The Meaning of Life?

Throughout the course of my adulthood, I have often pondered the meaning of my existence and the role that I play in the lives of others. Conversely, how are the lives of the people with which I am intertwined affecting the essence of my being? Is my presence truly a significant determinant in the biorhythm of my companions and of all those whom I amalgamate, or am I merely a nugatory pawn in the chess game of someone else’s subsistence? If the antipode is the case, are those who compose the aggregate of my reality nothing more than elaborate props in a theatrical narrative, or do their actions cogently influence my existence? Moreover, are my deeds and those of my consanguinity part of a predetermined script; do I have any measure of authority over my destiny or is life merely a random circumstance of serendipity and contretemps?

Screw it, I think I’ll drink another beer and update my Facebook status…

No matter what they think, crazy people can't fly.

I’ve seen some seriously bizarre things in my lifetime, but what I witnessed on Saturday afternoon took the cake…

I was coming home from a baseball game, driving west down I-30 near Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth. As I approached the Ridgmar Boulevard exit, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that captured my attention. There was a multi-car wreck happening in the eastbound lane about 200 yards up the freeway. It looked like a half-assed NASCAR pileup; there were cars skidding sideways, parts and shit flying through the air, cars dodging other cars and smoke was everywhere. Luckily, I was in the westbound lane so I was safe, but I immediately hit the brakes and swerved into the right hand lane as a big Ford F-250 slammed into the concrete divider about 50 yards in front of me. The truck was a mangled mess and it was obvious that whoever was driving it would be a mess too. I pulled over to the right-hand shoulder, stopped and called 911 to report the accident. When the smoke cleared, it looked like there were quite a few other cars involved in the wreck as well. It was, no doubt, a major friggin accident and people would undoubtedly be hurt.

As I was giving the information to the 911 operator, the driver of the truck somehow got out and started screaming and beating on the side of the wreck with his fists. By this time, there were a bunch of people who had stopped on the other side of the freeway to check out the wreck and to see if anyone was hurt. A good Samaritan ran toward the dude beating on the truck, but before he could get to the guy, the truck beater hopped over the center concrete divider and charged out into the oncoming westbound traffic. Luckily, everyone passing the scene on my side of the freeway was going slowly so the guy wasn’t plastered by a speeding 18 wheeler. The guy was oblivious to the cars whizzing by and honking at him, he just started walking across the freeway and never looked up.

There was obviously something wrong with him because he was staggering and walking all stiff-legged, kind of like Herman Munster or Frankenstein. I could see that he was barefooted, bleeding from the bridge of his nose and had either spilled a drink in his lap or pissed all over himself. As he got a little closer I noticed that there was something wrong with his eyes, something really wrong. They were bulging out of his head like they had been popped out of the sockets. He literally looked like a cartoon character. Seriously, this dude made Marty Feldman look like Renee Zellweger. His eyes were probably poked out of his head a half inch or so… It was the strangest thing I’d ever seen.

The guy’s entire body was shaking as he got near my truck; his fists were clenched, he was mumbling something and staring intently off into space. I couldn’t tell if he was seriously hurt, mentally ill or if he was on PCP or some shit… Whatever it was, he was some kind of jacked up. His eyes were like nothing I’d ever seen before and the son of a bitch never blinked. I stared at him in amazement as he walked past the passenger side of my truck and continued walking along the shoulder of the highway. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I must have hit the lottery of weirdness, because it’s not often that you see a big wreck and a crazy guy with bug eyes stumbling along down the side of a freeway. But that’s when things went from weird to completely fucking bizarre…

As soon as the guy walked past me, I noticed the good Samaritan from the other side of the freeway running along next to the concrete divider in the center of the highway. He was yelling something at the bug-eyed guy and was trying to get his attention, so I rolled down my window to see if I could hear what he was saying. The good Samaritan was yelling, waving his arms and trying to get Captain Insano to stop and sit down. It’s not like the guy had a whole lot of luck leftover to be throwing around; the dumbass had already been in a serious accident, crossed three lanes of freeway traffic barefooted and was now staggering down the side of the highway. Surely the law of averages was about to catch up with him. The good Samaritan was 100% right, the dude needed to stop and have a seat before his luck ran out. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking or why I decided to get out of the truck and go after the guy, but I did.

“Hey Chief, hold up a minute! You’re hurt! You need to stop and sit down! You’re gonna get run over out here, man!”

My plea fell upon deaf ears as the crazy looking guy completely ignored me and kept walking away. Other passing cars started to pull over, partly to avoid hitting the guy as he staggered along and partly to stare at him in disbelief; he looked that strange… The guy was about 50 feet ahead of me when he finally turned around and acknowledged that someone was trying to get his attention. He looked at me, then turned and looked at the good Samaritan on the other side of the freeway who was still running along waving and yelling for him to stop. I could see it in his eyes, those crazy fucking eyes. It was at that instant, a mere split second before he made his move, that I realized what was about to happen…

The man took another two or three steps, and then dove headfirst off the overpass bridge on which we were standing.

The thud of the man’s body hitting the concrete roadway some 40 feet below was easily heard above the noise and confusion of the freeway. The sound reminded me of dropping a bag of Sackcrete on hard ground; a flat, heavy thump. I looked over the concrete barrier and saw the man lying face down in a pool of blood on the asphalt roadway below. He was motionless…

I stood there for what felt like minutes, frozen by the shock of what I’d just witnessed. People were running from all directions, some with cell phones to their ears frantically describing the scene to 911 operators, others with the same horrified look of shock and disbelief on their faces that I had on mine. And all I could do was stand there…

The scene was frozen in time by a strange mix of adrenaline and revulsion. After what must have been two or three minutes, I heard the first sirens from the police and fire department responding to the accident. Two fire trucks pulled up on the other side of the freeway near the wreckage of the truck and I could see the people pointing toward the bridge. Traffic had come to a complete stop on both sides of the freeway and more and more people were getting out of their cars. The people around me were asking if I knew what had happened and if I’d actually seen the guy jump. There was speculation amongst the bystanders that the man might have been some sort of mental patient. Others thought that he may have been in shock or had some kind of head injury and not realized what he was doing. A few even suggested that he may have been grief stricken and just couldn’t live with the consequences of the wreck. After getting a close-up look at the guy and seeing those eyes, I didn’t know what to think.

