Monday, September 30, 2013

Mark, my darling husband,  posted this photo on Facebook, the last time we went kayaking.  He said it was a photo of  "Juvenile" alligator smacking my boat with its tail.  And that I took off like a bat out of hell, leaving James and he in the dust. I feel I must rebut this heinous character assassination.

 Juvenile, my fat white dimply ass! That evil sucker was a big enough gator to make my boat shake and shimmy and my heart set to thumping and quaking! And no I didn't leave my child behind. I actually paused with paddle poised to give that gator a good thwacking about its big ugly green pimply snouty kisser should it decide to stick its ghastly snoot up out of the water again! Although I will admit that while this photo was being snapped I was simultaneously emitting a noise that most likely made dogs all over the Gulf Coast of the US bark frantically and wallow on the ground, trying to scratch out their ear drums and, was quickly making deals with my maker that included something about refraining from ever trying to wax Mark's mustache while he's sleeping regardless of how much I want to, and never putting that photo of my son's girlfriend forcing him to let her curl his eyelashes, on Facebook and never releasing to the world, the knowledge of the three words that skeeve my daughter out so much that they turn her into a tiny homicidal maniac. (I should point out that at 22, she stands about 5' 2"... in heels)  Lucky for my family I take my deals with God very seriously so Mark's mustache is safe from wax (although I conveniently omitted any reference to Nair) and Ryan's man card is safe (although that ship probably sailed when I mentioned the eyelash incident in the first place) And I've actually seen Lindsey get all twitchy and purple minion like with the accidental dropping of one of her peeve words and I don't wanna ever see that again so she was safe anyway. That gator however, better never show his big stupid herpefied snaggletoothed honker around my kayak again or else I'll squeal like a school girl at a One Direction concert and bat at it ineffectually with my paddle ..... again. Nuff' said.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


James and I are probably going to have a serious "come to Jesus" meeting. It's 6:43am on Saturday, I tossed and turned until after 2 am in pain, and yet here I am awake. He MUST learn that it is not okay to pry open my eyelids and attempt to kiss my eyeballs as a means to get me to get me out of bed before 9 am on ANY Saturday morning...ever!!!!! And that saying "I love you, Mom" while doing, it will not diffuse my wrath. There are several creatures on the planet that should NOT be woken before they are ready: rabid hibernating grizzly bears are number two. Guess who number one is????

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finally, A visit to the Orthopeadic Surgeon.

Well, today was interesting.  But let us first go back to Tuesday.  Ok, well wait, let us actually go back to August when I made an appointment with my local Orthopedist to review the results of my shoulder MRI, which I already knew showed two torn ligaments in my rotator cuff, one which one a “near complete tear” because I hacked into the disk that held my radiology report.  *Inhaaaaaaaaaaale*  The “first available” appointment was for 6 weeks later.  Yippee Skippy!  So that would make it September 24th.  However, on Tuesday at exactly just a few minutes before I was to leave my awesome, amazing, fabulous job (covering my posterior, just in case my boss stumbles onto this) the Ortho desk lady calls me and says “ummm, Miss Law-ree” (I live in Mississippi, but I’m a damn Yankee and have a damn Yankee name, so that is how its pronounced down here), “Dr. McBusy had to leave the office and rush to the hospital to perform a superahippoagealterectomy”, or some other such ridiculously unpronounceable surgery, but what he was probably doing was an emergency round of golf.  But ok, so I’m obviously a little put out by this stellar turn of events since I had just waited six weeks in pure agony, but they did just move my appointment to the next day.  I could handle that, except I’m a drama queen and I just needed something to be uber dramatic about so I of course whined and wailed about it for the rest of the day.  My family really appreciates and admires my dramatic side, so I indulge them whenever possible.  (You’re welcome family). 

