Highway to Hell

Nobody wants to take responsibility for being an asshole, a criminal, an antisocial creep.  Everybody who gets caught doing some indefensible horror, wants to defend it by blaming it on somebody or something else.  My father beat me, my mother put peanut butter sandwiches in my lunch, the kids at school didn’t like me, and bullied me, my library card expired.

Sadly for our sex, it’s almost always the men who commit the most horrible of crimes.  It’s even worse though, when some submissive female, eager for attention, aids and abets some pervert.  TV shows like Criminal Minds tell us that the possibility of two sex offenders working together is remote.  The likelihood of a male/female team is almost to the point of flipping a coin and having it land on edge.

My son has told me the story of his high school mathematics teacher talking about probabilities and that one occurrence will not affect subsequent ones.  The man took a Canadian nickel out of his pocket, flipped it into the air, and watched it hit the floor….where it caromed off a desk leg and whirled back out, and came to a stop on its edge.  Before cell phone cameras were common, the teacher told them to stand quietly, and anyone who could, was to take a picture.  No matter how unlikely an outcome is, sooner or later, it will happen.

We have had, reasonably nearby; two coins come to rest on their edge.  A little over ten years ago, about an hour’s travel to the east, we had a serial rapist.  He had attacked over a dozen women, and the police heat was building up.  He moved some distance away and met a girl like the one described above.  It’s hard to understand how he could have convinced her and harder still to believe that she would have gone along, but, that’s what happened.  She helped lure 13 and 14 year-old girls into his van.  She helped kidnap, torture and murder two of them.  He says she actually did the killing.  She says he was the one.  It doesn’t matter; there is video evidence that they were both there.  She drugged her own 14 year-old sister, and offered her virginity as a wedding present.  The sister also, unintentionally, died.  Eileen Wuornos, the Monster, killed a bunch of men, but how could one woman do this to other women, especially to children.

To his very small credit, the guy took his punishment, and has kept his mouth shut.  The gal involved though, even though she got a sweetheart deal for rolling over on him, blamed the usual suspects.  Her parents were too strict, they loved the younger sister more and she got away with more.  She had to go out and get a job and HELP support herself, even though she was still living at home.

The asteroid missed us the other day but, what are the chances of having another female enabler show up in the neighborhood?  Too damned good, apparently.  Last year, a little 8 year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and had her head bashed in.  Video evidence showed that it was a young woman who enticed her into the van.  Here’s where it gets strange.  Confronted with the evidence, she immediately pled guilty, and is serving time.  She claims that her boyfriend told her that he wanted to molest a little girl, so she went out and got him one she knew, and had babysat.

Having pled guilty, there was very little trial or testimony.  The boyfriend denied her story and pled not guilty.  His trial is now well under way.  She is hauled out of jail to testify against him.  Despite all that has happened, she still appears to be covering for him.  She has now testified that she bought the garbage bags, and the hammer which she claims SHE used to bash the girl’s head in.  They are equally culpable, but if she paints herself as the bad guy, he might get parole earlier.  I don’t know what her motivation is at this point but, she now claims that after he was through, she bashed the kid’s head in, in a spontaneous fit of rage, stemming from some un-named and undescribed abuse, suffered when she was young.  That’s a hard sell, especially with the video proof of the premeditated purchase.

A Member of Parliament had to issue an apology recently, for having suggested that we put a length of rope in the cells of people like this, hoping that they will do the right thing and remove themselves from civilized society.  Over the last thirty years, the courts have convicted seven or eight men for crimes they didn’t commit.  A couple were sentenced to death before the death penalty was abolished.  These examples are used by those who want to keep it that way.  I don’t understand the reaction to the MP’s suggestion.  We’re not executing scum like this; we are merely providing the opportunity to prove that they are truly sorry for what they have done and ensure they will never do it again.

