“He Swallowed What?!”

My grandmother would always tell my sister and I some interesting stories about my Uncle David when he was growing up. These anecdotes ranged from putting mashed potatoes into the vacuum cleaner after dinner one night, breaking more than his fair share of bones (sometimes even two at once!), and writing a poem for his class the morning it was due–and winning a prize for it!

One of my favorites that she would often tell us all around the dinner table is of the time that my Uncle David told my grandma that he had swallowed a nail.

He had come home from playing outside all day and, somewhat casually, walked up to my grandmother and told her that he thought that he had accidentally swallowed a nail earlier! Immediately she phoned his father, who had to be called out of work to head over to the hospital–because my grandmother never did like to drive.

Right before they wheeled him into surgery, the doctor looked him straight in the eyes and asked him one last time, “Now are you sure that you swallowed that nail?”

My uncle, with a teasing glint in his eyes, smugly replied, “Just kidding.”

Needless to say, my grandfather was not very much pleased at this unexpected turn of events!

-Madison Bakalar

#families #Folklore #ncfolklore #unc

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