Wednesday takes it sweet time getting here but somehow I manage to survive long enough to make it to my new appointment, one entire, whole day later.   Phew!  I only have to sit in the waiting room for about an hour and fifteen minutes before I’m called back, but I have my handy dandy Nook Book Reader with me (shameless plug) because I’ve been to this rodeo before.  As I’m immersed in a really good smuttyfied horrorish murdery novel, (Those words will be in the soon to be bestselling dictionary that I plan to write and have published by a famous publishing house later this year.  Be on the lookout for it, titled, Words I Totally Made Up and How to Spell Them Wrongishly, by Lorie) the nurse comes out into the waiting room and calls out for Miss Law-ree.  I really should be used to people pronouncing it this way by now but I do briefly look around the waiting room just to see if Key and Peele are hiding somewhere getting ready to drop a  "Substitute Teacher" skit right in the middle of this doctor’s office.  Alas, no such luck.  So I gather up my 40 lbs. of crap that I routinely carry around with me (ask me how I messed up my rotator cuff) and schlepped off to the patient room to wait for Dr. McGonnabewaitingawhile, to join me.  As soon as I entered the patient room I was immediately assaulted by the lovely aroma of rectal methane leakage.  Holy Anus Symphony, Batman!  Who the hell was in this room before me????  I looked at the nurse fully expecting her to apologize for the rancid smell in this room, but much to my surprise she totally pulled off the most impressive poker face I’ve ever seen because she actually appeared, to the naked eye, to be completely oblivious of anything odoriferously offensive.  Well played,  Nurse Ratched . Well played indeed.  Okay, well if Nurse Ratched can pull off the “I don’t smell a thing” card, I am certainly not going to fold!  So I pretended to not smell anything putridly rancid either, although my eyes were watering and my nose was running a bit and I was fighting the insanely vigorous urge to cough. 

Up to this point I may not have mentioned the Kinesio Tape.  What is Kinesio Tape ?  I’m glad you asked.  Kineso Tape is a rumbustious (That’s a real word. I swear!  It means really strong. Google it.  ) elasticy (don’t Google that word until my dictionary comes out) tape that you put all over your wounded body part, in this case; my shoulder, and it provides some stability to weak and torn ligaments and muscles.  Okay, so you don’t put it “all over” your wounded body part, there is actually a way to properly tape it, but for the purpose of this story we’ll just say it was all over my shoulder.  And I already mentioned it was super, whamidine, maama jaama strong tape.  Like sticky strong.  Like rip off 17 layers of skin and expose the grody stuff under your skin strong, if you don’t soak it off in a nice warm bubbly tub first.  And I may not have mentioned yet that I had dear husband, Mark put a fresh coating of this fly paper armor tape on my shoulder just that very morning. Yup, six whole pieces.  Six. 

Now back the noxious room with Nurse Rached.  She opens her mouth to speak and I know she has to be loath to actually allow the fumes in that room to enter her mouth while she speaks, but she’s got some brass, because she does so without making any expression changes at all.  I’m wondering if my mettle might be out gunned here.  She says that we are going to go take some x-rays and I’m wondering if by “we” she means I get to run the x-ray equipment.  Nah, you probably need a permit or a license or something to do that.  Then she informs me that my precious tape needs to be removed first.  Aw hell.  Then she informs me that she will be removing it for me.  Well….. um….. okay, I suppose.  I mean, she’s a nurse right?  They are trained to be compassionate to the patient.  Right?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure she took the cliff notes version of the “Nursing with Compassion” class at Nursing School.  She grabbed the first piece and ripped it off like she was trying to give me a Brazilian wax job on my shoulder.  I responded to that with a “wooo”.  She said “Oh did that hurt”?  As she dug her nails under the second piece and flayed the flabby part of my upper arm like a trout.  At this point I had opened my mouth wider to “Wooo” again but that booty perfume snuck into my mouth and I promptly closed it again, hence I “Wooooo” and then “uuurrpshhhhh” all over Nurse Ratched’s Crocs.  So I just sat there with my hands politely crossed in my lap and didn’t open my pie hole again while she extracted all the hair from my arm and I suspect several layers of my epidermis as well.  Then she said “here” and handed me the ball of crumpled tape with all of my shoulder hair and some lumps of pink skin rolled in for good measure and wordlessly left the room.  Hmm.  I wonder if I was supposed to follow her so “we” could take an x-ray.   A moment later she reappeared at the door and stared at me like I had a penis growing out of my forehead.  I guess I was supposed to follow her when she left the first time.  I looked at her and said “Hi”.  She didn’t look amused, so I got up and followed her this time.  One of the little voices in my head echoed “it’s not good to piss off the medical professionals who are in charge of your health and well-being”.  I wonder if Nurse Ratched reads my blog.

