My Brain

I guess it’s time to come clean with the results of the CT Scan of my head. That was administered at 0945 on Friday the 13th. It took us an hour to drive to the hospital and took about 2 minutes for the tech to do the test. That meant we had lots of time to do ‘stuff’ in Portland. First up was breakfast at Elmer’s Pancake House. From there I don’t remember what we did. Shopped, I think.

Apparently that short CT scan worked because my doctor left a message on our home phone at 1110 requesting that I call so she could talk with me about what the scan revealed. Since we were roaming around Portland I didn’t listen to the message until we got home, after the doc’s office was closed. Then I had to wait until Monday because I didn’t want to talk with the office’s answering service over the weekend.

I have to say that I was a little concerned hearing from the doctor so soon after completing the test, and that allowed my little brain to go through all kinds of gyrations and permutations about the possible results. Seeing all that going on im my infected head put me into overdrive which just made it worse.

So, I had Diane take me to town and drop me off at the Pastime Tavern and told her I’d have the bartender call her if I didn’t think I could walk home. She was happy that I didn’t just take the truck, like I’ve done many times in the past. I quit doing that when they moved the jail from the old court-house to the Sheriff’s Office on Old Portland Road. The old location was better because it wasn’t such a far walk for her to come bail me out. So, she dropped me off and I’m sure she was hoping I’d just forget our home phone number. But, I fooled her because a long time ago I had the number tattooed just above my left knee so I can read it when I’m sitting in the bathroom.

The evening of Friday the 13th, however, didn’t result in an arrest. Nope. I just sat around talking with people, drinking beer, playing pool, and pushing away all the touchy-feely women who seemed to think they could make it all better. Well, I’m here to tell you that I don’t put up with that kind of undisciplined behavior and I told them so. The fellows to whom I was kabitzing thought for sure that CT Scan was going to turn up something really terrible because at least 4 of the hand on ladies were easily 2BB’s. That’s code for 2 Beer Beauty. It means that after only 2 beers she’s a keeper. Normally it takes 7 or 8. So I’m told.

Anyway, after talking with the guys for a while I just decided to walk home and save Diane another trip. I’m that kind of guy, always looking for ways to make things easier for my one and only Love. Yes sir. I’m that guy.

On the way home I stopped by Diane’s Mom’s (Jean’s) house to use the bathroom but it was late and she wasn’t up. Fortunately, her property borders Milton Creek and it’s dark back there so I decided to take advantage. I didn’t have a choice, really, because Mom’s house is about halfway between the Pastime and Home.

The creek was rolling along nicely, and lots higher than normal with all the melting snow and rain, so I was very careful when I approached the water and made my way to a flat cemented area. I went there because I figured the rocks along there would be slippery and I’d no doubt wind up falling into the water.

Falling in wouldn’t really be a problem because the creek really isn’t very deep. It was, however, flowing very fast so dealing with the current would have been a challenge I didn’t want to face. That, and I really didn’t want to get wet.

As I was relieving myself the lights went on in the house directly across from where I was exposing myself. Before I could put myself back together I saw this bright flash that caused me to lose my place in space. The result, of course, was that I fell in the water and was swept away on a fairly long winding journey to the Columbia River.

I did everything I could to stop my forward motion but nothing I grabbed would hold me. I just managed to rip things from the banks as I swirled and swiveled downstream. Giving up isn’t normally my nature, but I decided to just relax and enjoy the ride even though it was dark and I couldn’t see much. That really didn’t matter, though, because most of my relaxing was staying afloat so I could continue breathing. I’m a fairly good swimmer so it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. At this point, I have to admit, that it really scared me when I fell and I’m sure I wet my pants. By the time I made that realization, it was a moot point because I was wet all over.

After rushing downstream for 15-20 minutes, it kind of got to be routine so I was pretty sure I would make it to the Columbia, and calmer water in pretty good shape. I got so relaxed with all the bumping and such, that I pulled my iPhone 7 out of my hip pocket. I was surprised that it was still there, to be honest, and I was very happy to discover that it really is water proof. I turned it on and checked my email as I glided under Highway 30. Then I opened bejeweled which really relaxes me more. Currently I’m on level 221 and I have 6,055,170 points. That’s an absolute truthism.

Finally, just as I finished another level, the current took a brief turn for the worse as it intersected with the Columbia, and I made an abrupt left turn towards Astoria, 62 miles away. I closed up my phone and returned it to my hip pocket and planned my escape from the river at the St. Helens Marina down by the Old Court House, where the jail used to be.

