Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Live From Idiocy

I always consider myself a person of average intelligence. Well, maybe leaning a bit toward the genius side, but I know my weaknesses.

One of my pet peeves is what reporters and DJ's say on T.V. and radio, respectively. You would think that because you are facing the public you would have to be slightly more educated so that you don't look like a donkey to the viewers and embarrass your employer. This, unfortunately, does not seem to be the case.

This morning I heard two dolts. First, on Channel 11 this morning, a reporter was telling the story of how Baltimore is opening a museum dedicated to one of the baseball Negro Leagues. This caught my attention. Some of the best players in the history of baseball played in the Negro leagues. The reporter talks of one of the former players who played for the Elite Giants. Sounds innocuous enough, right? Except that she pronounced it eee-light Giants. E-Light? La Idiota.

Then on Jack FM this morning, the DJ was talking about the snow and its effect on school closings. He said that all of the schools in the Baltimore area are closed except Harford County and they have to go to school today. Harford County was already scheduled to be off. I don't expect Jack to know that Harford County Schools were already closed, but since the information was so inconsistent compared the other schools, why would you say that? Pequeño Idiota.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peter Pan

People say that I talk about a lot of inappropriate things on my blog. To confirm this statement I'm going to talk about going to the bathroom today.

Now, I cannot comment on the ladies since I am not one, so you may have to fill in your stories. I bet they are just as funny. So this is only about the guys.

It seems that every guy has his own style for using the urinal. Many of them are quite comical. Here they are:

1) Paranoid Paul - he doesn't want you to know what he's got or ain't got. He's the guy looking over his shoulder making sure you're not looking at him. He's leaning as far forward into the urinal as you can without making contact with the porcelain. If you stand next to him he'll turn his body slightly so that his shoulder is blocking your view because he knows you're trying to get a peek.

2) Long John Silver - this is the guy that's proud of his pencil. And he can do some really interesting tricks - like urinating from 3 feet away from the urinal. Most likely he's trying to avoid the back-splash, but in reality he's the guy making the mess on the floor when the flow slows down.

3) Peter Pan - for real - this guy is in my office. First - he whips it out. After aiming it, he places his hands on his hips, cocks his shoulders back, and fires away. I don't know about you, but when I wash the car and turn on the hose it tends to whip all over the place. It's always better to have a firm grasp on it before you turn it on.

4) Chatty Charlie - "Hey. How's it going? How was your weekend?" This is the ONLY way to make a urine stream come to a complete and embarrassing halt. I do not want to talk to you while standing in the upright position. Wait until we get to the sink to wash our hands to engage me in conversation.

5) Inappropriate Joe - this is a real guy and I'm not even going to change his name. He really is Joe, but he no longer works here. After peeking over the modesty wall he shouts (not to me, thank the Lord), while there are others in the room, "Whoa! There's something I didn't need to see today!" If you didn't need to see it, then why the F did you look???

So, though you may think this list inappropriate conversation, you do know these guys. Hopefully you are not one of them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Remarkable Ancestor: Soldier and Marine

A Remarkable Ancestor: Soldier and Marine is the book that I just finished reading. This is no ordinary book. It's not a book that you can buy. And it's not written by anyone that you know. It was written, in fact, by my Great-Great-Great Grandfather William Philip Schwartz.

It is not really a book. It's more of a collection of letters that he wrote to the family during his time in the military. He was born in 1812 during the War of 1812, the James Madison administration. He lived a good portion of his life in Gettysburg prior to the Civil War. War records indicate that he participated in the Civil War and was among the many that stormed Fort Sumter. William P. Schwartz died in 1866 at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital. It is not known where he was buried.

Granddad joined the army in 1840 after problems with drinking and a separation from Grandmom. Granddad became a teetotaller rather than an advocate of temperance. He began writing a series of letters to his parents, brothers and sisters, many of which were saved throughout the generations of my family. My Great-Uncle John Schwartz found these letters in 1987, typed them on a type-writer and had a book bound with the type-written letters. He gave a copy to his sister Lenore, my aunt, and she gave a copy to me as a Christmas gift in the same year. Being 16 at the time, I thought it was one of the dumbest gifts ever. Now being 110 years old, I find it fascinating. Note - my grandmother Bonnie was John and Lenore's sister, passed away in the early 1960's, so Aunt Lenore was more like a grandmother to me.