The x-rays went fairly uneventfully.  They indeed did not need my help running the x-ray equipment.  I asked.  Before I knew it I was back in the skunk room awaiting Dr. McKeepwaiting.  So I read some more of my e-book, carefully keeping my mouth closed to the odor when a thought occurred to me.  I wonder if Dr. McLigament will walk into this room and think that *I* am responsible for this nuclear landfill grade aroma?  I did not like that thought, so I took it upon myself to open the door and allow a little fresh air to seep in.  No sooner had I sat back down, did Nurse Ratched storm to the open door and promptly snap it closed again.  Well hell.   Maybe I would just blame Dr. McBone-Dude for the perfume in the room.  Yeah, I wonder if I have the stones to clamp my hand over my mouth and nose, when he walked in and say “ohmagawd, did you have red beans and rice for lunch”?  And then that pesky little voice in my head reminded me again “Best not to piss off the dude who may, someday soon, have a scalpel aimed at your unconscious body”.  Eh, better not I spose’.   

Dr. McScapel-Weilder finally made an appearance in the poopy room not long after I mentally vetoed playing the blame game with him.  He asked me a few relevant questions and made me do “the wave” a few times and then twisted, prodded, poked, contorted and tied my arm in a pretty bow. (This is why he makes the big bucks)  He then pronounced that I still had good range of motion.  Goody, but my arm is still numb from the shoulder down to the tips of my fingers, so he declares that the real problem may in fact, be a disk in my neck.  That is an outstanding bit of news right there.   But wait, it gets better.  Do you think Dr. McPain wants to do an x-ray of my neck?  Naw.  How about a CT Scan?  Nope.  An MRI perhaps?  Negative.  No Dr. McSharps is a fan of process of elimination.  This is always good news.  He would like to do a Cortisone and Steroid injection into the bursa between the Humeral bone head and the Coracoid process, right under the Acromioclavicular joint.  Oh well sure.  I’d love it if you stuck a needle into the tenderest bit of torn ligament in my shoulder.  Why don’t we do two while we’re at it?  A matching pair would be nice don’t you think? 

I did ask the doctor if I was going to cry because of this and if I did, do I get a lollipop afterward.  He snickered a bit and said that is sounded more painful than it really was.  I really hoped that he was snickering at me for being a goober and not because he just told a big ol’ whopper to the gullible patient.  Doc left because apparently he doesn’t do his own dirty work and he sent in Dr. Doogie,  his Physician’s assistant.  I was feeling a little insecure about Dr. McSnicker’s assurances so I asked Dr. Howser if *he* thought I would need a lollipop after this injection and he answered my question with a question.  (Dontcha love that?)  He asked if I’d ever had one before.  I said No.  He then assured me that THIS one would be the best one then.  Okay, so in other words, this one might hurt like a mofo, but the next time I get one, it’ll rate higher than 40 bullet ant stings on Schmit’s Sting Pain index?   That really didn’t have the sedative effect on me that I think Dr. Doogie was going for.  Perhaps he should read my blog.

Dr. Howser gave me some last minute tips on post injection shoulder care.  “Don’t use your right arm for a few days. The first two or three days, your pain should get worse, but then you should get some relief.  If not, then it means the injection didn’t work. If anything turns black and falls off, call and make an appointment to come back and see us”.  He didn’t actually say that last part, I just added it to be dramatic.   Doogie cleaned my shoulder with some alcohol (he didn’t have the kind you drink, I asked) and then some betadine. Then took a fine point sharpie out of his pocket and proceeded to draw a scapular map on my shoulder that would make the fussiest cartographer proud.  I asked if he was going to make an “X marks the spot” addition to the map.  He wasn’t, but he would if I really wanted him to.  Well, no.  I don’t want to be high maintenance but shouldn’t any good map have a red “X marks the spot” spot on it??  Ok, well maybe I was stalling.

