Bike Rides, and the Seaside Emergency Room

It was a nice, overcast day at Nehalem Bay State Park. It had the promise of a good day. Not too hot, not too cold. That lasted for most of the day before things got exciting for some of us. Before I go there, however, this is a busy day at the beach.

I took Ziva for a couple of runs around the park because I discovered that she’s OK with running alongside the bike. She makes a very rhythmic clickity clickity noise as we go. I figured it would be good for whittling down those nails. We did that a few times, running all the way around the park, all the loops.

As the sun headed for the horizon we decided to take Ziva for another run and Diane was game to give her bike a try. The first stop was to dump the trash, and that’s as far as we got before Diane, while trying to stop her bike, failed to put her foot down, and just kinda tipped over like that guy on the tricycle on “Laugh In” from many years ago, for those of you who may remember that show.

I didn’t see her fall because she was behind me, but I heard the crash. When I turned around she was lying on the pavement, on her left side with both legs still almost on their respective pedals. Carefully, I removed the bike from between her legs and got it out of the way so she could sit up, but she stayed prone for a while, waiting to see what hurt the most. I regret that I failed to get a photo of that, but I did get one of her sitting up, surrounded by Yurt People. We were pretty close to them and they all came to see how they could help.

We left her alone until she was ready to sit up. By that time she had assessed the damage and reported that it was confined to her left wrist which was most certainly broken. She pulled he sleeve back on her sweater, which was miraculously without holes, to show us how her wrist made this nifty “S” curve going down her arm into the wrist area. The break was across her ulna, just above her wrist. She’s a quick thinker and managed to get her wedding rings off before the swelling made it to her fingers. I wore them on my right pinkie which is exactly the correct size.

While sitting on the pavement, near the trash compactor, park rangers were added to the group of overseers and offered to summon an ambulance for transport to the hospital. It was about 6:45 pm at the time and we knew there was an Urgent Care facility in Manzanita, jus outside the park, so we opted for me to transport her there to at least get some pain meds because the shock was wearing off and she was feeling every aspect of the fracture. She was quickly sinking into a very miserable, painful place.

One of the Yurt People, a young man, helped me get the bikes back to the trailer so I could get the truck and load her up for the trip. That done, we headed for Highway 101 and stopped at a Shell station because Diane wanted water and ice. I got both, as well as a plastic covered soda box that one of the attendants was in the process of breaking down for disposal. She thanked me for saving her a little bit of time. I put the box in Diane’s lap, added the very large bag of ice in the box and she made her arm as comfortable as possible for the trip.

The Urgent Care facility was just a couple of blocks north of the station but it was a wasted stop because they closed at 6 pm. So, we made a decision to head north to Seaside Providence Hospital.

The sobbing stopped within the first 10 miles as the ice did it’s job. We were both thankful for that because her pain was eased, and my distress about my inability to make it all go away was minimized. Then all I had to do was shudder each time I hit an unavoidable bump in the road, of which there are many on Highway 101, as we made that 21 mile trip to Seaside.

As we drove, Diane was able to key into Maps our destination so we knew exactly where to go. It was a good distraction for her. I would have taken a photo but figured that wouldn’t be a good idea since I was driving and she was using my phone.

We got to the hospital about 7:15 pm and got checked in to the emergency room very quickly. The place was jumping, every room filled. We learned that after a fairly slow Memorial Day weekend, everyone in town showed up at the emergency room just before we got there. It was very busy and all that was left was a gurney in the hall near the housekeeping area. A tech soon appeared to take her for X-rays and I took that opportunity to visit Ziva in the truck and let her out for a bit. She was really being good, knowing that there was a problem.

For those of you who require medical details, here’s what the X-ray revealed. She has two things:

  • Closed Smith’s fracture of left radius
  • Closed non displaced fracture of styloid process of left ulna

She broke both bones in her forearm.

Applying the splint. Not a fun thing.

Applying the ACE bandage. Not fun, either, but better.

