Mineral oil

cow grazing

I remember when I worked as a post-surgery RN. I’d see patients suffering side effects from surgeries back then.

Each morning when the elevator opened on my floor, I would get a list of patients who were feeling mighty sore.

They all had major surgery. Let’s say they’d been tuned up. But now were nauseated ‘cuz they seemed to be plugged up.

I’m not talking ’bout their sinus or that brown stuff in the ear. I’m talking down there farther south and a little to the rear.

There is an old-time remedy of mineral oil to cure. It’s awful to the taste, but it will loosen you for sure.

That mineral oil will clean you out. It’ll find a way somehow. I told an older patient, “Just be glad you’re not a cow.

“That fellow gave a look at me like, “Have you lost your mind?” He was hobbling for the toilet, left me standing there behind.

I couldn’t help but notice how he hobbled extra fast. He was ’bout to feel relief, his constipation wouldn’t last.

I said, “You see when I was young, we milked cows on the farm. Those danged old cows would get plugged up. A sure cause for alarm.

“But we always had a quart or two of mineral oil on hand. We’d pour it down the cow. If not, the cow would soon expand.”

I wondered how a cow could drink a quart of mineral oil. It wasn’t long before her innards rumbled in turmoil.

The growling and the gurgling gas would soon come flying out. The mineral oil had remedied the plugged-up cow, no doubt.

I learned that you should never, ever stand back at their rear. My cousin caught a blast and it was more than just a smear.

So then I told him, “Sir I see you’ve been up twice to go. The mineral oil has done its job, and not a bit too slow.

“I’ll stand back here and help you make your way back to the john. But please give me a warning if a cough is coming on.”


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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