He’s Come Undun

I’m coming unravelled, although I was never too tightly wrapped in the first place. 

A man encounters another fellow at a DC cocktail party.  “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a naval surgeon.”
“Wow, you guys really specialize, don’t you??!

My Father’s family kindly passed down a gene which causes weak abdominal wall.  Excess weight is not the only reason that my tummy protrudes.  At 2019’s annual doctor visit, I had two small hernias, one in the left groin, and one on my navel.  The groin one was quick and easy to fix – day-surgery at the hospital – someone jabbed a hole in it with a sharp pencil, poked some window-screen in, under the skin, and super-glued me back together.

The belly-button is a little more complex.  They don’t like to work on it unless absolutely necessary.  She told me to keep an eye on it, and report if it increased in size.  After the fiasco of last year’s visit, which I chronicled in I Have Never Felt So Alive, I let her have another look.  Last year, it was the size of the last segment of my baby finger.  This year, it’s as big as the end of my thumb!  😯

They will not act unless the opening is more than 2.5 cm (1 real inch).  She gave me a requisition for an ultrasound scan just as COVID19 arrived.  It took me three months to schedule a clinic appointment.  I find that I am six months pregnant with twins.  😉

She has, properly, been chastising me about my weight.  Something like this has finally opened my eyes.  I don’t want to explode like that obese wight in the Monty Python sketch.  I asked about liposuction, to relieve the immediate pressure.  She refused, because, without a basic change in my lifestyle, the weight would just pack back on.

A maintenance man at a plant where I worked, took more than a year to lose over a hundred pounds.  Then he spent another year, gradually putting it all back on.  😦  Slowly we forge the chains of our obesity so, slowly we must cast them off.  In the three months that I waited for the scan, I managed to lose 15 pounds, with lots more to go. 

No more snacking from boredom, as I stay up all night.  It’s as simple – and as complex – as that.  I was appalled at the number and variety of goodies I had available – regular chips, salt and vinegar chips, corn chips, cheese twists, mini chocolate bars…. Three kinds of peanuts, one Honey-Roasted, one Caramel-Coated, for extra calories – and cut back on the sugar-laden soft drinks.

No more 4 or 5 snacks per night!!  Now I must choose – and limit myself to – one snack per evening.  Carefully rationed, I have eliminated several of them, and vowed not to replace them.

COVID19 further delayed already slow medical specialists’ appointments.  Something must have shown in the ultrasound.  On August 1, I received an email appointment notice with a Surgical Oncologist, on Oct 22 – Wow, only another three months!  I only hope that he can ‘knit up the ravelled sleave of my care,’ before I come completely Undun.  Click here, if you’d like to hear the Canadian band The Guess Who, tell you about a girl that it happened to.

I’ll tell you what transpires.  (EW! EW!)  I’ll still be as big an opinionated asshole as ever.  It’s just that, hopefully, there’ll be a lot less of me doing it.

***

So, my Oct. 22 appointment has come and gone.  The specialist took one quick look at it and told me to get out.  At least I now have a direct line to him if it grows any larger. I told him that my weight loss was up to 20 pounds, but he only speaks Metric (9 Kg.)  Very good….keep at it.  It can be caused be something as simple as a sneeze.  With my allergies – do you know how many times I sneeze per day – and how strongly??!

I picked up some meds after the doctor visit.  The pharmacy tech asked me how the visit went.  I told her the doctor was busy, and had just put a strip of Scotch Tape© over it – and got out while she was still reaching for the phone.  If the wife doesn’t have me committed, she might.   😉   😳

Flash Fiction #246

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

I never thought I’d say, ‘I wanna go back to work.’

It’s nice that the company arranged working remotely from home by computer, but, I want to go to the break room for a mug of the world’s worst coffee, or ruin my diet with a donut or cake – ‘cause it’s always someone’s birthday.  I miss the office gossip, politics, and resident weirdo.  I miss the water-cooler sports discussions, even if I hate sports.  I even miss breathe-on-you, Lecherous Lennie’s tales of barroom conquests – all the little things that used to irk me.

This “NEW NORMAL” is getting old, fast.

***

Want to join the Friday Fictioneers fun??  Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

’19 A To Z Challenge – B

Letter BAtoZ2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It all started with a block of cheese at Costco.

Balderson

I never know when a language lesson will rear its ugly head. It was on a recent Costco run, when one leaped (or is that leapt??) out at me. The wife wanted to buy another block of Cheddar cheese, to provide dietary source of calcium for me. Instead of taking Costco’s house-brand – Kirkland – she asked me if I would take one that was on sale, named

Balderdash

senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.