During the early part of the book we follow Granddad on his travels through Mexico during the Mexican War. He was in battle against Santa Anna and served under General Wool. He often mentions General Taylor (future President Zachary Taylor) and General Winfield Scott. He seemed to like Mexico, but often wrote of running into banditos. He was wounded several times, stabbed, but also celebrated many fandangos.

After serving for several years in the Army it appears that he defected and went to California during the gold rush, then sailed the Pacific, spending much time in Japan, China, the Sandwich Islands, etc... He even saved enough money to purchase his own sailing vessel and hired a crew to man it. He wrote letters from Peru, Panama, and Hong Kong.

After a several year absence of letters, he shows up again, this time as a Marine aboard the U.S.S Constellation, the famed ship docked in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. They sailed throughout the Mediterranean, stopping in the nations that now comprise Italy (Sardina, Messina, Genoa, and Spezzia). He also wrote from the Holy Land, Egypt, Spain, and Libya or Morocco.

Granddad was a humorous writer. While spending time in Cuba he mentioned that it was so hot that butchers and cooks were no longer employed as the cows were walking out of pasture already well-done. In another passage he mentions that local villagers were invited aboard the ship as many had never seen a war frigate. While aboard, the crew did a 21 gun salute causing many of the women to lose their water (meaning they peed themselves).

I think I may retype the letters into digital format. My Uncle John's preface to the letters indicates that he typed the letters as they were written using the spelling that Granddad had used. However, I believe there to be many typing mistakes. For example, I doubt that Granddad wrote 'teh' or 'delf' when he meant self.

Unfortunately, my Uncle John passed away last year, making me realize, yet again, how important it is to spend that precious time with them while they are here. I'm sure he would be excited to talk with me about Granddad and his amazing journeys around the world.

Back To Work

I have some catching up to do. On Friday of last week I had an appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Frankenstein (and it's not pronounced Frahnk'-in-steen). This was a follow-up to my surgery and I fully expected him to remove the stitches.

I arrived at the doctor's office on time and was greeted with great hostility and irreverence. The nurse was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey. She's lucky I don't file a complaint with the medical board.

She took back to the examining room and told me the doctor would be right in, which he was. He instructed me to drop my britches and lay down. I had an operation when I was 12 and I recall the stitch removal was not a pleasant process. So I braced myself this time. I grabbed hold of the elastic band around my sweatshirt and pulled it over my head. I'm not sure exactly the details because I had my eyes closed at this point, but I think Dr. Frank then pulled out the Garden Weasel and used that to remove my stitches. Ahhhhhh!!!!

He asked what I do for a living. I tell him that I'm the President of the Maryland Republican Party. "Ha!", he laughs. "The Maryland Republican Party is dead. There's no such position." I laughed and told him I was kidding and that, in fact, I operated the computer that controls the hot beef injector over at American Amalgamated Conglomerates of America in the au jus department. "Ah", he says. "You can go back to work right away. Just don't lift anything over 10 pounds." To be sure not to damage myself, I am being extra precautionary and not lifting anything over 4 ounces, which includes my finger.

Fortunately we had off to celebrate Martin Luther King's Birthday on Monday giving me an extra day to recuperate. I celebrated by lounging all day on the couch and releasing nauseous gases.

On Tuesday I returned to work. "Feeling better?" "Take it easy." "Don't over do it." "How was the recovery?" Shut the hell up! My supervisor celebrated my return by giving me 3 more projects, 2 of which were due last week, but given the extenuating circumstances they extended the deadlines to the day before my return.

Additionally, I received an award yesterday. I was recognized for my performance last quarter when we were developing the new flux capacitor. We actually figured out how to power it with corporate rhetoric. "Work smarter, not harder." "We need to continue to streamline operations to make the organization more efficient." "Learn to multi-task utilizing your core competencies." And there's the high octane "Think outside of the box." Well, don't put my chair and computer in a box and I might be able to think outside of the box.

