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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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The Wart...

The Wart Has to Go!

You've seen pictures of old women with warts on their nose. Soon that may be me. I have this nasty wart on my leg. I've tried to ignore it, but it will not go away. I've tolerated it about as long as possible. The wart has to go!

Warts are an ancient plague, the sort of thing that legend and folklore are made of. Medical people say that warts are caused by a virus and stress. Folklore says they are caused by toads and curses.

There are all kinds of folk remedies from apple cider to duct tape. I'm not sure if you put the cider on the wart or drink it, but either way sounds better than letting a doctor burn it off. I've been there and done that before.

I decided to ask a group of my humor writing friends how to get rid of a wart. They came up with much funnier solutions for wart eradication than apple cider. "Divorce the bum," suggested Alice Masci, or "Pack you mother-in-law's bags and get her on the plane as soon as possible."

Don't expect a serious answer from a humorist. So much for any help from this bunch. I might as well stick with banana peels, dandelions, and castor oil.

Ben Baker not only agreed with the duct tape idea but added that it makes an attractive fashion accessory. I hate to admit this, but I have seen prom dresses made of duct tape on the internet. I wouldn't call them attractive, though.

"Rub a penny on it and give this to a homeless person," Ben suggested. Are you kidding? I would probably get mugged if I insulted a homeless person with a penny. I might rub it with a five dollar bill and try it, but I'm not sure if the magic would work that way.

Brenda Birmelin suggested I try Vicks Vapor rub. "It's great for almost everything including ingrown toenails."

Really? I didn't know that! I'm starting to believe this stuff. Next thing you know I'll be boiling the moss from the northwest side of a Black Gum Tree and rubbing it with turpentine, as my good friend Ren Summerlin suggested.

Cathy Gregor said, "That duct tape really does work." But just as I was starting to get hopeful, she had another suggestion: "A girlfriend of mine told me to find a frog and lick it."

I don't think I'll be licking any frogs. A wart on my leg is bad enough. Besides, kissing frogs turns them into princes. Don't you believe in fairy tales? I don't need a bunch of lazy princes sitting around the house.

Cloudchaser Sakonige suggested Dr Scholl's Wart remover. "Make sure you get the kind with the salicylic acid discs, not the liquid stuff." You would think with a name like Cloudchaser, he could at least come up with a medicine man's remedy -- or maybe medicine men use salicylic acid these days.

Now, I've heard tell there are people with special powers who can remove warts, but I don't know any witches, at least not the broom-riding, magic potions, wart-removing kind. I'm sure it would take one with some really special powers to cure this stubborn wart.

Finally, I broke down and bought some Dr. Scholl's freezing stuff at Walmart -- guaranteed to remove it in one application. Strangely, the package contains six applications. They don't seem very confident in their product. It must be potent stuff, though. It sat off the buzzer at the door when I left.

So far, the wart looks the same in spite of duct tape, cider vinegar, turpentine, and Vick's salve. I'm going to give the freezing stuff one more try before I give up and go to a medical doctor for a ritual wart burning.

Maybe if we all stand in a circle and chant, it will help.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss


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