And then he removed the syringe from his lab coat pocket.  When he popped off the protective cover, one of the more annoying voices in my head said “Dum Dum Dum Duuuuuummm”.  That voice really grates on my nerves.  But the voice was right.  The needle looked like a Sonic Route 44 drinking straw.  I wondered if he was going to inject me with a blow dart through that straw, but no.  That was the actual needle.    I felt beads of sweat start rolling down my neck and I prayed they wouldn’t cause Dr. Jeremy’s map to run down my back and that straw sized needle would somehow end up jabbed into my chubby ass.  Oh Lord, the places where my mind wanders when I’m moderately panicked.  Dr. Howser explained that, more than pain, I would actually feel a lot of pressure.  Okay, well that doesn’t sound horrible, I spose’.   Yeah right.  Doogie proceeded to push that needle in through my right shoulder, but I swear it came out in my spleen.  Holy Paralytic Extremities, Batman!  My arm felt like it weighed 73 pounds and had Black Mamba venom coursing through it causing it to rot off at warp speed. (pretty image eh?) I’m fairly certain that Doogie’s needle hit quite a few odd nerves during it journey to my spleen because my left eye snapped shut of its own accord, both of my pinky toes curled under, my one open eye was watching a fireworks show that was being projected on the paper towel dispenser, I thought I could feel a band of spiders marching up and down my back while my ears twitched out a rhythm that made me think of playing “Chopsticks” on the piano as a kid, and I kept hearing an odd noise that sounded a bit like a wounded cat.  But after a few minutes I realized that the cat noise was coming from me, so strike that one. 

Four hours later, Dr. Doogie said, “All done, now that wasn’t too bad was it”?  Well no, not if you are comparing it to a six hour root canal with no Novocain.  Or maybe having an ingrown toe nail removed with a pair of rusty pliers.  Then no, no it wasn’t that bad.  But if you are comparing it to an Ice Cream cone from Ben and Jerry’s, then it sucked out loud.  But then again, I am a grown up (mostly) so aside from the mewling cat noise that involuntarily escaped from my throat, I think I handled it very well.  However, I was making plans to walk calmly to my car and roll up the windows, turn the radio up full blast and belt out a fourteen minutes string of swear words I learned from my husband’s twenty years of service in the Navy and all the swabby sailors whom we socialized with.  I’ll leave the details of that out in case my Mom and Dad read this. 

The next few days should be fun.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday is a day for the 3 G's.... Growl, Grumble and Grouch.

Today is Saturday, two days after my appointment with Audrey and Dr. Skrivello at the Little Shop of Horrors.  This morning I have had less than two hours of sleep and my sense of humor may have deteriorated a bit.   I know you are wondering how it could get any more dysfunctional than it was on Thursday, but let’s find out.  The pain started in earnest around 11 am on Friday.  I reached across the table at school to clean up a spill and a searing hot pain ripped down my arm making me feel like I had just dipped my arm in honey and rolled it in a bed of those freak of nature giant screaming ants from Africa or Uruguay or some other country that isn’t the US. 

Footnote: Bullet Ant

So maybe swarms of tiny ants don’t scare you. How about this giant screaming mofo? That’s right, screaming. Bullet Ants hail from the low land rainforests of Nicaragua and Paraguay. Each ant is about an inch long and lives in a tree colony. When a predator approaches the colony some of these bad boys drop down onto it, letting out a shriek before they do.
While not the deadliest insect, the Bullet Ant’s sting is said to be the most painful in the world, according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. The insect’s sting causes waves of burning, throbbing, mind-blowing, pain that doesn’t stop for 24 hours. It hurts so much it feels like you’ve been shot with a bullet (Get it? Bullet Ant?)

Some South American societies use the Bullet Ant to test the manhood of young boys, making them endure 20 stings without crying out before they can be considered men. Some Non-South American people think that sounds cool and decide to do it just for kicks.


Yeah, those ants.  I wonder if my rotator cuff tear rates on Scmidt’s Sting Pain index?