Recovery continues to go well. I am shuffling along now at the speed of a 60 year old on Viagra, rather than an 80 year old on morphine. Pain and discomfort still settle in the groin area and occasionally it feels as if rubberbands are wrapped around joy stick, which isn't too pleasant. I'm happy to report that there's new growth in the jungle, mostly underbrush and weeds. I wonder if the forest itches like hell when new plants start growing after a fire.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going For A Walk

My wife decided today that it was time for me to get out of the house. I was hoping that it would be to walk to the mailbox and back to be followed by another movie and a nap. But that was not in her plan.

My oldest daughter had an appointment at the orthodontist and I was going. It is really cold here in Carroll County. So cold, in fact, that the county superiors decided to open school 2 hours late. I think this person may be from Miami or another point south. The temperature this morning was about 22° with a wind chill near 15°. If this person was in charge of Minnesota the schools would be closed from October through May.

So when we arrive at the orthodontist and the wind is billowing, I flop out of the car and waddle to the door. Since I can't carry children, I feel no need to stick around and offer moral support. However, half way to the door my family comes flying by me leaving me to waddle the rest of the way in the cold by myself. Can you believe that?

Once in the office, the regulars who were there when I got my braces in 2001 were there and were pal'ing it up with me. 'Did you take off today?' Nope, I'm off because I had surgery for a hernia. 'Oh, get well soon. Stay off of your feet. Get some rest. Don't over do it!' Shut the hell up!

Once my daughter is done we drop them off at school. Ahh - peace and quiet. We then head over to Kohl's, much to my chagrin. You see - my chagrin hates Kohl's. This is the store that has the entire merchandise on sale for 60% off at ALL times. How this is possible I don't know. 'Was $59.99, now $19,99!' When was it full price? One hour in November?

My wife starts by looking at women's clothes. I'll meet you somewhere else. Where you going to be? Not too far. I can't walk too fast.

I made the crazy 8's all the way around the store - twice. Mothers are everywhere. I'm looking for a dude 0r a hottie. Can't find any. There's a dude! Oh, he works here. More women. And these aren't even MILF's or hotties. It's kabitzin' biddies. They're all into everyone's business. Some 40 year-old with 2 toddlers let's them run in the aisle. One of the employees goes off on the kids. 'Hey!!! Stop running in the store! Or we're going to shoot you!"

A few more rounds. And no wife. I check the bras and panties section at least nine times. Can't find her. But I did find a pair of grrrrr panties that I think about buying for her. Move along. And I can't find a chair anywhere. I call her on her cellphone. Where are you? In women's clothes. Still?!!! I finally find her. Another few more rounds of crazy 8's and she finally concedes that we can go.

Now it's off to Shopper's Food Warehouse, Shopper's for short. As I'm hobbling along my wife asks me, 'what are you going to do if there's a fire?' Run like hell! They can always redo the surgery, but they can't unburn me.

Martin's is the main grocery store in Eldersburg. There are four in our bucolic town. Food Lion, where there is one line open sometimes, but it takes 30 minutes to get through. And Safeway, where a Coke 12-pack is on sale for $8.99, save $6!!!! Both parking lots are empty. Then there's Martin's. Always crowded. So we go to Shopper's. These people ain't from around here. Some of them are talking to themselves. Other's are keeping an eye on you hoping you don't recognize them from Saturday's episode of America's Most Wanted.

Finally we leave. She asks if I want to go to the library. No! I want to go home and sleep. It's been a rough day for me. How are you supposed to go to work next week? I have no idea. So now she is taking me out of the house every day. Tomorrow is the library and the doctor. I feel like an old man who just had hernia surgery. How pathetic am I?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking the Habit

Last night I decided to cut my habit. No, not the one with parental controls on the Internet. I'm talking the Percocet habit. I've been on the drug for a week and figured it was time to come down from my high. Besides, my dealer from the Baltimore City Council refuses to sell me any more dime bags on the good side of North Avenue.

I got to the point where I was taking a pill every 4-5 hours, which is like, what 5-6 per day? My prescription would run out soon and I wanted to see if I could deal with the pain. I mean seriously, I'm used to pain. I dated cheerleaders in high school.

