Our Dad qualified as a medical doctor but as he was the eldest boy in his family he was destined to follow a career in business leaving him his family as his only outlet to practice his medical expertise.
He did this to great effect.
We fell out of trees, off walls into ditches and broke numerous limbs. Dads opinion was sought and given and we invariably ended up being carted off to the Old St. Vincent’s Hospital X-ray department ,off Leeson Street ,by our mother. Fortunately, she knew most of the staff in the department ( probably because we had been there so often) and we usually got bumped up the queue.
One day Dad decided to demonstrate the practicalities of his craft.
Jane, the eldest girl was prone to getting boils and one particularly nasty one was festering on her leg. Dad got a milk bottle, heated it and then placed it over the putrid sore. As the air inside cooled, the vacuum sucked the pus out of the boil and left Jane with a crater in her leg that was now pus free.
The boys (Mark and Simon ) were very interested in the proceedings and they filed the operation away for future reference.
It wasn’t long before there was an opportunity to put what they had observed into practice.
Simon had a friend called David, who was the son of the local Dentist. David was a rather gentle child and was the apple of his parents’ eye. How he became friends with the rough and tumble duo I’ll never know. David had come to the house to play after school. Some kind of Cops and Robbers was the flavour of the day and as there were two Digbys and one Carron, David got to be the Cop. The game involved a lot of dashing madly through the back door, out the front door, round the house and through the back door again. All this was familiar territory for Mark and Simon but not so for David.Our boys knew exactly how long it took for the swing door, which was just inside the front door,to close so they could pull it ,sprint through and away off out the front door. David on the other hand was not privy to this precision and when he pulled the swing door to run through, the door swung shut just as he was running through. He caught it head first and ended up with a bump the size of a cherry between his eyes.
Now this bump looked very similar to the boil Jane had had on her leg so there was nothing for it but for the boys to heat a milk bottle, place it over the bump and “fix” David before he had to go home. Poor boy, the vacuum sucked his bump to three times its original size and he ended up looking like a unicorn with a multicoloured horn!
Needless to say, David wasn’t allowed to come to play with the boys for a very long time and they got a right ticking off from Dad when he heard what they had done.