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Old Man Word 90: The Itch

Itchiness is a character flaw.  Itching stems from bad hygiene and/or bad women.  I shun the itching and their itching ways.  The very word itch is, to me, the equivalent of the word moist to a woman: awful.

My issue with the word spawns from — who else? — the eld.  While most of us view itch as a verb (“the reaction to various skin conditions”) or an adjective (“a longing or desire”), old people think of itch as a noun.  This is not a noun you want to parley with.  Here’re some examples:

I’m itching ta git my hands on that new outboard. (Fine. Itch as verb.)

He had him an itchy trigger-finger. (Illiterate but acceptable.  Itch as adjective.)

That injun girl gave me the itch. (Yuck.)

You see old people — for all their flaws — are very polite.  This is why they call you a dunderhead instead of an asshole, highfalutin instead of an asshole, and a whippersnapper instead of a fucker.  They’re so accursedly polite they don’t find it proper to talk about diseases like chlamydia, crabs, or gonorrhea.  Instead, they refer to each as merely …

The Itch.

If the list of Itch-seases ended there I might be more forgiving.  But it doesn’t.  Seems “the itch” also refers to something else.  Something so vile one may be forgiven for tossing their Grandma’s Jitterbug on the floor and stepping on it.  That “something else” is set out in this 1950’s ad for Lanocaine:

itching

Yup.  In addition to the common skin disorders, folk also used to suffer from the itchiness of unwashed vaginas and unwiped rectums.  (What they politely call “personal membranes.”).  Unwashed vaginas have never been cool but back in the day we must conject that they were positively revolting (what with the hair and the maxi-pads and all).  The very thought of Grandma spreading slabs of salve on her itchy membranes almost makes me feel sorry for poor castigated Grampa.

That is until I consider that Gramps probably used the Lanacaine to cure his “naughty bits” from whatever it is he caught off that Injun gal.

And, of course, either of the two could have been “itch-scratch-itching” those rectum-membranes right?

It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

Itch.  Multiple usages.

1.   An irritating skin sensation causing a desire to scratch.
2.  A restless desire or craving for something: e.g. an itch to travel.
3.  A disease of the skin caused by old people’s poor hygiene.
4.  STD Grandpas caught from boning “Injuns.”

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