This has been a downer of a post.  Even my rants are usually upbeat.  To see male members of the population acting like bloodthirsty savages is disappointing, but not surprising.  To see members of, “the gentle sex”, committing such heinous acts, just about sucks out what little hope I have for the betterment of the human race.

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I See That I Can Hear

Just when I thought that I had my medical problems pretty much under control, I got blindsided.  The wife is the youngest of nine children.  The five oldest, each in turn, have had to get hearing aids as they hit the 60/65-year-old range.  Some genetic weakness apparently.  The oldest warned her twenty years ago that her time would come.  The one sister, with the husband who ran his own small specialty plastering business, and who had more money than any two or three of the rest, cheaped out and only got a hearing aid for one ear.  She was born during the depression, but that was a long time ago….Really?  Another sister denied a 40% hearing loss until the audiologist put his hand in front of his mouth and asked what he was saying.  She had unconsciously learned to lip-read to make up for the slow loss.

The wife’s doctor moved from an office two blocks from my disabled daughter, where she could quickly and easily get there in her powered wheelchair, and a mere five minutes down the street from our home.  She moved to the far side of the neighboring city.  Fortunately, highway access is nearby, but it still takes twenty minutes, and now I have to drive the daughter, who used to have a small degree of independence.  The doctor moved in with four other doctors in what is described as a limited clinic.  I think the correct pronunciation is MONEY MILL.

If you just walk in, the first doctor who has an opening will see you.  If you want to see your specific doctor, you make an appointment, and with a set-up like that, appointments can be two to three weeks.  The group of doctors owns an entire one-floor building.  Their offices and examining rooms are at one end.  They have leased space to a captive pharmacy at the other end, and in the middle, is where the real money is made.  They employ a staff who provide massage therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy.  They do cardiac echograms, and they have a hearing testing booth with hearing assist diagnosis and suggestion.  You can almost hear the cash registers ringing as you walk in.  It’s like a licence to print money.

Once upon a time, manufacturing companies made a product, from the sale of which, they derived a profit.  Now, companies make money.  Banks used to take your cash and lend it out at a profit, from which they paid a portion to you as interest.  Now, banks make money, and you even have to pay them for the privilege of getting your own money back.  Doctors used to heal sick people.  Now doctors make money.  If someone happens to get better in the process, it’s co-incidental.

The wife finally decided to book an appointment to have her hearing tested.  Since the big Costco store is on the edge of town as we come back, we picked up the daughter, so that we could do some shopping on the way home.  The daughter is probably subject to the same genetic hearing problem as the wife.  Her turn would normally come in about twenty years but, about eight years ago, she had a terrible double-ear infection.  They gave her Cipro, you know, the stuff that stops anthrax.  Normally it’s a five-day dosage.  She was so bad that she got ten.  As the wife left to get her test, the daughter commented that she wished she could have her hearing checked also.  The wife popped into the exam room for a few seconds and then came out and waved the daughter down the hall.  Apparently they had some free time in the schedule.  Because of the infection, the wife and daughter’s results were almost identical.

The wife remained with the tech and the daughter came back to the waiting room to give me the results.  I was happy that they now had quantifiable results and said; at least I didn’t have to go through this, when the wife stuck her head out of the door and crooked her finger at me.  Sure enough, there was enough time for me to get tested too.  I worked in a reasonably noisy plant the last twenty years.  The government mandated that the company had to have us checked each year.  I knew that I had a slight loss, but agreed with the tester, who put it down as much to normal aging, as plant noise.

Within twenty minutes I was being fitted for new electronic hearing aids, excuse me, Hearing Assistors!  They were cheap at $2000/pair.  Apparently the government will pay for half, and they had already checked to ensure that my retirement benefits would cover the balance.  KaChing!  How can you say no, to something free.

These things are somewhat like a Bluetooth.  They hang over and behind each ear.  They don’t fill the ear like (especially the old) hearing aids, a tiny tube runs into the ear with a soft rubber ring on the end, something like a ski-pole bottom.  The normal sounds go through the openings and this programmable unit just adds the ranges that you are missing.

