Pop Itch

Pop wakes up with an itchy neck. He calls Betty about it. It makes sense. She was a nurse for two years, albeit some fifty years ago. She says to him, “Try Ben-Gay.” 

When he tells me what Betty told him, and he asks whether or not we have any Ben-Gay (and we do), I explain that Ben-Gay is for sore muscles and minor arthritis pain. The tube doesn’t say anything about treating itches. But since I’m not a nurse, what I say doesn’t matter. I’m just the chauffeur, housekeeper, bookkeeper, cook, errand boy, and human pill dispenser. 

Pop smears Ben-Gay all over his neck. He says it works. It also stinks up the whole house. 

I ask him (too late), “Why not use the hydrocortisone, instead?” Pop uses it to treat his itchy rump. Hydrocortisone exists, in part, to treat itches. It says so right there on the tube. 

But Pop's pleased with his smear of Ben-Gay. 

I say, “But the hydrocortisone doesn’t stink as bad as Ben-Gay.” 

And Pop says, “I like the stink.” 

18 August 2005

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