Today I am almost convinced that I am indeed a pansy, contrary to my earlier proclamation that I am not, I believe their may have been a transformation.  I debated at about 3 am, a hasty visit to our local Emergency Room where I would crawl in on my hands and knees, begging for just one hit of Demerol or Oxycodone or any other controlled substance that would alleviate my pain for just a few hours and allow me to sleep in a drugged, drooling stupor, like my dear husband was doing at the moment.  But when I played that pleasant scenario out in my mind, I imagined it wouldn’t really go the happy way I hoped.  I would crawl into our local ER where their super crabby, don’t give a rats #@!# if you come in here with a severed limb and are bleeding all over the floor, sign in and sit and wait to be called, front desk people would look at my foaming at the mouth, wild hair and pajama clad self and immediately peg me as a druggie needing a fix (which is halfway true, not the druggie part, but I was certainly going to beg for some hard core, body and mind numbing drugs).  I could see this going one of two ways.  Way 1: they call security and have me tossed out on my rump.  Or Way 2: they make me wait in the waiting room for seven hours, at which time they call me to triage and take my blood pressure and temperature, ask me why I’m there, determine I’m low priority and I go back to the waiting room for another three hours at which point I am allowed to go to a room in the back, where I can hear several other patients wailing in agony for drugs.  I sit in this back room for another nice long time (I’ve lost the ability to judge time by this point) and at some point a sarcastic doctor comes in and tells me to go home and take some Motrin and follow up with my regular doctor. 

I decided Way 1 is the better of those two options, but staying home and wallowing in pain in the partial comfort of my own bed, making my husband miserable in the process, *bonus*, is probably an even better plan.  What???  Mark made me really mad yesterday and all night he slept like a really annoying baby, which made me even madder.  As a matter of a fact I wanted to tenderly wake Mark up with a well-placed right hook to the groin, but my #@#$#@!! right arm was currently in so much pain I didn’t feel like I could do the hook proper justice.   It probably wouldn’t even wake him and he would just roll around a bit and then start snoring.  When you are in such extreme pain and cannot sleep and someone is sleeping so soundly and peacefully it’s only human nature to want to make them suffer.  Well, it’s in Lorie’s human nature anyway.

So at six am, the vile taste in my mouth and the extreme need to visit the girl’s room, drove me from the bed.  And I used my throbbing right arm to brush the taste of three week old dirty gym socks out of my mouth because I haven’t mastered brushing my teeth with my left hand yet.  My arm went numb while brushing my molars at which point I’m pretty sure I brushed the lower half of my esophagus on accident.  After recovering my ability to swallow again, I staggered back to bed to try and find a semi comfortable position to sleep, only to discover that my darling James had rolled out of his bed and pranced his happy tail into my room and crawled up into my bed and fallen asleep next to Mr. Sleep-through-an-apocalypse.  Sigh.  Now there are two really aggravating, sleeping peacefully, lumps of annoying mass in my bed.  I guess it’s time to get up anyway, cause I’m sure as hell not getting back into bed with that.  Six am on a Saturday is a travesty.  And I’m feeling very uncharitable toward anything that breathes, today.  Hell, I’m feeling violent toward things that don’t breathe too.  The toaster is currently pissing me off pretty good for taking too long to toast my bread.  I may unplug it and chuck it out the window momentarily and see if that relieves some of my sleep deprivation aggression.  I would chuck Mark out of the window, but again, that right arm isn’t cooperating.  (Like I could chuck Mark anywhere with two perfectly healthy rotator cuffs.  Maybe if both cuffs were on loan to me from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).   


To add insult to injury, Mark rolled out of bed, cheerfully and well rested, took one look at me with my bloodshot eyes, Mad Hatter Hair and brows furrowed so far down on my face they tickled my nose and proclaimed that he had some stuff that he had to do at work.  He threw on clothes and flew out the door fast enough that it would have made a Nascar pit crew proud.  He was in such a rush that he left poor James here to suffer my wrath alone.  I guess he believes that Lorie’s human nature is actually rendered null by James’s usually very sweet demeanor.  Good thing I love that rotten boy so much.  I guess I’ll just have to cultivate and refine my grouchiness until Mark’s return.  That makes me smile a bit. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Visiting the Physical Therapist.... for Dummies.

