SOME EARLY BEGINNINGS START WITH---A COMPLETE ENDING.
I'd only been married a few weeks when I confronted Jack, my new husband, about the bloody discharge that appeared on the back of his boxer shorts. The newer stains disappeared when I soaked the cotton underwear overnight—in bleach---but the older stains refused to budge.
Jack often-complained of back trouble so I wondered if the bad back and the bloody discharge were somehow-related. I quickly-learned---Jack had no interest in discussing anything personal—on any subject—for more than five minutes. After I suggested he visit the doctor, he wasted no time in telling me---he knew everything about his problem---and no doctor could help him. But, unwilling to let our conversation simply-end at that point, I asked if he would let me look at the source of his problem and----that’s when I infuriated Jack to the point—I saw and heard---something very surprising—very creepy—but quite-amazing:
My husband was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It was a small town with a small hospital. Those were the days when medical problems were solved at the local-level---rather than “transported” to cities, like Little Rock, with a well-known Medical Center.
John Armer Perdue, III was born on May 7, 1930, and-- while receiving his first physical checkup—the doctor discovered the new baby had a three-inch appendage protruding from the base of his spine. After consulting with hospital doctors and his parents, the decision was made to surgically-remove the appendage, immediately. Medical Books indicated the appendage was most-likely a tail—because of its shape and location. And, everyone involved with the surgery was told to never speak-of the "tail" to anyone else.
Apparently, the type surgery necessary to remove the appendage was a venture into the “unknown”---since human “tails” were and are-- extremely rare. Although all evidence of the appendage was removed and stitches closed the area that had been cut---somehow a tiny section of the hole was overlooked and, eventually, began to drain. I never understood why-- after so many years—from childhood to manhood—Jack’s problem was never corrected. I found the constant drainage-- very-distasteful.
Jack never referred to his “tail” except-- that one and only time he revealed the source of the discharge on his underwear. And, I knew better than to mention the very- sensitive subject to his Mother.
When I suggested we fly to Houston to meet with his Uncle George, an internist, who was associated with Houston’s finest medical doctors and hospitals---Jack laughed. He said something silly---like “I'm sure Uncle George has heard enough about my “tail” of woe.
So—Jack chose to “dirty” his underwear for the rest of his life, rather than correct the problem. Although the amount of the discharge varied from day to day---the evidence was always there.
And, as the old saying goes---“You can lead a horse to water but---you can’t make him drink.”
MEDICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING HUMAN TAILS.
When a human grows a tail, it's known as a human tail or vestigial tail. Many believe that human ancestors had and used some form of a tail. Over time as a species, however, we evolved past the need for such an organ, which is why the majority of humans no longer grow them.
Most humans grow a tail in the womb, which disappears by eight weeks. The embryonic tail usually grows into the coccyx or the tailbone. The tailbone is a bone located at the end of the spine, below the sacrum. Sometimes, however, the embryonic tail doesn't disappear and the baby is born with it. This is a true human tail.
Growing a true human tail is extremely rare. Sometimes, when babies are born, their parents might think they have a true tail when actually they don’t. This is called a pseudotail. Pseudotails are usually a symptom of an irregular coccyx or of spina bifida as opposed to a remnant of the embryonic tail from the womb.
True human tails are exceedingly rare. They are often referred to as archaic or even as “oddities” because of their rarity. They are also found twice as often in males as they are in females and are not found to be passed down within families.
It's a commonly-held belief that the origins of the human tail lie in the ancestors of humans. Scientists believe that humans eventually adapted out of needing tails and so no longer grow them.