Expecting a long, normal, emergency room experience, we were both surprised when the very busy doctor, a young lady who looked like she could be Lydia’s sister, appeared with news about what was going to happen.  With the swelling the only thing they could do was splint the break, which a couple of RN’s did, then they wrapped it with a large ACE bandage. The Dr. visited before we left, checking the wrapping, then pulled on Diane’s fingers really hard. I suspect that was to help align the bones a bit, and it hurt. Then we were checked out with instructions to follow up with an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. The nurse gave us some pain pills for her to take until we could fill the prescription we received with the release paperwork.

In all, we were at this extremely busy emergency room for only 2.5 hours. That’s a record for us. Normally it’s 5 hours. We have lots of emergency room experience and can probably be considered experts on the patient side of things in that regard. Nurse Sarah could provide a more in-depth view of the hospital side from her perspective as a trauma nurse. Perhaps one day she will.

Initially, I was going to just take Diane and Ziva home to St. Helens, after the hospital released her, then return later in the week for the trailer. But, by then she thought staying another night in the trailer wouldn’t hurt any worse. So, we returned to the scene of the crime, got her some nourishment, and she took her pain pill. It wasn’t long before she was down for the count. According to her FitBit she didn’t move a muscle for almost 7 hours.

I slept on the blow up mattress that turns the couch into a queen bed. It wasn’t bad. I woke with no noticeable kinks.

After stowing the blow up bed, Diane got up and stumbled around a bit before eating a banana, a couple cups of coffee, a yogurt, and a piece of toast. Then she took another pain pill which soon caused her to stumble around a bit more as she made a gallant effort to dress herself one-handed in this confined space. She said to NOT share that she needed help putting on her underwear and pants, so I won’t. For that, I will surely be in trouble.

At 10:40 am went went down for a nap. When she woke up she took another pain pill and we began breaking camp so we could leave. She thought she would be able to take care of everything inside the trailer to prepare for the trip so I avoided an argument and just let her have a go at it. Turns out it was another good distraction for her from the pain, and she did a marvelous job. I took care of the various things attached to the outside, and hooked up to the truck. Then, we were off. First stop was the dump to empty the holding tanks.

We bid adieu to space B-13 and decided to take Highway 101 through Astoria, a much less stressful way to get home. The other way is on Highway 26 where accidents are common as folks rush back to Portland from the coast.

In Astoria we stopped at DQ for a Triple Berry Slushy for Diane and a Chocolate Malt for me. Other than that, the ride home was pretty uneventful. No wrecks to dodge, no bikes riding in the traffic lanes, and no rain. It was a good trip.

Tomorrow we visit the Ortho clinic at Good Sam for the next phase of solutions and recovery.

Hope everyone has a stellar day. Now I’m off to take Uncle Bill to the outer reaches of Hillsboro to retrieve his ancient (35 years old) John Deere Edger.

From a Flawless Plan to an Adventure

The plan was:

  • Jennie to take Cedric to Sandy for double-header – Lydia was to pitch both games – and Diane and I would meet them there.
  • After the games, take Cedric back to his ship, USS Nimitz CVN-68, in Bremerton, WA.
  • Diane would drive Jennie’s car home while we headed north to Bremerton.

Simple plan, right? Well, it morphed quickly into the Adventure when Diane returned home from her dermatologist in the morning with lots of burned, crispy spots on her neck and doctor’s orders to remain out of the sun for 4 days. Considering the way the sun shines around here, that could take a couple of weeks. When I returned from golfing, which I did while Diane was at the dermatologist, she said she wouldn’t be going to the games which changed the entire plan for driving Cedric back to his ship.

The new plan was for me to drive Jennie and Cedric to the game, then just head north after the games. Simple, right? Well, to get ready, I had about an hour to mow the front yard, shower, and pick up Lydia and Cedric for the 1.25 hour trip to Sandy. Traffic was horrendous and it took 2 hours so we missed the first inning. It was OK because Lydia wasn’t pitching. Brooklyn was! Shock. She was supposed to have been off doing her Columbia County Rodeo Queen responsibilities. So, the six seniors got to play two more games together. Lydia pitched the first 3 innings of the second game then moved to first base.

