Clem’s Ma’s Tapeworm Plan

Clem O. Pratt has tapeworms. He’s lying up in the hospital now. Wasting away. The Biltricide didn’t work so now he has an obstructed bowel.
He used to eat like crazy. Hamburgers, pork chops, fried chicken all at one sitting. His ma told him to stop eating like that. That he was going to get the gout. Clem told her to mind her own business. But Clem’s ma sees his health as her business. Her dead husban’s gas station pays the bills. And Clem runs it while she sits around all day gossiping.
She was so worried that Clem was eating himself to death. Betsy from Owen County had the answer. She said her Uncle got a tapeworm when he was in Africa during the war. Couldn’t eat for weeks until they finally figured out what was wrong. Ever since then he has no appetite. Betsy was just sharing a story. She didn’t intend to give Clem’s am any ideas. But sometimes we inspire others in ways we don’t intend.
Clem’s ma started cooking for him. Clem was surprised but happy to have a good meal after a hard day at the gas station.
He kind of thought the hamburgers and pork chops were not quite done. And they tasted funny. Then after awhile he found he couldn’t eat as much.
Clem’s ma was happy that her plan was working. Until the Clem was screaming in pain from the bathroom.
Now he can’t eat. Or work. And Clem’s ma needs a new plan.

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