According to my son-in-law, it is our family tradition to not let a Christmas season go by without a hospital visit by someone. He is exaggerating, of course, but this year it was me. As a matter of fact, I had a kidney removal the December after he joined our family. He also had to escort my niece to the emergency room on another Christmas.
This year, on Christmas Eve at one o’clock in the afternoon, I drove myself to the local hospital emergency room for treatment. For the second time in my life I had contracted Bell’s palsy, a malady which manifests itself as an attack on the nerves that control the facial muscles. In a few hours I went from being a relatively handsome, distinguished man to looking like the latest iteration of Frankenstein.
With Bell’s palsy, exactly one-half of the muscles in your face go limp. The disease strikes one side of the face or the other, and it looks like half your face is sliding off, giving one’s visage a grim, sneering look. It ain’t pretty.
After an examination by Dr Malcolm, and a CT Scan to make sure I had not had a stroke, I was released into the wild with a couple of prescriptions. It seems that corticosteroids are the primary treatment for the palsy, and that is to relieve the inflammation.
That’s all they gave me for a multi-thousand dollar emergency room visit. So, I endeavored to assist the medical profession by adding to the effort, and stopped by a local liquor store.
That’s when I discovered Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey. Those of you who keep up with the Moonshiners program on the History Channel know of whom I speak. Popcorn Sutton was a (almost) world-famous moonshiner in Tennessee. He swore he would never go to prison, and when the Federal revenuers finally got him, he committed suicide rather than spend most of the rest of his life in jail.
Popcorn’s whiskey was reputed to be some of the best moonshine, ever, and after his death was put into commercial production.
I was anxious to try the 93 proof nector of the cornstalk, and was rewarded with something totally unexpected. The stuff is as clear as water (White Whiskey), very little aroma, and a delicate, lingering taste reminiscent of Johnson’s Floor Wax. I had to read the label, again, to make sure I had the right stuff.
Between my diligence in going to the emergency room, and Popcorn Sutton, I think I am going to beat this Bell’s palsy thing. I just hope that neither emergency rooms or moonshine will become a Christmas tradition.