Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Spot the Loony

Translation for non scots lol - 'Nappy' in Scotland = Diaper.

When I was 13 years old I suffered from spots on my chin and cheeks - acne. I didn't mind to be honest - but Mum, well she had a different attitude - "They'll ruin your good looks when you get older son! We must do something about it!"

I made the very stupid presumption that 'doing something about it' would involve a trip to the Doctors - Oh no, Mum was old school. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she remembered an old wives remedy from the dark, mysterious, rural landscape of her upbringing - "We need to wrap your little sister's pissy nappies around your face for two hours every day."
"We need to wrap your sisters wet nappies around your face"
"Awww Mum. How many people who have spots come out of the Docs with nappies round their face?"
"That's why there are so many kids who have spots son - modern medicine doesn't know how to fix them."

And so it was that every day when I came home from school, I'd cuss my wee sister for ensuring a plentiful supply of pissy nappies were waiting. Mum would wrap them round my face leaving me with just enough room to see out through them. I'd then sit terrified that a friend would knock on the door and ask me to come out to play. Which of course, was exactly what would happen.
"Why have you got nappies on your face Rory?"
"I'm playing doctors and and burn victims with my sisters." Would be the the muffled reply, though I'd try to keep my lips from moving as much as possible - lest I breathed in too hard and passed out.
"Jeez it's a stinky game."

It was humiliating, nothing in the world could be so embarrassing - but you know - it worked. Maybe it was somehow psychosomatic - maybe my face was so repulsed by the stench and the sting of pissy nappies that spots wouldn't DARE to pop up again. I dunno.

I was reminded of this humiliating period of my young life just a few weeks ago when I was in Macdonalds with the kids. No I didn't see some poor kid cowering in the corner with a pissy diaper wrapped around his face. It was because of my spectacles. I'm one of those folks who has his specs on a string around his neck. I need them so often there's no point putting them away - so round my neck they dangle on a necklace. I'd just eaten a burger with my wife and kids and decided to have a coffee. The checkout guy did the 'How are you today sir - what can I get you?' thing as I approached him.
I raised my specs and put them on my eyes to see the differing coffees they had on the menu - and immediately realised I may have suffered a stroke as I was now blind in one eye. The guy behind the bench burst out laughing and it dawned on me that whilst eating my burger a big lump of coleslaw and lettuce had obviously fallen and stuck fast to my lens. There I stood, in a public place, wearing specs with coleslaw and lettuce covering one lens  -
"Double shot latte please" I said. The guy almost fell over laughing.
'Something wrong?" I asked.
He pointed to my face "I don't want to embarrass you sir but there's 'dinner' on your glasses"
I thought back to the time I had spots and the three months of wearing pissy nappies - "Thank you. But you could never embarrass me son, never - that time is long gone." I smiled, "Double shot latte please..."




  1. Conjures up a picture. I think I'll send this post to every mother of teenage boys I can bring to mind.
    I'm with you though. After you've been on this earth as long as I have, there isn't much left that can embarrass.

  2. Suzanne Lucero6 July 2011 at 20:42

    ...and if you had been an only child? It doesn't bear thinking about.

  3. I had an uncle who was a doc, and there are many old remedies he swore by. Best natural way to lower your cholesterol... Pineapple juice. Best remedy for infected boil... Bleach. I think uncle Ray did mention something about uric acid being amazing for the skin. There's an old Canadian folk remedy that entails pissing on your hands if they are chapped because of the winter cold. Check out any expensive skin cream, and one of the listed ingredients is uric acid (i.e. piss). Your mum was onto something, Rory!

  4. I would imagine the odor of the pee could have cramped your teenage social life some.

  5. Thank you for the translation. I needed it!

  6. LOLOL! Nappy head. You have THE best funnies, Rory. 'The wrong flat' was another priceless one I caught up on yesterday.

    Love the old remedies, Cre8tivesoul. :)

  7. Stand up for your rights Rory... no soiled nappies as fashionable head gear. I think I would have run away to the foreign legion if it was me!

  8. Have you ever read any David Sedaris? You are equally as funny and heartwarming.

  9. Patty - sorry I don't know David Sedaris but will now be actively seeking out works of his.

    Everyone else - You know what I forgot to mention? POULTICES! Did your Mum ever make a 'Poultice'? Jeez I watched her brew up all sorts of weird stuff on the hob then while it was still piping hot she'd slap it onto where she felt I needed a 'poultice'. It drained the blood out of me - seriously.


  10. Poultice... nope. Does it have anything to do with poultry?

  11. LOL Heaven forbid had it anything to do with poultry! Sorry I thought everyone in the world knew what a poultice was! It's a, it's a, it's a hot sticky mess which your mother boils up and then slap on you to 'draw' things like boils or festering sores lol - why she didn't just use antiseptic cream I have no idea - everything was 'Needs a poultice!' Boil, bubble, slap!


  12. I just "discovered" you from the Feathered Nest Blog. Wonderful blog you have.

    And ...

    You are an award winner!!!! The Cat's Butt Award!! I am envious! Congrads!!

  13. Thank goodness you didn't have to go around with a chicken on your head. Your mother was attentive! Crikey.

  14. Funny. Once again you have provided me with my chuckle for today. The only home remedy my mom ever had was whiskey, honey and lemon juice when we had bad colds. I think she gave it to us to put us to sleep till we were better.
    My husband had to go to two specialists in the past several years, one for his ears and one for his eyes. Specialists. They each gave him home remedies to try. They both worked. And we had to pay them to give him home remedies!