FOOT IN MOUTH DISEASE MY FIRST DOSE
C’mon admit it we’ve all done it. A word or phrase that just came out at the wrong time or place. Although we had no intent to hurt anyone’s feelings it just turned out that way. We’ve all had Foot-In-Mouth Disease at some time in our life. Causing grief was the last thing on your mind but now it’s too late. You have brought tears to the eyes of a loved one or a dear friend even if it was unintentional.
The situation described above is Foot-In-Mouth Disease. I don’t know a sure cure for Foot-In-Mouth Disease, sometimes a thing just comes out of your mouth at the wrong time, or it doesn’t sound the way you thought it would. There is also the situation when you say something and you weren’t aware of all the ramifications of your spoken word.
AUNT GERTRUDE AND UNCLE JOHN
One of my own most embarrassing occurrences of Foot-In Mouth Disease was in 1954 when I was seven years old. I had been at the East End playground watching the Pepsi (local semi-pro baseball team) play the Cave Club their greatest rival. The regular umpires hadn’t shown up so umpires had been selected out of the crowd. I thought the umpire selected had really sucked. I truly believed he has cost the Pepsi the game.
As I walked up the hill of Jackson Street after the game was over I was really steamed. As I was walking into my back yard I noticed my Uncle John’s car in the front of the house. I became very excited because I spent a lot of time each summer with Aunt Gertrude and Uncle John at their camp on Fish Creek. I really enjoyed my time on Fish Creek. Particularly since my cousin Chris had been born and now that he was three he was a lot of fun. Even though I was looking forward to going to camp my mood was still dark because of the terrible umpire.
I walked into the back door and sure enough there was Aunt Gertrude and Uncle John. My cousin Chris was also with them, and there was a surprise Chris’ older sister Suzanne (who was twenty) was also with them. Sure enough they were getting ready for a camping trip. My heart leapt with joy as I went upstairs to pack my things for Fish Creek. I got everything ready to go and came back downstairs all ready.
My mom asked me about the baseball game and my mood immediately changed. I told them the worst umpire in the world had robbed the Pepsi team. I said he had to be a crook. Then I saw a look on Uncle John’s face I didn’t recognize as he asked, “Who was this awful umpire?” I replied. “I never heard his name I heard them call him Monk. He even look’s like a monkey!!” Uncle John then asked, “Did you here anyone call him Ray?” I replied, “ That’s amazing how did you know that?” Uncle John then replied with a wry grin, “That’s Suzanne’s fiancée Ray LeMasters his nickname is Monk. He should be here any minute. He and Suzanne will be spending the weekend with us at camp. ”
I don’t think I was a thumb sucker when I was younger but I wanted to curl up in a ball and suck my thumb right on the spot. I noticed mom, Aunt Gertie, and Suzanne in the kitchen tee heeing at my plight. I learned about that look I had seen on Uncle John. He was a very mild mannered man but he had a way of making a point you would never forget.
After I apologized the weekend went swimmingly. Monk was a great guy and I spent many days with him on Fish Creek in the years to come. Uncle John taught me not to be afraid of lightning and thunder at camp. Mom had instilled this fear in me, but Uncle John coaxed me out on the screened porch at camp during a storm. He pointed out the beauty of the lightning and the fear went away.
This is the earliest remembrance I have of Foot-In-Mouth Disease.