Friday Frivolity: Bahston T

The title of this Frivolity is not about the Boston Tea Party. It is, nevertheless, about Transit in Bahston.

As a project devised to utilize time during COVID, Sue and I have embarked on a long delayed task of “organizing” the electronic pictures of our vacations. This process has inspired us to recall particular memories about certain pictures. It has also prompted me to share an excerpt from our 2002 trip to Boston.

Out east, there are signs to indicate a “Rotary” is ahead. Mind you, it is not alerting drivers that a Rotarian is up ahead, seeking donations. Around here, we call them “traffic circles”. In the east, the term “Rotary” is loosely applied to everything from a flag pole in the middle of the street to a circular traffic jam.

I believe “traffic circles” in Michigan are strategically placed at busy intersections to efficiently maintain smooth traffic flow. At least that is their intention. Out East, they seem to be whimsically placed—often in defiance of strategy and logic.  They were frequently at the center of small towns where the majority of traffic was circling to the drive-thru at Dunkin’ Doughnuts.

We also found rotaries in large cities, as hubs, branching to a half dozen streets, …many of which barely had sufficient width for parking.  Once, we even encountered a pair of rotaries. They were practically side by side and served as a multi-highway interchange.  I swear, those two rotaries had outlets to 3 or 4 highways each. Most drivers were careening around in a virtual figure 8 at 45-50 mile’n’hour.  I’m tellin’ ya, there was more honkin’ than a gaggle of geese over a corn field.

But our absolute greatest calamity, involving a rotary, was in Bahston.  Of course, that’s not too surprising considering that all sage advice is to NOT drive in Boston.  Okay, so I thought sage was a spice and ventured into the Bean Town commuter melee.

After traversing the entire city on Interstate 95 looking for an exit to “Boston Commons” (or for that matter, any street on one of our 3 maps) we exited to a State Police Post.  I’m not entirely sure if it was because of our Michigan license plates or the fact that I, a man, would succumb to asking for directions. Whatever! The two officers I asked for help, seemed almost as confused as I was.  However, following considerable debate between them, they settled on; “Take Columbia Road to UMass and UMass goes right to the Commons.

We found Columbia, no problem… then it entered a Rotary.  Around we went seeking the continuation of Columbia, yet all we could find was Columbia going back the way we just came.  Around we went again, hoping for the outside chance of finding UMass.

Nope… the only “U” we saw was on the sign ‘No U turn’.  Helloooo, what else can you do on a rotary but turn? How much difference is there between turning O and U?  Once again, there were those plagued honking geese.  Either they were following us or they hover over the rotaries.  Seems like wherever we went, there was honking.  Everywhere, that is, except on the T.  That’s the Transit system throughout Boston.  That’s the system we opted for the next day.

We bought a pass to ride the all forms of the T for a fabulous day in Boston.  At the Commons, we also bought a pass for a narrated trolley ride. Note: the first letter of trolley was not T.  The rides was a very informative, entertaining trip around this historic city.  Following that whirlwind tour, we rode the T busses, to the USS Constitution, Paul Revere’s home, Old North Church, and many other beautiful sites and historic buildings.  Oh, yes, shopping and dining at Quincy Market.  A day packed with memories, for sure.  Ahhh, but the climax memory of the day was exiting the T subway.

Upon exit from the T to return to our car, I flashed the “daylong” pass, just as I had all day long.  “I’m sorry sir, that’s not the correct pass to let you out”. Point of fact. For Inbound trains to Boston, you show your pass when entering. For Outbound, you have to show it to get out of the station.

“What?!?!  I bought this pass here this morning and it’s supposed to be good all day”

“Not that pass, sir, 4 bucks please”

Oppps, I had shown the trolley pass, not the T pass.  Point of fact. The trolley pass should NOT have worked for T travel on busses, yet it did. Now we want to get off the T and I can only find the trolley tickets. As I frantically searched my pockets, I could almost hear the Kingston Trio; “…did he ever return, his fate is still unlearned, will he ride forever ‘neath the streets above…,”

Whew, Sue saved the day.  She found our passes to freedom tucked in with a host of souvenir pamphlets she’d collected throughout the day.

