Dear Folklore Agony Aunt
You are my last hope, FAA. Please can you help me get rid of the unsightly knob, or perhaps nodule, that has appeared on my left buttock? It itches, oozes, and looks horrific. I wonder if there is some magic leaf or potion that would cure me of this most vexatious affliction???
GloBarb, Pigeon Plaza
Dear Glorious Barbara
Without wishing to sound unsympathetic, that’s nasty. In the first instance, may I suggest you acquire a rubber ring to alleviate any discomfort when you sit. And in the second instance, please bear in mind the only medical training I have is a one day first aid course, and some anatomy and physiology from my turn as a reflexologist, so anything beyond this point suggesting magic leaves, potions or remedies is entirely at your own discretion.
That said, had your knob not already burst I would have suggested slapping a rasher of bacon on it, for it is said a piece of bacon applied every 12 hours will bring a boil to the boil allowing you to drain it of pus. If bacon is not an option, you could also try warming up a poultice of raw onion, cabbage leaf and tomato and applying that instead. And of course, the trusty boiled potato rubbed onto a sore is said to do the trick too.
However, if you prefer to keep the contents of your pantry for eating, you could also try a poultice made from hemp agrimony (also good for fish bites), chewing a small piece of stripped bramble, or pressing the flesh of a freshly skinned hare to the boil for nine days.
You can, of course, also cure your affliction through activity. Take for example the pre-dawn Devonian tradition of crawling under an arch of brambles backwards three times as the sun rises, then having an old duck quack thrice into your mouth. Or you could find a fasting seventh son to breathe on your lump (however, you must also be fasting for this to work, so make sure you’ve pre-located a willing seventh son, else you might die of hunger first). Or you can present your knob to a dog to lick. However, as your boil is inconveniently located, should you turn to this last cure, you might want to ensure that the RSPCA doesn’t get wind of it.
Now, even though you’ve reached the oozing and itching stage, folklore still can play a part in your recovery. The ancient Greeks were rather partial to packing wounds with cobwebs or honey to prevent infection, bathing in cows’ urine should relieve any itching, and knocking back nine shots from the shell of a shot gun should clear up the rest, or at the very least make you forget you ever had a problem in the first place.
But take heart, as finally you might want to consider the positioning of your weird knob. According to Jackie Stallone, mother of Sylvester, and internationally acclaimed Rumpologist (rumpology, or assology, being the study of reading backsides), the left cheek represents the right hemisphere of the brain or your artistic side, and as with the left hand in palmistry, the left cheek represents the past. So you might want to consider whether this pain in your arse is a literal manifestation of a previous metaphysical pain in your arse that has been blocking your creative flow. And now that it is almost purged, you’ll soon be free of whatever was holding your back creatively…
The Folklore Agony Aunt
Ps. If you have any further suggestions for GloBarb, please leave them in the comments below.
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Header photo: Johnny Jet from Southampton, UK – Flickr, CC BY 2.0