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Monday, February 13, 2012

Little R. B. and the Castor Oil

My father, Robert Bruce McClendon Jr., was called R. B. by his family and most of his teachers and friends at school. Many of his friends called him “Bones”. There is no reason to tell you this at this particular time, I just figured I would. It is not important to this story.

Little R. B. had a devilish streak to him. His family had a small general type grocery store in Johnston South Carolina. One day he was in the store either alone or at least unsupervised and he decided to play a little prank. So, he emptied out a bottle of castor oil and then urinated in the bottle and sealed it back up. Back then bottles came with corks for stoppers. The tamper evident lids of today had not been thought of yet although, it appears, they were necessary.

Well Little R. B. put the bottle back on the shelf with the other bottles and after several days forgot about his little trick. Sometime later Little R. B. became a little ill. As was the practice at the time he was sent to bed and my grandmother sent word to the store for my grandfather to bring home a bottle of castor oil when he came home that night, which he did.

My grandfather poured a very large spoonful of castor oil and gave it to my father. My father spit it right back out and said, “That stuff sure is salty.” My grandfather tasted it and spit it out and said, “Oh yes, I think that has gone bad.”

You have to be careful with the pranks you play. Sometimes the joke is on you.

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