I had my tonsils out in the sixties. (That's the 1960s, not when I was in my 60s!) I remember only three things about the experience:
1. The book read to me to prepare me for the hospital visit. I recall there being brightly colored pictures of a little boy who's hospital gown didn't stay closed very well and nurses in white uniforms with the matching hats they wore back in the day. I search for that book every time I vist a used-book or antique store. I'm determined to one day find it.
2. Jello being served to me in the hospital bed afterwards.
3. Quisp. The character from the cereal. Somehow Quisp figures into my tonsil-removal experience. I think I received the stuffed Quisp doll from someone ... or maybe a lucky child in the bed next to me received the quirky alien ... or maybe I've imagined the entire thing. Imagined or not, the Quisp doll and tonsils go hand-in-hand in my mind.
(Let me stop here and say that if you are one of the young-uns who don't know what the cuss Quisp is, you can catch up by reading all about the cereal, the character and the battle with Quest right HERE.)
So last weekend, Brianna and I were out shopping for butt-toning shoes for my walks, along with a few other things. I bought my shoes, she bought two pair (not butt-toning ones) and we moved on to Target.
We're toodling toward the kitchen gadgets -- or whatever the heck it was we were there to get -- and what do I happen upon but an end cap stocked to the brim with, you guessed it ... no, not Jello ... but QUISP cereal!
The quirky little pink alien smiled from the blue box, just like I remembered from 40 years ago, beckoning me to the shelf. My eyes widened, my heart leapt and phantom pains from long-gone tonsils squelched squeals of delight. So I didn't squeal, but I did smile wide, pick up a box and share my Quisp story -- or my imagined Quisp story -- with Brianna.
I also bought a box. How could I resist?
When I got home, Jim, too, squealed upon seeing Quisp. Okay, he didn't really squeal, but he was just as excited to see the little guy as I was. Which surprised me because he certainly didn't know me when I had my tonsils out and never had the good fortune of seeing my Quisp doll. And he definitely is not a fan of cereal (I've never seen him eat a bowl of cereal in our entire lives together).
"Now that's a cereal I could handle," he said. "Dry, of course." (His aversion to cold cereal has something to do with milk, I've been told. Never, ever will he eat cold cereal with milk. Dry, apparently, is another story. Especially if it's Quisp, even more so apparent.)
So I happily placed the alien cereal in the cabinet, looking forward to having a bowl or two during the week. Which I did yesterday. And it was everything I remembered: little flying saucers that hold smidgens of milk ... and float in the milk as the saucers become few. A sweet, crunchy taste much like Cap'n Crunch -- without the damaging-to-the-roof-of-the-mouth crunchiness of Cap'n Crunch. Soggy saucers if if not eaten quickly enough. And the nausea that comes soon after swallowing the last bite.
Nausea? Yeah, the stuff always made me sick to my stomach for some reason. But I loved it so much -- call it successful marketing, maybe -- that I ate it regardless of the nausea, regardless of how I'd feel afterwards.
Also regardless of the nausea: I plan to buy two more boxes of Quisp before it disappears from Target. Not because of the taste -- nausea's not as easy to ignore as it used to be -- but because <insert drum roll here> with just three proofs of purchase and $4.95 for shipping and handling, I can receive by mail an authentic Quisp T-shirt!
I am so ordering it! And I plan to forevermore proudly wear my Quisp T-shirt as I peruse used-book stores and antique shops in my hunt for the out-of-print picture book featuring a little boy's hiney peeking from his hospital gown as he visited the hospital for his very first medical procedure. A little boy who wasn't as fortunate as I to receive a Quisp doll during his visit. Or to even imagine receiving a Quisp doll, as my case very well may be.
What do you remember about your very first hospital visit (well, first other than being born)?