Left to right: Brooklyn (pitcher), Kayla (3rd base), Bailey (left field), Ceiarra (1st Base), Mercedes (catcher), Lydia (any position needed)

Towards the end of the game Cedric gave us a huge sigh, hung his head, and reported that he had forgotten his keys at home. That required another change to the plans. Instead of going directly north via the freeways, we had to detour back through St. Helens. This increased the 3 hour trip to 4 hours. He had also forgotten one of his hats. OK, it happens, so we just dealt with it and went on about the business of watching the rest of the game.

Before leaving, Cedric had time to say good-bye to Lydia who was going home on the bus with the team. She got very emotional knowing she wouldn’t see him until next February, at the earliest. She cried, something she rarely does. For that reason, and others related to female hormones, some of her team mates started crying too. It wasn’t long before many of them were crying in support of Lydia’s sadness, and Cedric was getting hugs from many of the girls who don’t even know him, wishing him luck. It was a Kodak moment the coaches couldn’t ignore so they gathered the team for a picture of them crying and laughing. Cedric was very touched by it all, as were we.

Then something happened off to my left that caused a reaction that soothed the crowd.

With all this emotion going on Coach Little told Jennie to just take Lydia home with us, which we did. She slept with her head in Cedric’s lap most of the way. During the trip it Lydia said she’d like to go to Bremerton with us because she’d never been on a navy base and would like to see Cedric’s ship. School on Friday was the only issue but Jennie resolved that quickly and the deal was done. Lydia was going with us.

We got to St. Helens around 2030, Lydia got a go bag while Cedric passed out more hugs with his brothers, Jeran …

… and Ahmed …

… and away we went. It was dark, nothing to see, and Jennie drove from home to Bremerton. We got on base no problem, and dropped Cedric at his ship’s liberty gate. Lots of lights but not a photo-op.

Then we went in search of the Navy Gateway Inn and Suites (NGIS). It took an hour to find it and required the help of a person on the phone guiding us while she used a map of the base. While looking for parking I noticed signs indicating the spots we’re reserved for NGIS which looked suspiciously like NCIS so I didn’t park in them. Finally, I looked closer and noticed it was for the hotel and gratefully parked.

When checking in I bantered with the desk clerk, Randy, and learned he was born on Guam. Jennie piped up, “I was too. In Agana!” she said. What a small world even though Jennie was born there about 20 years before Randy.

Room had one bed and a recliner. Lydia, to be kind, said she wanted the recliner but I declined her the recliner and reclined in it quite comfortably the entire nite while the two girls, one of whom forget her Jammies, rested nicely on the queen bed. Even though Lydia slept in the clothes she wore for the trip, she intentionally didn’t bring Jammies, so I guess it was Jennie’s Jammies that didn’t make the trip. It was OK. By the time we got the lights out, it was about 0100 and we were all dog-tired.

Got up about 1000, left the room, then went to the NEX for some trinkets to commemorate the journey. Then I drove them all over the base to get a good view of the USS Nimitz in the daylight so the girls could see it. Last night it was too dark to see it clearly.

Then we went to breakfast at Denny’s which was almost all the way north in Silverdale. We all ate quite well. Lydia had a bacon burger with avocado which I had doubts that she could wrap her mouth around …

… but she did …

Jennie had this, but didn’t want the sausage links …

… so I got them with my Denver omelette …

After breakfast, Jennie drove us south toward home, the long way through Shelton, because we didn’t want the freeway stress. About 50 miles from the finish, she cried Uncle and I took over to the end. She drove the lion’s share of the trip and didn’t scare me even once. I was proud of her. After I started driving it began raining harder, and harder causing me to run the wipers at full speed much of the time.

I got them home a little after 1500, waited for Lydia to get her softball gear, then took her back to school for practice. The team has one more game on Friday then they can put their softball gear away. Lydia will pitch the entire game Friday because Brooklyn is definitely done for the season.

