Title: Tourism

Author: Bernard Cohen

In: Sport 5: Spring 1990

Publication details: 1990, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 5: Spring 1990


page 75


Nic's friend's grandfather rid himself of the flu in the following manner, which Nic calls the two-hat method. He lay on his back on his bed with a hat between his feet and a bottle of scotch in his hand. Perhaps he left his big black boots on. Perhaps he wore a woollen nightshirt and a cap. Perhaps he lay on a lumpy straw mattress with the thick quilt tucked under his stubbly chin and his head propped up on two fat feather pillows. He drank the scotch and watched the hat. He drank until he could see two hats. Then he passed out. When he woke the following morning, he was cured. This is true. I have agreed not to embroider the story, nor to speculate on other aspects of the old man's life.

When my sister's leg became caught in a cotton-picking machine, she screamed so loudly that the driver switched it off immediately. There was no sound of bones cracking. She had not injured herself too badly and was told she was very lucky. I remember her walking on crutches while the swelling went down. When it is cold, her leg aches even now. They did not give her scotch to ease the pain because she was too young. (I think she was nine at the time. This story is also true and I quote it with her permission.)