Soon, an ambulance appeared under the bridge and a team of paramedics and firemen went to work on the still motionless man lying in the road below. They surrounded him while they worked so I couldn’t really see what was going on, but he was apparently alive when they took him away because you could hear him moaning when they strapped his body to the backboard and placed him on the stretcher. The paramedics wheeled him to the awaiting ambulance and they sped away from the scene.

I stood on the bridge for another few moments, dumbfounded and horrified by what I had just witnessed. People were milling around and comparing their versions of what had just occurred. I wanted to talk about it with the man who stopped his car behind mine, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My thoughts were too erratic to process and nothing about what I had seen made any sense. The words to describe it just weren’t there. As I walked back to my truck, I wondered if I should find a policeman and give some sort of statement about what I saw, but I didn’t. I just got in my truck and left as quickly as I could. There were plenty of people around who saw the same thing that I did and were dying to talk to someone about it. Me, I just wanted to go home.

Like I said, I’ve seen some fucked up shit before, but nothing will top the fuckedupedness of the shit I saw on Saturday. At least I hope nothing ever will…

The Prodigal Dog Returns

One morning last May, a female Black Lab wandered up to the house and started hanging around. Although she wasn’t wearing a collar, she was fat, well-kept, house-trained and obviously belonged to someone. She was a good dog and I knew her owner would be looking for her, so I decided to let her stay until we could reunite her with her people. Over the next few days, the kids and I made countless “Lost Dog” signs and flyers that we plastered on every tree, stop sign, telephone pole and convenience store window within a five-mile radius of the house. After more than a month without a single phone call, it appeared that “Fat Black” was going to be the newest addition to the herd at the Heavy D Ranch. Her true owners weren’t looking for her, which really surprised me. She was sweet, gentle, got along in with the other dogs and just loved playing with the kids. I didn’t really want another 100 lb. dog to feed, but there was no way I was going to take her to the pound.

Summer came and summer went, but Fat Black remained. She lived with me until one day in September when some friends were at the house visiting. Tommy, Gina and their two kids couldn’t believe that such a good dog had just wondered up, and then commented on how they’d always wanted a Lab. Since they liked the dog and would give her a good home, I asked if they wanted to keep her. I told them that if things didn't work out, they could always bring her back. After a myriad of promises from the kids and a short discussion between the parents, they agreed to take her home. We loaded Fat Black into their truck and off she went to her new, permanent home…

Everyone was living happily ever after, or so I thought, until about a month ago when I ran into Gina and asked how Fat Black was doing. She shook her head, started laughing and proceeded to tell me that the dog was driving them crazy. Gina said that Fat Black had started keeping them up all night barking, wouldn’t behave in the house and was constantly trying to dig her way out of their backyard. She jokingly said that Tommy was fed up with the dog and was ready to get rid of her. I’d never had any trouble with Fat Black and was surprised that she was giving them a hard time. Again, Gina jokingly said that I shouldn’t be surprised if I heard some barking one night and Fat Black miraculously appeared at my door.

The next afternoon I got a call from Tommy. When I saw his number on the caller ID, I decided to prick him around a bit. I answered the phone using my best generic female operator's voice and said, “Parker County Animal Shelter – how may I direct your call?”

“I need to speak to the euthanasia department please…” he said.

I started laughing, but soon realized that Tommy wasn’t. He proceeded to tell me that he was done with Fat Black and was going to take her to the pound and see if they could find her a new home. Unlike his wife a day earlier, there was no joking tone in his voice; he was dead serious. He said that the dog wouldn’t shut up at night, she had become completely unruly wouldn’t behave in the house, had broken down the stockade fence in their backyard, chewed up their patio furniture and torn all the window screens and the screen door off the back of their house. Tommy was genuinely pissed off and said that he just couldn’t deal with Fat Black’s bullshit anymore.

Well, you guessed it... Rather than let him take the dog to the pound, I told him to bring her back to me and that I’d keep her.

When Fat Black arrived that evening, there were no long, emotional goodbyes, no tears and Tommy and Gina never looked back as they jumped in the truck and sped down the caliche road away from the house. Through the cloud of dust they left behind, I swear that I saw them high-five and heard them laughing as they hauled ass away. It was as if they had taken Fat Black on the proverbial “long ride out into the country”, only there was no guilt attached when they let her out and drove away. I just didn’t get it; maybe they didn’t play with her, maybe they just kept her caged up in the yard and she was miserable, or maybe they never really wanted the dog in the first place… Whatever the reason, Fat Black was obviously glad to be “home” and I was glad to have her back.

Fat Black and my other three dogs were all out in the yard getting re-acquainted, so I decided to go back in the house and get a drink. At the very instant I cracked open the front door, I was steamrolled by a runaway black freight train from hell. Fat Black violently rammed her head against the partially open door, knocking it out of my hand, and ran at a dead sprint through the living room towards the kitchen. After almost being knocked to the ground by the speeding 100-pound behemoth, I regained my balance just in time to see her launch herself through the air and execute a perfect form-tackle on the garbage can in the middle of the kitchen. I doubt that Fat Black could hear my yelling over the clanging of empty Dr. Pepper cans as they bounced across the floor, but she knew I was pissed. She tucked her tail between her legs, cowered down and crept over toward me in a feeble attempt to make amends for her transgression. I scolded the dog and made her sit in the corner of the kitchen while I picked up the mess she had made, then put her back outside. I then moved the location of the trashcan from underneath the butcher block in the center of the kitchen into the pantry, thereby removing Fat Black’s temptation to dumpster-dive. That worked for a couple of days, until the morning when it was raining and I left to take Walker and T.R. to school.