Obsolete . a muddled mixture of liquors.

Related words; jargon, crock, claptrap, rot, bunk, tripe, rigmarole, drivel, moonshine, poppycock, bull, malarkey, fustian, trash, fudge, twaddle, flummery, bosh

For a word that means nothing, it sure has a lot of synonyms. The dictionary omitted the most recent one – Donald Trump. It’s another great old word that the hipsters don’t have time to use, IMHO. The name that she meant to use, was

Balderson

This interesting surname is of medieval English origin, and is an assimilated form of the locational name Balderston(e), which is itself derived from two places so called in Lancashire. The earliest recording in 1172 (Whitaker’s “History of Whalley”‘) appears as “Balderestone”; in the Feet of Fines as “Baldreston” in 1256; and as “Baldreston” in the Court Rolls of 1323. Balderson derives from an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name “Baldhere”, composed of the elements “beold”, brave, and “here”, army, with “tun”, a settlement. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming more common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.

This is the kind of claptrap, drivel, trash, etc. that I serve you when I’ve been distracted, debating with Apologists, and wait till the last minute to compose an A To Z Challenge post. At least it had cheese sauce on it – tasty little morsel.  I promise that Wednesday’s offering will be a little more entertaining and informative. I hope to see you here then   😀

A To Z - Survivor

Cuz I forgot to add this image to my ‘A’ post, two weeks ago

‘17 A To Z Challenge – W

Challenge2017

letter-w

WTF!

Out of the pile of ‘W’ prompts that I downloaded, including the WTF one above, I’ve decided to choose Word Count.

I sometimes (Okay, often) tend to get a bit verbose, so I’ve chosen to keep this little epistle to a maximum of 250 words.

I could watch and wait, as long as I don’t do it too close to my snacks.  Then, I would have to watch my weight, something that you could do from the next county.  When I sit around the house, I really sit AROUND the house.

I downloaded both the word wrench, and the word wench.  While they may seem very similar, they are both quite different in meaning….although, if you played your cards right, both of them would tighten your nuts for you.

I’ve never had wanderlust.  I’m quite satisfied with, wherever I go – there I am.’  With me, it’s more like wander lost??!  Even with the few vacation/sightseeing trips I’ve taken, my poor GPS unit is seeing a counsellor.

Now that the wife is recovering from her second knee-replacement surgery, the physiotherapist suggested that she get more exercise, to build up her strength and stamina. The wife is pushing me to go with her for a walk around the block each day.  I said, “Why??  I’m already here….and I’ll still be here when you get back.”  I am such a wimp.

Oops, this thing is running a bit long. I’d better check my word…..

 

’17 A To Z Challenge – P

Challenge2017

letter-p

Only because I let him, my dog eats

Peanut Butter

PEANUT BUTTER

Born a slave, George Washington Carver spent his life improving the peanut plant, and championing its uses and the planting of it as a crop in the Southern U.S. Like the oats which made Scottish warriors the men they were, one of his best reasons was that peanuts were a cheap, plentiful food for Negroes, rich in protein and other nutrients.

The peanut plant is a nitrogen-fixing legume which fertilized and re-enriched soil made poor from constant growing of cotton. While he sometimes took public credit for the discoveries of others, aside from the food value of peanuts, Carver found many uses for the nuts and plant.

Peanuts have a variety of industrial end uses. Paint, varnish, lubricating oil, leather dressings, furniture polish, insecticides, and nitroglycerin are made from peanut oil. Soap is made from saponified oil, and many cosmetics contain peanut oil and its derivatives. The protein portion is used in the manufacture of some textile fibers. Peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose (used in rayon and paper), and mucilage (glue).

The food value was where Carver concentrated. He published a small brochure, listing 105 recipes/uses for peanuts.  One of the greatest things to come from peanuts, is peanut butter.  I dig a small dollop onto the tip of a kitchen knife, and dip the dog’s daily antihistamine pill in it.

Peanut butter is just basically finely ground peanuts, although commercial producers add sugars, salt and stabilizers. In my little neck of the universe, in the late 1940s and ‘50s, we still had to stir jars of peanut butter, because the oils would separate out.

In 1922, a chemist developed a process for homogenizing it. In 1928, he sold the rights to a company which marketed it as ‘Peter Pan.’  Apparently before conflict of interest/competition contracts, in 1932, he began producing his own peanut butter under the name ‘Skippy.’  Later, he churned in recovered peanut bits, creating the first chunky peanut butter.