Friday Frivolity: Falls & Pratfalls

How many of you recall the opening lines of many of the “Goofy” cartoons? I think it went something like this: Here we find our hero preparing for… and subsequently the zaniest dog on two feet leads on a hilarious episode of pratfalls.

Try to imagine such a video with the closed caption, Here we find Ed, preparing for rebuilding a waterfall.

As you watch Ed precariously balancing on rocks trying to traverse to the falls without trampling emerging lily sprouts which surround the pond, you wonder why rebuild the falls. Unlike naturally formed falls, Ed’s creation is ‘fed’ by two pumps not a natural spring. Necessarily, water conservation is critical to the fish in the pond. As a result of winter’s freeze and thaw…plus the unauthorized burrowing of a despicable chipmunk…one side of said waterfall was sagging. This caused some of the cascading water to seep backwards under the rocks, then sideways and off of the rubber liner.

This needed to be fixed. Removing the sides was a necessary task to get a clear view of where the water was escaping the liner. Because Starship Enterprise has not yet delivered my Tricorder (my Neurologist will not release me from this cumbersome back brace until the Governor will let me go to get an x-ray) I must carefully roll away the large, cut-fieldstone side of the Ed-made mountain. Although there were some humorous scenes in this process, I will cut to the climax.

Of course you understand that to find where water is escaping the falls, I needed to keep the pumps running. In hindsight, once I had discovered the escaping trickles by removing several pieces of shale and flat surface rock, THAT would have been the opportune time to shut off the power to the pumps. Alas, Goofy does not think particularly well at opportune moments.

I honestly was not concerned about water washing across my hands as I knelt to replace rocks one by one. All was going quiet well until a bee was about to land on my hand. You know…the hand that was steadying my body as it leaned out over the corner of the pond as the other hand was trying to put a 5 pound (well under my lifting limit) into place approximately centered in the falls (well over the balance limit of said body). Actually it was within the limit of balance until the bee did in fact land.

There is a natural reaction to such an event. It is sometimes referred to as ‘fight or flight’. In this particular instance my “fight” did cause the bee’s “flight”. It also caused my body to tilt into the waterfall as opposed to splashing head first into the pond. My shoulder abruptly planted itself like a new rock in the cascade—consequently diverting significantly more than a trickle into my face. Not to mention down my arm, along my torso and into…well…let your imagination flow to a conclusion.

It is also noteworthy that this performance did not go unnoticed. When I finally regained my balance, the entire school of goldfish was flapping their gills and gasping in amazement. Such is the typical pratfall of GoofyEd.

Friday Frivolity: Malady Recall

Malady Recall

I have recently had a rash surface on my skin. I say surface because I’ve not been anywhere to “catch” a rash since my “platypus dive” in my driveway. That was last January and the resulting lumbar compression fracture effectively kept me indoors.

So, when this rash became evident, COVID-19 necessitated a phone visit with my Dermatologist. If I had shown her the worst of my rash, …well let’s just say the FCC frowns on electronic nudism.

Long story short, she told me to use a particular cream she prescribed. This undefined rash recalls the longer story which follows. That time it was far more than just an unsightly rash. From 2008…

I’ve got an itch.  No, not a mosquito bite type itch.  Not even a dozen bites itch.  This is like a colony of insects have taken residence under my skin…everywhere, and no amount of scratching can persuade them to leave.

When I went to the doctor for a remedy, he was unable to discover the root cause.  There were lots of possibilities.  He reasoned that it was likely an allergic reaction. In lieu of some specific remedy, he suggested I stop doing something, …not sure what, but something, to see if the itch would go away.

So what to give up?  Hmmm. When I was a young man I drank way too much “Detroit River Water”, smoked everything from vines to stogies, and consumed enough cholesterol to clog the Windsor Tunnel.  Not to mention my frequent habit of carousing around ‘til all hours of the night, chasing all manner of women… and a few without manners, too.

And that was just my college years.

In my thirties I added overindulgence of sugar and salt as well as escalating most of my other bad habits to just short of excessive.  At least, in my estimation, it was less than excessive.  I cannot recall excessive libation to the extent of being drunk.  Of course, there were times when I could not recall falling down either.

