"Dear boy, have you been to the doctor about your nerves? You really should get that checked out."
Malcolm nodded no, and dabbed his nose with a doily.
"Well before I joined the Royal Marines I was a constant bucket of nerves, always swollen in the tongue, not a pretty look you know, never could get a prom date because of it."
Malcolm's ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton and his elbows ached. He could barely keep up with Major Heggs pace.
"Do you know how I was cured boy?! I'll tell you right now!"
He pointed to a leather band around his ankle with a small scarp of a doily tied to it. The doily was tattered and old, no longer crisp and white. Malcolm was confused, and wondering how a doily could help the swelling of a tongue fade.
"Yes ma'boy, one of your very own Aunt Peach's hand embroidered doilies. This is my last one. Tongue puffs right back up like an African Hippopotamus, you know the kind right lad?"
Malcolm nodded yes, and blinked. He hadn't blinked this whole time (it was a condition he had along with his sneezing) and realized he needed his eye drops. Malcolm didn't want to move, he knew another raging fit of sneezes would attack him and then the Major would again go off on thread counts and doilies and how he should strap one to his forehead. But before he could figure out how to get his drops without his eyes drying up and dropping out of this head, there was a knock at the door. The Major turned and walked to the door. Malcolm scrambled to the bathroom and shut the door.
As Malcolm dug through his toiletry bag he wondered, how many people would knock on the door? Is today a holiday? Why on earth were the q-tips pink, he didn't own pink q-tips? Who really was Salamagrundi, and where were his eye drops!?