I hear it’s frowned upon to tell tales out of school, so I’ll relay one I heard at church.
Back in the 1920s, a lady visiting her sister in the Bucklesberry community woke up one morning, and as most people do she let rip with a great big yawn.
The woman’s yawn was so severe that her jaw locked and she was unable to close her mouth. The sun had yet to come up so she walked around the house trying to find someone who could help her. In her state of confusion, she accidentally walked into the children’s bedroom – which at the time was occupied by four children ages 4 to 8.
Slowly but surely, the children awoke to find a dark figure standing over them with its mouth wide open. The lady with the jaw problem was trying to say “please help me,” but what came out was “uuhhhhhh uhhhhhh uhhhhhhh.”
After the children’s parents coaxed them down out of the chimney, the visiting woman’s brother-in-law and his oldest son loaded the woman with the locked jaw onto a horse and buggy and set off to see the doctor in La Grange.
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It was the middle of the summer, so there was a bit of a gnat problem, which gave the woman with the flung open mouth a bit of a fit. After a mile or two, her brother-in-law realized how hard it must have been trying to keep gnats out of your cake hole while your mouth is open, so he pulled the buggy over and draped a bandanna across her face.
Apparently, this bandanna had been in use all week, and wash day was still a ways off. According to legend, the lady was more accepting of the crusty bandanna than another peck of gnats.
A few miles down the road, a farmer who was gathering eggs noticed the buggy making its way down the dirt road. As it got closer, the farmer was disturbed to see a man and young boy apparently being abducted by a robber hiding behind a bandanna. The farmer ran into his house, grabbed his Harrington & Richardson shotgun, and ordered the buggy to stop as it passed in front of his house.
The farmer pointed his gun at what he thought was a bandit and ordered her to pull the mask off. Not wanting to get shot, the lady pulled the bandanna away, thus exposing her wide-open mouth. Seeing a sight such as this at such an early hour apparently frightened the well-meaning farmer, as he passed out immediately. The lady’s brother-in-law and his son loaded the farmer on the buggy and continued on their way to the doctor.
A few minutes after 7 a.m., the buggy carrying the lady with the frozen open mouth and the passed-out farmer pulled up at the doctor’s house in La Grange. The doctor was very particular about his appearance and refused to walk down to the buggy wearing his pajamas. Instead, the doctor asked the brother-in-law to carry the unconscious farmer up to his front door.
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After checking the farmer’s pulse and eyes, the doctor determined it was a simple case of the vapors.
The brother-in-law flung the farmer over his shoulder and plopped him back on the buggy as if he were a bag of seed corn. Then the lady with the locked jaw walked up to the doctor’s front door for a diagnosis. The doctor looked her over for a few seconds, and then – without warning – hauled off and punched her right in the jaw.
At first the lady was frightened – until she realized her jaw had been popped back into place. She thanked the doctor and, with a great sense of relief, climbed back onto the buggy with her brother-in-law and nephew.
As the trio returned to the home place, the rest of the children were just starting to wake up. Inspired by the act of spontaneous healing he witnessed on the front steps of the doctor’s house not an hour earlier, the 8-year-old boy jumped off the buggy and proceeded to punch every yawning child he could find.
“I’M A DOCTOR!” he yelled as he punched his brothers and sisters. “THAT’LL BE $15! I’M A DOCTOR!”
As the person telling me this story finished, I looked out the window of the fellowship hall to observe the children hunting for Easter eggs. I was glad neither of my kids was as crazy as the kid in the story I’d just heard. Then again they may have been some of my folks.
Then I noticed my youngest was refusing to pick up any Easter eggs that weren’t either pink or green. I’ll bet she stepped over three bushels of yellow, orange, and purple eggs that were filled with untold pounds of chocolatey goodness.
When the Easter egg hunt was over she ran inside, popped someone upside the head, and started writing prescriptions.
Jon Dawson’s books are available at http://www.JonDawson.com.