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;  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.