A man is convinced that his wife is going deaf.  To prove it, from the living room he asks, “What’s for supper?”  No answer, so he moves to the hall and repeats the question.  Still no answer.  He’s more convinced than ever and moves into the kitchen and asks once more, “What’s for supper?”  His wife turns around and says, “For the third time, stew!”

My wife’s hearing loss is in the mid-range, where my normal voice is.  My hearing loss is in the upper range, where her voice is.  We weren’t ignoring each other; we just couldn’t hear each other.  There goes my excuse for not doing some of the things she asks.  I can hardly wait to see what my next technological improvement will be, a motorized walker perhaps.  Maybe I can get John Erickson to help me mount a .50 cal. to deal with handicapped parking spot violators.

Free-Range Rants

I posted recently in a blog, that I used to be liberal, understanding, forgiving.  I have tried to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and the right to their opinion.  However, when some people open their mouths, or let their fingers type, what spews out, more and more, just tries my patience.

In the Op/Ed letters in today’s paper, there was one from a familiar name.  Let’s say it was Sahib Shah.  Definitely not a local boy.  He’s one of those regular contributors, getting a letter published almost every 60-day restriction period.  He’s always bitching about political and social standards….as they apply to him and his army of beige friends.  He wants to change all of the Canadian ways of doing things, so that they become more like what he was used to.  The shrill and ever-more-common rants from folks like him just fuel my intolerance and obstinacy.  If you don’t like the way we do things, why did you come here?

Today, he was bitching about the race for the GOP candidate in the United States.  He apparently loves Ron Paul and hates the three front-runners.  According to him, Gingrich, Santorum and Romney favor, or would allow, military action against Iran.  He’s all worked up about politicians in a country he doesn’t live in and their possible actions about another country he doesn’t live in.  His letter generated some very un-PC thoughts.  Like, “Why don’t you phone up your good, personal friend, Nasty Smurf, the president of Iran, and convince him to cancel his nuclear program, or, better yet, why don’t you take your rag-head family of terrorists and move to beloved Iran.”

I hate assholes like this, not because they’re narrow-minded, opinionated fools, or that they’re doing their best to pull our way of life down around our ears, but because by constant, continued exposure to this asshattery, like Rush Limbaugh, they’ve dragged me down to their level.  I used to be better than this.

The story of a local man, arrested, STRIP-SEARCHED and held in jail overnight, with only a blanket to cover himself, has apparently gone international.  Americans, used to a chicken in every pot and a gun in every drawer, are wondering what in Hell this is all about.  His four-year-old daughter, in junior kindergarten, drew a picture of him with a handgun and told the teacher that her dad used it to shoot monsters and bad guys.  Now me, I’d treat any story that included monsters, very sceptically.

Everybody involved in this farce is now in full CYA mode.  The teacher says that, if a child is felt to be in danger, they must call Family Services.  Did the teacher ascertain if the gun was real, a toy, or imaginary, before shouting that the sky was falling?  Why does the mere presence of a gun automatically expose a child to danger?  Did the Principal who made the call, actually see the drawing?  It was done on a Dri-Erase board and, guess what, it got erased.  Did Family Services interview the kid, or visit the home, before calling the cops?  Did the cops over-react and throw their weight around unnecessarily?  Personal opinion, Oh Yeah!  They arrested him at his kid’s school, when he went to pick her up.  If they wanted to take him in, one officer should have sufficed.  For safety’s sake, two would have been understandable.  They sent three!  The police claim that the strip-search was for safety reasons.  He was supposed to have a gun at his home.  A thorough, routine pat-down should have been enough.  Where did they think he had the gun, up his ass?