I let Fat Black outside to take care of her business shortly after I woke up around 6:00AM. Since it was raining that morning and she doesn’t like the rain, she was scratching at the door for me to let her back inside in no time. I don’t normally leave the dogs in the house when I’m not home, so I called for Tonto and Fat Black to follow me outside when the girls were ready to leave for school. Tonto came running, but Fat Black was hunkered down in her bed and didn’t want any part of the rain; she wasn’t moving. We were running late and I didn’t have time to drag her big ass outside, so I decided to leave both dogs in the house while I made the twenty-minute trip to school and back.

When I arrived back home and walked in the door, the first thought that crossed through my mind was that a garbage truck had been car-bombed in my living room. There was chewed up shit everywhere; fast food wrappers, cans, tin foil, pizza boxes, orange peels, paper plates, she even dragged the black plastic bag out of the can and chewed it up. All of the trash had been completely shredded and evenly disbursed over the entire area. If you’ve ever accidentally run over a newspaper with a lawnmower and blown a million bits of paper all over the lawn, you have an idea of what my living room and kitchen looked like... Except it was trash... And there was a fat, black dog rolling around in the middle of it with a Styrofoam take-out container in her mouth. The devious bitch had played possum until I left, then figured out how to open the door to the pantry and had herself a big party. She actually looked surprised when I started screaming, throwing shit at her and chasing her out of the house. As an encore to that performance, Fat Black apparently went across the pasture to my neighbor’s house, brought an entire bag of their trash back and proceeded to redecorate my yard to match the interior of the house.

Fat Black has a few other “issues” beyond her insatiable taste for trash. She thinks that my bed is actually her bed; I’m constantly battling to keep her big, hairy, shedding ass out of my room and off of my bed. I thought I had the problem solved by shutting the door any time I entered or exited my bedroom, but I learned the hard way that Fat Black was the MacGyver of dogs. She figured out how to jump up, put her feet on the handle and push down to open a door. I discovered her new trick one morning I got out of the shower and found that she had climbed onto the kitchen counter, stolen an un-opened box of Coco Puffs and eaten the entire thing. I suspected this was the case when I saw the empty box and plastic liner torn to shreds and lying on the floor in the middle of the hall. My suspicions were confirmed when I entered my bedroom through the door that she’d opened and found a giant mound of semi-digested chocolate breakfast cereal, covered in a milky-white foam, laying in the middle of my bed. She’d opened the door, got in the bed and left a massive pile of dog puke in the middle of it. I began to think she was intentionally fucking with me because that was the trifecta of insults…

In addition to vomiting in the middle of my bed, she found another creative way fuck me over again last week. As I was sitting on the sofa with my laptop screwing around on Facebook, I heard a loud crash against the door of the house. I looked up just in time to see the front door fly open and a soaking wet and muddy black dog make her triumphant entrance. It appeared as though Fat Black had gone for an evening swim in the stock tank below the house, and then followed up the swim with a relaxing and soothing roll in mud. I yelled at her to stop and get the hell out, but it was too late; she ran directly to my bedroom door and jumped on the handle. I gave chase and found the dog sprawled out on her back with all four legs in the air, joyfully rolling around in the middle of my bed. By the time I grabbed her ass and dragged her back outside, my bed looked like it had been used by Bigfoot and a grizzly bear as a mud wrestling pit.

I’ve had lots of dogs in my lifetime and have never had this much trouble training any of them. It’s not like she’s retarded or anything; in fact, she’s really smart. How many dogs do you know that can open doors? I’ve read a book on dog psychology and tried everything short of beating her ass with a golf club to curb her bad behavior, but nothing I've tried seems to phase her. My house has become a battleground in the war of wills between Fat Black and me. It’s nothing less than an epic struggle between good and the diabolical forces of evil. My last resort may be to e-mail the TV show “The Dog Whisperer” and beg for Cesar Milan to come to Weatherford and perform a canine exorcism. I keep waiting on Fat Black to sprout another two heads and assume her true identity as Cerberus the three headed demon dog.

If the old adage that “dogs are like kids” is true, then I’m afraid I've adopted a Dylan Klebold-hound.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part I: A Perineum is not a type of flower...

“Sunday, December 7th, a day that shall live in infamy.” The words of Franklin D. Roosevelt will forever be etched into my memory, but for a different reason than most. Sixty-seven years to the day that the Nips pulled their sneak attack on battleship row, a bolt of lightening came down from the clouds and struck me square in the ass.

While bending over to zip up a bag of luggage I’d packed for a trip to Houston the next morning, something akin to a pit bull reached up and bit me on the left butt-cheek. The pain was hot, sharp and very, very intense. A shot of boiling acid must have been injected into my ass, because the back of my leg was obviously on fire. I immediately sat down and tried get into a comfortable position to alleviate the pain. I tried to sit, stand, lay flat on my back, my stomach, anything to ease the flow of flaming napalm running down my leg. But much to my dismay, nothing worked. It was getting late, so I decided to self-medicate by taking a couple of Vicodin and drinking three fingers of bourbon, then went straight to my room and got into bed.

When I awoke on Monday morning, there were hot coals in my ass and my leg was still smoldering. There was absolutely no way I was going out of town in that condition, so I cancelled my trip and called my primary care doctor for an appointment. After an examination, my doctor’s 12 years of medical training and 20 some-odd years of experience as a physician lead him to the sage prognosis that I had pinched a nerve in my lower back. He prescribed more Vicodin, a muscle relaxant and told me to lay flat for a few days. He said I should be better within about a week, but to call him back if my condition didn’t change or got significantly worse. I laid out a $25 co-pay, spent $50 at Walgreen’s for prescriptions, then headed back home where I retreated to my bed.

Over the next three days I lived like Elvis. I would stay awake only long enough to take more drugs, eat and piss. The drugs helped and the pain was getting better, but I noticed that my feet were beginning to get numb. At first, it felt like my toes were going to sleep or were really cold, but by nightfall, both feet were entirely numb. The feeling reminded my of being in the training room after football practice to soak my ankles in 5 gallon buckets full of ice, rock salt and water; cold, numbing and painful.