Staying afloat on my back, to conserve energy, I made paddling motions that would aim me for the docks. Knowing that the current could easily suck me under the pilings, I remained very alert as I approached the first dock, but got sucked under it anyway. Luckily, that put me into calmer water, but I still banged my head on one of the boats that always seem to be parked there. By the time I came to my senses I’d been sucked under all the docks, and 11 of the 13 houseboats that populate the marina. At the 12th houseboat I became entangled in a net that halted my progress downstream.

Getting out of the water in that flimsy net was a real chore and I know I was making a horrible racket. My thought was that perhaps someone would hear me and come to my aid. They eventually did, but only after I made it all the way onto the deck of the houseboat.

The owner finally came out to see what was going on, saw me, and went right back inside to get his gun while I just lay there trying to catch my breath. I was pretty tuckered out so I wasn’t too concerned about the gun.

Standing there, pointing his pistol at me, the owner looked around and discovered the net that had saved my life. His eyes went wide and he yelled at me, “You ruint mah net!” which, in fact, I had so I didn’t argue. I figured the manner of his speech and his excited manner didn’t have room for me to try to explain just exactly why I was laying there on his deck. Next he got his phone and called the police to report me as trespasser which is a terrible crime in St. Helens. At one point, while talking to them, he covered the the microphone portion of his phone, leaned toward me and said, “What’s yer name?” I promptly said, “My name is Doug O’Peal, but you can call me Jerrie.”

“How the hell do you get ‘Jerrie’ out of Doug O’Peal?” he bellowed in a questioning manner.

“It’s my mother’s maiden name,” I replied, calmly.

“Your mother’s maiden name was ‘Jerrie’?” he asked, with his eyebrows raised.


“What’s her first name?”


“Diane Jerrie?”


The conversation, such as it was, deteriorated from there until, finally, the police arrived to find us verbally engaged with the guy still holding his thumb over the phone’s microphone. I guess he forget he was on the phone with the police. They weren’t happy about it, either, because they came in full tacitical assault mode, not knowing what to expect. Lots of flashlights and yelling people. Soon the contents of all 13 boathouses were standing on the walkway connecting all the houses to the shore and it quickly devolved into a party.

Five of the guys got out their guitars, a little blond highschool girl dragged out a complete set of drums, and one of the wives just happened to have a huge bass fiddle. The hoedown was on.

While that was going on I told my story to the police and it was evident they didn’t believe much of it because, I had to admit, it was a bit far fetched. So, just to make it easy on themselves, they cuffed me and hauled me away for trespassing, and for ruining this guys illegal gill net. After depositing me at the jail I have no doubt they returned to the marina to participate in the party.

Jail was no fun at all. I never is no matter how many times you wind up there. It always sucks. The only really good things about it were I got to take off all my wet clothes, I discovered that I didn’t have any contraband stuffed in my butt, and I got a nice set of clean orange overalls and a pair of socks.

I’m just gonna skip to the chase right here and get to the really bad part of the evening. That’s when I had to call Diane and ask her to please come bail me out again. She wasn’t really surprised but I was surprised when she agreed without any negotiating at all.

After all the paperwork was done, I was released into Diane’s custody. They let her keep the handcuffs and she made me wear them the rest of the night, chained to my table saw in the basement. It was not a good night.

I made it through to Monday, chained to that saw, and she finally let me loose to use the bathroom and to call my doctor about that CT Scan. Instead of talking with the doctor, they made me an appointment for Wednesday the 18th at 0725 in the morning. So I waited. Patiently.

On Wednesday, at 0725 in the morning, I was at the office and talking with the doctor. She’s really great, and I like her, so of course she’s moving to another state to practice medicine and I have to find another primary care. But, that’s not important here. She told me that they didn’t find anything catastrophic on the scan, but they did find some (insert really complicated Doctor Words here) that are common in people my age. She converted the doctor words into something I could understand. Apparently I got many small areas of dead blood vessels in my brain, none of which indicate that I’ve had a stroke, or that I’m failing due to alzheimer’s disease. I just have little shrivled up veins that aren’t a concern.

Really? Dead blood vessels in my head and I shouldn’t worry? Well, OK. I won’t worry. What’s the point? It is what it is and the only downside, apparently, is that the areas damaged in my brain are important to those who don’t wish to be injured. That’s just a guess, of course. I definitely have the injury problem but I think it’s in my genes, not because of some little dead blood vessels.

So, there you have it. My brain is fried.

I’m sure no one is surprised.


OH – PS – none of the foregoing is true except for the doctor’s analysis.

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