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Let me be blunt. I hate cancer. Actually it would be more precise to say I hate people with cancer. Let’s be serious here for a second. I hate the way they smell when they’ve been at the hospital. How their hair falls out from the treatments. How that’s all they talk about once they get it. How they call themselves “survivors” when their cancer goes into remission. Survivor? Give me a break. It doesn’t change the fact that you had cancer, does it?

When Mom died (cancer, of course) back in’ 93 it got the old man in a real funk. Never seen him so bad. I don’t know what was worse, her cancer or me having to hear about it all the damn time. Life, death, how her stomach hurts from the treatments. Anyway, like I said, it really got to the old man. He talked a lot about stuff back then, especially sadness.

One day I went over to his place to pick up some mail and I found him coating Mom’s belongings in Vicks, pictures, letters, her menagerie. He had slathered the stuff all over the apartment. The walls and floor were thick in a slippery, slick sludge of camphor mucus. It was like a vapo-tomb in there. You almost expected the damn walls to have fast acting squiggles like you see in the commercials throbbing from the walls. He told me he thought it made feel better inside. It stung my eyes real bad.

My dad always thought Vicks was the answer to everything. Growing up we had cases of the stuff in the closet. If I had a headache he’d rub into my hair. If I had a sore throat when I was a kid he’d make me swallow it. It hurt real bad going down, the bastard.

Last year after the old man was diagnosed with cancer. You can probably imagine how annoyed I was. He wanted to talk about all kinds of stuff. “What happens to me when I’m gone? Will I see your mother again? Give me a hug.” I lied to him and told him there was a special wing in heaven for cancer people. That made him happy.

He asked me to come over and rub jars of the stuff into his tumor. At first I bought the name brand stuff. But honestly, I don’t think it matters whether it’s the namebrand or some knock off. So I thought I’d save some money and bought the other stuff. But the old man he can be a real son of a bitch. And now, you know, with the cancer, he’s become intolerable. He says to me, “Don’t you love me? Get me the good stuff. Get me the real thing, here.”

So now to save a little dough I keep the old Vicks jar and scoop the cheap stuff into the new container. He can’t tell the difference anyway.

P.S. – I hope you all get cancer.

Date Written: March 17, 2005
Author: scoop
Average Vote: 3.2857

03/23/2005 Will Disney: at least this narrator had the decency to lie about that special place in heaven. good thing he didn't tell him the truth that there's no heaven at all!
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow (3): Okay, buyer, because of a number of funny details you got a pass on this morning's short despite the sloppy writing, but not this one. Disliking cancer patients is weak as far as acme shock goes, and it doesn't go anywhere from there. And the whole extended Vicks discussion was like trying to squeeze jokes from a stone. Also, you have to do something about your use of modifying clauses. The sentence "One day I went over to his place to pick up some mail and I found him coating Mom’s belongings in Vicks, pictures, letters, her menagerie" does not mean what it is intended to mean. Was he coating her belongings with pictures, letters and her menagerie? Also, you should have said Vicks VapoRub, not just Vicks, cuz they make cough drops and other stuff too, ya know. 2.75.
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow: Good point, Disney.
03/23/2005 TheBuyer: not me.
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow: uh, okay.
03/23/2005 TheBuyer (3): I like the small nod to Bubba Ho-Tep, rubbing salve on a tumour as if it's going to help.
03/23/2005 Mr. Pony (4): I liked this just fine, and I'd hate to see it picked apart because of a case of mistaken identity and light revenge or whatever. I like how the author makes the narrator make his father sound lame while not skimping on making the narrator sound lame himself. Lame all around! Re: the Vicks/VapoRub thing, I think we all know what the guy's talking about, and he should expect us to. I mean, Polaroid makes other stuff, but we all know what a Polaroid is. The P.S. hurts it, though, I think.
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow: Pony, I was mostly joking about the Vicks thing, although the comparison to Polaroid is not very close. Polaroid, like Band-Aid and Q-Tip are brands associate primarily with a single product. Vicks is not used as a synonym for VapoRub to the same extent. But again, I wouldn't deduct points for that and was not particularly serious about that complaint. And it wasn't revenge at all. I thought the earlier short was 3.5 and this a 2.75, as I said in my comments. The bit about Buyer getting a pass on the first one was just a joke...
03/23/2005 Mr. Pony: I can see why you needed that irony meter, Snow. Am I right, folks? And not to drag out the Vicks VapoRub thing, but I'm surprised you're so willing to put your ignorance on parade about the Kleenex-like indentification of "Vicks" with that company's flagship product. At least, that's the way it is out here, on the streets. The rest of us didn't go to no fancy DeVry School of Business, but we all know a little something about Inter-Product Brand Leveraging. Intuitively. It's in our limbic system.
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow: It's not that company's flagship product (and hasn't been for decades), nor is it generally used, as you say "Kleenex-like", as a synonym for VapoRub. So it's your ignorance, silly, not mine. And what was so unclear in my post that it needed the irony index, buster?
03/23/2005 Ewan Snow: "I'm surprised you're so willing to put your ignorance on parade..." What a dick.
03/23/2005 TheBuyer: btw this is a 7/10 if the new system wasn't taking so long, someone owes you an apology, I think.
03/23/2005 Klause Muppet (3):
03/23/2005 The Rid (3):
03/24/2005 Litcube (4):
03/29/2005 John Slocum (3):