Over the next three days the numbness slowly spread from my feet, to my calves, to my hamstrings and to my ass. I began to have a hard time walking to and from the bathroom, but I wasn’t sure if it was the numbness in my legs or the fact that I was popping Vicodin and muscle relaxers like they were Tic Tacs. It still hurt like hell to stand up and move around, but because of the copious amounts of narcotics in my system, I just didn’t care.

When I awoke on Thursday morning I got scared that something was seriously wrong. In addition to my legs and ass-cheeks, my taint and nuts were now numb. The mere thought of a paralyzed dingus would strike fear into the hearts of the most courageous of men, and I was no different. I frantically called Dr. Feelgood and reported the change in my condition. After explaining what a “taint” is to a 60-year old doctor, then being informed that the proper term for it is “perineum”, I was told to immediately go to the emergency room for an MRI.

The wife and kids were already gone to school, so rather than call for assistance I decided to cowboy-up and take myself on in. I downed a handful of Vicodin to quell the pain, waited a half-hour for it to take affect, and then got myself dressed. I literally couldn’t keep my balance to walk, plus the burning pain was getting worse. I grabbed a chair and used it like a walker to help stabilize myself and began to hobble out to my truck. With every step the pain grew worse and it took me about 45 minutes to traverse the 30 feet of sidewalk that separate my house from the carport. The pain was becoming more and more unbearable and I began to realize that the decision to drive myself to the hospital might be a big mistake.

As I finally got to the door of the truck, I could no longer hold myself up with my legs and was using the chair to support the full weight of my body. I got the door opened and tried to climb in the truck, but the pain was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. It literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine that being set on fire would be any worse than what I was enduring. I stood there feeling like I was waist-deep in a pool of acid, unable to get in my own truck or make it back to the house. At that point, I admitted to myself that I was in real trouble and needed help. I managed to get the phone out of my pocket without falling over, called 911 and begged for an ambulance come pick me up.

It seemed like forever, but the paramedics actually arrived within about 10 minutes of the call. After listening to my list of symptoms and my apology for being such a pussy that I had to call them for a “hurt back”, they tried to figure out how they were going to get my big ass on the stretcher. We all debated for a while, but couldn’t come up with an easy plan. With no forklift or hydraulic crane at my disposal, we came to the consensus that the only way to get on the stretcher was for me to nut-up and climb my ass up there. They lowered the stretcher to a little below waist high, set a backboard on top of the pad and pushed it right up against me. All I had to do was sit down, lay back and swing my legs up. The paramedics even helped me by holding my shoulders and trying to lift my legs up as gently as possible, but the pain was indescribable.

I screamed in a high-pitched voice like an 8-year-old girl who just got a pony for Christmas. A horrific symphony of falsetto obscenities spewed from my lungs and I begged God to make the pain stop, but he wasn’t listening. Tears were streaming down my face and I had to force myself to inhale. I was in such pain that I think it even scared the paramedics a little bit. Mercifully, they slid the backboard over a bit, centering my body on the stretcher. As one paramedic began to strap me down, another radioed the hospital to let them know we were coming. They took my vital signs and talked to the hospital a little more before wheeling me around to the back of the ambulance and loading me inside.

I’d been meaning to have a few truckloads of caliche brought in to re-surface my road, but just hadn’t got around to it. The ambulance ride sure made me wish I had, because every pothole we hit in that sumbitch made me scream. The ride to the hospital took about 15 minutes and the guy in the back with me was monitoring my vital signs and talking to the hospital. He hooked up an IV in my arm and gave me a shot for the pain, but it didn’t do any good. I asked him for a rig of heroin or if I could smoke some opium or some shit, but my request was denied. I’d have to wait until I got to the hospital to get anything stronger.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part II: Every man wants to hear "you're too big!"

After the longest 15 minute ride of my life, the paramedics wheeled me into the emergency room and handed me off to the ER docs. The people in the ER asked me a bunch of questions, took more vital signs and finally got around to getting me something to dull the pain. They injected a cocktail of pain medication and Valium into my IV and told me that I’d soon be heading upstairs to have an MRI. After a few more minutes of excruciating pain, the drugs began to effect and take the edge off. I was still in a helluva lot of pain, but at least I could breathe without screaming.

A procession of doctors, nurses and admissions people paraded through the examination room before the MRI Tech got there to haul me upstairs. He took one look at me, shook his head and said that I was too big to fit in their machine. Now, I realize, even embrace the fact that I’m a big, fat, overgrown cow-bellied bastard, but what the hell? I wouldn’t fit in the machine? When I asked him about what kind of half-assed MRI starter kit they had, he informed me that he didn’t think my chest and shoulders would fit through the opening in the tube. About that time, a doctor walked in. The two of them discussed sending me to Ft. Worth to a larger MRI and whether or not a CT Scan would work. They ignored me as they talked, as if I was merely a piece of furniture in the room and I couldn’t hear a word they were saying.

I think I pissed them off when I suggested, “How ‘bout you find a fucking tape measure, get some dimensions and figure out if my fat ass will fit in the machine you’ve got here?”

They both left the room, and then the MRI guy came back with a plastic ruler. He made a half-hearted attempt at measuring the width of my shoulders, and then went upstairs to measure the opening of his machine. Forty-five minutes later I was headed upstairs to get the MRI.

Normally, the patient would be inserted into the machine head first, but because I was a square peg being fit into a round hole, the rocket scientists on duty in the MRI lab were going to do it differently. They loaded me onto the conveyor table feet first and ran me into the machine until my shoulders hit the sides of the opening. The MRI guy told me to lay still while he left the room to see if enough of my back was in the tube to get a good picture. Once he was satisfied that it would work, he fired up the machine and we got started. The MRI took about 30 minutes to complete, then he backed me out of the hole and helped me get into the wheelchair so I could go back down to the ER. I asked him when the doctor would be able to look at the film and was told that it had already been e-mailed to the on-call surgeon for review.

By the time I got back to the ER, the pain shot had worn off and I was hurting pretty bad again. The nurse gave me another injection to ease the pain and said that they’d be moving me upstairs to a room pretty quickly. The Valium relaxed me, but for some reason the pain medication didn’t seem to work as well this time. I was still in a great deal of pain an hour later when they came to take me upstairs to my room.

