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Apparently I touched a nerve with last week’s article with at least with one “Medical Professional” who went to some lengths to correct me on one of the topics in the article more specifically what I termed “Bug Eyed Disease.”

Although he wanted to “set me straight” about the seriousness of what is actually called,

Exophthalmos- proptosis

(Which I honestly thought was a kind of a Greek yogurt)

The mention of this topic (again) reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought of in a very long time.

I am glad that Doctor So-in-So felt under some obligation to correct me on an article that was intended to be humorous, because as I mentioned earlier, it reminded me that “maybe” I have in fact seen the results of “Bug Eyed Disease” before.

Now that I think about it, I am absolutely sure that I have seen this dreaded disease, once.

I should probably start at the beginning.

When I was a little boy I lived for a couple of months once with a foster family in a shotgun house that was next to a bunch of other shotgun houses on the property of a local landowner.

Everyone (including myself) that lived in those shotgun houses worked on that man’s farm which I suppose was how they got to live in the houses to begin with.

I don’t recall if the houses had running water or not, but I do remember that every two houses “shared” an outhouse.

The foster family I lived with already had two kids of their own and I was “extra” and by extra I mean they got a check from the state each month for “taking care” of me.

There wasn’t enough room in the shotgun house for me, so I slept on the porch.

Don’t feel bad for me, I got to cuddle up and sleep with the dogs on the porch at night which was fine with me and that also gave me the opportunity to see who the “neighbors” were.

The neighbors that we shared the outhouse with were Mary Sue and her husband G. W. , which I can assure you was no relation to the first President of the United States.

Mary Sue was a big woman nearly six feet tall and as wide as she was tall and she had a bad attitude to match her height and size, but she had big bosoms that I was mesmerized by, so I didn’t mind that she called me a dirty little urchin.

To be honest about it I didn’t know what an urchin was at the time, to me it sounded like a mean crawfish, which I was ok with being called.

Her husband, G. W. wasn’t much over five feet tall and whatever bad attitude Mary Sue had, G. W. balanced it out by being about the nicest man I ever met up until that time in my life.

He was always nice to me and actually called me by my name.

Now, it is important to note here that even at that early age I was a renowned rock thrower.

This was way before I knocked out Jerry Sanders front teeth in Cub Scouts with a rock throw that would have made a major league baseball pitcher envious and even before I cold cocked Mr. Rawlings with a rock to the back of his head at sixty feet.

Those are stories for another time after I check with my attorney.

But it’s important to mention because it contributes to what I witnessed as “Bug Eyed Disease.”

As I said earlier, the shotgun house I lived in and Mary Sue and G.W. shared an outhouse.

I will tell you something you may or may not know about outhouses.

In the summertime red wasps are known to build massive nests underneath the outhouse.

Red Wasps are mean vicious creatures that serve little purpose other than to sting people that annoy them and just for the record anyone within twenty feet of them annoy them.

That being said, it’s important to keep a watchful eye and ear out for them, because when one is exposed doing their personal business in an outhouse, they are how shall I say this gently?

Most vulnerable in the “sensitive” places.

One early humid Sunday summer morning, the only day that there was no work on the farm to be performed, I was emptying my bladder when I heard “them”.

I got out of the door of the outhouse just in time as the swarm of red wasps, apparently impervious to the smell of their surroundings came boiling out from underneath the seat looking for someone to vent their fury upon.

I was too fleet of foot at the time and got away without even hearing so much as a buzz in my ears.

But it gave me an idea.

Like I said earlier, because I slept on the porch I not only got to see who the neighbors were, I also noticed their habits, which included their bathroom habits.

That being said, I knew beyond of a shadow of a doubt that Mary Sue was soon to be headed outside to the outhouse to take care of her morning business.

So, I gathered a few nice size rocks and hid myself within a stone’s throw, no pun intended, of the outhouse and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long. Just like clockwork, Mary Sue came waddling to the outhouse.

Mary Sue closed the door to the outhouse, and I told myself that I would count to ten first.


Ah, to hell with it and I went into my windup and let the rock in my hand fly.

BOOM!…..Right on target

It hit the underside of the outhouse within close proximity of the red wasps living quarters.

The impact of the rock against the outhouse interrupted the silence of the morning.