I arrived home to an empty house because Diane is at the court house again, working with the election committee. Well, the house wasn’t really empty because the dogs were here, and they were very happy to see me. They’re always happy to see anyone, even if they’ve only been gone a couple of minutes.

Oh, and the hat Cedric forgot at home? He forgot it in the truck when he got his stuff to go to the ship. Lydia found it.

I was feeling pretty good until I put this all down on paper and now I’m tired again. If it was a little later, I’d go to bed but it’s only 1730, so I’m going just have a nap.

Oops! Diane just buzzed into the garage in the roadster so maybe a nap isn’t an option. I may have to go out and kill something for her to eat.

Speed Run To Nampa

Last Saturday Diane decided we should take a trip to Nampa to visit Jim & Donna. The main underlying reason was to pick up her ‘new’ car that Jim checked out for us and deemed it to be in great shape. Based on his superior input, I made the deal and away we went. In addition to getting to spend some time with J & D, we also got visits from Daniel and his girlfriend, Stefany. Stefany was another reason for the visit because we needed to meet her and ensure she was worthy.

She most definitely is.

We also had to meet Birk, Tyler’s puppy, a Shitzoodle, or Pooshitz – we never came to an agreement on his heritage. Doesn’t matter because he’s adorable and full of mischief. He played with us for a while then went to explore the house. Saturday evening he managed to christen Donna’s living room, the one with no TV, with a firm #2. That was the indicator that it was time for Tyler and Birk to leave, which they did. It was good to see Tyler. He’s never been around in the past when we get permission to cross the Idaho border.

So, two goals met, only one more to go. That had to wait until after church on Sunday because it required that we drive to a secret address in Boise, where Ken lives, so we could buy his car. We did that then drove back to Nampa and had lunch at the Sizzler. It was a good choice because Jim got his wallet out before I did and we all ate well.

Then we took the car, who’s gas tank was empty, to Fred Meyer for petroleum, then back to the house to relax, sleep off lunch, and get to bed early so we could get up early this morning and get through Portland traffic before the rush hour.

It was a tough drive because we both had to drive the entire way. Very tiring, but we stopped more often than normal and made it home OK. Well, there was one semi truck driver who tried to kill me, but other than that, it was a great trip.

Here’s what we brought home …

It’s a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Limited Roadster.

Now I really do need to get rid of there old truck.

A trip in the trailer, Lydia, Ceierra, Ziva, & Jeran

I did not realize that it’s been over a week since my last posting so there’s a lot to catch up on.

First, and almost the most important thing, I got to golf with the Peal brothers on Friday the 31st of March then again yesterday. The most important thing, really, was getting to watch Lydia play softball a couple of times. They were pre-season games against more powerful schools so the outcome was predictable – they lost all of them. But, they were fun to watch and they had fun playing. That’s the important thing. They were supposed to have their season league opener this evening, at home, but it was cancelled because it’s been raining, a lot, and the school doesn’t have a decent field for the girls to play on. So, it was a muddy mess and the game was cancelled. So, I took that opportunity to mow the yard, in the rain, with the hopes of keeping it low enough so Ozzie doesn’t get lost when he goes outside. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the sun came out, dried everything off, and it’s actually a perfect afternoon for a softball game. Sad.

In between those two golf events Diane and I took our trailer to Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon Coast so we could participate in the SOLVE Beach Cleanup. I’ve mentioned this in the past (way long time ago). It’s simply an event held twice a year where anyone can join the effort to keep Oregon Beaches clean. It’s amazing what kind, and the amount, of trash is removed by the voluntary clean up crews. Last I heard the total was over 27.5 tons. That’s a lot of “stuff” to haul off the beach in little plastic bags. For our part, Diane and I managed to remove a considerable amount of small plastic pieces and a few hypodermic needles. A small but significant contribution.

