Archive for July, 2004


I should never have left the house on July 24th.  The signs were all there; I just wasn’t smart enough to pay attention.

When I woke up, it was raining.  Not just raining, but RAINING.  It rains a lot, though, and if I stayed home every time it rained, I’d be unemployed and my own relatives would think that I had slipped a gear.

I grabbed an umbrella on my way out the door and my wife and I ran to the car through the raindrops.  I double-clicked the remote control thingy, but when I got to the car, the passenger side door was locked.  I was pelted by rain as I double clicked the thingy again.  Still locked.  Dumb thingy.

The rain had now begun to stream down my face as my wife leaned over from the driver’s side and clicked the lock open.  With a relieved sigh and wet pants, I lifted the door handle.  Still locked.  A car door that had worked perfectly well just the night before was now stubbornly refusing to allow me into the passenger seat of my own car.

The back door apparently hadn’t gotten the word, because it opened with no trouble at all.  I was annoyed and my clothes were 10 pounds heavier, but I still hadn’t seen any omens.

At the coffee shop drive-through window, I discovered that my car doesn’t have cup holders in the back seat.  I was looking for a place to put my iced coffee when FUMBLE…bagel on my pants.  Light cream cheese was on my pants, on my shoes, on my shirt, on my iced coffee, and on the single napkin I had been given.  My wife, bless her heart, only giggled a little as she searched for extra napkins.

Who ordered the annoyed wet guy with light cream cheese?

It was a little more than a half-hour later when I got the big sign.

I was leaning over a sink in a public restroom when every muscle in my back seized.  It felt as if someone had reached into my back and squeezed my spinal cord.  The pain forced me to my knees, where I remained for a full five minutes.

During those five minutes, at least 6 people came over to use the sink.  They left with dirty hands when they saw a man on his knees worshipping the sink in what sounded like loud prayers.  I can’t say that I blame them.

The trip to the emergency room was very exciting, but not as exciting as trying to bend over enough to fit into the back seat of my car.

The people at the hospital were very nice.  They helped to unfold me out of my backseat and into a wheelchair.

The nurse gave me a Valium.  That was nice.  She then told me that she wanted to give me a shot of muscle relaxant.  That sounded nice.  She then told me where she wanted to give me the shot.  Not nice.

I negotiated her down to the thigh.

After the drugs were injected, it was x-ray time.  In the x-ray room, I was still in so much pain that I couldn’t really move into the necessary positions.  The technician thought about it for a minute, and then she had an idea.  “Why don’t you use labor breathing?”

I tried it, using short and quick breaths while she maneuvered me into position.  It was just as I had suspected:  As a pain reliever, labor breathing is a crock.

After the x-rays it was time for another shot.  I asked the nurse, “Is this shot going to hurt?  The only reason I ask is that the other shot kind of burned a little.”

“Nah.  You won’t feel a thing,” she lied as she injected a stream of fire into my other thigh.  The fire seemed to dull the pain a bit, however, and soon it was time for me to go home.

I sat in the backseat of my car on my way to a week’s worth of home confinement and gazed out the window.  There I saw my first sign of the day.


No kidding, I thought.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 30 Jul 2004 No Comments

Hot Flashes

This week, I have spent too many nights sitting in front of my TV, staring open-mouthed at VH1’s “I Love the 90’s.”  Despite the fact that I WAS THERE, I still feel the need to listen to what the appointed representatives of VH1 think about the trends of the 1990’s.  Essentially, these announcers get paid to throw mud onto all of the fads of the last decade from their hip 21st century vantage point.

Hypocrites.  These B-level celebrity commentators were clearly “2 Legit 2 Quit” in 1991, no matter how cool they pretend to be now.

In the spirit of people making observations about not-so important subjects, I present to you the following thoughts that have been crowding all of the productive ideas out of my brain:

Mint ice cream needs to be banned.  The mint used in ice cream is as pervasive as it is disgusting.  Once an ice cream scoop is used to harvest mint chocolate chip or peppermint stick ice cream, the essence of the mint (the oil of peppermint?) remains on the scoop to ruin all future ice cream servings.  There is nothing worse than a sugar cone piled high with black raspberry…and mint.  The usual remedy, soaking the scoop in those weird ice cream scoop baths, only spreads the disease to other, unsuspecting scoops.  If the people of Massachusetts can’t make me breathe their smoke in bars anymore, why can they ruin my ice cream?…

…After watching the movie “Goodfellas”, I have always wanted to slice garlic with a razor blade to see if it truly liquefies in the pan.  Every time I see the movie I think how cool it would be, but I have never been willing to donate an entire afternoon to a single clove of garlic.  I can’t be the only person who wonders about things like this…

…Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Hall of Fame second baseman turned ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan apparently share a voice.  I recently caught a re-run of the “Anita Hill” confirmation hearings and I kept waiting for Justice Thomas to say, “I did not sexually harass Ms. Hill…Oops, cut fastball on the outside corner for a called strike.”…

…It should be against the law for any doughnut shop to sell anything that must be cooked.  If you want cooked food, go to a diner.  There is nothing worse than standing in line for your morning coffee and hearing the person at the front of the line say, “I’ll have three croissant sandwiches with sausage.”  I recommend a $100,000 dollar fine and a minimum of six months in jail for anyone caught cooking food to order at a doughnut shop…

…It has been legal to buy beer on Sundays in Massachusetts for a while now.  Have I missed the rioting and general chaos that was supposed to result from that blue law being repealed?…

Oops, I have to go.  VH1 just came back from the commercial.  Until the next time, please remember the immortal words of that 90’s super-group Hanson:

Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du

The Day to Day Grind Tim 16 Jul 2004 No Comments