Dubious Health Tips #4 – Arthritis – Something that Might Really Work

I’m back on the pain of my life. It’s the Thumbo pain and like Dumbo’s ears, it is a pain that is so big it has my body and my soul in it’s torturous grip. This is the same pain in the thumb bones I desperately tried to squelch by using capsaicin. Capsaicin is a salve containing hot chili pepper extract that burned parts of me unmercifully. Read all about it in Geezergrit – Dubious Health Tip #1 – Fighting Back! Fighting Arthritis!.

Health Tip #1 was written to be humorous (I think) but this new (#4) health tip is actually serious. It might even work for some folks. I’m convinced it would work for me if I would stick to the program at least two or three times a week. Unfortunately, it involves a ritual and I hate rituals. Free spirits like us should not be bound by rituals.

This one health tip that might actually work for some people is partly an old folk remedy. It’s Castor Oil. I know it’s weird but I believe it would work if I were not too lazy to use it two or three times a week. My unorthodox strategy is to rub the Caster Oil into the backs of my thumbs until most of the oily part has worked its way into the skin. That is as far as the old folk remedy goes.

Then I put on rubber gloves that you use for cleaning. This is not part of the old folk remedy. I’ve got some gloves called home helpers. I also use some from Mr. Clean called loving hands. They are yellow and have the long cuffs. This is important (long cuffs) because you want to be sure the oil on your hands stays inside the gloves. You will live longer this way. If your little woman is a neat freak your hands will never get better. When you leave a lot of oil smudges around the house she’ll rap your aching knuckles with an old broom stick. She’ll hit you so hard you’ll think you’re back in Miss Henderson’s third grade classroom.

This is the third step I take. I have a pair of (get this) mittens that are made just like a heating pad. You plug in one wire but you have a mitten for each hand. You can keep warming one hand while you work the remote control with the other. The yellow gloves keep the oil off everything. You can’t imagine how wonderful your hands will feel with those heated mittens on them. I use the lowest temperature setting and the great thing about this method is you can turn off the heated mittens, slip your gloved hands out and go to the bathroom or wherever you like and then return to the healing warmth of the mittens. You can use your fingers once you slip off the mittens and the Caster Oil will stay inside the gloves.

The mittens are manufactured by jilbere de Paris and something makes me think they are for girls and women but I don’t care. They make me one happy boy. When I have those warm gloves on, I feel like I can survive a few more days without that constant infernal pain clawing at my hands.

They also manufacture gloves that have no fingers for arthritic sufferers. They are supposed to be energizing and therapeutic support gloves but I don’t think they work for me. I have a pair of them and when you put this kind of glove on it leaves your fingers naked. My fingers tend to be basically shy. If someone comes to the door and I have to go see who has arrived, I notice immediately that the visitor’s eyes go directly to my hands with the fingerless gloves. I can’t begin to tell you how embarrassed my fingers become. They turn a bright red. I just can’t wear something that indecent!

They say magnets stop pain. I am going to begin studying magnets and their effects on the pain we get from arthritis. Geezer Grit will report our findings in a future blog. I know a number of people who have used magnets and they swear they work but I am a bit skeptical. You can carry anything too far and simply overdo it.

My friend Bubba Jack Johnson’s mother lived alone. She had gone all-out and become a magnate fanatic.She used the magnetic cure for everything that ailed her. She had a magnetic bed and magnetic pillow covers. She bought a case of different sized magnetic bandages that she used every time she got a little twinge in a joint.

The last straw occurred when Bubba Jack, after not hearing from his Mama for two days, went to her house and found her stuck to the refrigerator.

After he managed to pry her off the fridge, he threw all her magnets away.

Dubious Health Tip #3 – Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do!

I am frantically searching for things that will make old people feel better inside their own skins and that should pretty much cover your whole body. There are remedies out there but when I mention one here, I want you to rest assured that I have no earthly idea if the remedy will kill you or cure you. Try these at your own risk. I will do my best to forewarn you if I think the remedy is whacko crazy or makes sense to me.

When I say “Makes Sense To Me,” I want you to realize that I do not have a lot of sense. I think the first time I took an IQ test in school, my score was the same number of inches as Katie Mae is tall. She is sixty one and one-half inches tall. The teacher did not give me the half-inch on my score so I came out with a 61 which is about twenty points below moronic.