Such a wild and glorious lifestyle has its price.  Ironically, it also provides remedy.  Through the years, as one affliction after another would wage war on my well being, I would simply give up one of my vices and feel better for it.

My misfortune, at the moment, is that I have no vice in reserve.  No bad habit to offer as sacrifice to my current ailments.  I’m a sinking ship with no baggage to throw overboard.  I’ve surrendered the pleasures of tobacco, alcohol, carousing and overindulgence of fats and cholesterol.  I’ve even severely reduced such delights as chocolate, salt and peanuts.  Yup, even my handful a day peanut habit is now reduced to “for medicinal purposes only”.  What?, …you’ve not heard of nuts as an antioxidant?

Now, with this itch pestering me and no obvious cause, I fear there is nothing left for the doctor to proscribe.  Perhaps I should have clung to a few evil cravings so the medical profession could find something for me to renounce.

I am surely not suggesting that any of you have a bad habit.  However, if you do, do not relinquish it prematurely.  Wait until you have an itch that won’t go away, so the doctor will have something to prohibit for cure.

Friday Frivolity: Reunion Recall

For 44 years following my High School graduation, I resisted the temptation to attend a Reunion. When the 45th Reunion was being planned, one of my friends on the committee suggested that he knew I would be a great candidate to do a roast of the Committee.
 
I consented and decided to attend the “Friday night Social” just to see if I could add a few more tid-bits of ammunition to fire at the Committee.
 
At the restaurant, there were several clusters waiting outside. I’m not sure why, but no one made a move for the door, so neither did I. None of them looked familiar to me. Must be I didn’t look familiar to them either. We all nodded cordially. Another classmate arrived. I recognized him. Believe it or not, 45 years had gone by, yet I was quite certain I knew him.
 
“Bob Jackson…right?” I greeted him. “You wrestled one seventy-five didn’t you?”
 
“Yeah, actually 185 and heavyweight.” He responded, “And… you… are… “
 
“I’m Ed Kaiser and this is my wife Sue”. And the reminiscing began. We talked about others on the wrestling team, but I never got the feeling that he remembered me. He should have. After all, I’m the little kid who brought him oranges after his matches. Of course I also saw him every day at practice. Dropped sweat with him. There were only 20 or so guys in that group, so you’d think he’d have remembered.
 
But, hey, the lighting in the wrestling room was bad and I was hard to see, cowering in the corner. Plus, we never wrestled each other. He was huge and I wasn’t much bigger than the oranges he devoured.
 
I was almost too small to be noticeable in any wrestling picture. As a sophomore, I was barely visible in the team picture. Barely, as almost hidden, but not physically bare. I had a T-shirt on so as to not scare viewers with my muscleless physique. I was under 85 pounds and tried to wrestle 95. I did wrestle a few matches against 1959 powerhouse schools such as Okemos, Boys Vocational and School for the blind. I was undefeated and earned a Varsity Letter…which was very heavy to wear on my blue and gold sweater.
 
In other sporting news, I tried out for the football team. Sophomore year—JV. My shoulder pads would only rest on one shoulder or the other. Kinda like a boa loosely slung around my neck.
 
The smallest padded pants they had in dusty storage tied up very nicely… just under my armpits. Add in a helmet and my full uniform doubled my gross weight. The coach admitted he would never put me in a game. He was afraid for my life.
 
Spring sports didn’t work out either. They told me I couldn’t drag my bat up to the plate and just hope to get 4 balls. Next stop was the track. I’m guessing the same guy who designed Christiancy School’s rock strewn ball-field must have had an influence in pouring cinders in a circle to run on.
 
Seriously? Red-stained clinkers from a coal furnace? Shameful! Come on…they could have laid down an oval of concrete then had all the hot-rodders in school burn rubber on the straigth-aways and do power slides in the curves. Awesome traction and you wouldn’t have needed cleats.
 
That being said, the Track Coach suggested I try sprints. I suppose he figured my scrawny legs were not long enough to endure distances. But sprinting was a flop right at the start.
 
Literally, at the start. Starting with my hands on the ground was a disaster in the making. At the starters gunshot, my feet spasmed, my fingers lifted off the ground, but my legs failed to catch up enough to keep my nose off of the track.
 