Someone, probably the police, must have interviewed the little girl.  The newspaper reported an ass-covering statement that, “There was a jaw-droppingly accurate description of a semi-automatic pistol.”  From a four-year-old girl??  Most four-year-olds would have difficulty giving an accurate description of a mud puddle, if they were sitting in it.  Turns out, it was made of mostly transparent plastic and fired little plastic beads.  I guess the police “forgot” to ask the questions that gave those answers.  I feel so safe and secure.  I won’t give up socialized medicine but, there are times I’d be tempted to trade it for the respect and freedom that American citizens enjoy.

The police made his pregnant wife come down to the station for questioning, but didn’t release him on bail.  Family Services took his other three kids away, questioned them and kept them from the parents overnight.  The police threatened that Family Services would keep his kids forever, or until they obtained a search-warrant if he didn’t sign a waiver for a(n illegal) search of his house.

The word-Nazi goes crazy about incorrect usage, especially by “professional” writers.  Amateurs, I can understand and grudgingly forgive, but, if you’re getting paid for it….  I used to rant that, if you’re going to use an eight-dollar word to make yourself appear erudite, the least you could do is use an eight-dollar dictionary, to ensure that you said what you thought you said.  Nowadays, with free on-line sites, you don’t even have to invest the eight bucks.  All you need is intelligence and commitment to your craft.  And we all see how well that’s been going.

A recent newspaper article described the ongoing campaign of a Scotsman seeking the independence of Scotland from England.  He didn’t get all the concessions that he wanted, but he did get some compromises, and agreement to further negotiation.  Despite the lack of a clear victory, the article stated that, “his overall tone was EMOLLIENT.”  The women readers know that emollient is a (skin) moisturiser.  I think that the writer meant ebullient, meaning bubblingly happy.  Then again, maybe he meant, left-handed, or corkscrew.  I don’t know, the Pretentious-to-English translation site is temporarily down.

I. Q. Optional

Answers = $1.00
Answers which require thought = $2.00
Correct answers = $5.00
Dumb looks are still free!

You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.  Think!  Damn it. Think!

The Kindly Hermudgeon had a post recently about the asshattery that she went through trying to get an item at the correct price from Toys R Expensive Us.  It took three clerks, in two stores, but, I had an afternoon which almost matched hers.

The thing which most irritated me was not that there was an error.  It was not even that they didn’t see what the error was, and kept compounding it.  What really blew the wind up my kilt was the lack of concern for a customer’s problem and needs.  Ain’t the customer always right?  For at least one of these clerks, the customer didn’t even exist.

The wife and I went out to do a bit of shopping.  A couple of the things we wanted were on sale at two stores in a nearby plaza.  Being Canadian, we first went to Canadian Tire.  For Americans, these are like an Ace Hardware or a Target store.  They started years ago with automotive parts, and now sell everything from sporting goods to groceries.  We needed toilet paper, so that you can’t claim I’m full of s**t.  They had 24-packs of Charmin, Extra-soft, in blue packs or Extra-strong, in red packs, for $8.88.  There were none on the shelves but, as we gained the center aisle, there was a display of Charmin.  I grabbed a red pack and threw it into the cart with the other Items.  The wife noticed that these packs were 16s, and selling for $9.88.  Not as good as 24 for $8.88, but still a decent price.  If these were in a separate display, perhaps the 24s were too, so I went to customer service to ask where I might find them.  She paged someone and asked if there was a display.  After about five minutes she got a reply back that there were none on the shelf.  That’s Not What We Asked!!

The wife and I went to check out.  As the TP was scanned, the wife noticed that we were charged $10.99, rather than the shown price of $9.88.  She told the clerk that she wanted it priced at the displayed amount.  Little Miss Snippy-Nose informed us that, “Sometimes people just put the wrong stuff with the sales items.”  I told her that this was a store display, with at least twenty of each type in the big pile.  She paged someone to go check.  As we waited for a reply, the wife reminded her that it was in the center aisle.  She told whoever answered that we wanted to know if the red packs in the center aisle were displayed at $9.88.  Three minutes later, we got the reply that there were none on the shelf.  Again she asked the other clerk if the red packs in the center aisle display were priced at $9.88.  Two minutes later, the clerk showed up with a blue pack in her hand.  I asked her why she had brought it.  “Well, she said you wanted the one that was $9.88.  That’s what this one came up.”  THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE ASKED!!