The last time I took an IQ test I upped the ante a little because during that six year span, I had read a book. My score was the same number as the room temperature. It was a pretty chilly day and we had no heat in the classroom. My score was 65. You can see from those scores that you are dealing with a poor soul who has not been blessed with a full deck. Be much aware that I write about this stuff because I think it is curious and bizarre. I hardly believe any of it will keep us free of pain much longer than a nano second.

Onion – You can cut up an onion into chunks and place them in strategic places around the house. Don’t ask me where a strategic place is. If Katie Mae catches me wasting onions and if the smell lingers more than an hour, there will be no strategic places for me to hide. They say the onion chunks will absorb bugs like flu bugs and other clandestine bacteria lurking in odd corners. They also say the smell will clear up a stuffy nose. I might add, the smell can also ward off unwelcome visits from friends and relatives and rid your home of obnoxious house guests.

Potato and Fevers – Slice a potato and soak the slices in vinegar. Place the slices on your forehead. Be sure you are lying down. It’s hard to keep the potato slices on your forehead if you are standing. You can stand if you have that high forehead so many of my old friends have attained. If your better half is thrifty like Katie Mae, this can shorten your life span. Your fever will not break before your mate breaks your head for wasting potatoes. They ain’t cheap anymore. If you have time, before she catches you, and this cure breaks the fever, be sure you wash the vinegar from your forehead afterward. You can wind up with the same desirable or not-so-desirable results that you got from using the onions. The smell of vinegary potatoes wafting through the house will leave you all alone, whether you want to be or not.

Tennis Balls and Sore Feet – This one is really crazy. Put the tennis balls on the floor and roll your tired, sore feet over the balls. Take your shoes off first.. They also say that a  frozen bottle of water works well if your feet are hot and tired. I say this is all wrong. You know how we love to nap! You could fall into a deep sleep with your feet resting on tennis balls. When the phone rings or she calls you to supper you will stand up on the tennis balls. It’ll take three months or more to get all those unnatural curves and kinks out of your spine. They don’t bother to mention that the ice in the bottle will melt and leave condensation all over the floor. This is another excellent way to suddenly throw your wretched back against the far wall. If you try this, remember to remain seated. Do not stand.

Body Brushes – Brush the dead skin that clogs your pores with a body brush before you bathe. Brushing toward your heart will improve your circulation. This also helps you save money because you can use less deodorant by doing a pre-bath brush down. This is nuts! I use a wash cloth which is all you need to remove dead cells and skin as you bathe.

Using a body brush on your dry hide is going to leave it red and raw all over. Brushing around your heart creates a monster nipple. Your left nipple will be raw, angry and infuriated with you. You’ll be stuck in a closet for a week reading bad novels because you cannot put clothes on the monster nipple until it heals. That part about using less deodorant is simply a repeat of the other advice and you will be right back to chasing off your friends and loved ones because you smell like a goat.

Try what you like! I personally think these suggestions were written by a misanthrope, a person who dislikes other people. It’s obvious that most of what’s written here will run off friends, relatives, and neighbors. Try these suggestions and you’ll be lucky if you can get a dog to stay with you.

Birthday Potpourri Chuckeletto

Tuesday November 6, 2012. It’s election day. It’s my birthday.

The fun began Friday before my birthday. Ken, Kimberly and Kensley came from Albany in Southwest Georgia.. Katie Mae’s sister Sharon came from Summerville-near-Charleston. Paul and Caroline were already here. The house was nearly full. Everybody talked at one time. Sharon brought enough food to feed many people for many days. She brought exotic salads and cheeses and those Crunchmaster crackers that I would kill for. Katie Mae made a large pot of chili and another big pot of a special Lima bean soup that she likes to make for Ken.

Kimberly brought a pound cake to me for my birthday. Hope White baked it and it is so good that I did not want to share it. I fantasized about hiding in the closet and eating it all by myself. Ken and I (and everybody else) were especially fond of the crunchy crust that ringed the cake at the bottom. I went ahead and shared it in spite of my greed. I wondered if Hope White’s husband has the same problem I do. Katie Mae is a fantastic cook and I have a lard tire that waxes and wanes around my waist like the rings around Saturn. Luckily for me, Katie Mae is not a cake-baking, pie-making enthusiast as well as a super cook or I would have long ago gone the way of all fat boys with clogged arteries.

