1 : to generate pus
2 : putrefy, rot
3 a : to cause increasing poisoning, irritation, or bitterness : rankle b : to undergo or exist in a state of progressive deterioration
First thing's first: rankle : to continue to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment within the mind. Fantastic word. Paranoia, animosity, vehemence spinning, churning, writhing within the walls of the brain. Lovely. This whole above definition is just...awesome.
My first thought, after rankle, was of course: uncle. I grew up on the Addams Family movies, embracing a kinship with Wednesday, aspiring to be Morticia (Anjelica Huston still makes me want to grow out my hair), and generally developing comforting parallels with the concept of a "weird" family. I loved anything dark as a child (I still do) and this morbid humor had my eyes locked with the television. Uncle FESTER was just another reason to adore the film—he never quite made the cut for fantasy dad (while Gomez absolutely did), but fantasy male role model for sure. The character also just added to the awesomeness that was Christopher Lloyd. As though Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit weren't enough. Lloyd redefined the twisted and maniacal gentleman for the end of the twentieth century.
Second thoughts: wounds. Specifically mine. I tried to remember the last time I had a wound that FESTERED. A couple years ago I had to get my toenail removed due to an abscess that was caused by the shit-quality non-slip work shoes I am forced to wear. (Worker's Comp!) After a few months of general toe-discomfort, I finally went to the podiatrist. The interaction unfolded as follows:
Well, this nail is gonna have to come out.
Okay. When do we do this?
At least it's not the whole toe (nervous laughter).
You laugh but that happens a lot around here.
I'm sure there was some FESTERING in this toe debacle. The whole mess was pretty grotesque (see above).
No accounting for taste, I suppose.