There was most certainly a blur in my vision, not to mention my mind was a bit foggy. The ceiling was moving as I heard a voice, “How are you doing Mr. Kaiser?”
Regardless of what may seem to you as me lying on the floor in a drunken stupor, I assure you it was drugs, not liquor. I was waking up following a colonoscopy. And the voice was the “Recovery Nurse”, Joey.*
My brain began to clear enough for me to easily revert to my senses…especially the sense of humor. “Joey, you say?”
“Yes. Typically a boy’s name, but you got it right.” She was methodically locking my gurney, shining a laser beam into my eyes and checking my IV.
“Well, Joey, you are aware that you just carted me down the hall from a colonoscopy. I’m also quite certain you know that clear liquids is all the libation I’ve had for 2 days. I’ve complied with the directive of no meals, snacks, or early trick-or-treating. For a guy who eats something every two hours, my stomach is not only growling, it seems to be inverting itself up into my throat looking for anything consumable. Furthermore, I just finished a session with an internal photographer and you wonder how I’m doing?”
No doubt she had heard retorts like this before—mostly intended as complaint. However, my voice inflections and facial expressions certainly reflected my intended sarcasm. When she smiled brightly, I knew she gathered as much, so I felt comfortable in saying,
“You definitely do not look like any Australian Joey I’ve seen on the Nature Channel.”
“Well, thank you very much. I think you are quite awake now. Would you like something?”
“Steak or Lobster would be nice.”
“Ed, stop harassing her.” That was Sue entering my recovery stall. “I can take him out, but cannot make him behave.”
When Joey hopped back into my stall with a Coke, she advised me that they had pumped quite a bit of CO2 into my system so I probably feel a little bloated. “Don’t try to hold it in. Just let it out.” Before you get the impression that all men “just let it out”, I opted to try to force the gas back into my stomach and burp quietly. Do you realize there is a pyloric valve to prevent that from happening. Pressure anywhere in the lower digestive track pushes equally on a valve that will not open and the wide open…
Oh, was I happy I had not eaten anything in 24 hours.
The Doctor came in to tell Sue and I what he had found. He admitted that he had removed a rather large polyp which he did not want “scratched at” by abrasive foods. “No popcorn or nuts for two weeks.”
As he left, I announce my opinion of that proscription, “I don’t like you right now, Doctor.”
Joey continued the Doctor’s discharge instructions…including reiterating his emphasis of no popcorn. “I don’t like you either.” I glibly responded. “You’d better give Sue that no-no list. She is the one who will be in charge of what I should not eat.”
“That’s the way it is supposed to be…women in charge, right?” Sue and Joey ‘high-fived’ and I knew I had met a formidable repartee foe.
When she finished all the paperwork, Joey attempted to confirm if I was ready to leave. “Would you like to get dressed now?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Is it still raining outside?”
“Why? Are you afraid you might melt? Sue interjected for me. “Ed would say, ‘melt’ is heat related. Rain might cause ‘dissolving’, but not melting. However, I would say it’s too cold for him to melt and his sugar content is obviously debatable.”
That I would totally agree with. I had not had even an M&M in two days. But now, my fast was over. I got dressed then we headed for anything other than popcorn.
* I told Joey that I would be writing this Frivolity involving her and she gave permission to accurately use her name. This is a true story. No names have been changed to protect the guilty parties.
Probably because Halloween is my birthday, my brother, aka ‘bama Bob, asked if I ever shared my “birthday loot” with him and little brother, Rick. Not only does his question have a subtle inference of un-brotherly selfishness, it also challenged my recollection of what Trick-or-Treat was like 65 years ago.
Let me set the stage for you. Bob is 5 years younger than me and Rick would probably have been dressed as a toddler with rabbit ears the first time all three of us went out into the neighborhood to Trick-or-Treat. Though I cannot recall for certain, I am quite certain mom went with us on that first brothers-three Halloween evening.
I’m sure you can imagine that adding Little Rickie to the trek around the neighborhood slowed us down. Mom emphatically alerted Bob and me; “No, you two cannot take off. We are going as a family this year.”
“Really, mom?”, I foolishly countered. “Dad’s home watching Douglas Edward’s with the News (and Timex watches taking a lickin’ but keep on tickin’). Besides, a walrus moves faster than Rickie. Can’t you carry him?” I guess you know that ill-timed question was met with an unmistakable glare: Do you want to go home right now?