I took the blue pack from her hand and told her to follow me.  We went to the display, and I pointed to the big price sign and said, “Does that say that all these packs are for sale at $9.88??”  She whipped out her radar gun and zapped a blue pack.  “It says that these come up $9.88.”  “What about the red ones??”  She zapped one of those.  “These come up $9.99.”  “$9.99??  Then why does the checkout want to charge me $10.99?”  “Oh, sometimes there’s a computer error.”  “That’s what I’ve been saying all along.  I want to buy my package for the $9.88 that’s shown here.”  “Well, what do you want ME to do?” (whine, whine)  “I want you to go to the checkout and tell the clerk that they are shown at $9.88, and tell her to do whatever is necessary with the till, to accomplish that!”

When I left, there were three or four potential customers behind us.  When I got back, I was not surprised to find the line empty.  Perhaps that was what had caught the attention of the mature, female, check-out manager.  She looked at the clerk that I had led by the nose.  “Are they displayed at $9.88?”  “Yes, ma’am.”  She looked at the checkout clerk.  “Highlight the item. Void it. Punch in the product code.  Push Over-ride and enter the correct amount.”  See how easy it was?  From start to finish, I wasted half an hour for $1.11.  Paid at less than two and a quarter an hour.  I’m 67.  I don’t have that many half-hours to waste any more.

We finally took our correctly priced merchandise, placed it in the trunk of our car and drove across the parking lot to the Shoppers Drug Mart on the other side.   Local politicians, eager to appear eco-friendly, have passed laws allowing stores to charge five cents for plastic bags.  Many stores sell their own shopping bags.  My wife is a bit compulsive.  Usually we can’t go into a Wal-Mart with a Staples bag, but this time we took in two Canadian Tire bags, to hold some chips that were on sale.

I put the two shopping bags down first, so that she wouldn’t pack in plastic. Then I put a couple of bags of chips on the counter, and turned and leaned into the cart to get more, when the clerk asked me a question.  I just received two, brand-new, electronic hearing-aids.  I heard what she said, but the question was so stupid that I must have misunderstood.  I asked her to repeat it, and she said, “Are these new, or are they yours?”  She had her hand on my shopping bags, and had pushed them down the counter until they were touching the display of Shoppers Drug Mart bags.

“They are not new, and they are mine.”  “Oh I just wondered if you wanted to buy them.”  I pointed to the display she was touching.  “Mine are cloth.  They are black, and they have a Canadian Tire logo on them.  Yours are plastic.  They are green.  They are three-quarters the size of mine and they have Shoppers Drug Mart logos on them.”  “Oh. I didn’t look.”

Despite the fact that my Neurologist told me that I don’t have one, as Jeff Foxworthy says, “What does an aneurism feel like?”  After an afternoon of service (?) like that, I’m pretty sure I could work one up.

W.T.F. Inc.

BrainRants has written about some of “those people” who don’t even have to go out of their way to piss the rest of us off, in an office environment.  Some of these asshats are inspired naturals, who keep the pot of pass-me-another-ammo-clip, filled to the brim.  Since he, and others, have covered the irksome, I felt I might expound about the odd but entertaining.  Anyone who has ever worked in an office will recognise some of these people.

When I was much younger, I worked at a metal fabrication plant.  What with sales orders, purchase orders, drawings, specs, billings, and general correspondence, there was enough work for a full-time file clerk.  The old gal who was there when I started had been with them since the days of quill and vellum.  She hadn’t turned 65, but her husband had, and he wanted to retire to Florida, or Buttfuckistan, so she gave two weeks notice that she was quitting.

