Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ladder Safety 101

Never push or pull anything sideways while on a ladder.
This puts a side load on the ladder and can cause it to tip out from under you.

No … That’s not really me on that stretcher … but …
If my wife wasn’t so busy being franticly worried she may have thought to run in the house, grab the camera and get a shot for my blog. Picture that poor bastard above wearing a sweatshirt and that would be me.

"Sir?" What is your name?
"Joe. My name is Joe."
This was really a good sign. This I knew.
Though the EMT didn’t know it. How could he?
It’s not like he knew my name was really Joe.
He just believed me. If I really didn’t remember my name, and guessed … "Rodney" … I think he would have from then on called me "Rodney".

"Rodney, can you tell me where it hurts?"
"All over, but mainly it’s my chest. It's sort of caved-in."
Now, I’m not kidding you on the caved in part.
I distinctly remember flying through the air, landing on top of the ladder, having the wind knocked out of me and not being able to breathe in any air. I thought it was over.
My wife was telling me to stay calm and breathe. She’d be right back after calling 911. Laying there waiting her return. I was finally able to take a breath. My mind then began to assess the damage done to the rest of me. My arms were folded in front of me as if they were trying to keep my chest from falling apart.
Hmmmm. My legs were moving. My head seemed okay. My arms were doing a good job holding my chest together. I wondered what would happen if I let go. I released the hold I had on myself and tried to look down. I had on a sweatshirt and really couldn’t see anything.
I felt around and then I realized the center of my chest was a deep cavity. The ladder had karate-chopped my chest.

"Joe, don’t worry. Stay still. An ambulance is on it’s way?"
I was still gasping for air.
"Honey, feel my chest. I think it caved in."
I could hear the sirens getting closer. She held my hand and we waited.

Back in the ambulance heading for the hospital ...
"Rodney, can you tell me what happened?"
Still gasping for air, I explained.
At the hospital, the usual questions...
What is your name?
Do you have an email address?
Who got your vote for president?
How attached are you to the sweatshirt we're about to cut in half?

There was an x-ray, a CAT scan and heroin (or it may have been morphine) I can’t remember which.
Then came the nurse administrator with the news.
"Joe. Your wife assured my your name isn’t Rodney and it looks like you have two broken ribs."
" OMG! I have two broken ribs? Now what?"
"We’re sorry, there is really nothing we can do for you."
"WHAT? Am I gonna die? You can’t do anything?"
"Rodney, Sorry ... Joe. Don’t be silly! We’re sending you home with a prescription for some pain medication and you should be fine in about eight weeks. Here is some info to take home with you. Take care. Buh-bye."
"Huh? What? Thank you."

Less than four hours after my fall, I was back at home.
I was doped up, in pain and behind on the yard work.
Since then, I’ve been lost in TV land.
I wish there was a screen saver for the eyes.
Everywhere I look there is the imprint of my flat-screen TV.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hanging in My Closet

"Good morning, Joe. Are you here to pick up?"
"Well, no, I am not. I picked up yesterday. But I do have a question."
Apparently, I have a problem.
No … not with my dry cleaners.
Mine is a mental problem, or so I’m led to believe.

"So, how can I help you, Joe? What is your question?"
“Can you tell me if the shirts I picked up yesterday were dry cleaned or laundered?”
"Sure, Joe. Just give me a second and I’ll look it up."
I usually have my shirts laundered instead of dry-cleaned.
I get them on a hanger and lightly starched.

“Joe, I checked and they were laundered as you like them.”
"They were? Hmmmmm … that’s odd."
"Odd, Joe, how so?”
So I explained.
When I took the newly cleaned shirts home and went to hang them with my other clean shirts, they were facing in the wrong direction. My shirts all get hung with the open part of the hanger hook facing the back wall of my closet making the fronts of all my shirts face to the right. The newest bunch all faced to the left. I could face the newest shirts to the right but then the hangers would be hooked on the closet rod toward me instead of towards the back wall like all the rest of the hangers in my closet including the ones holding my pants, sweaters and tee shirts.

And yes, I hang my tee shirts. Not the tee shirts I wear under my dress shirts, those are folded neatly and placed in the right forward corner of the second draw down of my dresser. The tee shirts in my closet are the ones that have words and pictures on them. The fronts of all those tee shirts face to the left (but that’s because they hang on the right side of the closet pole.) My wife has a difficult time hanging and facing my tee shirts properly when she pulls them from the clothes dryer. I often have to reverse them on the hangers before I bring them to my closet. I like to bring them up myself because she just hangs them wherever she finds room and sometimes with the hangers facing the wrong way making the fronts of the tee shirts face the wrong way and it all gets just too friggin’ confusing to me and stresses me out, then I complain and then she gets pissed and tells me I have a problem … but I don’t. I just like order … and I know she knows how to do it right so I accuse her of just trying to aggravate me and wonder what I did to deserve this stress and it goes right back to where she calls me nuts again. But I’m not!

"Joe, please, calm yourself."
"I’m sorry. So why are the shirts facing the wrong way?"
"Joe, we use two laundry companies. If you drop your shirts off on a Saturday, which you did, they go to a company that hangs them that way. I’m sorry, I will note that you don’t want them done by them anymore."
"You will? That would be great!"
"Anything else I can do for you, Joe?"
"Well, may I ask … Do many others complain when their shirts are hung in the wrong direction?"
"Actually, no Joe. You’re the only one."

Back at home, as I turn the six newly cleaned shirts around on their hangers to make everything right, I can’t help but ask myself …
"Hmmmm … I wonder if my wife put them up to this?"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Relationship Guru

"Joe, can I ask your opinion on something?"
Recently a female friend of mine was having a bit of trouble understanding the man in her life. After discussing the situation with her female friends she discovered nothing new or helpful. Rather than just giving up, she felt it wise to consult a male friend for a different perspective.
I happened to be in the vicinity.
"Joe, I want you to be honest with me."
At this point I’m wondering if she realizes that what I have to offer is practically wisdom, (not quite wisdom … but practically wisdom).
Even with that in mind, I still agreed to answer her questions "honestly".
"Joe, How do I know if I'm the one for him?"
“Well, he's tolerated you so far, right?”
"Joe, How do I best care for him?"
“A little bit better than you would care for a kitten, puppy or your shoe collection.”
"No, Joe, I mean how do I get him to take better care of himself?"
“You can’t. Something has to hurt enough for him to care.”
"Joe, how do I know what he really wants?"
“It’s best to just ask him. But whatever he answers don’t believe him … Unless he says he wants either more sex or less questions.”
"Joe, how do I get his attention?"
“My wife usually hides the remote, grabs the mouse, calls my cell phone or just yells at me.”
"Joe, how do I get him to think about the future?"
"Marry him. He’ll certainly start contemplating the future. Be aware though, he will be worrying about it."
"Joe, how do I really know if he’s the one?"
"Well? Can you tolerate him?"
"Joe, is it possible you’re right?"
"Anything is possible when you don’t know what you’re talking about."
"Joe, I’m glad we had this conversation. Thank you."
"Oh, please! Don’t mention it. I mean it ... to anyone."