Rock Bottom

Rock BottomFolks, last week I wrote about Old Wives Tales, and the perils of swallowing chewing gum and watermelon seeds. Well, that was child’s play compared to the horrors awaiting kids who sat on cold concrete; apparently.

As a lad, whenever we kids plumped down on the cement pad under our house to play games, every passing adult would tell us to get up immediately because, “Cold concrete gives you piles!”

This left us a little mystified for a couple of reasons: firstly, we were living in Far North Queensland and patches of cold concrete were rarer than polka dot polar bears and secondly, no one ever, explained to us exactly what piles were.

Judging from the expressions on adults’ faces though, we figured that they must have been a cross between a liver flavoured milkshake and a tongue kiss from a cane toad, i.e.: something to be avoided at all costs.

I made further attempts to learn more about ‘The Dreaded Piles’, but the only information forthcoming was, “They’re a real pain in the bum, and stop asking stupid questions!”

Now, Google wasn’t around back then and the World Book Encyclopaedia contained absolutely no mention of this horrendous disease either. It would be many years before I found out precisely what piles were, and by then it was too late.

Today, I’m something of an expert, and would happily share my knowledge with anyone, but for some reason, the topic never comes up. Still, I have learned that cold concrete is probably the one thing that won’t give you piles.

Unlike a childhood spent sitting on a toilet seat straining to expel miniscule amounts of accidently swallowed chewing gum or watermelon seeds.

And if you’ve made it this far, then you’ve learned something as well: I’ve literally hit rock bottom.

About Greg Bray

The scribbler behind the 'On a Lighter Note' column.
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