For reasons unknown to me, the son recently stirred the top half of a new jar. Apparently that negates the homogenizing effect, and now the oils must be stirred back in each time we open it.  It also changed the peanut butter from a semi-solid paste, to a drippy sauce.  You have to move quickly to get it where it’s going, or have it run off the knife, onto the kitchen counter.

Peanut butter….it goes anywhere, any time –white bread, rye, bagels, plain or toasted, crackers. It finds its way into Thai food with peanut sauce.  It goes with anything….spread it along with honey, or jam, (Good Old P. B. & J!)  Elvis Presley used to like it in peanut butter and banana sandwiches – although he wanted the bananas mushed, and the assembly fried, like a grilled cheese.

Me? I slice a banana into 3 slabs, lengthwise, and lay it over the PB, on toast – usually rye.  On white toast, I slather Miracle Whip on top of the PB.  It has a spicier taste than plain mayo, and sets off the peanut butter’s taste.  You Americans don’t know what you’re missing.  Then again, I’ve been known to put catsup ketchup, even my Spicy Ketchup, as a spread on toast, and you’ve been lucky enough to miss that, too.

I gotta go check with my bathroom scale, to see if I’m allowed some peanut butter and rye crackers as a snack today. The dog is already looking at me suspiciously.  How about you guys??  Eat it?  Leave it?  Like it?  Hate it?  Partner it with what??  😕

The Most Important Meal

coffee

WOMAN’S PERFECT BREAKFAST
She’s sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton. .

WOMEN’S REVENGE
‘Cash, check or charge?’ I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. ‘So, do you always carry your TV remote?’ I asked. ‘No,’ she replied, ‘but my husband refused to come shopping with me, And I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.’

And finally,
God may have created man before woman, But there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece

***

The object of war is not to die for your country
but to make the other jerk die for his.
General George Patton

***

At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, “Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?” The little boy nodded yes.

“Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?” The little boy nodded yes.

“So,” the coach continued, “when a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don’t argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?” Again, the boy nodded yes.

“Good,” said the coach. “Now go over there and explain it to your mother.”

***

I need to get in shape; if I was murdered right now my chalk outline would be a circle.
I am always going the extra mile: because I never stop for directions.
Am I fat? My favorite food is seconds.

***

What are the Five Reasons for not wanting to be an Egg?

  1. You only get laid once.
  2. You only get eaten once.
  3. Seven minutes to get hard (in boiling water).
  4. You have to come in a box with 11 other guys.
  5. The only one that sits on your face is your mother.

***

I have a great diet. You are allowed to eat
anything you want. But you must eat it with naked
fat people.

***

I hope you don’t fuck like you park…you’ll never get it in…

***

😆

 

Empathy Thrust Upon Me

Medicine

Of all the things I hoped to be when I was young, a wrinkled bag of aches and pains wasn’t one of them.  Some while ago, BrainRants, a mere stripling in his mid-forties, published a post about all the pains and strange body noises he was accumulating.  Bloody amateur, just wait till he moves up to the pros.

Through a confluence of good genes, a relatively physical lifestyle, and a modified Mediterranean diet, I am far healthier than many men my age.

Several years ago, a doctor at a clinic remarked to the wife, “You have a lot of things wrong with you.  Nothing that will kill you, but a lot of minor problems.”  Between prescription meds and supplements, she downs 20 to 25 pills a day.  She has a general surgeon who has removed a couple of skin growths, a urologist, a rheumatologist, a podiatrist and an osteopath.  I drive her to a cancer clinic and an airway clinic for monitoring.

Until recently, I was exempt from all that.  I had sympathy for her, but didn’t really know what she went through.  All that has changed.  It started innocently enough, about 15 years ago.  She convinced me to take an antihistamine each morning, for allergies.  Then it was a Vitamin B tablet.  I don’t know what it does.  I don’t ask. I am a husband, Yes dear, Yes dear.

Vampire

Next was Vitamin D, I took a tablet a day.  Last year’s blood test revealed that I am low on Vitamin D.  It has to do with my vampire lifestyle schedule – up all night, sleep all day.  I don’t get enough sunlight.  (It burns!  It burns!)  The doctor insists that I take two.  I take a multivitamin tablet laced with something to keep my retinas from deteriorating.

This year’s physical revealed that I have ‘Old Man’s Disease’, my prostate is swollen.  It also showed that my thyroid is running a bit slow.  Perhaps that’s a small part of my weight gain.  I am now taking medication for both of those.  Only ten pills a day, 9 of them before breakfast, and a heavy-duty pain pill a couple of hours before dawn, to help me get to sleep.  I now take four ‘little blue pills’, and not one of them made by Pfizer – although the doctor did offer me Cialis.

