Hump Day: Giving up on ‘funniest home video’ for a shot at old age

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

My mother was babysitting my eight-year-old ‍nephew recently, as she often does when my sister works overnight or other shifts outside of his school hours. On this particular day, my mother was downstairs and my ‍nephew was upstairs in the bathroom filling a long-forgotten water toy he’d found somewhere around the house. Everything was peaceful. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then the screaming and hysterics started from the upstairs bathroom. My mother says they were so bad that she was half expecting to see his severed arm lying on the floor. She went right up to see what was wrong. Would she see blood-spattered walls and Satan standing in there with a machete?

What she found was a little boy with a wasp under his shirt – although my mother only found that out later when my ‍nephew was able to string a few words together between screaming and crying. Neither the boy nor the wasp was in good enough shape at that moment to be able to tell my mother what was going on. My ‍nephew was apoplectic – one stage above hysterical – and well on the way to having fireworks fly out the top of his poor little head.

Meanwhile, the wasp was in the bathroom somewhere and my mother was frantically trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. Eventually, she saw that he wasn’t going to die or anything, but he was just completely out to lunch and couldn’t explain what happened. Finally, he lifted up his shirt and my mother noticed the sting on the upper left-hand side of his chest. Ah, that explained everything!

Eventually, he calmed down enough to tell her what happened so that she could help. I think she put some salve on it and made up a story about how it would make it all better almost immediately. As most little kids do with their grandmothers, he believed it and the two little doors on top of his head that had opened up for the fireworks shut themselves. They’d have to wait until the next meltdown.

My mother couldn’t find the wasp and went downstairs after soothing my ‍nephew back to a point where he could breathe again and his eyes were back in their little sockets. She never did find the wasp, that is until she put her hand through her hair after feeling something moving and found it there. Well, let’s just say she’d had enough of that bugger by this point and he’s now gone to that big wasp’s nest in the sky.

Shortly afterwards, my ‍nephew called to her even though he’d calmed down. He was very upset about the location of the sting and was extremely concerned. As I mentioned earlier, the sting was on the upper left-hand side of his chest. Since he’d heard enough to believe that one’s heart is on the left side, he thought he was a goner. (Technically, it’s in the centre of the chest, but be believed it was on the left.)

“Will the sting poison my heart?” he asked, teary-eyed and wondering whether or not he should go into full-tilt hysterics again. My mother assured him the sting would not poison his heart and that he would be fine. Unless someone is allergic, which he wasn’t, one bee sting is little more than just a temporary – yet painful – annoyance.

Eventually, the pain and fear subsided and my ‍nephew did what children have done for thousands of years, headed back outside to play with eyes red from crying – at least for a few minutes until all was forgotten and he could concentrate on playing with his friends again.

Now, when my mother told me this, I’m not so sure I could have resisted the opportunity for a viral video opportunity. Evil Uncle Brian here may have just told him that the sting did indeed poison his heart – ‘You’re going to be with Jesus now…’ – and then I’d record the ensuing TNT of hysterics. Five minutes later – after I had my winning video for America’s Funniest Home Videos – I’d tell him I was just kidding and everything would be forgotten, that is until 35 years from now when he would visit me in the nursing home and smother me with a pillow. ‘Who’s gonna see Jesus now, eh?’ he’d ask. ‘The correct answer is you, old man.’ Some people have no sense of humour.

Of course I would have never done that to him. Just because Evil Uncle Brian thinks it, doesn’t mean Evil Uncle Brian has to do it.

Hysterics must run in the family, I remember when I was about 10 years old, we were visiting family on P.E.I. when I got stung by some sort of creature at my aunt’s house. Well, let’s just     say that I flipped out and showed up at my aunt’s door looking for what would surely be an immense amount of pity and soothing. Now, she lived on a farm, so unless you showed up crying with a horse’s hoof print on your forehead, she pretty much thought you’d live. She had no time for city-slicker basket cases like me.

I got read the riot act to calm down, she slapped some dirt on the sting and then sent me on my way. ‘Excuse me, dear auntie, where’s my pity party? Where’s my cookie? Where’s my kiss on the forehead? Evil auntie!’

In the country, unless they find you with your head caught in a combine or with only your two feet sticking out of a hay-baling machine, you’re good to go as long as you put a little dirt on your boo-boo. I guess that’s why my mother didn’t join in with my ‍nephew‍’‍s hysterics. That aunt is her sister and they both grew up on the farm. No hoof print on the forehead, no big deal. Put dirt on it and move along. Words to live by.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.