Not long after I bought the house in St. Augustine, I took my twin nieces, who have earned themselves the dazzling nicknames of Amazing Grace and Faithilicious, out to the beach for a wart-removal ceremony.
Actually, my mother had promised the girls a Moon-Rising Marshmallow Roast out on the beach. So Mom, her mother, the twins, and I carried the little hibachi grill and a bag of marshmallows out to the beach one evening just as the sun was beginning to set.
Faith showed me the wart on her toe as we sat around waiting for the fire to get hot.
I explained that wart removing involves a very precise ritual that must be followed perfectly in order for it to work. Luckily, the best time to perform the ceremony is in the presence of the full moon. Eager to be rid of her wart, Faith agreed to follow my instructions, and we began our preparations.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. But over the years, I’ve heard stories about everything from garlic to apple cider vinegar to good old duct tape being used to get rid of warts. And a marshmallow got the job done in Ghostbusters. So, I figured, what could it hurt to try a little marshmallow and wet sand on a wart?
First, I said, they needed to collect some wet sand. As the girls ran to carry out my instructions, Mom worried aloud that clouds on the horizon might block our view of the moon as it first came up over the water.
The wet sand had to be rubbed on the wart and then rinsed off in the ocean, I told the girls when they returned. They glopped as much sand on Faith’s foot as they could, and she hopped on one foot back down to the water to rinse it off.
Lightning flashed from the clouds just about the time she stuck her foot in a tidal pool, and my 84-year-old grandmother, who had been watching the entire ritual with great amusement, said, “I imagine getting struck by lightning would remove a wart.”
It was time for the girls to roast their marshmallows. Lightning flashed again and again as the girls twirled the marshmallows on their sticks to brown them evenly. Mom looked at her watch and said, “The moon should be coming up over the horizon in just a minute or two.”
Faith took her marshmallow out of the fire and began blowing on it to cool it off. When it was cool enough, I instructed her to pull it apart, rub half on her wart, and then eat the other half while saying the magic words, “Marshmallow make the wart go away!”
As Faith smeared the marshmallow on the wart, Mom yelled, “Look! There it is!” A huge orange moon began climbing toward the stars.
Lightning flashing, moon rising, marshmallow rubbing, and twins murmuring, “Marshmallow make the wart go away!” It was a magical moment. And I hoped to God that wart would magically disappear, because if it didn’t, those girls would never let me hear the end of it. As we made our way back up the boardwalk, I told Faith that she needed to say the magic words three times every night before she fell asleep, knowing full well that she would forget, which would be my disclaimer if my remedy failed.
The next night, Faith fell off her scooter, and the asphalt scraped the wart completely off. It never came back.
That recipe, by the way, is not patented, so feel free to use it. Just make sure you don’t use those hideous chocolate marshmallows. They look like dog shit when roasted, and I imagine that cure would most likely be worse than simply living with the wart.