I just lost the young crowd again.  Nowadays, there is no “notice”!  Especially with computers, it is so easy for a dissatisfied employee to seriously screw an employer.  If I were quitting, I’d order a lifetime supply of Mongolian porn and arrange for 87 loads of manure to be dumped in the parking lot.  As soon as you indicate that you’re quitting, an armed guard escorts you out of the building, while a couple of your “friends” ransack your desk, keep all the good stuff, and bring you the pitiful balance in a cardboard box.

The office manager interviewed a number of possible replacements, and settled on one in particular.  It’s hard to judge someone from four desks away, but she seemed like a nice person.  She started the next Monday to get a week’s training, and then Betty Rubble disappeared.

Dictionary.com just had a post about the name of the song we all sing when we do our ABCs.  It’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  In the discussion thread, I was interested to note a significant number of people who admitted that they had to sing the song, aloud or in their minds, to know that D went before E, or S before T.

It was painful to see the new clerk perched on a wheeled stool, in front of the filing cabinets all day, her lips moving as if in prayer.  She had a desk, but never got back to it except to pick up another pile of paper.  The old clerk had made it look easy.  Of course, when she started, there were only 15 letters in the alphabet.  She had time for three unauthorized smoke breaks a day, as well as finishing 15/30 minutes early, to gossip with the receptionist.  At the end of the first week, the new gal was behind by a pile of files almost as tall as she was.

At the beginning of the second week, the office manager took her desk calendar and wrote the alphabet in black marker, across the top.  It always sat on top of the cabinets as she worked.  That, and some assistance from a couple of the other clerks, and by the end of the second week, she was caught up and managed to stay that way.  I know jobs can be hard to find but, maybe that job was one she shouldn’t have applied for.

The company president travelled on business, and needed the paid travel invoices for tax purposes.  His secretary came out one day to look for one for a trip booked through Clare Miller Travel Agency.  The two of them searched and searched.  No file for Miller and nothing in M misc.  No file for Clare, and nothing in C misc.  No file for Agency, and nothing in A misc.  No file for Travel, they even looked for Ticket, nothing in T misc.  Finally, the irked secretary demanded, “If you had an invoice for Clare Miller Travel Agency, where would you file it?”  The response came back, “What color would it be?”  What side of your desk do you put your coffee on?  What difference does it make?  “Well,” she said, When I can’t find where things go, I look for other invoices the same color, and file it with them.”  Two weeks later we had a new, literate, file clerk.

This office was the first one I worked in that was air-conditioned, a pleasant perk on hot summer days.  It had been installed after the building itself was built, so some of the windows still opened.  Winters were when the problem surfaced.  There were two women in the office who were constantly fighting about the temperature.  This was also the first place where I saw one of those lockable Plexiglas covers installed over the thermostat.  I have carried a work knife since I was twelve.  Cheeky Monkey!  I knew how to use the blade to change the setting.  I never did it, and I never told either of the hens that I knew how.  What made it ironically amusing was that, the one with the short-sleeved blouse, at the desk beside the panoply of windows at the front (one of which she insisted on keeping cracked open), was the one who was too hot.  The one with the desk in the back corner, bundled up in two sweaters, beside the steam radiator, was the one who was always too cold.  A nice, constant 72 F, winter and summer.  Not having been issued ovaries, I never understood.

I see a few of you nodding your heads.  You’ve worked with some of these WTFs in your time too.  Perhaps we’ll wander down Nostalgia Lane and visit a couple more another day.

Alas! In Medical Wonderland

The tale of my eyesight, and lack thereof, has morphed through more iterations than a TV pilot.  It has gone from being a potential tragedy, to an ongoing drama.  Now fortunately, it seems to have decided to become a bit of a mystery/comedy.

The MRI that I had, showed nothing, so I had to go ahead with the lumbar puncture.  The women who have delivered children with an epidural are now saying, Yeah!  Go ahead with it, you wimp.  Not ever having suspected that I would need one, I have not paid a lot of attention to them.  All I knew was that a lot of people thought they were painful.