Next event was distance running…as in all the way to the showers.
 
Fast forward to the 45th Reunion. At that time I stood six-four and over and about 100-over my wrestling weight. I was no longer shy. That is, unless it is in the context of hair loss. I no longer had a Swave coated wave above my brow. It was much closer to being a glassy sea.
 
Anyway, it’s no wonder very few classmates recognized me. It mattered little to me, though. Over 45 years, my athletic mis-adventures were now great topics for humorous recall at Reunions.

Friday Frivolity: Elementary Playground

A friend from grade school (hmmm, if that doesn’t give you a clue as to just how long ago I was in 6th grade). Anyway, a guy who went to Christiancy Street Elementary School and I have been sharing remembrances from the playground.

Actually playGROUND is a misnomer. It was closer to a rock quarry. It wasn’t even ground rocks. It is beneath even the Lansing School District’s foolhardiness to use gravel for a softball diamond. They dumped stones everywhere except the muddy puddles under the teeter-totter.

Stones were arguable okay for kick-ball, where a bouncing ball of that size was not likely to veer suddenly. Softballs, however, do change directions very suddenly when careening wildly across the infield (field also being a misnomer). Be advised, my childhood stature, even if I stood up straight, put my nose much too close to an erratically bouncing softball (soft also being a misnomer).

Of course, considering the roughness of the playing surface, it is understandable why “sliding into base” was discourage. Ramming the defensive occupant of said base was not outlawed. My personal foolhardiness was to choose to play second base. Collisions were inevitable and…did I mention my diminutive stature. Further on the “no sliding rule”. For an undersized, uncoordinated juvenile like me, sliding, stumbling and nose-diving were inevitable.

Do any of you remember playing “500”? That’s a ball game where the batter “pitches’ to himself and hits the ball to a bunch of kids congregating in the outfield. Each outfielder was granted a rather loosely defined “space” in which they had the rights to catch a fly ball. Catch 5 flies (not to be confused with insects) and you get to be the batter. You did not populate the outfield if you had no desire to be the batter. Desire was also very loosely defined, so desire frequently invaded space. Nobody had to even bother to push me out of the way of their desire. Not only was I shorter than most of my playmates, my jumping ability was closer to toad than frog.

If I did somehow manage to pick up enough bouncing balls (everybody wanted 100-point flies, not 25-point grounders), I’d earn my turn at batting. That feat would further testify to my lack of athletic prowess. I know I mentioned that the batter was his own pitcher. In my enthusiasm, if not a distinctly necessary need for sufficient time to get the bat in both hands, I would toss the ball so high…and wide…in the air that I often needed to lunge to hit the ball. It should not be surprising to you that the ‘outfielders’ quickly took up their “space” in the infield.  That’s okay, though.  Do the math. During my turn at bat, I would get four times as many swings as a guy who would crush 5 long fly balls.

And that’s the way it was on the playground of my Elementary edification.

Friday Frivolity: Typing II

This past week, my brothers and I were reminiscing about movies.  Bob recalled seeing a Red Skelton movie during the second half of “Lunch Hour”.  At Walter French Jr. High all three of us recalled that one of the options of filling the half hour after lunch was going to the auditorium for a movie…at least a half hours worth.

During that discussion, Rick said that he was part of a student team that assisted in the projection room.  In trying to recall which teacher was the advisor, I concluded that it was NOT likely to be Mr. Youngblood, my Typing II teacher. He was nothing like his name would suggest. Basically, he was a crotchety old man that probably hadn’t seen a movie since “Tugboat Willie” and didn’t laugh during that one.

He certainly never laughed at any of the antics during his Typing classes. Hitting the wrong keys often created words and phrases we felt important to share with anyone seated nearby.  Youngblood was deviously always nearby. To his way of thinking, it was embarrassing, not funny to hit the wrong key. Humph. Embarrassing was that I took this class instead of Dodge Ball.  That would have been the epitome of awkwardness. I had to use two hands and three bounces just to get the ball across the line. It was far better to be plagued with hitting the wrong keys.

