Crispy Crittur

What better way to start out the New Year than with a Squirrel Pie retread. The spots and scales of deteriorating skin are popping up all over again. But there is no way I am going near the Health Centre here just now with Covid 19 seeming to be lying in wait behind every door. Besides they probably wouldn’t let me in anyways. Can’t blame them.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

“You kids get outta the house! It’s beautiful outside! Go get some sunshine so you don’t get rickets!”

If you come from my generation you probably had that speech issued to you more than once. Generally just before the flyswatter was applied to you with the added warning , “Don’t slam the door!”


We spent the first 30 years of our lives annually getting fried to a crisp.

Those of us with fair skin were forever and fruitlessly in search of that golden tan. The agony of the first two or three ‘burns’ of the season were followed by seeing who could peel off the biggest single chunk of dead skin. We worshipped UV radiation.

Then a few decades back the world discovered skin cancer and although there are still a few ‘nay sayers’, most everyone young is required to, ‘slip, slop, and cover up’. I still burn from the tongue lashing I received from a daughter-in-law when one granddaughter was returned home after a two week stint in Rainy River with a lovely brown finish. “Haven’t you ever heard of skin cancer!! Gad!!”

Well now I have and I’m taking the cure.

After a whole bunch of fruitless attempts to burn it off all my actinic keratoses, basal cell skin cancers, etc with liquid nitrogen- because I couldn’t remember to go back for the follow ups in time and Ol’ Doc Bellicose could never find all the spots that need scorching- I gave up.

Then one nasty spot had to be hacked out of my ear. My wife, The Pearl of the Orient, had volunteered to do the job for me on the cheap, but I’m a little nervous about letting her at me with a knife.

“You can get this stuff you smear on your face that kinda burns the bad spots off,” advised Alvin, stating he had undergone the cure.

“Of course you look kinda ugly and scabby for a few weeks, but it works,” he added turning his face to show off his cheeks now as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I’m used to looking kind of ugly, so that shouldn’t be much of a hardship, I thought.

I hadn’t seen Bill around for a few weeks last summer, then, there he was one day hanging around outside the Bakery, but hesitating to go in. I looked again and wondered if we didn’t have an outbreak of leprosy in town.

“Don’t look so shocked Elliott. I’m not contagious. I’m just taking the cure for those darn skin spots, same as Alvin did. Didn’t want to go in and turn Pickle and the Runt off their feed, so would you mind bringing me a coffee out to the table here,” explained Bill as good natured and considerate as ever.

I obliged and followed the course of Bill’s treatment over the next weeks. Sure enough the scabs got worse then disappeared and there was that youthful skin like he sported a few decades back

So now it’s my turn. I’ve clipped off what little hair I had left, dug out my ugliest hat and taken to skulking around only when the weather is dull- most every day this year. Don’t worry, it’s not leprosy and I’m not contagious. But you could take pity on me and treat me to an order of coffee and toast- flaxseed with peanut butter.


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