I’m not sure how I still have big toes after growing up barefoot in Oklahoma.
But I looked at them yesterday, and there they were, two normal big toes.
I can only attribute this miracle to gallons and gallons of Mercurochrome.
Every summer that I remember was spent running like a banshee from dawn till dusk.
Always barefoot, and frequently down the middle of Nebraska Street.
Now, stubbing your toe on the smooth driveway was nothing, even if you were running flat-out.
But stubbing your toe on the the rough street concrete was always nearly fatal.
At least it seemed that way.
And it sounded that way to the neighbors.
“MOOOOOMMMMMM. I STUUUUBBBED MY TOE!”
And for the 10,000th time that summer, Mom would reattach about half-an-inch of big toe that was dangling by a thread.
She’d dab on Mercurochrome, which for some reason we called “Monkey’s Blood.”
I’d tell her I needed more, so she’d saturate the toe and slap on a bandaid.
Then, boom, I was out the door and charging head-long back into summer.
Now, at the time, I assumed that Mom knew what she was doing, whenever she doctored skinned knees, elbows, headbones and toes.
And if I’d had a bottle of Mercurochrome last week when I was doing battle with the stupid stockade fence, I would have painted it on many bleeding parts of my old, round body.
Sadly, I didn’t have any of the magical red stuff.
But, out of curiosity, I decided to Google “Mercurochrome”.
I am not thrilled with what I read.
“In 1998, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became concerned about potential mercury poisoning resulting from the use of Mercurochrome.
“There was also concern that the reddish-brown stain it left on the skin could mask inflammation which would indicate that the wound had become infected.
“Mercurochrome was removed from the ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ category and entered in the ‘Untested’ classification.”
So there you have it.
Every kid on Nebraska Street, and probably in the Great State of Oklahoma, was a Mercurochrome Guinnea Pig right up until 1998.
We may all be dying of mercury poisoning at this very moment.
But, personally, if I do kark it tomorrow because of the mercury, it’s no big thing.
I’ll be happy to have an open casket and barefoot funeral.
My big toes may still be still stained a bit orangy-red.
But other than that, they are beauts.
I still think Mercurochrome is awesome.
And I am going to need several bottles to survive this stupid stockade fence.