By the time a child is seven or so he learns that there are certain promises a parent may not keep: “We'll get a puppy soon.” “It's bedtime, you can finish that game up tomorrow.” And especially, “This won't hurt a bit!”
In rural North Carolina, in 1951, despite parental disclaimers, a typhoid shot hurt. Especially in tiny Sulpher Springs, where instead of managed care, there was one family doctor. Actually, Dr. York wasn't so bad. But the Wednesday afternoon “shot clinic” was run by his large, ....
dictatorial nurse, Miss Winnie, who had been “especially built by the nursing school so she would never blow away in a hard wind”—and who, rumor held, used “big, monster two-handed needles bought secondhand from a horse doctor.”
In this hilarious epic tale, our young hero learns three valuable lessons: avoiding pain just heightens it, a mother's wrath can hurt worse than a shot, and growing up sometimes involves choosing the lesser of two evils.