So my last popped pill was yesterday at dinner. I decided to see if I could sleep through the night without a pill. Plus - I thought the crazy-ass dreams may also be a result of the narcotics.

I made it through the night and didn't feel too bad. However, by 11am I today I was really starting to feel like crap. I didn't even know if I could make it through the French Connection, no not the heroin racket out of Marseilles, but the movie staring Gene Hackman.

I got through the movie, made myself a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon...hmmm....bacon! I then got on the phone and decided to call into a meeting. There was a meeting to kick off a new project at American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America and I thought it would be good to be on the call. I dialed in at 12:58, wanting to be a couple of minute early to spare myself. You see, when you dial into a conference call it identifies you. "Now joining, 'Eludius'". Then I'd hear all that crap. Feeling better? Take it easy. Get plenty of rest. You'll be back on your feet in no time. Shut the hell up!

So I sat on the call with no one for 10 minutes. No one dialed in. I'm there all by myself. In silence. Awesome. So I hung up and dialed up into my Netflix movie, My Best Friend's Girlfriend, starring Dane Cook, the closet homosexual comedian. Unfortunately, I didn't finish the movie before the babies woke up and I had to put on something that my wife deemed appropriate - like gay guys redecorating their apartment on HGTV.

It's now after dinner. I still feel like crap. My wife tells me that my body is going through drug withdrawal. That's right. Cold turkey. I feel slightly nauseous, overall achiness, VERY irritable (and you better shut up!), and an overall blah feeling. Oh, yes, my incision hurts like cuss. I took a couple of Advil about an hour ago, but that seems to be having the same affect as a Hershey bar.

But I can cut this habit. I want to. I don't need those drugs. I want to go back to who I was before. I can't let this habit run my life. Plus, I could really go for a cold beer right now.

And in case you were wondering, here are the movies I have watched since last Thursday:

Wait Until Dark
Pineapple Express
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Head of State
Futurama: Bender's Game
Key Largo
Cape Fear
War and Peace
Blazing Saddles
How the West Was Won
The Jerk
The French Connection
My Best Friend's Girlfriend*

* This movie will be done tonight.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sheila Dixon Goes National

In case you missed it last night or as reported on WBAL news this evening, Sheila Dixon was the brunt of one of the jokes used on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. Leno said:

"The mayor of Baltimore, a woman named Sheila Dixon, has now been charged with 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office. The good news -- she's now eligible to become the mayor of Detroit or the governor of Illinois," Leno said.

However, he didn't mention that her lawyer went on a 40 minute tirade during the press conference about how this is a Republican-led witch hunt to get her removed from office. I'm sure most liberal viewers in Maryland bit the bait, but those of us who went to colleges where they teach you to think for yourself saw right through this.

Why would the Republicans waste money and time trying to bring down the mayor of a crime-ridden corrupt city that sucks money from the state budget and hemorrhages middle class residents? Do the Democrats think the Republicans are behind a conspiracy to replace her with a Republican candidate? How ridiculous! A Republican hasn't been elected Mayor of Baltimore in nearly 46 years. That's why the city is so much better than it used to be. Oh, wait...

Cross-posted on RedMaryland.

Eludius DL - day 6

My surgeon told me not to lift anything over 10 pounds for 4 weeks. I thought that would be easy enough. Make my wife and kids do all the work? Sure!!! My wife has been great. She's been waiting on me hand-over-fist, to the point where I feel guilty.

It isn't helping that our 17 month old daughter has decided to wake up every evening at 3am and holler for her pacifier. The problem is if you go in to get her, she usually jumps up and wants to get out. On the other hand, if you don't go in there, she keeps hollering. A vicious circle. To make matters worse, my daughter tosses her pacifiers at night, so they're usually hiding under the crib, which is impossible to find at 3am. And of course her other 10 pacifiers can never be found.

So on Tuesday, my wife and daughter are sound asleep. I took a nap, but awoke before them. I later heard my daughter wake up and hollering, "Na-na", which is baby talk for pacifier. I didn't want my wife to wake up since she needed to catch up on her sleep. And I've been feeling pretty good. It should be okay, right? I mean - if I lower the side rails and just roll her over the rail and let gravity take her to the floor she should be okay.

