Tuesday, March 15, 2005

TB or Not TB

Yesterday's news reminded me that the three big killer epidemics in today's world--AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria--together cause about six million deaths a year. Not a laughing matter! For the two years I worked in assisted living, I was most aware of Tuberculosis (TB) and the need for screening all employees and residents alike before acceptance into our community. These diseases are so highly contagious. Let me repeat: they are not a laughing matter.

Having said that, laugh with me about a memory that comes from high school days. I don't remember why this lady from Lansing came to see my pastor dad, but when she came, she always brought her blind daughter, Faith, with her, who was about my age. Somehow we latched on to each other, perhaps out of my curiosity to learn braille. I even bought a metal slate and stylus, along with the proper paper stock, to start practicing the punched-dot "language," while Faith helped me learn the shorthand for -ing, -tion, etc. What I most remember about Faith, however, is this ditty she taught me that just stuck:

TB or not TB.
That is the congestion.
Consumption be done about it?
Of cough, of cough,
But it takes a lung, lung time.

Can't you just hear Val Kilmer, as Doc Holiday in the Tombstone movie, say to that, "I'll be your Huckleberry!"


  1. Actually, he says, "I'm your huckleberry." Not that we're into correcting each other or anything . . . ;-) Cute ditty . . . sounds like something Grandpa would say!

  2. I guess I looked at the "wrong" Google page because several people used the other expression. But I did find this regarding the meaning: The expression "I'm your huckleberry" spoken by Doc means "I'm the perfect man for the job." So, now we know! Maybe I'll go back and edit my post. :)