Other than the trip to clean the beach, and a couple of other walks on the beach so Ziva could run willy nilly, we spent our time in the trailer, listening to the rain, reading our books. No wi-fi, spotty phone reception, so it was very quiet most of the time. Diane took an afternoon off to visit Goodwill, leaving Ziva and me at ‘home’ to fend for ourselves. We had a good time taking walks and just sitting around. My prize for being good was a DQ chocolate malt. I love those things. Give didn’t get a prize because dogs don’t get prizes. Instead, I gave her a treat. She was happy about that so it was all good.

I got a message from brother Jack giving me a little more info about what’s going on with him in Arizona. As many of you know, he’s got prostate cancer. He recently started receiving radiation treatments which he must endure for 5-10 minutes every day through the end of May. His new motto is “I’m not dying of cancer, I’m living with is.” That sounds pretty optimistic to me. I’m pretty sure that all those praying for him are having an effect so keep on focusing good thoughts his direction.

Now for some photos to end the day …

Diane and I had PB&J sandwiches, Ziva got the empty jar. That sounds mean, I’m sure, but she loved it.

Just another ho-hum sunset on the Oregon Coast.

Ziva investigating miles and miles of driftwood.

Taking a break, guarding Mom’s Peeps.

Nap time …

Back home to the overgrown yard. Thankfully the little yellow flowers are back. I was afraid they wouldn’t show up this year for some reason. Silly me, because they always show up. The trick is to keep them mowed down so they don’t turn into those fuzzy things that fly seeds everywhere. My up-wind neighbors don’t do that.

These always show up, too. More and more each year.

So do the peonies.

Then there’s Alice, the neighbor’s yorkie, in a standoff with one of their chickens. Alice chased the chicken all the way home, then back to the same spot. Fun to watch. I think the chicken has fun with it.

Then Jennifer sent these to share … Ceierra, Lydia’s best friend, and her new prom dress.

And Lydia in her prom dress.

Quite stunning for a couple of jocks.

I didn’t get a photo of Jeran giving his testimony yesterday evening at the Junior High Youth Group at his church, but I can tell you it was a very emotional story about how and when he found his faith in God. He will be 17 next month and knows pretty much exactly what his future will be. We’re very proud of him.

Cheers.

March Madness, Softball, and a Puppy

The games have already begun and according to the bracket I made here I’m already a loser. Well, some may say I was already a loser for various other things I’ve said and done, but I’m thinking I don’t really care about that. But the brackets … Only two games played so far and I missed on both. Now I can only hope that none of my picks win so I’ll still have a nice clean bracket of choices, all with little ‘x’s’ in a circle to indicate the loss. My one consolation with regard to this is that ‘Bing’ lost both of them, too.

I’m guessing that many of you couldn’t care less about NCAA basketball. That’s kind of me, too, until this time of year when things get exciting. It’s way more fun than watching the pros play. My opinion, of course.

It’s still raining here, but we did have one glorious day of sunshine when we drove to Eugene to watch the lovely Maryssa Santi play some fast pitch softball for Eastern Oregon University. It’s like God looked down on us and decided to give us a nice day to sit in the sun and watch the games. They played four games over two days (Sunday & Monday) and won all four. We only got to watch 1 and 3/4 of those games, but it was fun.

Lydia brought her new family member, Kylo, along for the 2.5 hour ride because he’s only 5 weeks old and is hard to put down. He’s kinda cute. This is Matt holding him, trying to keep him calm. Yeah, like that’s a problem because he sleeps about 90% of the time.

On the way, Lydia gnawed on the breakfast burrito she bought at Muchas Gracias before we picked up her and her Mom, Jennifer for the ride. I probably could have eaten one of those, too, but no one asked. I’ve had them before and they are really good.

EOU won the first game 7-4 and they were ahead 7-1 when we had to leave during the late innings of the 2nd game. They won that one, too, 9-5. On Monday EOU won 10-1 and 1-0 (I think). It was a good trip for the girls to win all four games on the road like that.

Now, back to the puppy …

 

Here’s Maryssa #10, 2nd base … she’s a junior at EOU.