And wrong keys plus my tendency to see humor in errors, kept Mr. Youngblood near me much of the time.  The challenge of imprinting any letter or symbol which required shift key was tougher than it is with the modern keyboard.  First of all, because we were required to have a piece of folded cardboard over our hands, my view of the keyboard was effectively blocked.  Secondly (okay, so this is conclusive proof of just how old I am.)…secondly, the SHIFT key was actually a lever, not an electrically connected button.  The lever raised the platen so that the bottom portion of the ‘letter’ key would strike the paper. Not only was my body quite underdeveloped in Jr. High, my pinky demonstrated about as much strength as a slug trying to pull an anvil.

Probably because it is such an oft used key today, I particularly remember trying to strike an @ on the paper.  That necessitated finding the out-of-sight “2” key with my left ring finger while simultaneously slamming down the platen lever…aka “Shift”.  Remember that slug? I had to roll then entire left side of my hand, not just a finger, to push down on the “Shift”. Regrettably, that usually included inadvertent depression of the “a” key…which coincided with striking the desired “@” with my ring finger.

Are you aware that all of the keystrokes, back then, were processed to the paper via a single ‘type-bar’ wide guide. The operative word is single. More to the point here, the non-operative trapping of the type-bars for ‘a’ and ‘@’ just prior to striking the ink ribbon. Uncrossing type-bar fingers usually resulted in fingers stained with ink…telltale, after-the-fact  evidence of my keyboard ineptness.

Today, with the frequency of using the @ symbol for e-mail addressing, I’m still not very adept with the shift-stroke and synchronization with my left ring finger.  Even though my desktop keyboard requires very little pressure to invoke the ‘Shift’, my habitual rotation of my left hand to do it often results in  a  ‘tilde’.  …or worse, coincident ~!

I have now modified much of what I was taught in Typing II. Of particular note here is the traditional use of my pinky to press ‘shift’, but instead of my ring finger, use my left middle finger to get an @.  (no specific inference intended).

Friday Frivolity: Anemic

“Ed, you’re anemic.” Considering that I’ve been pretty much restricted to my recliner for 6 weeks, you could rightfully expect that was Sue taking exception to me ringing the ‘servant bell’.  It wasn’t. It was my doctor.  Seems that one of my blood tests in the ER indicted my body was deficient in iron.

Really? Iron-poor, tired blood?  I remember those Geritol ads. Right on baby…just a swig of Geritol will get you “twice the iron as a pound of calves liver”  Get real. I can’t even stomach a little bitty chicken liver. The pills the doctor prescribed better not taste like they look.

Red…maybe rusty red.  That’s the color I see in the bottle.  It’s either compressed rust or coagulated blood of a calf.  My gag reflex convulses every time I open the bottle.

Coincidentally, about the same time my doctor called to say my excess weight was not due to swallowing scrap iron, my brother in Alabama found out he had excessive iron in his blood stream.  ‘Bama doctors are still in the ‘blood-letting’ era, I guess.  They sent a nurse out to drain some off.

I hurriedly sent off an e-mail to Bob.  “Wait, just a minute, Bob…get those leeches off your arm.  And don’t let that nurse poke you until I can get there.  We could work out a little ‘blood-sharing’ protocol.

Bob wrote back.  “Too late, brother. I’m a quart low so you can’t siphon off any more this time.  But, here’s an idea for the next time the nurse comes around.  I’ll save the quart of blood and boil it. How long do you think I’ll have to stand over a cauldron of boiling blood to smelt down the iron?  Smelt? Nobody wants to have smelt, or even sniffed, a witches pot of blood.

But I wasn’t done with the concept of transfusing iron rich blood into my veins.  My youngest brother is a frequent flier at the Apheresis Lab. I guess that’s sort of a modern day blood-letting.  “Yo, Rick, what do you think of sharing some of your blood with me at your next blood draw?”  Rick claimed he doesn’t lose blood, so there’s nothing to share. They just take plasma out and cycle his blood back in.

Well, I suppose that settles it. Not only is my blood anemic, but my brothers think my ideas are weak as well.

Friday Frivolity: Bad Omen

Yikes. It’s Friday the Thirteenth. Most assuredly a bad omen of certain demise. Demise of what, though? That’s not quite so certain.

