The beauty of being young is that you believe everything that is told to you by other kids, teenagers and adults. Then when you are a teenager, you believe nothing that adults tell you. It's an interesting cycle.
When I was 7 years old, I had to get my tonsils out. I remember being told by my mother that it's a wonderful experience. You go to the hospital. You wear a pink gown. They put you to sleep and when you wake up, you will never have a bad sore throat again.
Nettie told me a great story about how all girls who get their tonsils out get to have their toe nails painted. They get to stay home from school with her. They get to watch cartoons on tv in bed. And you can eat all the ice cream you want.
I was thrilled to get my tonsils out. I was looking forward to it.
Then, Peter sat down with me and told me how the surgery is done
"First," he said "they put you in a pretty pink robe. Then you get wheeled into a big room with lots of strangers. Then they turn the lights out and they shine a huge light in your eye. Then they put this large tube down your throat and it sufficates you till you pass out. And then, the doctor is a Vampire. He doesn't use any tools to take your tonsils out. He bites your neck and rips out the tonsil with his large fangs. And then you wake up and spend the next year with a big hole in your neck where your tonsils used to be." He handed me a bulb of garlic and told me to bring it with me to the hospital.
So, I did what any little girl would do ... I cried all the way to the hospital holding onto my bulb of garlic. I cried when they wheeled me into the ER. I cried when they put this large thing over my nose. And I dreamed about being chased by a vampire through the ER with his fangs dripping with blood.
And when I got home and after I looked in the mirror to see if my throat was still there, Peter came into the livingroom to see how I was. He inspected my neck for puncture marks. I showed him that I still had the bulb of garlic with me from the hospital. He laughed, took the garlic from me and handed me a large McDonalds Vanilla Shake. I don't think he ever really understood how much I believed him about my surgery.
I have one thing to say ... Thanks Uncle Pete for scaring the shit out of me when I was a kid.
Thanks to Gwen Whyte for remembering this Peter phrase:
"At Your Cervix"