I succeeded in getting her out. No problem! Then as I'm walking out of the room with her hand-in-hand, my wife opens the door from our bedroom and wants to know how the hell I got her out. I told her that Baby climbed out all by herself. Whatever, she says. She's really mad at me. And for good reason.

Now, later in the day, I'm not feeling too well. Some minor pings and pangs of pain in my lower abdomen. Not good. I go back to taking the pain medication on the shorter intervals. My wife knows I'm not comfortable. She gives me the old, "I told you" spiel. Today is the same thing. Ugh. If I messed up the fix, I'll need to have it redone. Dear Lord in Heaven help me!

So in other recovery news....I realize that when I wrote the original post it was much longer than I expected and half doped up I know that I missed half of my story.

When I met with the surgeon he told me that after the surgery no work for a week. And no physical activity for 4 weeks. I asked him to define physical activity. He said no lifting anything over 10 pounds, which is like a gallon of milk. I said, "What about sex?" Well, nothing for a week, but after that it should be okay, just don't do anything crazy. Good enough! You should have heard the way he emphasized "Crazy".

My neighbor calls later and she asks how long I am restricted from physical activity. I say 4 weeks. She kids and says, "Ha, no sex for a month!" I correct her and say I'm only restricted on that for a week. "How is sex not a physical activity?" Not the way we do it, I tell her. She laughs hysterically for a good minute.

I had called the day before the surgery and asked if there was anything I needed to do prior to the operation. The nurse told me nothing other than not to eat after midnight. I tried to subtly ask her about grooming. She tells me they will take care of it. Is this good or bad? I'm not sure.

When I awoke after surgery and gained my senses, the nurse sent my wife to get the car and said she'd dress me. Cool enough. It could have been the drugs, but instead of the 23 year old hot svelte blond chick with really big boobs, the nurse looked more like a late 40's mother of 3 who was really tired and had given up on finding the fountain of youth. She removes my gown and to my horror half of the jungle was gone! What in the world?! Couldn't you have done the whole thing or shaped the rest into a heart or something? Now I'm only half sexy!

When I returned home from surgery I flopped myself on the bed upstairs and never came down until the next day. However, that night when my kids came home from school they all came to see me. My lovely older daughter asked if I needed anything. I told her I needed a 12" Cheese steak sub from Frank's pizzeria. She goes downstairs and tells my wife, "Papa wants a cheese steak!" My daughter returns with the bad news. I tell her that instead of the cheese steak, I'll take a chicken marinara sub. She goes downstairs and says, "Papa said he'll take a chicken marinara sub instead!" My wife just screams in agony.

For the most part the discomfort has been at the point of incision. However, by the looks of me, it should be all over. I woke up on Saturday to find a fat barrel black and purple whiffle bat in my shorts. And the purple Easter eggs? Did the anesthesiologist give my groin a beat-down with a wooden spoon while the doctor performed the surgery? Fortunately, that looks better today.

What else is going on? My dreams are totally crazy. Is this a result of my medicine or my wife's cooking? Someone was walking around in my family room while I tried to sleep last night and I couldn't open my eyes and scream to chase him out. Then a dog was wrapped around my leg as I tried to walk out of Baltimore City in the middle of the night. And I chose to walk home through the bad neighborhoods. What? They're all bad? Good point.

Then, a fighter jet had landed on a highway near the city and a big flatbed truck was hauling it away, but the pilot decided to fire up the engines and fly out himself, only to crash into my old building on Pratt Street sending the building into a fiery collapse, right onto Def Leppard who were performing on the upper deck of the parking garage. To make matters worse, getting out of the city was terrible because of all the traffic, let alone the fire and falling debris. This is when I decided to wake up and finish watching Blazing Saddles, which is actually closer to reality than my current dreams.

That's all for now. I'm starting to fade into another reality that's not controlled by me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eludius - Injured Reserve

As you can probably tell from my lack of posts - I haven't posted many articles in a while. That's oxymoronic, sort of like the phrase medical intelligence.

To begin, if you work with me in the laser guided litter box research & development division over at American Corrugated Conglomerated Industries of America, this article may contain several instances of TMI (too much information for those of you born prior to 1965). So if you think you may get uncomfortable, please stop here. No here. Or here.