On Saturday morning we went to the UGA/Ole Miss game. We saw old friends. we enjoyed the largesse of Britt and Andrea and all the others who contributed food and drink for the benefit of the masses at SwilleyGate. I reported the game on http://www.geezergrit.com under the title  “Athens-UGA-Homecoming 2012.”

We stayed at the game for hours and by the time the youngsters dragged the oldster home, I was suitable for framing…by my headboard, foot board and my bed covers. They kept referring to me as, “The Old Waddler.” I cannot multi-task. I cannot eat and drink that much and walk straight. I should have demanded a wheel chair.

Sunday comes and I actually got out of bed pretty early and stood almost straight up! The youngsters were scattered but I rounded them up and watched their eyes shine as I explained the attraction of a deep gulley not too far down the road from our house. I told them about all the gold that has been found in Georgia and how, no doubt in mind, that gold can be found at the bottom of that gulley in certain spots. I neglected to tell them all that gold was  discovered further north in the Georgia mountains but it really didn’t matter. They left with a small shovel, a bucket for soil samples and their eyes all aglitter.

They returned with just the bottom of the small sample bucket covered in mud. I was thinking this is a pretty meager sample but these are city kids and I better not try to work them too hard. They may fall out on me and there ain’t no way I’m going to be able to pick any of them up. I couldn’t even get Ken Ken back to the house in a wheel barrow and she’s the lightest one of the lot. I take the sample bucket and tell them we will pan that mud and get the results later. I thought if there was any gold in it, I might have to check it out for purity and negotiate ownership later on.

Then they got a couple of plastic grocery bags and start raking acorns from beneath this huge white oak tree in the front yard. This is referred to as “mast”  by my woodsy friends in south Georgia. If you follow my drift, you know what I mean and if you are a woodsy guy from the south, you know what the mast is for. We spread it out in a perfect place behind my house. Now we will have furry friends as well as feathered friends although I am not too sure birds and animals think of us as friends, or think of us at all. It reminds me of the lady bitten by the monkey who couldn’t understand why the monkey bit her. She knew the monkey liked her because he always grinned at her. She was a little slow on the uptake. When the monkey grins at you, it is a warning to run like hell before he bites you.

Sharon left early, Ken, Kimberly and Kensley left a few hours later and Paul and Caroline shared a big pizza with us for dinner.

The weekend was over and the birth/election day was on the way. When it all hit, the election results were not what I hoped for but the birthday was good because I am still alive and I enjoyed it for the humorous moments it gave me. That’s why I called this Birthday Potpourri Chuckeletto. It is a small mishmash of chuckles I encountered on my birthday. I’m sharing them with you because I think we all need something like a good chuckle several times daily to get us through the day and help balance the happiness with the sorrow we often encounter. I hope these help you, even if only for a little while.

Katie Mae’s birthday card to me reads: “In life you’re either the HAMMER or the NAIL…so on your BIRTHDAY, the question becomes ……….. (you open the card and it says) “Would you rather get hammered or nailed?

Now she asks me! Would I rather get hammered or nailed and I’m too damned old to be either. The health gurus have seen to that. At least the thought was kindhearted and I accept all invitations with an open mind. The spirit is willing but, unfortunately, the spirit is out there free-wheeling in space. Isn’t that what they say? The spirit is willing and you know the rest about the weakness of the flesh. Damn. Foiled again, by a feeble mind and a misspent youth.

“If a frog keeps his mouth open too long, he will suffocate.” This was on a birthday card I received. Why would someone buy a card like this? What did I do to deserve this card? Is it true? Did some strange person watch a frog hold his mouth open too long and then offer him absolutely no help when he began to suffocate. He could have been given mouth to mouth. I’ll bet those science labs have little bitty paddles you can use to jump start a frog’s heart. Did someone in one of those chambers of horror in medical school use tiny dental clamps to hold the frog’s mouth open until he choked down his last breath? Was the frog green? Did his face turn blue or purple? We need serious answers to serious questions asked here. I want to know if there are people going around deliberately suffocating frogs. I love Kermit. Is he safe? I want answers,  I just don’t know who to ask.