I’m on a call-back list for a Neurologist, from my eye problem of a couple of years ago, but my Ophthalmologist visits are down to once a year.  My long-time Optometrist recently died suddenly, but I’ve found a nice young female replacement.

The duct of a fat gland in my back stopped up and it swelled a bit.  Nothing to worry about – until it infected and grew as big as half an orange, making it difficult to sit or lie down.  It burst before I got to see a surgeon, but now I’m on his call list, because another gland is swelling.

Because of the enlarged prostate, I have an appointment to see a Urologist.  I’d sooner suffer another colonoscopy.  You’re going to push what, up where?  I’m waiting for an appointment with a Dermatology surgeon because I have a couple of suspect skin growths.  I have yet to acquire a Rheumatologist, although the most recent spike of incipient arthritis had me barely hobbling for a week.

I have had empathy for the wife and daughter (and any of the rest of you who suffer these accretions of ‘minor’ problems) thrust upon me.

The most unfair thing about life is the way it
ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot
of your time.  What do you get at the end of it?
A death. What’s that, a bonus?

I think the life cycle is all backwards.
You should die first; get it out of the way.
Then you live in an old age home.

You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get
a gold watch when you go to work. You work forty
years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement!

You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you
get ready for high school! You go to grade school,
you become a kid, you play, you have no
responsibilities, you become a little baby, you
go back into the womb, you spend your last nine
months floating…you finish off as a gleam.

Here’s hoping that my list of pills and specialists doesn’t grow to match the wife’s, but even if it does, it beats the alternative.  (Did I mention that my ass gets sore from sitting at the computer too much?)

Flash Fiction #52

Chain

PHOTO PROMPT – © C. Hase

SHIFTING SANDS

I finished reading my book, and I’m bored.  I’ll have some crackers.

LINK!

I’ll make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.  The bread is small.  I’ll make two.

LINK!

It’s TV commercial time.  I’ll eat a few chips.

LINK!

Doctor says my cholesterol level is normal, but the weight is creeping up.

LINK!

Abdominal fat surrounds and presses on organs, adversely affecting them.  Phooey!  I’ll live forever.

LINK!

And so, like Ebenezer Scrooge, our chains of obesity are acquired.  So easily gained, forged one link at a time.  So difficult to divest ourselves of.

Cast off your chains.  Be healthy.

The above is a somewhat distressing, very personal account of the five years since I retired, still eating as I did when I worked, but no longer working.  I would not insult by pointing fingers and using the ‘Fat’ word, just a gentle reminder, and a wish for the best for all.

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

#465

Happy Birthday

A policeman was patrolling near midnight at a
local parking spot, overlooking a golf course.
He drove by a car and saw a couple inside with
the dome light on.

Inside there was a young man in the driver’s seat
reading a computer magazine and a young lady in
the back seat calmly knitting.

He stopped to investigate. He walked up to the
driver’s window and knocked. The young man looked
up, obligingly cranked the window down, and said,

‘Yes, Officer?’

‘What are you doing?’ the policeman asked.
‘What does it look like?’ answered the young man.
‘I’m reading this magazine.’

Pointing towards the young lady in the back seat,
the officer then asked, ‘And what is she doing?’

The young man looked over his shoulder and replied,

‘I think she’s knitting a sweater.’

Confused, the officer asked, ‘How old are you,
young man?’

‘I’m nineteen,’ he replied.

‘And how old is she?’ asked the officer.

The young man looked at his watch and said,
‘Well, in about twelve minutes she’ll be
eighteen.’

***

A Scotsman and an Englishman lived next door to
each other. The Scotsman owned a hen and each
morning would look in his garden and pick up one
of his hen’s eggs for breakfast. One day he
looked into his garden and saw that the hen had
laid an egg in the Englishman’s garden.

He was about to go next door when he saw the
Englishman pick up the egg. The Scotsman ran up
to the Englishman and told him that the egg
belonged to him because he owned the hen. The
Englishman disagreed because the egg was laid
on his property.

They argued for a while until finally the
Scotsman said, ‘In my family we normally solve
disputes by the following actions: I kick you in
the groin and time how long it takes you to get
back up, then you kick me in the groin and time
how long it takes for me to get up. Whoever gets
up quicker wins the egg.’

The Englishman agreed to this and so the Scotsman
found his heaviest pair of boots and put them on,
he took a few steps back, then ran toward the
Englishman and kicked as hard as he could in the
balls.

