Monday, February 22, 2010

My Day

A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled today off so I could have lunch with a good friend I haven't seen for several months.  I figured today would be good.  It's a Monday, the schools are in session, the weather wasn't awful any more, and GPop was working.  That gave me the whole day off.

Just to make the day a little more productive, I scheduled a doctor appointment for myself for the morning.  I have a couple of minor complaints, and since the doctor's office now has a policy of charging $10 per prescription renewal when I don't have an appointment, so I was actually going to save a little out of pocket by going in for the appointment today.

When I got out of my appointment, I checked my voice mail on my new Android phone.  GPop had called.  The nurse from Son's school had called GPop to tell him that Son had white spots on his tonsils and was complaining of a sore throat.  Now to jump back in time a bit, Son was complaining last night at dinner that he wasn't feeling well.  I advised him then that I was not buying it, since it seemed like he was setting me up to let him stay home sick from school today.

I went back in the office and scheduled an appointment for Son for 45 minutes later.  Since I needed my doctor to look at something on my leg, I had worn gym shorts underneath some garish lounge pants to allow easy access to my knee.  I am not especially concerned about embarrassing my teenage son in public, but showing up at his school dressed this way was a little over the line, so I went home to change into a pair of jeans.

Let me just vent here for a second.  Son has this uncanny sense for when I am sick or when I schedule a day off to run errands or just take a day off to relax.  He manages to make himself sick nearly every day that I have off for some reason.  I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've had a sick day or vacation day during the past three school years where Son hasn't claimed sickness.  For those of you with kids, I can already see you nodding in agreement when I say that this bugs the cr@p out of me.

I picked up Son, got him to the office, and found that he did, indeed, have some kind of bacterial throat infection that did not appear to be strep.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, and I had some prescriptions to fill from my own appointment.  We headed to the drug store, with a short stop at the local Starbucks for a coffee and a hot chocolate.

The pharmacist promised our prescriptions in about 20 minutes.  I decided to wait for them, so Son and I sat down.  I opened my book and started reading about the kids who were about to go back to Fablehaven for the summer, when a man who appeared to have equal counts of limbs and teeth sat down two seats away from mine.  My count is only valid if you count the head as a "limb," but not fingers and toes.

The following conversation is a reconstruction from my mental notes.  Some liberties are taken in order to make the flow of the conversation seem a bit more natural.  To properly hear this man's voice in your head, imagine Boomhauer, drunk, after he's smoked two packs a day for thirty years.

Man: Well, it sure is raining out there.

GDad: Yep.  I heard it was supposed to turn to sleet and freezing rain later.  At least the roads aren't too bad.

Man:  Not like last week.  I got about this much ice on my driveway.  I cain't hardly get out.  I cain't work no more, you know.

GDad:  [Knowing that this is the crossroads.  One path, the a-hole path, leads to a quiet time of reading about Fablehaven in peace.  The other path, the sucker path, leads to who knows long (certainly more than 20 minutes) of chatting with this character.]  Really?  What happened?

Man:  Well, fer twenty-two years, I was one o' them guys you see hangin' from the tall buildings cleaning the windas an' fixin' caulk and stuff.

GDad:  Wow, that must've been exciting.

Man:  One day, my boss told me I wasn't looking too good, so I went to the doctor.  The doctor told me I had diverticulitis.  You ever heard o' that?

GDad: That's when your intestine...

Man:  Yep.  But the next day, I was in so much pain, I ended up in the hospital.  I musta passed out, because when I woke up, the doctor asked me if I'd had peanuts or popcorn.

GDad: ?

Man:  They get stuck in your gut.  They told me that I almost died.

GDad:  That's just wild.

Man:  They had to cut me open from chest to crotch and take out part of my guts.  I had a wet bandage on it.  You could see my insides.  It took me nine months to recover.  I dropped seventy pounds when I was there.  I told the doctor that he saved my life at the same time he ruined it.

GDad:  I never would've thought of it that way...

Man:  Yep, my big sister really helped me out and took care of me.  First they put me in a rehab place next to two people who was dyin' and an 800-pound man.  I told 'em I wasn't stayin'.  I called my sister to get me.  Hey, sis, come on over!  [Large woman approaches]  Didn't I lose seventy pounds when I was sick?