Here’s Steffani, Maryssa’s Mom, Bob’s Wife, My Brother’s Daughter …

Here’s Maryssa and Lydia, Diane (in the hat), and Jennifer …

And that pretty much covers the trip. The puppy slept through the 5 hour trip, interrupted by a couple of softball games during which he was adored, and held, by all the pretty girls who walked by. Guys seem to be more immune to puppy cuteness than girls.

Lucky dog.

Kylo joins Solo (a big dog) and Boba the cat. Perhaps you can sense the ‘Star Wars’ theme for the Walter’s Family Pets.

To the Moon and back, Part dos

Yesterday I believe I was in the middle of a narrative about going to the Moon. Well, not really the moon, because I really don’t know where we went and there was never a moon view from the only window to which I had access. Nope, I was sequestered in what I believe was a small portion of a very large facility that’s located on the dark side of the Moon so all visual reference was forever aimed at deep space. That’s a guess, of course. Then again, they could have taken me to another galaxy, far, far away because they were able to fool the laws of physics, as we understand them, and take advantage of folds in space about which much is speculated on Earth. But, if I was on the moon I would weigh less, right? I didn’t feel lighter so I probably really wasn’t on the moon.

Right after discovering my speculation about my location I suffered a period of unconsciousness of unknown duration. It could have been seconds, days, or weeks. Probably weeks because I felt nicely rested when I woke up. Perhaps I just had a nap. One of those dreamless ones. That happens sometimes but is only a problem when I’m driving. I knew I was in a different location because the furnishings had changed from lite modern to country sheik.

This afternoon Ringo came to my room and told me that I was still on Earth at their facility that’s located in a hidden storeroom in the back of the new Bi Mart in Scappoose. Lot’s of folks wondered how Scappoose wound up with a Bi Mart so close to Fred Meyers. Now we know. Aliens built it. Through the small window mounted high on the wall all I could see was sky so I had to take Ringo’s word for it. He went on to explain that the reason we were at Bi Mart was because they have the parts needed to repair the damage George did to the landing craft, but it was on back order and wouldn’t be available for 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes for them to get resupplied from their Moon base. So, I was stuck in Bi-Mart for the next three weeks. To make up for the delay, Ringo gave me a stack of coupons I could use in the store when they finally released me. I thought that was pretty nice of him at the time but later learned that everyone in town received those same coupons in the mail on a regular basis.

I think I left off yesterday where I was just becoming aware of ‘things’ when Brucette stepped out of the shower. Considering the nature of Brucette’s skill and training, I suspect more than one of you were intrigued at the mental vision this may have created. Well, it’s not what you think. You see, these folks don’t really shower. When they get dirty they just shed their skin, like a snake, and keep on keeping on. Using the shower is a handy way to get rid of the evidence because all the discarded skin is water-soluble and easily washed down the drain. Because of this, you’d think water is very dangerous for them and make them melt. Not the case at all. The water merely removes the first layer of skin, of which they have about 128 layers that keep replenishing themselves. So, though Brucette was indeed naked her fake beauty was overshadowed by the bis of still dissolving skin clinging to her torso. If she’d stayed in the shower a bit longer I suspect they would have all gone away but apparently she was in a hurry. It wasn’t one of those ‘sights for sore eyes’, believe me.

The next time I woke up, not knowing that I had fallen asleep, I was laying on an exam table, just like the one they use on the Mother Ship. As I pondered my situation I became aware of a lightness making me think I was no longer on Earth. This was verified with Elton appeared with that big shiny reflector strapped around his head like doctors used before good flashlights were created. You know, it has a hole in the middle of it through which the doc looked while directing the reflected light on what he was looking at.

One of these …

th-1 unknownth-2th-3

Elton didn’t really need it because they actually have state of the art lighting on the Mother Ship. He wears it as a fashion statement and, I think, as an attempt to put me at ease because he’s acting like a doctor. I know better because I’ve been here before. Many times over the past 52 years. I didn’t understand why they kept taking me over and over, doing the same tests, looking at all the same parts, over and over. Turns out that everyone on Earth is assigned a number and they select abductees based on a random draw and my number just keeps coming up.

“Once someone is selected to be abducted, why not leave their number out of the pool for the next drawings?” I asked during one abduction.