Another birthday card declared that after you reach fifty, Happy Birthday becomes an oxymoron and the sound of someone saying, “Happy Birthday,” brings thoughts of fingernails scraping on a black board. It is the lower frequencies of the nails scraping that drives us mad. It is comparable to a primitive warning cry of certain monkeys. Monkeys and primal thoughts keep troubling me. We still have those fearful scream receptors fused into our brain cells. In our fight or flight response to this cry, we most naturally try to run from the encroaching frailties of old age. It all fits! Almost. This was a hand- made card from an old friend who is institutionalized. Don’t worry. I don ‘t think they are ever going to let him out.

The last weird card I received was from my elderly son out in Texas. He is twelve years older than I am and I think I got my twisted sense of humor from him. Anyhow, the card was okay and suitably funny but he chose to enclose a note from retired attorney, Frank Faulk, Sr.  The note is a verbatim copy of a letter sent to the claim agent’s office of the A&Y Railroad in Greensboro, NC. The author of the letter was dead serious.

Mr.Faulkner                                                                                                                                A & Y Railroad                                                                                                         Greensboro, N.C.

Your railroads rund over my bul at the 20 mile pass on Wensday. He air not ded, but he mout as well be and I want your sexion boss repote him ded and pade for. He mash out both his seeds leafing mity little of his bag hit tared out a peace of skin a foot squar betwixt his pecker and nabul, he air totaly unqualifide to be a bul and he air mamed up to bad to be a steer and he air to dam tuf for beef, so I want you to repote him ded and pade for.                                                                                                                                      Yours and so fofe                                                                                                             Simon Green

P.S. He were a red bul, but he stands around looking mity blew these days.

It kind of makes me proud that I am 71 and I have never had problems like that. Birthdays are wonderful aren’t they? Just keep those artificial chalk-board monkey-screams to a minimum and don’t trust a live monkey if he grins at you.








Athens-UGA- Homecoming 2012 – Game Day

UGA home games are seriously bad for an old man’s health. I was doing great with my weight control scheme until game day. I gained five pounds just inhaling the air around the stadium. People have tail-gating operations set up on top of other tail-gaters. They’re packed so tight in some places that one guy winds up turning burgers on the other guy’s grill and neither one knows the other is encroaching. Toss in a few cold beers and exotically colored girly drinks and before too long everybody is eating everybody else’s food and nobody knows who prepared or cooked what, and further more, nobody gives a big damn.

Britt and Andrea host SwilleyGate. It is set up by Britt bright and early the morning of each home game day. Britt has coolers you could put a whole hog in but he has chosen to fill them with water and soft drinks to relieve parched throats of the throngs who cheer on the Bulldogs. There are a couple of Georgia UGA tents and plenty of UGA chairs for old folks like me and four or five tables that will soon be ladened with more food than a family of ten could eat in a week. A little later, Andrea brings in small mountains of finger foods and chips and dips, sandwiches and sweets and concoctions that will soon create a shark-like feeding frenzy among the younger set. They are quicker on their feet than we are and their elbows are sharper. They deliver near-lethal rib blows in clearing a path to the food tables. They look much like human weed-eaters as they work their way forward. I stay back from all that action but somehow I still get fat.

Friends begin showing up with more ice coolers. Did you ever think the day would come when you rolled all that liquid refreshment around right behind you in an insulated box with a telescoping handle and built-in wheels? Remember when we had to use a pickup truck to haul everything iced down in number three wash tubs?

Now more women show up with insulated shoulder bags packed with more frilly foods and girly drinks. I never believed that old description of tables groaning but I actually heard one crying about the weight it was having to carry. Luckily the wait was short before the kids with the quicker feet and the sharp elbows lightened its load.

Homecoming is so special to so many people who, in their time of youth, were the quick of foot and the sharp of elbow. I saw one gal, in particular, who could still fit into a cheer leading outfit that looked like it was a fixture of the fifties. I’ll bet she was in her seventies. She was a true sport. Later on, while viewing one of the monitors showing the game inside the Tate Student Center, I saw her on the field with a number of other cheerleaders, past and present. I can tell you, she was special and she showed it. She still made that outfit look good and, to me, she was representative of all the guys and gals who have come and gone on these revered Georgia sports fields.