Black Cats and Ladders also have omens attached to them.  Forget the ambiguous threat resulting from walking under a ladder. Unless your eyes are glued to the small-screen entertainment in your hands and your thumbs are more in control than your feet, why would you ever walk under a painters ladder. I’ll admit even that is not guaranteed bad luck. That is, unless that painter is me.

Ask Sue.  I have emptied a can of pain while taking one step down from a two-step stool. On another day of redecorating, I painted a large area of our hardwood floor—along with my shoe stuck in a gallon can clunking crazily for a one horribly ungraceful stumble. It was a Technicolor version…both hue and language…of a Buster Keaton silent movie.

A third paint mishap involved me placing a considerably weighted box on top of an upright, uncapped, can of red spray paint. You do understand that hissing is not in the audible range of my hearing aids. The first evidence that I was painting the antique chair, on which I was stacking spray paint, was the off-hand chance that I noticed mottling of my white sneakers and the puddle of drippage on the garage floor beneath the chair’s leg.  Mine too, incidentally.

Very true. None of these involved ladders or black cats.  Nor red ones either, for that matter.  Honestly, I do not recall these misadventures occurring on Friday the 13th. Furthermore, no other of my definitively “Bad Luck” tales have happened on that supposedly fateful day.  My question therefore is expanded from “What bad luck?”, to “Why Friday”?

It’s quite easy to understand why not Monday the 13th.  Mondays are notoriously bad. Especially true if you are still cleaning up paint spills that happened over the weekend.  Tuesdays? Nah. They are just Mondays after a National Holiday. Besides, if the 13th falls on election day, it is necessarily unlucky for half the ballot.

So, how about Wednesday?  Nope, that doesn’t get my vote.  Wednesday, any date, already has a great nomenclature substitute…Hump-day.  Besides, Humpday-Thirteen just doesn’t have the roll-off-off-your-tongue feel like Thirteenth-Thursday.  That’s my idea of the best shift from Friday the Thirteenth. Also supporting that thought, statistically Thursday is the least likely day for the 13th of any month. Come on, who wants Friday…the highest chance of the 13th. , to be ill fated.

There you have it friends.  Let’s start a ground-swell movement to get the tradition changed from Friday the 13th to Thirteenth-Thursday. Write your Representatives. Get them to initiate a proposal for a congressional decree. They don’t seem to have anything better to do.  But don’t do it today.  It’s the thirteenth—that’s certainly a bad omen.

Friday Frivolity: Language Laxity

As you know, most days I post a “? of the Day” on my facebook page as well as on my web-site; FridayFrivolities.com  Whether I’ve borrowed a question from public domain or created one from my own personal domain of irrationality, the English language provides me with almost endless nonsense.

Often I come across a thought that doesn’t really fit well into a question.  For example, I once heard Amara’s grandpa ask her for some sugar. She immediately knew he was not needing it to bake a cake.  He was seeking a kiss of sweetness.  My upside down mind quickly formulated the question; Is a man worth his salt if he doesn’t ask for sugar?

I suspect a great many readers would catch the link of condiments in the same sentence yet not realize the relevance of sweetness of a kiss.

Furthermore, Worth his salt, on its own is somewhat of a conundrum. It is available in most stores for far less cost than pepper. But who would ever say someone is not worth their pepper?

Even a scientist would question the value of the total amount of salt in our body. I’m a big guy who salts everything I eat and I don’t have enough salt to fill a shaker.  So, you can see why that question never made it to facebook.

Many questions that invade my mind are founded on phonetics.  In most cases, you cannot accurately type phonetics without spoiling the question’s intended humor.  If you say Console, the meaning is derived from which syllable you phonetically emphasize.  Thus writing Can you console someone across the console? doesn’t work.  Even if I alter it to …console someone’s sadness across your car’s console? a lot of the effect is lost due to explaining the pun.  How I hate trying to explain my inexplicable humor.

The other day I tried combining two different, unrelated, words two ways each.  Almost all of my friends, who usually comment on my word plays, replied with total confusion.  I honestly don’t know how they missed both Can and can(ning) and hide(ing) a hide in the same sentence.   That question is now canned from my archives.