This day…. Let me sum up.  You might not know that I have injured myself.  Again.  I know, I know, you are shocked!  (if you don't know me, I should explain that this might happen with me a lot) Some might say it’s just old freaking age, but I think we all know that’s not true.  (We all know I’m mostly crazy too, so I wouldn’t disagree with that last statement)  I have a badly torn rotator cuff, in three spots, and several compressed disks in my neck and spine.  It’s a little inconvenient, I must say, but I’m no pansy, so I’m dealing.  I have been going to a Physical Therapy clinic for two weeks now.  For the first week the doctors there just gave me some exercises to do.  No big whoopee.  Shrug your shoulders fifteen times, every twenty minutes and do the chicken neck thing, pull your head back so that your double chin turns into thirty chins and say “bwack”, fifteen times as well.  (Saying “bwack” might be optional) Easy peasy, lemon squeezie.  Of course I didn’t do these exercises in front of anyone.  Especially the chicken neck thing.  My friends already think I’m several bricks shy of an outhouse, no need to provide concrete proof. 

After a week and a half of looking really confused and unstable every twenty minutes, I returned to the PT clinic for further evaluation.  What this means is two PT dudes pull, tug, twist, maim, disfigure and manhandle your body, while asking “does this cause you pain”.  Most of my responses were: “Since my bones are not made of wet spaghetti, then I’m going to say yes, yes that does hurt”, “That’s not especially painful, but I’ve never seen that part of my body in front of me before”, “Is that still attached to my body”?,  “I’m pretty sure that is illegal in 17 states”,  “Does your mother know you do this for a living” and my last response to them, while one PT twisted my head around toward my back and then tilted it as far as it would go to the left, and the other PT pulled both my arms around my back and up toward my, now looking to the back, face, and they both pushed in at the same time and said “Does this cause any discomfort”?   I said, “You fellas used to torture puppies when you were young didn’t you”? 

 The good news is that after all that “testing”, and I use that terminology generously, they both agreed that neither one of them knew exactly which problem was responsible for the pain and numbness in my right arm.  So they slipped off to a private torture chamber (because I was actually out in the middle of a huge room full of other patients who were watching with pained looks on their faces, thanking the dear sweet Lord that they weren’t the next victim of “Jigsaw and Billy”) to chit chat about it while I untangled myself and maneuvered all my miscellaneous body parts back into the configuration that God put them in 42 years ago.  They returned a short while later giggling under their breath like Bevis and Butthead when they met a man named Dick.  The sound of their muffled giggles woke the pterydactyls in my belly that like to flutter around when I get nervous.

“We think your main problem is in your neck, blah blah blah, pinched nerves, blah blah blah, impingement, blah blah blah, traction, blah blah blah, see you Thursday”.   Yippee.

So now to today.  I must admit, though I established earlier that I’m not really a pansy, I was a tiny bit hesitant about the whole traction thing, especially seeing as how I didn’t know what the hell it was except when your tractor gets stuck in the mud and won’t giddy up.  But I really didn’t see how they were going to put me in mud and make me get stuck, so I dismissed that thought fairly quickly. 

I arrived at the clinic a teeny bit late, oops; maybe they are going to have to reschedule me. Nope.  Igor and Lurch were waiting for me in the lobby and they seemed a little excited.  Not really in the kid who got a puppy for Christmas kind of way but more like the kid with a magnifying glass and ant kind of way.  Nerves are kicking up a little bit now.  Pterodactyls are getting restless.  So they take me into the back into one of the private PT rooms…. Yeah, I really didn’t feel that wasn’t a good omen.  If they were willing to twist me into an origami pinwheel out in the middle of the clinic, what goes on in a private room?  The only thing in the room was a table with a medieval machine at one end, a bunch of straps and buckles along the table and a strappy helmet attached to the medieval machine.  Not the accessory of the year in my opinion.  But apparently my opinion wasn’t really important at this time since they made me hop up on the table and put my very tense head into the party helmet.  Then, oh glory be, I didn’t notice that on the end nearest the medieval machine was two little Stonehenge like structures that one PT dude then placed my neck in between, while the other one strapped my legs down.  I felt very Salem Witch trial/Eighteenth century Asylumish .  Uh-huh, not a warm fuzzy moment for me.  The pterodactyls are fully awake and having a wild mosh pit type concert in my gut.

