1965, to contract the mumps. Not only was it uncomfortable, painful and extremely ugly, but there was a danger that if you didn’t take care of yourself, the condition could travel down to the lower regions which should only be visited by your soapy washcloth and your future wife.

Being a good friend, I went over to see Mackey and keep him company. To ease his discomfort, Mackey’s mother made a delicious chocolate malt with little marshmallows on top, which Mackey was too miserable to consume, only able to take a couple of swigs. So being a devoted comrade, I stepped in and finished it for him so his mother wouldn’t yell at him.

About ten days after Mackey and I shared this dairy treat, I noticed that my face was swelling up. I looked in the mirror and my whole head region looked like the sludge and silt gathering at the bottom of the Mississippi Delta. I felt like New Orleans on a cloudy day.

The doctor was called, confirmed that I had mumps and said I needed to go to bed–and that I shouldn’t goof off and walk around, tempting the little viruses to traverse to the South Pole. Well, my friend Benny showed up and he was so intent on making me happy that I got up to talk to him, which led to me walking around.

Sure enough, two days later I woke up swollen in my Southern Hemisphere.

It was so ugly–not only because of the discomfort. No, mainly because I had to let my mother and the doctor peer at it. Gross.

The doctor wasn’t much help, sternly saying I shouldn’t have let the condition happen in the first place. Then he said I should pack it in ice.

Now, there are many places ice shouldn’t go. I guarantee you, one of them is “down there.”

So for a whole week I was surrounded in ice like a hapless mackerel ending its journey at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Ringing in my head was the final warning from my small-town physician, saying it was likely that I would be sterile because of my mistake. I didn’t have a problem with the idea of being sterile, as far as not having children, but I was afraid it might affect my future possibilities of attracting a woman of my choice.

Even though I can’t remember how my affliction ended, mumps went away, years passed, and as it turned out, I fathered four sons.

I guess sterility was not a problem.

There should be a lesson here, and I suppose several could be derived by the more astute reader:

  • Don’t drink a chocolate malt with your mumps-infested friend.
  • Don’t go against the directions of your physician
  • Don’t allow your private areas to become public
  • Or don’t freak out because your doctor has information, trying to scare you.

Tell you what–I’ll let you take your pick. It’s a multiple choice.

My only take from the situation is to keep everything frozen away from my warm place.

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