As luck would have it, Weatherford Regional Medical Center is undergoing a big expansion project and the whole place is torn up with the ongoing construction. The nurse told me that, due to the construction, there was a shortage of private rooms. I would be placed in a semi-private room with another patient until a private room was available. At that point, I could give a shit less where they put me, as long as I could get another shot to extinguish the molten lava running down my legs. When I got to my room, I met the nurse, Crystal, and asked her to give me another shot for pain. This time, the shot did absolutely nothing. Before, the Valium at least relaxed me a bit but this time; nothing… I waited about an hour and called Crystal back down to my room to tell her that the shot didn’t work. She said that I was under a different doctor’s orders now and that he hadn’t prescribed Valium and was giving me a different pain killer. The doctor was on the floor making rounds, so she said that she’d talk to him about increasing my medication. About 20 minutes later, Crystal came back with a syringe full of heaven…

Dilaudid is like synthetic morphine, and the good doctor prescribed me a healthy friggin dose. He also prescribed double the amount of Valium that I was getting in the emergency room. Relief was on the way! Crystal injected the syringe into my IV, then “pushed” it with some saline. No sooner than she took the saline syringe out of the IV, a warm, peaceful wave of sweet relief rolled throughout my entire body. I was blanketed in a fluffy, warm comfort that I can only describe by comparing it with what junkies on TV look like when they shoot heroin. Just like when a junkie sticks that spike in his vein and releases the rubber band strapped around his arm, my eyes rolled back into my head and I drifted off into blissful euphoria. Also like a junkie, I slept so hard that I didn’t even realize that I’d pissed all over myself.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part III: The Greatness of Donnie

Room 313 was a semi-private room. I was in bed “A” and a dude named Donnie was in bed “B”. Donnie was sleeping when they brought me into the room, so I didn’t say anything to him. He was a white guy who looked to be in his mid-thirties and was clean cut. I was surprised, because with my luck, I’d figured I’d be matched up with some homeless Mexican and get spend the weekend fighting with him over whether we were going to watch football on ESPN or Sabado Gigante on Univision. I suppose it didn’t really matter; I was looking forward to mainlining my way back to ecstasy every four hours anyway. Soon enough, a nurse came in the room and woke Donnie up to check his blood pressure. She asked him some questions, but he didn’t say much. I assumed that he was still sleepy and might even have been a little pissed that she woke him up. Then Donnie started talking…

A deep voice began “speaking” in some guttural, stuttering tongue that was unrecognizable as any language I’d ever heard before. The sudden realization that I was sharing a room with a fucking retard hit my like a baseball bat square in the forehead. Donnie sounded like a combination of Warren from “Something About Mary”, Porky Pig and Helen Keller on steroids. I dreaded the moment when Donnie would turn his attention to me and begin the verbal assault. Sure as shit, as soon as the nurse left the room Donnie began to carpet-bomb me with a painful, stuttering Q & A session.

"Whaa yheu naam? Whaa w..w..w..wonngh wiff yheu?" I kept waiting for him to ask me if I’d seen his baseball… I did my best to avoid as much verbal interaction as I could, but Donnie was a talker.

Donnie was also a call button pusher. The nurses had to hate him because he was constantly summoning them with the call button for absolutely nothing. Everything from, “I’m cold.” to “What’s for dinner?” to “I just peed.” Sometimes the nurse would leave the room and he’d hit the call button again before she’d even have time to get back to the nurse’s station. Donnie was a very demanding retard.

While he was out of the room having some tests done, I got the whole story on Donnie from one of the nurses. Donnie had been in a car accident about six or seven years earlier that seriously fucked him up. He was jogging early one morning when he was hit by a car and suffered severe head trauma. Donnie had a Master’s degree and was a CPA before his accident. Now, he could hardly talk, couldn’t walk, and couldn’t wipe his own ass. The nurse said that Donnie had been living with his parents, but they were forced to move him into an assisted living center because he needed more care than they could provide. He was in the hospital because he had a blood clot in his leg and the doctors were afraid it would break loose and cause him to have a stroke. After learning all of this, my feelings toward Donnie changed a bit. He was still an annoying pain in the ass, but at least he wasn’t a retard.


Beyond brain damage, a life-threatening blood clot and an affinity for The Hallmark Channel, Donnie had another major affliction that commanded my attention. The poor bastard was constantly puking. He’d eat something, and then puke. He’d drink a few sips of water, then puke. The nurses would spend 20 minutes cleaning him up and changing his clothes, then he’d hurl all over himself again before they could get to the end of the hall. He vomited so much on Friday, that I began keeping a record of the eruptions. At 6:12 AM, Donnie had his first reversal of the day. He blew beets again at 8:22 AM, 9:51 AM and 11:05 AM. Donnie then decided to throw everyone a curveball by shitting all over himself at 12:15 PM. Even though they had taken the preventative measure of putting a diaper on him, the clean-up took the nurses forever and funked up the room something fierce. Thank God we had already eaten lunch. After he dropped the deuce, I quit recording the times he puked. Shitting the bed just kind of made throwing up all over himself not as interesting anymore.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part IV: This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs...

Nicole was my daytime nurse on Friday. She came in and introduced herself, then asked me how I was doing and wanted to know if I was comfortable. I quickly explained to Nicole that my entire goal in life for that day was to say absolutely as medicated as possible in order to avoid the realization of what a shitty situation I was in. I asked her if she knew what the results of my MRI showed, but she had no idea. Nicole did say that that a surgeon named Dr. Largent was supposed to be coming by to see me and talk about what my MRI had shown. Knowing that the doctor would be there relatively soon, I decided to put off getting another fix of hospital heroin. For some odd reason, I felt like I would need a clear head to understand exactly what he was going to tell me. By the time he got there, I was wishing that I’d gone ahead and taken that shot.

