I just scratched an itch and it felt good. What is that condition we call an itch? What is happening on my body when suddenly a spot begins to itch? What is the anatomical condition or situation that demands my attention? It feels as if someone is touching my skin with a very sharp pencil lead. It is not painful but my attention is drawn to that exact spot on the acres of skin without which my internal organs would be strewn along the field where I am picking blue berries. The condition compels me to move my fingernail to that spot and scratch until it feels better.
The absolutely best method to attack an itch is with fingernails, your own or those of another person. When fingernails fail then I reach for my bamboo or metallic backscratcher. Or I have a cylindrical brush with loops on each end that is a wonderful solution for back itches. Or a sharp corner of the room or door will suffice. Or if I am outside then the bark of a tree serves well and BW says, “You look like a big polar bear when you do that.”
Here is a conundrum. There is another definition for the word scratch. We ate at Cheddars Restaurant yesterday and the sign over the door states, “Cheddars, A Scratch Kitchen.” I have heard of cooks making a cake from scratch. Seamstresses make clothing from scratch. Is that the same stuff? Our son-in-law Todd makes what he calls cabinet soup which to use his vocabulary, “It is whatever you have in the cabinet goes into the soup.” Is that a perfect description of scratch? Others make gravy and mac ‘n cheese from scratch. A person said, “My template disappeared from the data base so I had to make the report from scratch. Another person said, “I knew we were in trouble from scratch.” What is that stuff? Who makes it? What is in it? Where do you get it? Is it the same as when my skin itches? I don’t think so.
I am subject to poison ivy and athlete foot, mosquitos, chiggers, no see-ums, chaff, sunburn, the healing process and cuts. They all make me itch and I scratch there but I don’t want to eat it, wear it or draw it. My friend Will had his arm amputated below the elbow. He said his fingers still itch and he must scratch them.
Data indicates that marriages seem to be vulnerable to divorce in the seventh year. I remember the movie “The Seven Year Itch” starring Marilyn Monroe? If you do you are a child of the ‘50s or perhaps even older. She was drop dead gorgeous. I remember the movie and if I was as beautiful as she was and married to that ugly Tom Ewell, I would want out also. He was so ugly when he was born that the doctor slapped his mother. He was so ugly that if he lay on the beach the tide wouldn’t even go out with him. He was so ugly when his mother dropped him off at school she was given a ticket for littering.
I don’t get this but many people are susceptible to summer rash and it itches like crazy. Isn’t it peculiar that people say, “That only scratches the surface.” I always ask, “Where else can you scratch?”
What is that scratch stuff? I have scratched myself all my life and nothing has ever come from it, nothing made or appeared, except it feels good.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 812-796-0784]