Which was followed shortly by the door of the outhouse almost flying off its hinges.

Mary Sue was trying to extricate herself from the outhouse with her drawers around her ankles.

She was screaming at the top of her lungs WASPERS! WASPERS! WASPERS!

EDITORS NOTE: In case you were wondering that is pronounced “Wasp-ERS”

Even at that age I knew that you shouldn’t be seen near the scene of the crime, so I dove underneath the shotgun house and low crawled my way back to the front of the porch.

Mary Sue had screamed so loudly that everyone and I do mean everyone was awake and coming outside their houses to see what all the commotion was about.

After dusting myself off, I joined everybody else with the “What the Heck is Going?”

Everyone, from every shotgun house were there over the commotion.

Some of the women gathered together and they determined that the screams came from Mary Sue and they were discussing “who” should go check on her when G.W. came walking over to talk to the men huddled nearby.

I inched closer to where the men were standing so I could overhear what was being said.

G. W. solemnly told the men,

“Mary Sue done got stung in the taint by some red waspers.”

At the time I thought, “Where the hell is that?”

One of the men said, “Well, bless her heart”

G.W. , clearly not afraid to repeat himself, said,

“Yep stung her right on the taint they did”

Another of the men said, “I’ll swear”

The rest of the men just nodded slowly in the affirmative, like it was life or death, you know, getting stung by some red wasps in the taint. Although I had no idea “what” or where that was at the time, I assumed it was serious due to the reaction of the crowd.

the event you are as confused as to said location of the “taint” as I was at this time. I will provide a short definition from the Southern lexicon of said term that I learned about much later in public school.

“The taint is that strip of skin that is between your rear business (butt) and your personal business in your front (Self-explanatory).” In a sentence, it is described as “It taint the butt and it taint your personal business, it’s that place in between. That’s the taint.”

Now that we are caught up and hopefully you aren’t as confused as I was at the time of this story, but let’s move along, shall we?

As I was contemplating where or what a taint actually was, G.W. added with some emphasis that “Mary Sue’s eyes done popped clean out of the sockets from getting stung on the taint.”

That was when I concluded (at the time) that a taint must be located somewhere near the head or face, maybe it was on the eyes. I was still confused.

The same man that blessed Mary Sue’s “accident” repeated again, “Bless her heart”

I don’t know or remember if the women had heard the discussion of the men, but several of them were headed over to Mary Sue and G. W.’s house to check on Mary Sue.

I heard all I needed to hear from the men assembled so I trailed behind the women walking over to see Mary Sue. But before we got there, although it was a mighty short walk, Mary Sue came walking bowlegged out onto her porch looking rather disheveled from her recent experience.

Before the women stationed themselves at the base of her porch, Mary Sue announced it.

“Them damn red waspers got me right on the damn taint!”

Just to clarify here.

I heard Mary Sue say that just like I heard a woman standing in front of me say, “Bless your heart” and another lady say, “O’ Lord Honey that’s awful!”.

I say I was hearing what people were saying because I was looking at Mary Sue’s face.

Just like G.W. said, Mary Sue’s eyes were big as hubcaps on a 57 Dodge pickup truck.

I could see every bit of her eyeballs, they were in fact, bugged out of her head.

That was when I determined (at the time) that the taint is indeed located on the face near the eyes.

Which I found to be quite odd,

Since I was planning for her to get stung on her big ass.

But that aside, no pun intended.

Her eyes were bulged out of their sockets and I saw it for myself.

Maybe she got her that Bug Eyed Disease I talked about last week?

We will never know.

I will be the first to tell you here that I don’t know if her eyes got back to normal or not.

Because hard to believe as it may seem and this was before the famous “CSI” television program series, it was determined rather quickly that I was the culprit of said “Wasper” attack.

Apparently my reputation as a famous rock thrower had preceded me.

EDITORS NOTE: I know, I was shocked too.

Although I was picked up by the state social services later that afternoon under the angry blaring bug eyes of Mary Sue, I maintained my innocence.

Now you might be saying how horrible that was that I was removed from yet another home and placed in yet another foster home.

You might even be thinking, how terrible that must have been for me in those formulative years of my young life.

Don’t feel bad for me.

Taint Nothing