“Well,” said Elton, “you see, we are from Uranus and our rues are very strict about how abductees are selected. The numbers aren’t really drawn from a hat like we told you before. We use a computer to make the selection. Since you are just a number on a monitor we can’t very well remove the number. It’s always there. You could, conceivably, be selected numerous times in a row but the chances of that happening are astronomical.”

That’s actually the most words I ever heard come out of Elton’s mouth. Yes, they have mouths. They actually look just like us but learning that they originate from Uranus might make you wonder.  I was stunned because I had no idea that Elton could verbalize a coherent thought. During all previous visits all he did was issue commands to me like, ‘turn your head and cough’, ‘stick out your tongue’, ‘squeeze my fingers as hard as you can’, ‘turn to the right’, ‘stand on one leg and hop’, routine stuff like that. I just figured he was giving me a physical like they do in schools to make sure you can play sports without dying.

“Why do you do the same tests on me? Don’t you have the results from the last time?” I asked.

“We have protocols,” is all he said. Protocols. Right. Time tested protocols. Just like that guy you call for help troubleshooting your new computer because it won’t do something it’s supposed to and he (always a He) starts reading to you the protocol he’s supposed to use to determine the cause of the problem. He must go through every step on his guide even though you’ve already told him that the video card is smoked. No, he’s got to test everything before he can authorize shipment of the replacement part. After two hours he determines that the video card is bad and arranges to ship a new one. That’s a hypothetical example, or course.

So, I once again endured the protocols after which I was given an injection. They’d never done that before so I had to ask, “what’s that for?”

“Oh, there’s a bug going around up here,” said Elton, “and we don’t want to contaminate the humans.” Then he asked if I was allergic to eggs or egg products.

Just for fun I said, “Yes. Yes I am.”

“That’s OK because there’s nothing in the shot related to eggs of any type.”

“Then why did you ask?”

“Protocol,” he said.

“You’ll be transported back to Earth shortly. Do you have to use the bathroom?”

“No,” I replied, “but I’d like to look around a little if it’s OK.”

“Sure,” he said. “Just don’t open any of the doors that have large red ‘X’s’ on them.”

So, I got up and wandered around the room and found three doors, two of which had the red ‘X’s’ on them. The third one had a happy face on it and looked promising. So I approached it and looked all over for some sort of knob that may open it. Behind me I heard Elton say, “Push on the door to open it.” I did that and, hey!, it popped right open just like one of those cupboard doors that have magnetic spring locks.

Behind the door was rod from which hung all of Elton’s clothes. Apparently it was a closet. Behind me I heard laughing as he enjoyed his little joke. That made me a bit angry so I turned and rushed to one of the ‘X’ marked doors with the intention of pushing on it but stopped short when I heard Elton yell out, “Noooooooo!”

Then I woke up fully clothed in my bed. At home. Mom was standing over me, wide-eyed, asking me if I was OK. It was really nice that Mom was there but a little odd, too, because Mom died in 2001.

“Crap.” I thought. “Elton sent me to the wrong reality, again.” He’s done that before. Probably on purpose. I’m sure it wasn’t protocol. Now I had to find out where Ringo lived in this reality so he could help send me back the proper reality. For the moment, though, I just said, “Hi, Mom,” and gave her a big hug. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Maybe I was just dreaming.

Diane’s fixing to take her Mom, Jean, shopping. That means I’ll be left unsupervised for a few hours so I’m going to the basement to play with some of my power tools. I do that when she leaves because her parting words when leaving me alone are, “don’t use any tools that plug into the wall!” It’s a warning and I know, but I prefer to take it as a challenge. It doesn’t always work out well for me but today I need to be really careful because I won’t have transportation to get me to the emergency room. I’ve driven myself there a few times and I always get into trouble for it. It’s just my renegade nature, I suspect.

Ciao.

To the Moon and back

A funny thing happened the last time I was in orbit and I thought you might like to hear about it. As far as I know this information does not violate any confidentiality agreements to which I am legally bound and that’s irrelevant because I can’t remember all that stuff anyway. So, I’m sharing. I’m sharing the parts I remember, that is.