Dr. Largent finally showed up around 8:30 AM just as the fire in my legs re-ignited. The good doctor told me that my MRI revealed two ruptured disks and one herniated disk in my lower back. The ruptured disks were pressing on the nerves in my spinal column and were causing the pain and numbness in the lower half of my body. Doc Largent said that he was referring me to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. The specialist would decide what type of surgical procedure would be necessary to correct the problem. I was told that the spinal specialist, Dr. Brown, would be coming by later that day to examine me and go over the procedure. The only ray of sunshine in the dark cloud of this conversation was that Doc Largent increased my pain medication frequency from once every four hours to once every two hours. The good doctor wasn’t even out of the doorway before I was hitting the nurse call button. Within a few minutes, Nicole showed up with my fix. As she injected the sweet, merciful nectar of the Gods into my bloodstream, she said that she was surprised that the doctor had increased my dosage. Drifting off into peaceful nirvana, all I could utter in response was, “I’ll see you in two hours…”

I succeeded in my goal of staying high all day on Friday. Nicole came by about every two and a half hours with my cocktail of body-numbing serum and kept me in a constant state of Shangri-La. Every time she would come in I would ask her if she had seen Dr. Brown, but he was AWOL. As daytime blended into night, Nicole left and Sherri came in. She said that Dr. Brown had called and added some additional medications to my daily ration of narcotics. I was to receive a muscle relaxant shot twice daily and a steroid shot once per day. Neither of them seemed to add to, or detract from my high, so I wasn’t really concerned. I was kind of confused and wondered why Dr Brown hadn’t made it by to check me out. Dr. Largent acted as if they would be looking to operate pretty quickly. I wasn’t sure if Brown’s absence was a good thing or not. Maybe I wasn’t all that bad if he wasn’t concerned enough to examine me on Friday? Surely he’d seen my MRI and knew what was wrong. Just as well, I was so screwed up on the synthetic black tar heroin that I probably wouldn’t have understood anything he was coming to tell me anyway.

Friday night was little more than a dark, hazy blur. I slept really hard for the first time in a week or so. I guess I had so much smack in my system that I finally just fell out. I slept clean through from about 11:00 that night until a little before 6:00AM Saturday morning. When I woke up I was beginning to hurt again. My legs were starting to burn and my feet were as cold as ice. I realized that I’d slept through my last two pharmaceutical pit-stops and must have been running on fumes. I hit the nurse call button and asked for another pain shot, then waited for the Angel of Mercy to come to my rescue. Five minutes went by… Then ten… Then twenty minutes. I didn’t want to piss the nurses off like Donnie and keep hitting the call button so I gave it some more time. After an hour had gone by, my legs were fully engulfed in flames. At that point I didn’t care if it hair-lipped the Pope; I hit the button again. The voice on the other end said that someone would be there right away to give me my shot.

Again, I waited. Ten minutes… Twenty minutes… Time seemed to drag on and on... Finally at ten minutes after 8:00 AM, my new nurse, Tiffany, showed up with my rig. As politely and respectfully as I could muster, I inquired as to why the fuck it took so long for a fucking nurse to do their fucking job and walk 30 fucking feet down the hall to give me the fucking medicine that was keeping me the fuck alive. She said that the night crew worked 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM and started preparing for shift change at about 6:00 AM; doing paperwork and somesuch. Then the day crew came on at 7:00 AM and worked until 3:00 PM. It takes every new crew about an hour to get up to speed on all of the patients’ charts before they hit the floor. Tiffany advised me to call about an hour and a half before shift change if I was going to need a shot while the crews were working on their handoff. That’s when I made a mental note to self: Try not to go into cardiac arrest or have any sort of life threatening crisis during shift change; you might have trouble getting a Band Aid…

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part V: What "NOT" to say to a nurse...

On Saturday, I had either a real intellectual breakthrough, or a catastrophic mental collapse, depending on you look at it. I became conversationally proficient in the native tongue of the brain damaged retard. I began to understand Donnie’s mumblings and started interpreting his complaints and directives to the nurses. This was particularly entertaining in the afternoon when Shaunte’, the 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM nurse, started her shift.

Shaunte’ was a black woman of considerable size, in her mid thirties, who for lack of a better description had no internal governor. Although she was very pleasant and personable, she lacked either the tact or non-confrontational nature of the other nurses that had been charged with Donnie’s care. When other nurses were in the room and Donnie started in on them with his stuttering bullshit, they all smiled and politely acknowledged him, then got away as quickly as they could. But not Shaunte’…

Donnie started in on her with a barrage of, “T-t-t-tha doctuer s-s-sed I’m gunna git tew go h-h-h-h-home Sh-Sh-Shundey.” Shaunte’s head swiveled around on her neck in alarm like a hood sista’ getting ready to fire off a “No you didint!”, took a look at me and said, “What in the hell is this mans talkin’ about?” She looked back at Donnie and, in a slow, deliberate, louder voice as if Donnie were hard of hearing and said, “Sir, I can’t understand a word you’s sayin. What you need?” Donnie fired of another round of thick-tongued broken English and got the same response from the dumbfounded nurse.

After three or four failed attempts at communication between the two, I stepped in to act as an interpreter. “He says the doctor told him that he might get to go home on Sunday.” She cocked her head to the side, looked at me with squinted eyes and said, “How you get that from what he said?” I told her I’d been rooming with Big Don since Thursday and I had heard him talk enough to know what he was trying to say. Shaunte’ looked back at Donnie, and again in a loud, slow voice said, “That’s real good Sir. I hope you get to go home real soon.”

She finished up what she was doing, turned to leave the room, then stopped and looked at me as she passed my bed. She smiled, put her hand up to the side of her face blocking her mouth from Donnie’s view, and whispered, “If you can understand that mans, you been up in here with him w-a-y too long…”

Donnie and Shaunte’ had quite a number of dust-ups throughout the afternoon, but the mother of all confrontations occurred shortly after dinner. As usual, Donnie ate… And then Donnie puked. The curtain between our beds was extended about half-way so I couldn’t see how bad it was, but it sounded like he projectile vomited all over his side of the room.