To finish this Frivolous memo, I have a challenge for you.  I saw a sign the other day which stuck in a fold of my brain…medically known as sulcus.  Commonly referred to as it sucks.  Honestly, I would like to have some of you witty souls contrive a ? of the Day from:

 “Affordable Bankruptcy” 

If I was a bettin’ man, I’d surely bet they will list themselves at the top of the creditor list.

 

Friday Frivolity: Ouch

Last week I mentioned that I had a lumbar fracture.  Today, three weeks after the fact, I have regained enough of my senses…not to mention reduced narcotics to enable clear thinking…I will try to relate details of how the facture came about.

Before I begin my tale of woe, I’ll back up to provide some back-ground that may or may not be relevant.  Early in January, I was standing during a conversation with Sue and another person.  I wasn’t dizzy or disoriented, but I did teeter a bit forward before taking a step into the triad of people to catch my balance.  Awkward, but not even close to falling.

Then, just the day before my annual, non-specific, physical check-up, I had another minor tilt which Sue witnessed. And, NO, this is not the “Ouch” mentioned in the title of this Frivolity.

Sue usually accompanies me for Doctor appointments.  She claims I don’t always hear what the doctor says. She is usually quite silent—only observing and listening.  However, with my recent non-alcoholic tipsy tendencies, guess what became a high priority for Sue to discuss with my doctor?

Don’t bother to guess! The result of her anxiety, was NOT a Xanax prescription for HER.  Nor did the doctor suggest No-Doze for me.   Bottom line—to keep me off my bottom… the doctor agreed with Sue that I might benefit from some Physical Therapy.

Therefore, I spent the 2nd & 3rd weeks of January being retrained on “Balance” techniques at a place called “Recovery Project.”  The morning after my 5th session, January 24th, I needed to check on Amara’s car tire.

Amara had mentioned that her tire might be damaged, so I was headed out to check on it.  There had been, and still was a misty rain.  I did grab an umbrella to shelter me.  It was not cold enough to even put on a coat. Clad in T-shirt and sweat pants, I was walking to Amara’s car parked in our driveway when I heard a very loud thud.

It was not Amara’s tire exploding. That reverberating thud was my skull contacting the asphalt shortly after passing my fanny going the other way. What I had perceived as a “wet” …it was clearly raining onto my umbrella.  At least until the umbrella was tossed skyward along with my feet.  “Wet” was water on ice now soaking into my sweats. I managed to crawl across the frozen pond, previously mentioned as driveway.  I was headed to ER.

I’m going to bring suit against “Recovery Project” for failure to meet my expectations.  A lot of good it did for me to practice standing on one foot on large sponge.  They should have known that my driveway is not foam padded.

The ER staff at Sparrow Hospital categorically rejected being co-litigant.  So a few wonderful nurses and one doctor with no sense of humor, accomplished blood tests every hour, plugged in an IV, heart monitors, took CT and x-rays of everything but my big toes.  Then they advised me of an L1 compression fracture, as well as C4 & 5 degradation (that’s Cervical, not the crania degradation often questioned by friends).   Though not visible in any pictures, it was also noted that there was aching spasms of back & neck muscles.  Ah, but only abrasions on my noggin and elbow…no breaks. They did agree some bruising of my ego could surface later.

Because I am on blood thinner, bleeding internally was a concern I shared with everyone in ER.  After my CT, I asked the doctor if my grey matter was blood stained. Did I mention he lost his sense of humor around puberty? He didn’t even smirk, but allayed my fear of inter-cranial bleeding. For that news I was extremely relieved.  I still had a massive headache, but there would be no drilling my skull for a blood-letting.

So, for the past three weeks, I have been in my recliner, lounging UNcomfortably in a cinch that would fit a Clydesdale. Okay, so maybe my back brace would only fit snuggly on a pony, but it is nevertheless miserably cumbersome.  A friend of mine characterized that contraption as scaffolding.  Then, purportedly as encouragement, she advised me to “hang in there.”

The very good news is my plight will likely only last 4-6 weeks.  Sue said I didn’t hear that prognosis correctly.  She claims I am under her unilateral control for 4 MORE weeks—until I get a new CT.  THEN hopefully I’ll get a reprieve from my orthopedic surgeon…, that makes it the 8 weeks she heard.  Ouch! I hate it when she’s right.