First there was the routine abduction, something I’m so familiar with now that I rarely lose conscientious when they stab me in the eye with that incredibly bright light.

They use a variant of the flash bang commonly deployed by special forces personnel on most of the TV shows I watch. I think the police also use them as a way to stun a crowd into submission. The difference is that the version they use only has the flash part because the bang aspect would draw too much attention to the other patrons at Starbucks, where they normally arrange their snatch and grabs. Snatch and grab is not my choice of words, it’s theirs. They told me. I have no idea why they use that term, but they do. So, there I was at Starbucks, the one across the street from Wal-Mart*, when Ringo (ya, that’s what he calls himself) approached me and reached into his pocket for the flash light he always carries.

“Ringo,” I said. “Do you really have to do this? I mean, I’ll just go with you. You don’t have to blind me.”

After a short pause to gather his wits, he responded “but this is procedure. We always do it this way.”

“But I’m a compliant abductee. Haven’t I always gone along with pretty much everything you’ve asked me to do?”

“A … ya … I guess. But I like using my light. It’s fun.” At that point he whipped out the light and pointed it at my right eyeball and was in the process of activating it. Just before he pressed the button I moved my spoon, which I always carry in my right hand, most of the time, anticipating events like this, to cover my right eye with the convex surface point away from me. When he pushed the button the flash ricocheted off my spoon and harmlessly scattered throughout the room.

You might think this would have caused some sort of commotion amongst all those Starbucks customers but virtually all of them were fixated on their electronic device of choice and ignoring everything around them except the caffeinated drink gripped tightly in they dominate hand. Those with laptops sometimes released their drinks so they could use both hands on their keyboards, but that never lasted long.

“Oh, man,” said Ringo, “now I have to do this the old way,” at which point he reached over and grabbed me by the ear, a universally known method of forcing compliance, and marched me right out of that coffee shop and into the waiting sedan at the curb. All the way I was yelling “Ow, ow ow …” but he just qualified his action by adding, “Wait until your Mother finds out what you’ve been doing,” which is just another proven method of forcing compliance. No one wants to upset their Mom.

Once in the car I greeted to George, Ringo’s accomplice, who was always the driver. Also in the car was Brucette, their suductress, who is only put into play should all other forms of abducting fail. Brucette was very good at her job but she’s never had to work her wiles on my because I’ve always gone along nicely. That’s why I couldn’t figure out why Ringo and George had to make taking me such a big deal.

The sedan sped away from the curb before I had a chance to buckle up and I was slammed into the back seat just as I was about to sit. After speeding around a corner, onto Highway 30, I found myself unceremoniously draped across both Ringo and Brucette’s laps. Brucette thought it was an opportunity to practice her art and started brushing the hair out of my eyes and rubbing my back. I tried to extract myself from her embrace but she held me in place (she’s very strong) even when Ringo grabbed my ear again tried to yank me to a sitting position. But Brucette held on tight. Consequently, the pain was exquisite and at the same time comforting. She was that good.

“Brucie,” said Rambo quietly, releasing the tension on my ear, “let him go. You know the rules. Passengers in vehicles are required to wear seat belts on this planet.” She bowed her head a bit, looked up at him demurely, then reluctantly let me go. That was scary. I know how George drives so getting a seatbelt on was imperative.

Just as I heard the seat belt click into place I also heard the squeal of tires, the prelude to an impending crash.

When I woke up I had no idea where I was or how long I had been napping. It must have been a while because I was aware of the reduced gravity which could only mean I was on the Mother Ship. Again. Just once I wish they ‘d let me enjoy the trip up but, nooo, they had to stick to their stupid doctrine. When full awareness finally dawned on my abused body I heard a swish as the bathroom door opened and Brucette stepped out of the shower … … Oops. Gotta stop and help Diane find the waffle iron. Apparently we’re having breakfast.

I’ll get back to this later. Maybe tomorrow.