The big thrill for me is when the Dawg Walk begins and the drummers first start with a rat-a-tat-tat-boom-boom-booming warm up session that brings out the primeval in all of us. This rudimentary means of communication from the earliest days of men walking upright awakens an ancient rhythm in even the youngest of the spectators. Surprisingly the crowd grows quiet. There are few laughs or even smiles as the drums first begin their primordial message. The rapt attention on the faces of the onlookers is undeniable proof that we all are descended from ancestors, all over this world, who first expressed their innermost feelings and emotions with drum beats. It is a thrilling, chilling moment.

The primitive moment passes. The crowd relaxes and breaks into big smiles, grins, whoops and hollers as the so incredible University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band begins to play. You cannot pay the biggest of dollars for better music. They are good to the last note and the crowd really shows their appreciation. The lone trumpeter on the bridge overhead is joined by a second trumpet. I can only guess that this tradition is broken because today is the homecoming game. As the trumpets on the bridge lead off, the entire band begins to play as the football players begin to walk to Sanford Stadium between two parallel lines of continuously playing band members.

As soon as the players file into the stadium, two of the band members will climb the outside stairway of the Tate Student Center to the third floor landing and face the crowd below. I assume they almost always choose loud and rambunctious men and only those men with lungs that afford them the effortless ability to bellow like enraged bulldogs to the folks below.

They start off with raucous and rowdy demands on the crowd to tell them how bad the opposing team is going to play. The crowd responds with great roars. They make a couple of crowd satisfying, belittling remarks about the other team and the crowd again reacts with loud cheers.

Then they scream in unison, “Are You Ready???” The crowd goes crazy. And again, “Are You Ready?? The crowd is wild. And again, ARE YOU READY????” There is such a reaction from the spectators that you can’t be sure you will survive the onslaught. You are not even sure your heart is still beating. You can’t hear anything but the noise and it carries you in a rush as if you were caught in a flash flood on a large river.

Then they begin the most serious of all cheers:

“Had a little rooster!” The Crowd repeats each stanza in an ever increasing crescendo. “And I put him on a fence!”                                                                                                 “The rooster cheered for Ole Miss!”                                                                           “Because he had no sense!”                                                                                                    “I got another rooster!”                                                                                                              “And I put him on the fence!”                                                                                                “The rooster cheered for Georgia!”                                                                           “Because he had good sense!”                                                                                              “I say, a Root, a Root a Rooty Toot Toot!”                                                                               “I say, a Root, a Root, a Rooty Toot Toot!”                                               “GOOOOOOOOOO  DAWGS!!!!                                                                                       “SIC ‘EM,    WOOF!  WOOF! WOOF!”

You can add as many woofs as you like. I’m a three woof guy because my lungs are 70 years abused and they often rebel when called on for a loud cheers.

This year I witnessed all the action from a chair at SwilleyGate. I did not brave the crowd because my feet hurt and they tend to hurt more when large clumsy, well-meaning sports fans walk on them.

It was a beautiful day. Georgia won. I was well fed. Life is good!


Athens – Outlet Malls And Loud Music

The Outlet Malls are not in Athens. They are in Commerce but I had to make a conscious effort to leave Athens in order to drive to Commerce. That wasn’t easy for me because I am rarely conscious. Katie Mae says I sleep all the time. I told her I once read an article that told me relaxation can control seizures and it’s always worked for me. I have never had a seizure. She told me I was right about that and the only time she ever saw me look like I was having a seizure is when my snoring caused me to shudder violently.

Anyhow, after a couple of false starts (which seems to be normal after you get older than sixty) we get to Commerce. As much as I enjoy shopping, my body no longer cares for it. Not even a little bit. My back starts talking to me in a really rough voice about how I need to go outside on one of those metal benches and sit down and give it a rest. The problem is the benches are cold and the wind is still blowing pretty hard from that hurricane. Who would have ever thought a gal with a cute name like Sandy would have such bad breath. She just about blew us all away.