Bonnie then says that Stonehenge will now tighten up on my neck, but please let him know when it was pretty snug.  “Snug….. It’s snug….. Dude! *gasp* It’s too tight!”   Clyde then examines the structures that are now imbedded in my neck glands and says “Can you breathe ok”?   Apparently my ears were being affected by the pressure on my neck because I could have sworn I said “Um, it’s actually pretty difficult to breathe like this”.  But since Dr. Frankenstein replied with “Perfect”!  I must have actually said, “Sure, who needs to exchange air anyway?  I’m good like this.  My neck feel like a sippy straw was just placed down my larynx and then filled in all that extra space around it with concrete, but it’s all good in the hood, Frankie”. 

Then Jekyll explains how the doomsday device works.  “It’s going to pull up on your head a bit, not too much, it really shouldn’t be painful, and it’ll pull, release, pull, release, pull, release for the next 20 minutes. (Sounds swell)  Here’s a bell, we’ll put it over here by your leg.  Just tap the bell if you become too uncomfortable.”   When I inquired where that bell was when they were wrapping the jaws of life around my neck, my mouth must have not been working properly either (all that extra oxygen coursing through my new sippy straw windpipe) because Hyde looked and me and smiled and said “Uh-huh, okay we’ll be back in 20.  It’s okay for you to fall asleep if you want”.  What?????  Are you %&$#@&* joking, psycho????   At this point, “The Rack” came to life.  A gentle hum began and the table started to shake a bit.  I’m pretty sure I started hyperventilating, but my dad-gum straw wouldn’t let me get enough oxygen to pass out.  Lovely.  Then, The Jaws of Life sprang into action.  Pulling on my head a bit, my fat ^#@$!!!  I was certain this is how all those dandelions felt when I used to sing “Mama had a baby and its head popped off” as I used my thumb to dislodge the head of the dandelion and send it flying off into the air.  I’m so sorry dandelions!!!!   Really I am. 

I lasted the entire 20 minutes, only because in the first 30 seconds I jerked my leg and sent my only saving grace, the bell, flying off the table onto the floor where it rolled off to that place where all the mates to your socks are.   During those 20 minutes I imagined that I was being choked by a rabid gorilla at the Bronx zoo.  I don’t know why the Bronx, or even if they have a zoo in the Bronx, and if they do have a zoo, if they have gorillas, but let’s remember I was seriously low on O2 here.  I also saw Jimmy Hendricks walk into my room wearing a lab coat and a clown nose while carrying an albino penguin, Jeff Foxworthy floated over my head with tiny bat wings and sang “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” while playing a ukulele and wearing Ruby slippers and finally I’m fairly certain I saw an iceberg drift by outside the window with more of those darn little albino penguins. 

When Jack the Ripper and Norman Bates returned, they turned off the machine of death and unstrapped my head from the helmet, but neglected to loosen Stonehenge from around my neck.  Jack instructed me to sit up when I felt able….  “I would love to sit up, you Crackhead, but my neck is still being held down by the freaking Jaws of Life, you @#$$#^ Whackadoo”!    That is what my brain told my mouth to say, but since my brain was so oxygen deprived what my mouth actually said was “I can’t sit up until you loosen the things holding my neck in place”.  Duh you big fat dog turd! (Still no oxygen) 

Nurse Ratchet released the pressure on the paddles holding me down. After they dislodged from my esophagus with a loud slurpy suction type noise, my ears popped about 13 times andI was finally  free.  I was able to breathe and move and try and make my jaw work again!  I was sure I heard angels singing just outside the window.  They may have been keeping the albino penguins company on the iceberg.  (Too much oxygen, too quickly, after being low for 20 minutes apparently has some adverse psychological effects too…. Go figure)  After giving Penn and Teller the stare down (it might not have been as intimidating as I intended since I think my eyes may have been wobbling around in their sockets a bit doing the whole Mr. Deeds, Crazy Eyes thing), they made me an appointment next week to attend this wild hootenanny again.  Hallelujah.  I wonder if getting run over in the parking lot would be sufficient excuse to not come back next week.  Could someone check on that for me?