What do you remember about being sick as a kid?
For me, it’s my Daddy propping his foot up on the couch where I was wrapped in an afghan, strumming his guitar and singing old Hank Williams’ songs. My favorites were “Half as Much,” and “Kawliga.” And he pushed fruit — oranges, apples, grapefruit. Vitamin C could heal anything!
My mom stressed cleanliness — she was OCD way before it was hip. As soon as you could lift your head from the pillow, she popped you in the shower, “you’ll feel better if you’re clean.” Then she always laid out something soft and vibrantly colored to wear, “you’ll feel better wearing red.”
And of course, they were right 🙂
To this day, when the girls are sick — we stock up on navel oranges, I lay out their softest, brightest clothes, and send them to the shower….. me, it’s a great excuse for bright red lipstick!
Today’s poet is Shel Silverstein. If all you know of his work is The Giving Tree, which I personally find a little too martyr-ish for pleasure, discover his subversive, silly and utterly delightful poems…
“Sick” by Shel Silverstein
‘I cannot go to school today, ‘
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
‘I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more-that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is…Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!’
sick songs: Splish Splash (the version from Adam Schleshinger/James Iha used in Because of Winn-Dixie really works); Me vs. the World (Halo Friendlies); Better (Regina Spektor); Keepin’ out of Mischief Now (Taj Mahal — he’s just awesome); Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive (Dr. John has a kicking cover, and so does John Lithgow); Doctor’s Orders (check out the duet by Aretha & Luther Vandross); Love in the Ruins (Animal Logic — I wish they’d stayed together for a few more albums); Making the Best of a Bad Situation (Tom Rush — guaranteed giggle); Medicated Goo (Traffic); All you ever do is bring me down (the Mavericks — great song); Half as Much (of course, Hank is classic — but Rosemary Clooney covered it amazingly, and Van Morrison does a nice job); Hello Good Morning (Sick of Sarah — on the snarky edge of cool); Button Up your overcoat (Dick Haymes — advice in song, who knew?); Alone in the Universe (from Seussical the Musical); Heavy Cloud No Rain (Sting — sort of a ‘cowboy’ song — he does them once in a while); Kaw-Liga (Hank — and my Daddy 🙂 ); Are You Having any Fun (Tony Bennett & Elvis Costello — so weird it works); The Polar Bear Stomp (the Chenille Sisters — my youngest adores this song); and of course, A Spoonful of Sugar (Julie Andrews)
Happiness is good health and a bad memory –> Ingrid Bergman