When I was 2 years old I survived a bout of salmonella. The medical wisdom of the day ordained that I was to be kept in isolation in a hospital room, and my anguished parents were required to stare at me through an observation window as I lay in a crib, crying and screaming at the baffled doctors in babbling baby German. One day, Mom had had enough and she whisked the pathetic, pooping little me home, salmonella and all, to recuperate.

Without knowing whence came the salmonella, my mother developed a crippling terror that I would again get “THE WORMS,” “the worms” being her blanket terminology for any ailment striking the region between the clavicle and the buttocks (or the po-pó, as we politely called it). Declaring all out war on worms and other germs, she amassed an arsenal of washcloths drenched with rubbing alcohol.

In The Philippines, where there was an abundant supply of it, I perversely developed a penchant for eating dirt, and one amah armed with the sopping washcloths was assigned to me exclusively. Her primary job was to wipe my dirt-filled fists before they got to my mouth, but it appears in this picture that the little vigilante has just about yanked my arm out of its tender socket just in time to foil my clever plan to simply bend over and directly lick the ground.

AMAH -1   WORMS – 0


2 comments on “Worms”

  1. This blog continues to make my days a little brighter and I look forward to them more then you know. your loving sister, Joanne

  2. Tender and so hilarious…

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