Several months ago I started having some discomfort in the jingle-jangles. This happens from time to time. Sometimes it's from wrestling with my son and getting kicked, other times it's the result of a 12 hour orgy with the Ravens' cheerleaders. This time the pain got to the point where I was getting concerned and it was affecting my disposition. I decided it was time to go to my doctor.

To complicate matters, I had to go to a new doctor because my previous doctor decided that $5 per procedure was insufficient reimbursement from my insurance company, so he dropped me like a body down the staircase. My new doctor is actually my old-old doctor that I got rid of because she sucks. Hmm......

So I go to the doctor and tell her that her that my jelly-beans are achy. It's not a sharp pain, but more of a radiating pain. It never seems to be in the same area and I cannot seem to locate the exact source of pain, despite my probing. She thinks there's nothing wrong, but sends me for a sonogram.

I called to make an appointment to see the sonogramist. This is on a Friday in September. Unfortunately, they have no openings for sonograms, but they do have several openings for teddy-grams, and candy-grams.

I make the appointment for a Monday and they tell me not to urinate all weekend and to drink 8 gallons of prune juice on Monday morning. This will help expand my bladder so that they can do before and after urination images, which may help detect any problems.

That Monday I walk in sloshing back and forth with my pants unbuttoned half-way down my thighs. They make me wait 45 minutes and I see them peeking over the counter pointing and laughing as they play videos of waterfalls and flushing toilets in the waiting room.

I finally get called back and this nice lady puts me up on the table. She then pulls the sonogram image reader out of the freezer, places it on my snow pencil causing me to shriek like an 8-year old girl, and then does a pile-driver into my bladder. I tell her that this cat Shaft is one bad mother.... She hollers, "Shut your mouth!" I tell her that I'm talking about the shaft, to which she replies, "Then I can dig it!" She finishes the pre-urination images and tells me to go urinate so that she can take the post full-bladder images.

Twenty minutes later I finish emptying my bladder and I return. She takes the post-urination images and then tells me it's time to do the jelly-beans. She gives me a shoe-string to help conceal my privates. At this point I wonder what the point is. The only part of me that she hasn't seen is the bottom of my foot.

The procedure finally ends and she sends me along my little way. A couple days later I get a call from Dr. Przyjblablar and she says that I suffer from a slight case of Hydrocele, which is a collection of fluid around the testicles. She gives me some pills and tells me to ignore it because it should go away on it's own, sort of like how teachers' unions view bad teachers.

The pain does subside for a while, but eventually returns, but with greater symptoms. I start having upper abdominal pains that occur without reading anything about Martin O'Malley. The pains shift from one side to the other and I feel a slight lump in my groin. I decide to research hydrocele. It says it can be caused by a hernia, cancer, or even global warming. CANCER?! I'm beginning to panic. I'm pressing every cavity I can find in my body. The thought occupies my thoughts nearly all day. I better go back to the doctor.

This time I go to a real doctor with an Irish name. I had written out all of my symptoms and my biorhythms. In my experience most doctors don't really want to hear what you have to say. They're too busy thinking about how awesome they are.

I call the office on a Saturday morning and request an appointment with Dr. Irish. The lady asks what is wrong. I pause - a male problem. What kind of male problem? With my manhood. Like what? Jeez, lady, I'm trying to keep this as discreet as possible. But I lose it. MY PENIS AND TESTICLES HURT! HOW'S YOUR VAGINA, LADY? This probably doesn't help my case because she says she can't take me in until next November. I start whimpering and she suggests Monday. Arg. Okay.

Monday arrives and I finally meet Dr. Irish. He seems really nice. I hand him my list of symptoms and he reads it. Sounds like you have a hernia! Really? Sure, let's check. He reaches down and cups my inner thigh (yes, awkward, but he is a doctor). Yes, you have a massive hernia. You're getting surgery!

Okay, it took him exactly 7 seconds to diagnose this. Meanwhile, if I would have returned to Doctor Przyjblablar, she probably would have sent me for another EKG for my heart murmur and to a urologist for a penmanship test.