I was told that I should be at the hospital by 11:30.  Since there is always paperwork, I got the wife and I there by 11:20, figuring that they’ll probably be late anyway.  I was told by the doctor’s office, to go to Day surgery registration, so that is where I presented myself.  The receptionist there felt that I was in the wrong place, and sent me to Radiology reception.  The Radiology receptionist called Day surgery and politely told her that she was an idiot, and that she was sending me back up.  Back at Day surgery, I got registered, got my chart and my fancy wristbands, one red because of allergy, and was sent back up the hall to Day surgery reception.  Now I’ll get something done, I thought.  Silly optimist.

Reception told me to take a seat and wait.  After about ten minutes, I got called…. and was escorted to Day surgery administration, where I sat in front of another clerk, with another computer and was asked the same questions that I had already answered over at registration, and were on my chart.  Apparently my procedure wasn’t scheduled till 1:00 PM.  I had to suffer the vampire thing again so that they could do some last-minute blood checks but, the bulk of the extra hour and a half was to allow for bureaucratic inefficiency.  At least I went to the operating room on time.

Two female techs got me up on the table, with a pillow under my ample tummy to open a gap between the bones.  One of them placed cabalistic runes on my back with a Sharpie, and then the doctor came in.  She told me that she was going to give me a freezing shot.  She said, “This will sting and burn for ten to fifteen….”  MINUTES??!!  No! Seconds, you wuss.  Suck it up.  It did sting and burn, but not badly, and only for 3 to 4 seconds.  With the internal scar tissue from my shoulder implant, I had a problem getting my left arm up on the table to straighten the spine.

She told me not to move suddenly.  No problem for ten or fifteen minutes, but twice she just touched the sciatic nerve, and I got a lightning bolt through my butt and scrotum and down to my left knee.  I didn’t actually jump, but there was a sudden breath sucked in.  She took the pressure of the fluid.  I asked, and was reassured that it was normal, as was the look of the fluid, nice and clear.  Then she wanted to draw some off for bacterial and/or viral culture.  She got the first, larger amount easily, but the second, smaller amount just didn’t seem to want to seep out.  They finally tipped the top of the table up to produce a head.  I was worried they might start shaking me up and down.  I dealt with the whole procedure with relaxation and humor, and the gals told me that I did both them and me a favour, no short or long-term problems, no pain.  Well, just a little bit.

A week later I went back to the Neurologist for a follow-up visit.  I found him pleasantly bemused.  He told me that, with the symptoms I was exhibiting when I first went in, he was ready to throw me in the trunk of his car and drive me an hour up the highway to the University Medical Hospital, for, either optic or brain surgery.  Having looked at the results of all the tests, he is bewildered.  He is happy, but apologised for not having a positive diagnosis.  I do not have a brain tumor.  I have not had a stroke.  I do not have cerebral bleeding, an aneurism or blocked brain drainage ducts.  Neither the bacterial or viral cultures showed anything.  I am truly a conundrum to the poor doctor.  To be honest and fair, I am to my wife and family, and the rest of society, also.

He advised me that, should this occur again, I should immediately contact him or go to Emergency for a spinal tap while the problem is happening.  He offered two possible answers, but was not happy with either.  The “Flu” I had, might have been caused by a meningococcal bacterium, which could have caused a meningitis-like inflammation.  The other thing he mentioned was “benign intra-cranial hypertension.”  I asked if that was caused by thinking too hard.  This is almost always suffered by young women who put on a lot of weight at the beginning of a pregnancy.  I didn’t fit any of those slots, so that possibility is unlikely.

He showed the wife and I the brain slices from the MRI, on his computer.  He stated that my brain is normal, and my wife snorted.  He said, whenever he states that the man’s brain is normal, the wife ALWAYS laughs.  My eyesight is back to almost normal.  This saga seems to be concluding with no unhappy ending, so it’s my turn to laugh.  Onward and upward!  Excelsior!