Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Old World Advice

Boris was a Jewish Russian refugee of about 70 years old when I met him.  I was teaching English to  refugees for a resettlement agency.  They had widely varied ages, education levels, levels of English, ethnicities, and much more.  I honestly miss it at times.  Some of the most gratifying years of my life were spent teaching people who taught me so much as well.

But Boris, he was special. 
He was always the one asking impossible questions or challenging my explanations.  He actually came to blows with another Russian guy in class, David, a 66 year old fellow refugee who did not respect his elder.  I can still clearly hear his voice, strong and firm, yet heavily accented.  Think Boris and Natasha from Bullwinkle and that is pretty much how he sounded.

That particular week had been rough.  My older son had an ear infection again.  The antibiotics kept making him sick and yet no matter how many times they put him on medicine, the infections kept coming back.  After class, Boris approaches me and offered me the following advice:

"I tell you how to fix ear.  You listen."

"Okay Boris.  What's up?"

He mimes holding a glass or cup and says, "First, you get cup.  Den, you piece in cup."  He is now pointing into his imaginary cup.  I'm puzzled.  'Piece in cup?'  huh?

"What?  Get a cup and piece it?  break it?  I don't understand."

"Piece in cup.  Piece in cup. Dis good.  Hot. No germs."  He's getting a bit excited.  Perhaps it's the frustration of trying to make me grasp his meaning.  He begins gesturing toward the imaginary cup again.  I'm clearly not getting it.   His cup disappears and he impatiently gestures in the general direction of his crotch.  I've got nothing.  Disgusted, impatient, he mimes holding his penis.

"Piss???  You mean piss?  You want me to pee in a cup?"

"DA!  You piece in cup.  Pour in ear.  Dis work.  Ear better."

"Oookay Boris.  Thank you?"  I just want out of this conversation.  Badly.

He smiles broadly.  "Da. Dis good.  You do.  You see.  Piece work."  He walks away. Wisdom imparted.

I'm left with- a 70 year old man just told me to put fresh, hot, piss in my child's ear.  Now this may or may not work.  I'm not one to judge.  But tell me this, how the fuck would I explain that to the pediatrician?

"Oh yes doctor,  I did put urine in his ear.  It makes perfect sense.  A 70 year old Russian dude told me if I put fresh, hot, pee in my son's ear it would make it better.  And well, the antibiotics weren't working so....."

I'm somewhat happy to report that my son is now 30 years old and I have never put piss in his ear or any other part of his body.


No comments:

Post a Comment