On Tuesday I have an appointment with the surgeon. When I arrive the nice nurse does the vitals. She then tells me that I can either strip down naked while she lowers the temperature in the holding cell, or I can just lower my boxers when the doctor arrives. I tell her that I'm commando, that's how we roll in the conglomerated industry. The doctor arrives and I tell him I have a hernia. I drop the drawers and he tells me to cough when he pulls. I'm not sure what he did, but I screamed like a 5 year-old girl being chased by an icky boy. He confirmed the hernia and said not to worry, most guys get one at least once in their lifetime. He got his 2 years ago. Welcome to the fraternity.

I then go to schedule the surgery. How about November of 2015? Ahhh....do you have anything sooner? How about Thursday? Thursday???!!!! OMG - this is for real! They tell me I need a physical and blood work on Wednesday and if my blood work proves that I'm not an orangutan, then the surgery will be on Thursday at noon.

I call for an appointment with Dr. Irish, but he's not in the office on Thursday. They ask if Dr. Przyjblablar is okay. I guess so. I arrive the next day and she has no clue who I am. I tell her that I have a hernia. Oh. She does my vitals. You have a heart murmur. Yes, but I'm an orangutan, so it's okay. My physical lasts 35 seconds and includes her looking at one of my eyes for 3 seconds, and confirming my billing information for the other 32 seconds.

I head off to the phlebotomist. This is what they call people that take blood. Apparently they don't like to be called vampires or jackasses. This is over and done in less than 5 minutes. Meanwhile there is a lady there with an infant in a baby seat. They tell her that she needs to provide a urine sample. She asks where she can put the baby while she uses the bathroom. Hello! How about taking her with you? Oh, just leave her in the waiting room, there are plenty of magazines for her to read.

That night my wife sends out an email to friends and family. It goes something like this: My husband Eludius is going in for surgery tomorrow to have a hernia repaired. He will be home for a week recovering. I ask that you all pray for me. Oh, and pray for him, too. I guess you have to have a pretty good sense of humor to be married to me. One of our friends always reminds Mrs. Eludius that she has a one-way ticket to heaven.

Thursday arrives and I'm anxious. I tell my wife that I changed my mind. It doesn't work. I then tell her that I'm lucky because Hoffman's is right next door to the surgical center and we can get ice cream after the operation. Oh, okay, she says.

We arrive at the surgical center and they have the temperature set at Ice Station Zebra. I'm already anxious, which causes me to shiver, but now I'm freezing and shivering even more. I tell my wife that I think I just shook the hernia back into place and we can leave.

40 minutes later they take us back into a room and tell me to get undressed. OMG. Why don't you just wrap ice-packs around me? The nurse asks which side the hernia is on. I tell her it's the left side. I then ask her, do you go by your left or my left? She looks at me and I tell her that my left is different than her left and that I considered writing on my body which side to operate. She then takes a Sharpie and writes DT on both my arm and leg on my left side. I'm not sure what DT means, but several days later it's still there.

I'm escorted into the operating room. The anesthesiologist injects something into my catheter. I ask her if this is what will put me to sleep. She says no, it's just an appetizer. She said that I should start to feel groggy, then out I'll go. We start talking, but I never feel groggy. I then wake up from what seems like a long nap Mr. Eludius, wake up! I open my eyes. What time is it? It's 2:30. 2:30? Is Martin O'Malley still our governor? Yes. Damn! It wasn't just a bad dream! And apparently 2 hours had passed.

I'm really confused. I thought I'd feel groggy, then drift off. I have no memory of anything. She tells me that we talked for a while. She said that I mentioned that Van Halen is my favorite group because they are the best band ever. She told me to lay down, I must be dillusional. She told me that I said a friend told me that I will be in pain because the muscles that get cut are the same muscles that are used to cough, laugh, sneeze, and poop. He did say that. Thanks, Jorge.

I'm given a couple of orange Hugs to drink, the nurse dresses me and says that my insurance requires that I leave immediately. Accountants have determined that I will heal better in the car than in the recovery room.

I'm really tired, so I'll have to finish the story later. But that's what's been going on with Mr. Eludius. More to follow.
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