When the eruption subsided and he caught his breath, Donnie hit the call button and exclaimed, “I-I-I-Ayeee juss thew up.”

Within minutes Shaunte’ showed up to see what the problem was. I could see the look of defeat and disgust on her face as she stood at the foot of his bed and assessed the situation. I heard Donnie’s nurse call button go off again, but this time it was Shaunte’ calling the desk for back-up. I guess when faced with the gastrointestinal carnage of a grown man lying in a bed full of his own vomit, no one nurse could hope to rescue her patient alone. Another nurse arrived with a cart full of bed sheets, blankets, pillows and cleaning supplies. The two nurses dawned their personal protective equipment, discussed the mission objective and then attacked Donnie’s vomit-covered bed and body with the deliberate, swift precision of a Green Beret team clearing a mud hut full of Iraqi insurgents.

Since the curtain was half-way drawn I could not see the tactics that they employed, but it was amazing how quickly the soiled linens were removed and Donnie’s personal hygiene was restored. All the while, Donnie was letting them know that he “thew up” and that he was feeling better now. I took the opportunity to brief Shaunte’ on the fact that Donnie was a chronic vomiteer and that he puked four or five times a day on average. In hindsight, I should have kept my mouth shut, because I had no idea that the little bit of intel I passed along would lead to such a full-scale firefight.

Shaunte’ went to the cart and grabbed a plastic bucket. Again, as if she were talking to someone who was half-way deaf, she began to tell Donnie to puke in the bucket rather than to just let if fly on his chest. Donnie started mumbling and stammering in his own native tongue, then I heard him rummaging around in his bed-side table. Well, this time I didn’t have to interpret for Shaunte’; she heard everything he said loud and clear.

Donnie said, “That’s too big. I use this.”, then he apparently produced a plastic urinal bottle half full of partially digested hospital food, fresh from his latest episode. I thought Shaunte’ was going to have an aneurism right there on the spot.

“Goooooood lord in heaven! You not s’possed to be up-chuckin in that! That a urinal! That for urine!” Shaunte’ took a step back from behind the curtain and with her hand on her hip,cocked her head, looked at me and held up the urinal bottle full of vomit. Then, in a stern and accusatory tone, asked me if I had known that he had been trying to hurl in urinal. I wanted no part of Shaunte’s wrath, so I denied all knowledge of anything that had ever occurred on the other side of the curtain. She turned her attention back to Donnie and began brow beating him with specific instructions on what receptacle was to be used for piss and what receptacle was for puke. For some reason, Donnie must have felt that it was his constitutional right to puke in a piss bottle, so he vehemently stuttered and argued in an increasingly hostile voice. Donnie continued barking some angry, unintelligible shit as Shaunte’ was leaving the room. About the time she was half-way out the door, the stars and moon must have been in perfect alignment because Donnie’s voice and diction became perfectly clear and understandable. For one brief and fleeting instant, Donnie was as articulate as anyone I’d ever heard. One, single word echoed throughout the room in slow motion…

N-*-*-*-* r. (the dreaded "N" word)


Complete, utter silence… Dead, deafening silence filled Room 313; in fact, the entire hospital went silent. The earth must have stopped spinning and time stood still. I swear I could hear my heart beating. I sat paralyzed by shock and fear wondering if she had heard him, praying that she hadn’t. I quickly got the answer to my question. I swear that someone in the hallway began softly whistling the theme music from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” as the door slowly swung open. There, silhouetted by the bright light of the hallway behind her, stood the dark, menacing form of Shaunte’. No longer was she the pleasant, personable nurse who I had known only moments before. Fueled by the fire of racism and bigotry, she had morphed into nothing short of a pissed off Ving Rhames in drag. She moved through the doorway as if she were in slow motion. Every footstep she took on the cold tile floor echoed throughout the vast emptiness of the room. As she slowly exited the darkness, the fluorescent light of the room illuminated her face, revealing a fear-inspiring scowl the likes of which I had never before seen. With anger and hatred burning inside her like a volcano on the verge of eruption, she stepped into the room and toward the side of my bed. Her fists were clenched and her jaw flared as her bloodshot eyes stared into mine. Then, with veins popping out on her forehead and her teeth clenched tightly, she spoke to me.

“Did that mans say what I think he said?”

I sat motionless, paralyzed by fear, afraid to lie but also afraid to tell the truth. What would be my response? If I told her what I thought I had heard, Donnie would surely never see the light of day again. If I lied, she might twist off and go all Black Panther on me. I quickly determined that my only option was plausible deniability.

“Huh… I was watching the news… What did he say?”

Again silence…There were several awkward moments of nothingness where I held my breath as she stared at me before responding. It was like she was testing me or trying to see if I would crack under the pressure. The silence was pure torture… Finally, she un-clenched her fists, relaxed her jaw and blinked.

“Oh nothing… Nevermind. I thought I heard him say… something… Nevermind.”

I capped off my evening of racial tension and potential violence with another pain shot and a nap. I dared not summon Shaunte’ to the room and warned Donnie that he was liable to get us both killed if he even thought about dropping another “N-bomb”. I guess God watches out for retards too, because Big Don didn’t have any issues requiring nursing care until well after shift change, and thankfully, the new nurse was a middle-aged white woman. Our new keeper must have had the Lord on her side as well because Donnie slept the entire night. Not one single nurse call. Thank God…

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part VI: Losing My Virginity

Saturday faded into Sunday and night into day. I was hungry as hell when they brought the breakfast tray in at about 7:15 AM Sunday morning. I inhaled the powdered eggs, microwave sausage patty and some type of bread that I think was intended to be French toast. I asked the nurse about the possibility of Dr. Brown showing up on a Sunday and was told that if, and only if he were to make an appearance, it would be sometime after lunch.

With a cow belly full of bland hospital food and an IV full of elephant tranquilizer, I settled in for an entertaining day of ESPN and watching Donnie annoy the nurses. And Donnie could work that call button like a champion. He got hot, so they brought him a fan. He got cold, so they brought him a blanket. He couldn’t see the TV because of the glare from the window, so he had them close the blinds. He peed, he puked in the urinal bottle, he needed a drink, and of course, he wanted to go home.