Woman:  He sure did.  I'm 62 years old, and I got a six and a seven year old granddaughters who I have custody of.

GDad:  That sounds like a handful.  Two hands full...

Man:  My dog didn't even recognize me.  I had that dog for nineteen years!

GDad:  That sure is a long...

Man:  Nineteen years.  I've had a lot of girlfriends in that time, and every one of them told me that I loved that dog more than I loved them.  They was right!

GDad:  Ha ha.

Man: That dog slept with me in my bed every night.  On Sunday, the neighbors would always ask why I was cookin' up three steaks when it was just me an' my mom.  I told 'em that I was givin' the other one to ma dog.  Yep, I lived with my mom for four years when she had Alzheimer's.

GDad:  I know a guy at work whose mom has Alzheimer's...

Man:  That nursing home that I had to put her in was the worst place I ever seen.  I don't wanna go like that.

GDad:  Well...

Woman:  Yeah, about our grandma, let me tell you a story.

GDad:  Your grandma?

Woman:  Our grandma's sister, she married a man named Entsil.  Well, ol' Entsil wasn't too trustworthy.  Our grandma had a son named Entsil that didn't look like none of her other kids, if you catch my drift.

GDad:  Oh...

Woman:  And then, Entsil and grandma's sister got a divorce, and Entsil married their mom!  Don't that beat all!

GDad:  That's a lot of twists and turns in the old family tree....

Man:  You ever heard about the [unintelligible] murders?

GDad:  No, I don't think...

Man:  My cousin married into an Italian family.  Mafia, you know.  Anyways, her husband was found in a trunk of a 1982 Lincoln Town Car.  The other guy was also murdered, but they'll never find him.  Once you marry an Italian, you can never divorce them, if you know what I mean.

GDad:  Well...

Man:  Man, my head itches.  I turned 53 last week, and I had my girlfriend dye ma hair.  [Pulls off do-rag.  Hair is jet-black.  Beard is not.]  I left the dye on too long, and it burned ma scalp.  [Points to crusty, irritated scalp and ears.]  I ain't never doin' THAT again.

GDad:  Next time, use a Sharpie.

Man:  You know, when I had my operation, them doctors told me that I was lucky to live.  Most people die from this stuff, but I'm tougher than that.

GDad:  It sounds like it...

Man:  I'm just too bull-headed...

Pharmacist:  [over PA system]  MR. LASTNAME!  MR. LASTNAME TO THE COUNTER.

GDad:  I have to go to the counter.

Unfortunately, the pharmacist just wanted some clarification on something.  I had to sit back down.  In the next half hour, I learned the following.

  • Man and Woman were related to the Hatfields of the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
  • Woman's best friend died of cancer a month before Man and Woman's mother died.
  • Man has a new dog that he got the day old dog was put to sleep.
  • Man is on five different pain killers for his condition.
  • Man has had five surgeries.  One of which was to correct [unintelligible] hernia.
  • Woman has four Chihuahuas and a Pomeranian.
  • Man self-administers "herb" several times a week.  The nausea suppression is a welcome side effect, but not the primary reason for the dosage.
  • All of Man's and Woman's older siblings died of cancer or black lung disease.
  • Woman is going on a Disney cruise soon.
  • Man's girlfriend is 41 years old.
  • Man used to bring his dog into the room when he was "makin' love", because otherwise the dog (a pit bull/hound mix) would stand in the hallway and howl.
  • Man once bit his dog, which resulted in the dog biting off part of Man's nose.  Man then went to a strip club with a big handkerchief over his face to soak up the blood.
  • Man's old friend has a "taxidermed" goat in his living room.
  • Man has several deer heads in his bedroom.
  • Woman may get a new house from some relative "up north."
  • GDad has entirely too much fun egging on strange people.


pixnlil said...

LMAO! I miss seeing you regularly. I get way too few interesting and random tidbits these days.

Angry Professor said...

Hey! Those were my neighbors. I recognize them from the number of murdered family members cited...