Um... Stuff Happens
Over the past few years, as many of you may know, I’ve become known as a sit-down comic. A few weeks ago, though, I feared my career might be over.
I couldn’t sit down. Or if I did, I couldn’t stand back up. I was stuck at half mast, bent in half, screaming if I moved a muscle. It was a world class lower back spasm.
Yes, here it comes. The Organ Recital, where we all talk about our medical problems.
I’m pretty sure I made the morning for the folks at the ER when the doc asked me how I hurt myself.
“I bent over to pick up dog poop.”
Clearly a first for them, given their snorts and giggles.
When you’re old, shit happens. Then you injure yourself picking it up.
And unlike my peers, this was not a pickleball injury with bragging rights, nor a softball hamstring pull with sympathy credit. No, I’d have to admit that this painful insult came from the grand sport of pooper scooping.
So on the way home from the ER, prescriptions for extra-strength muscle relaxers and steroids in hand, we stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts, where my debit card was declined. Ah, shit continues to happen.
As Bonnie forked over six dollars in cash, my phone pinged. It was M&T Bank alerting me that they had just stopped a suspicious purchase at Dunkin’ Donuts. Seriously? Grand theft coffee and crullers? Did they think I was violating my diet?
Why weren’t they suspicious the day before when I put wood screws and spackle on my credit card? For me, that was truly suspicious. But coffee and Bavarian Creme?
We did a drive-by at the pharmacy and I came home, popped pills, and made unattractive noises attempting to stand or sit down at regular intervals. I prepped for the evening ahead when, jacked up on steroids instead of sleeping, I’d have time to read the complete Tolstoy. Or write my next eleven columns for this magazine.
As the steroid mania kicked in, my speeding brain thought it was a good idea to call the bank and ask why they saved me from doughnuts. I was so wound up I started with the pooper scooper story and by the time I got to Dunkin’ Donuts the clerk and I were too giddy to worry about my being frosted over a suspicious frosted doughnut purchase. I’m sure there is now a notation on my account that all my purchases should be viewed as suspicious.
While I was not suffering classic ‘roid rage, it was surely a ‘roid rush, with my mind spinning from column topics, to whether we’d take I-95 or the Bay Bridge Tunnel coming home for Women’s FEST, to wondering if I needed a 2 a.m. peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes. Yes, I did.
Onward my brain hurried, as I inhaled both the PB&J and the latest news. Yee-Haw, a goat was elected mayor of a small Vermont town (seriously). Captain Marvel made box office billions and the superhero was a woman—Woo-Hoo! A spurt of Trump’s tweets had me verging on real ‘roid rage, so I quickly turned to the New York Times crossword.
What’s a five letter word for ‘rise?’ S-T-A-N-D. Right! Remember to stand up for a while, then sit down, then stand up. With my head humming “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I felt like a contestant playing musical chairs. Or “Pop Goes the Weasel,” or….
Time to take another muscle relaxer.
It was when I read the story about the moose who broke into a house in Wisconsin during a snow storm and took refuge on the living room sofa, that the idea of my own living room sofa loomed large.
Mercifully, a short time later, as I began, for no reason, singing “Wells Fargo Wagon” from The Music Man, the muscle relaxant outperformed the steroids and I came crashing down into a long winter’s nap. By morning, my back was still really, really sore but unspasmed. Relief washed over me.
“Want me to get you a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee?” Bonnie asked.
“Yes, please. Better use cash.”
I know shit will still happen. But from now on I’m asking somebody else to pick it up. ▼
Fay Jacobs is an author of five published memoirs. Her newest is Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked. As a humorist, she’s touring with her show Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay. See www.fayjacobs.com