Fortunately, Rick was far too young to understand the stamina required to get a bountiful harvest of treats. He tired quickly. Besides, his treat-container was a plastic pumpkin. You couldn’t even fit a popcorn ball into it. Bobby’s bag was the recipient of all goodies that would not fit into the pumpkin. New rule of Halloween—Never question mom about family inclusive issues.
When Rickie’s pumpkin overflowed with more sugar than he should ingest before Thanksgiving, Bob and I were released from our brotherhood tethers. Neither he nor I insisted on togetherness for our sprints to the best houses. You see, we each had a separate “Halloween Brotherhood”.
We didn’t go around the neighborhood as gangs of kids. Nevertheless, our separate clans of school chums would loudly shout, in passing, of where the Jackpot houses were. Why waste time on porches to get good-for-you fruits, Safe-T-Pops or sticky popcorn balls. Crackerjacks with a prize inside was a high priority stop for me. Nobody was yelling where you could get Hershey Kisses. Hershey Bars…oh, yeah! Houses giving Chicklets, mini-packs of CandyCorn and Dum-Dums were to be skipped to efficiently scramble across lawns to haul in Double-Bubble, jaw breakers and All-day suckers.
Now, to address my brother’s opening question of candy distribution at home. In the interest of “brotherhood”…and Dad, who now was more interested in treats than the newspaper, we would dump the contents of our rope-handled grocery bags on the floor then kneel to paw through the pickings.
Safety Patrol mom searched diligently for “home-made” stuff and opened packaging. “Yes, mother, I know the box of Good&Plenty is open, but I did it. They were good but not really plenty.” Of course mom would answer, “Then Bob can have that one”, pointing to a second box that obviously came from my bag. We didn’t dare fight over the treats or the entire lot would be confiscated. However, I’m not saying we exactly shared equally.
Lest you have already forgotten, it was MY birthday. So, if I happened to dump out anything with nuts or peanut butter, don’t think for a minute I was buying into my mom’s ‘share and share alike’. Oh, sure, I might agree to “one for one” trading. “Here Bob, you can have my 3 boxes of MilkDuds and 2 big lollipops for those 5 measly little Reese’s cups.” He was old enough to do one-for-one math, but too young to do good negotiations. Besides at his age, sugar is sugar.
I cannot say that every smidgen of sweetness was distributed. I seem to remember a dishpan quite full of all the non-prioritized goodies. For quite some time into November, it sat out for easy pickings. Who got most of the loot out of that pan? Let’s just say my hands were bigger than either Bob’s or Rick’s.
Last week my brother, Rick, sent me a very nice piece of prose that he wrote. Within that story, Rick described the magnificent colors on the trees which he could see from his “Front Porch”.
This week I should invite him to come to my house. I’m hoping he will be able to write another heart-warming story about the view from my “Front Yard”…while he is helping me rake leaves.
Last week he could see the glorious hues of fall. This week all I see are grungy smudges of brown after the fall. What do you think? If Rick can find splendor in the tree’s last week, he ought to be able to write Splendor in the Grass Too, this week.
Actually I am only halfheartedly complaining about the hard work of clearing the lawn. I do appreciate the vibrantly dyed leaves on the trees surrounding my home. The operative word is “on”. “Off” their limbs the leaves seem stained rather than painted. That’s the half of fall I do not look forward to.
I have chosen to stay in Michigan because I honestly enjoy all four seasons. Certainly there is visual beauty all year round. Unfortunately, observable magnificence is soon-after mitigated by physical exertion.
Freshly fallen snow with drifted sculpturing is a marvel to see. Snow blowing, in opposition to blowing snow at negative wind-chill, is a task I do not particularly enjoy.
In the Spring, there is always glorious “new life” of sprouting bulb plants. Of course also sprouting are the grass runners I didn’t get out of the lilies when cutting them back last fall.
Ah, yes…Summer eventually arrives. Progressively warming sunshine, …gradually longer days to increase daylight pleasures, …steadily varying beautiful and fragrant blooms, …more and more of everything—including mosquito bites, weeding and lawn-mowing.
Now it’s fall. Yup, it is nice that the scorching heat of August is falling to a more comfortable level. I suppose most folks don’t actually mind the steadily shortening days. Now the sun falls below the horizon while we’re still awake enough to enjoy those God-crafted paintings. And, as I began this bit of Frivolity, Fall is fabulous before the fall.
Yup, fall I did while climbing the unstable compost pile to dump a bag of Toro-scrunched leaves. However, I think that was more my fault that the fault of fall.
Before………………………….and……………..After the fall [about 4’ high]