The Englishman fell to the floor clutching his
nuts, howling in agony for 30 minutes. Eventually
the Englishman stood up and said, ‘Now it’s my
turn to kick you.’

The Scotsman said, ‘Keep the damned egg.’

***

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor’s
office for his checkup.

Afterwards, the doctor took his wife aside and
said, “Unless you do the following things, your
husband will surely die.” The doctor then went
on to say, “Here’s what you need to do. Every
morning make sure you serve him a good healthy
breakfast. Meet him at home each day for lunch
so that you can serve him a well balanced meal.

Make sure that you feed him a good hot meal each
evening and don’t overburden him with any
stressful conversation, nor ask him to perform
any household chores. Also, keep the house
spotless and clean so that he doesn’t get exposed
to any threatening germs.”

On the way home, the husband asked his wife what
the doctor said. She replied, “He said that
you’re going to die.”

Believe What You Want

A man in southern Tennessee saw his male dog “humping” another male dog, and took it to the humane society and turned it in, “Cuz I don’t want no gay dog!”  Dog humping has nothing to do with sex, sexual orientation, or morals, and everything to do with establishing superiority.  I’d have thought that he’d know about guns and dogs and stuff, but I guess all he knows about is that Westboro Baptist salvation superiority.

I don’t think even they preach about gay dogs.  The Bible does not say that “A male dog shall not lie down (or stand up) with another male dog, as he does with a bitch.”  There are Good Christians who claim that homosexuality and lesbianism are not “natural”, and don’t occur among animals, and it is only those among humans who “sin”.  And yet here, we apparently have a Bible-thumper with a gay dog.  The ironic humor is knee-slapping.

I don’t want to paint any particular group with a wide brush, but all three of the stories in this post occurred well south of the Mason/Dixon Line, which, by the way, is a hell of a lot further north than I thought it was, as a kid.  AFrankAngle can almost see it from his back door in Cincinnati.

A long-time worker at an auto-parts plant in Alabama marched into his supervisor’s office and quit.  He was a good worker, produced great quality and quantity, had a good attendance record, got along with other workers, all in all a perfect employee.  They didn’t want to lose him.  Why was he quitting?

It seems that his company was doing away with their payroll department, and had farmed it out to an outside firm.  The new cheque-writers had assigned each worker an employee number….and his was 666.  Obviously he couldn’t work under the Sign Of The Beast.  His foreman assured him that the problem would be taken care of.  Sure enough, next week’s cheque was made out to employee number 668.

Two years later, he marched into the supervisor’s office and quit again.  What’s the problem this time??!  Seems his employer had switched payroll suppliers, and the new company listed him as number 666 again.  That says to me that he was number 666 all along, but the last payroll company had been directed to make an exception for him, and the new provider just hadn’t got the memo yet.  Again, the problem was fixed by the next paycheque.  As far as I know, he’s still happily working there, blissfully unaware of the total lack of significance his employee number really had, anywhere except inside his empty widdle head.

The last winner I want to poke fun at, is a televangelist I met on TV during my recent Detroit trip.  Joel Osteen has dragged his wife along with him to partake of the Biblical Diet.  He has declared that they will eat only grains, legumes and meat mentioned in the Bible.  He says he loves bacon, but bacon is forbidden in Biblical texts.  He tells that, since giving up bacon and eating only this blessed food, he feels much better.  His digestion has improved, and he has more energy.  I could only watch a few minutes of his show before I got dizzy.  This “Fisher Of Men” needs all the energy he can get, to reel in the faithful, and their wallets.

He told us that he had replaced the standard, but now forbidden, pork bacon with turkey bacon.  Perhaps someone needs to slowly read the Good Book to Mr. Osteen.  The turkey is a New World creature, and is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, but that doesn’t stop another “infallible” soul-saver from saying one thing, and doing another.

A computer-savvy man in Wisconsin set up a website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and YouTube videos, all purporting to be Osteen’s.  On them he said that Osteen had given up the Christian faith, because he had found no proof that the Bible was true, or even that God existed.

Describing himself as a “good Christian”, he said that he did it because he found Osteen’s hour-long TV show to be full of nothing but feel-good platitudes – all sizzle, no real steak.  He claimed that Osteen was insulated from the real world, and his prank was to get Osteen’s attention, to tell him “to tone down the clichés, and get real!”  How high do you have to Fly Like An Ego, to have even the faithful tell you to take a chill pill??

You can believe what you want, but I believe that Bubba will never learn about dogs, Mr. Numerology will never render unto Caesar, and no successful evangelist will ever willingly turn down the volume and risk losing income, adulation and power.