Communications (Jan/Feb, 1998)

Sorry Bottom
from Hazel

Ed: A couple of months ago I went to a kitchen tea (you would call them bridal showers). It gets very hot here on the South African highveld and for once I threw caution to the wind and wore short sleeves. I arrived, sat down and waited the obligatory 15-20 minutes for someone to ask THE QUESTION. Eventually someone did ask if I had been burned and I was just about to reply with the usual when my friend's daughter Jenny (age 6) piped up, "Oh no, it's not a burn, she has a sorry bottom!" The silence was positively deafening. Everyone was looking from me to Jenny and back to me. I was just looking at Jenny, thinking, Well, yes, gravity has taken its toll, but who are you to criticise? Eventually the silence was broken by Jenny's Mother roaring with laughter.

You see here in the rainbow nation a few people pronounce psoriasis as you probably do—i.e. sore-eye-a-sis. Most people, however, use the Afrikaans pronunciation and that sounds like sorry-arse-iss. (apologies for the rude word).

Jenny very wisely knew that to use the 'A' word would have got her a clip round the ear, so she came to my defense in the best way she could. It ended up the most relaxed short sleeve afternoon I have had in years, and I thought you might get a good laugh out of it. It's not often you get a good laugh out of Psoriasis is it? Regards to all. -Hazel, Rustenburg, SA

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Ed's Reply: What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us, Hazel. I suppose you're right that it's not often we get a good laugh out of psoriasis, but thanks to people like you, Flake HQ is the place to come get those laughs! Always a delight to hear from you, Hazel. -Ed

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