The store that interested me most was a large consignment shop. I don’t think I have ever been in a consignment shop before. It’s pretty interesting to see what people bring from their homes to sell in the store. It’s almost like snooping around in someone’s house and passing judgement on the stuff they once thought was desirable. You get that furtive feeling like you are being sneaky, while at the same time you are thinking, “My gosh, I can’t believe they had that tacky piece of junk in their house.” Then you start to feel guilty about all the tacky junk you’ve got cluttering up the place where you live.

Of course, someone could have given that rubbish to them but I don’t think so. This tacky junk had that warm fuzzy, well-worn, and loved look about it.

Naturally we bought some of the tacky junk. We had to have it. When we moved from Statesboro to Athens we only had 300 plus boxes of that same kind of stuff and we need to keep that volume pumped up pretty good or we’ll begin to feel impoverished and that next move to the nursing home will be embarrassing. I can hear people saying, “When they had to go to the nursing home, they didn’t have nothing. Everything he had was in a shoe box and it was a woman’s size five shoe box!”

The amount of junk you have accumulated makes for bragging rights when they put you in the old folk’s home. If I’m still kicking, I’m going to be able to toss my head back and declare, “We had to get shed of over 300 boxes of tacky junk before they would let us come here.” I’m sure everybody feels the same way as I do. You have got to own a lot of purely worthless “stuff.” It makes you feel better!

I got carried away. Back to the consignment store. The lad at the checkout counter was totally humorless. The sign taped to the counter said you must have a “reciept” if you are returning an item. I mentioned receipt was spelled incorrectly and I said to the boy, “I’ll bet you hear that all the time?” The kid says, “Nah, that’s the first time. You’re the only one who’s ever mentioned it.” I was going to launch into the little high school English ditty about, “I before E except after C but I had already decided the kid was a lost cause. If he had a hundred pockets in his shirt and jeans we couldn’t have found a personality in any of them.

We paid up and left but not before I learned two things about operating a consignment shop. If you own or manage the shop you must price the items yourself because, if it’s left to the owners, they will always overprice their tacky junk. The second thing he said was, “We’re not taking any more clothes in on consignment until March.” Today is the last day of October so that tells you something about the economy doesn’t it? People are desperately trying to sell their stuff.

I’m only trying to maintain any youthful vigor I might have once had. I don’t really want to be young again. I certainly don’t want to be young now. I do not want to be in the company of the greatest number of air-heads America has produced since I was a teenager. The music these kids play in department stores is enough to bring back life to the brain dead. How can you possibly shop with music blaring that surely comes from an alien world inhabited by beings whose eardrums are made of inch-thick teak wood?

At four o’clock trick or treaters appear from every corner and we quickly leave the so-called “Outlet Mall.” We get out just before being trampled by tiny action figures swinging lethal orange pumpkins made like buckets with a big open top for maximum access.

We crossed the street and were seated in a Mexican restaurant. I just thought the music in the mall stores was screeching and obnoxious. From somewhere over my head a television was blasting away. It sounds like more action figures in real action. This time they were on the air and trying to kill each other. It must have been one of those Ultimate Fighting Competition bouts going on. You know the kind of fighting I’m talking about. This is the one watched by people who looked like they were in the movie cast of “The Night of the Living Dead.”

There is a chain link fence built around the ring that looks like the protective ring around a trampoline. I don’t know if the fence is to contain the fighters inside the ring or to keep the “Living Dead” out of the ring.

And then it happened. Someone on my left kicked up the volume on the Mexican music. Now I had an ultimate fight going on overhead and Mexican music threatening to destroy my mind on my left. This used to happen in my home town of Albany, Georgia. I broke them up from making all that racket while I was trying to eat lunch.  I would leap to my feet, scream Spanish words like tortilla, el toro and enchilado and I would break into my version of a flamenco dance.They would send five waiters to my table at the same time. All of them would try to say simultaneously, “Pleeze Senor, we turn off all music if you pleeze, just do not dance.”

Now, If I stand too fast, I will fall over and, besides, if I don’t behave, Katie Mae will throw all the cutlery on the table at me. I surrendered. I stuffed black beans in my ears, buried my face in my taco salad and suffered through it as best I could.

I don’t want to be young again. I just want to shop and eat my meals in peace.

But,oh boy, if only I could still be big enough and mean enough to scare the hell out of belligerent kids and Mexican waiters.