Thursday, March 16, 2006

I don't think they have a cream for this

It doesn't happen so much anymore, but in the past, several people have asked me where I get my sense of humor from. But I could be remembering the question incorrectly. Maybe I was being asked what my parents were like, in order to figure out why I turned out the way I have. So let me share this with you, and you can judge which question is more appropriate.

My mother has been having trouble with her hip over the last two weeks. It's probably arthritis, judging from the symptoms. The pain's at its worst in the morning, as her leg's stiffened up after sleeping. Later in the day (albeit after popping some Tylenol), the hip doesn't bother her as much. A couple of days ago, however, she complained that the pain was the worst it's ever been, and she could barely move.

Trying to be the good son that I strive to be, I took Mama Cass to the drugstore so we could get some pain cream and heating pads. On the recommendation of my pharmacist, we picked up some Capzasin. But just in case, I also picked up some Icy Hot. My right wrist has been bothering me a bit lately, so I figured I could mooch whichever ointment my mother wasn't using.

(And save your jokes, bucko. My wrist hurts from incessant typing, okay? At least I think so. Besides, I use my left hand for what you're thinking about. I never shake the orange juice in the morning with my right hand.)

As I was channeling the spirit of my father and looking through every single pain relief cream on the shelf, trying to make sense out of which product had better analgesic properties, my mother began to wander further down the aisle. (In case you were wondering where I get my short attention span from... ) And as I put the final tube down, ultimately agreeing with my sister's advice - who, by the way, was near the top of her class in pharmacy school - and began to walk toward the cash register, Mama Cass called out to me.

"Ian! Hey son, look at this," she said. I turned to see my mother, with a huge grin on her face, holding up another tube.

"Nipple cream! It's for the nipples!" I looked up and down the aisles, making sure no one else was around, while slowly backing away from my mother. If it helps you visually, picture a short Asian woman saying this to you from a short distance.

"Hey, you should get some of this for your friend who just had a baby," she continued. "Her nipples will be very sore! Hey, where are you going?"

Minutes later, Mama Cass found me by the pop cooler, with my fingers stuck in my ears and tapping my heels together.

"Hey, why'd you run away?" she said. "Did I embarrass you? You don't want to hear your mama talk about nipples?"

"Okay," I said, obviously trying to change the subject. "We've got the stuff [Lil' Sis] told us to get. Let's get home, so you can use it."

"At work, we talk about nipples all the time," she said in that consoling motherly tone. "I work with pregnant women all day. Sometimes, I forget I'm not talking to the other nurses."

By the way, the Capzacin seems to be working. My mother's hip has been feeling much better over the last couple of days. And my wrist doesn't hurt anymore, either.

(Image from "Get Fuzzy" ©2006 Darby Conley/ Dist. by UFS, Inc.)