I’d been lying in a hospital bed for over three days without getting up and desperately wanted a shower. There was no way I was capable of getting this done in a conventional manner, so the nurses told me that the next best thing was to give myself a sponge bath. They got me a bucket of warm water, a bottle of some bullshit soap/shampoo that didn’t require rinsing, some wash rags and a towel. They drew the curtain around my bed to provide a little privacy and I went to work. I was going commando in basketball shorts, so stripping down was easy. I used one wash rag to scrub my pits, another to scrub the family jewels and the remainder for my head, face, etc.

About the time I was getting done, I heard the door to the room creaking, then the curtain at the foot of my bed flew wide open. I was butt-ass naked and some 40+ year-old grey-haired douchebag was standing at the foot of the bed staring at me with a puzzled look on his face. I looked at him for a second and then said, “No thanks man. If I needed any help I’d have asked for a hot young nurse to come down here… not a dude.”“Good afternoon, I’m Dr. Brown...”

The friggin surgeon had finally showed up. I’d been waiting on this asshole since Thursday afternoon and he finally shows up at 2:30 PM on Sunday while I’m bare-ass naked, scrubbing my nuts with a wash rag. I guess no one bothered to coordinate his golf schedule and my bath time. I politely asked him to give me a moment while I dried off and got dressed. He agreed, pulled the curtain back and began asking me questions. I told him the whole story and went down my list of ailments. He then asked if I’d had an MRI. “Yeah, I had one on Thursday. I’ve been sitting here ever since waiting on you to decide what to do with me. Have you not seen it yet?” He hadn’t, so he left the room to go retrieve my records.

Moments later he re-appeared and asked more questions, specifically whether I was having trouble urinating or defecating. I explained that I couldn’t feel my bladder and had no idea when I needed to piss. About every three hours, I’d kind of roll over onto my side, stick my hang-down in the bottle and push on my stomach to make myself piss. He then asked about defecation. I explained that defecating had not been a problem because I hadn’t cut a load of timber since Monday of the previous week. That was when things went from embarrassing to full on humiliation. The doctor walked to the sink, got a pair of rubber gloves and asked me to drop my shorts. The first thing he did was poke my feet with an ink pen. I felt nothing. I was asked to wiggle my toes, which I could barely do. Then he told me to roll over onto my side… I should have known something bad was about to happen… He grabbed my ass-cheek with one hand, pulled it up and placed his finger against the rim of my asshole. He then removed his hand from my butt-cheek and then gave me a reach-around. He cradled my sack in one hand and had the finger of his other hand pressed up against my balloon-knot.

That’s when it happened… He fisted me.

Dr. Brown stuck his finger up my ass all the way to the knuckle. I could tell he was cramming his entire hand up my butt, but surprisingly enough it didn’t hurt. All I was really feeling was the pressure. I started to look back at him and make a comment about feeling like I was on the Sopranos when Janice shoved a dildo up Ralphie’s ass, but decided against it. He readjusted his hand on my rig, squeezed my cods a couple of times and then gave me the shocker again. Dr. Brown’s finger was so far up my ass that I was sure I’d have an imprint of his wedding ring on my taint. He told me to “try and resist” by tightening my sphincter muscles.

I then looked back at him and said, “Don’t you think I’d be all seized up if I could. I mean, I’ve only got a strange man whom I just met fingering me like I’m some kind of high school prom date.” I don’t think he was amused.

I guess the doctor had an affinity for prison rape and liked it rough; I must not have put up enough of a fight for his tastes because he quit double-donging me and took off his gloves. He announced that I needed surgery to relieve the pressure that the ruptured discs were placing on my nerves. Dr. Brown also said that he was leaving that afternoon for a conference in San Diego. He told me that he had to get to the airport, but that he’d call the nurses and let them know what was going to happen. So within a time span of no more than 5 minutes, I’d met my surgeon, been cornholed, was told I needed surgery and was again sitting in the hospital waiting for someone to tell me what the hell was going on.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part VII: Surgery, Self Medication and Socialism

So the rest of the afternoon I sat waiting. Every time a nurse would come in I’d ask if Dr. Brown had called, but no one knew anything. All they could tell me was that Dr. Brown was either going to have one of his associates perform the procedure, or have me wait until he got back from California and take care of it himself. I wasn’t sure when I’d be having the surgery, or even who would be performing it. After a few hours passed, a strange thing happened…

Dr. Brown and walked back into my room. He said that he had called the other surgeons in his practice, a few in Ft. Worth and even one in Dallas to see if anyone could operate on me that evening. By the time he found out that there were no available surgeons on a Sunday night, he was already on the plane. Dr. Brown actually got off of a plane at DFW and drove back to Weatherford. He said that he didn’t think the surgery could wait until he got back from San Diego, so he had to cancel his trip and come back to work on me. He was afraid that if I waited any longer, the nerve damage in my lower body could become permanent.

As soon as he finished describing the procedure itself, a couple of nurses came in and started wheeling me off to the operating room. Everything happened so fast that I had no time to prepare myself. I was thinking of question after question that I wanted to ask him. I got the nurses to stop and get me a pen and a piece of paper so I could write my questions down. How many of these procedures have you performed? What is the success rate for 100% recovery? How long is the recovery period? How much work will I have to miss? The list went on and on…

Soon enough, I arrived at the operating room where I saw Dr. Brown and the anesthesiologist. I asked my list of questions, answered a few of his, and then was rolled into the operating room. As with every other surgical procedure I’ve ever had, there were people milling around, getting everything prepared and whatnot. Then the infamous mask was placed over my face and I was told to breathe deeply…

I awoke four hours later in the recovery room. Dr. Brown was talking to me, telling me to wake up and tell him how I felt. That was easy, “Like shit.” He said that everything had gone according to Hoyle and that I should be good as new in no time. I had one disc removed completely, another repaired and my L4 and L5 vertebrae had been fused together. I was a new man! Well, almost…

I went to a different room after the surgery, so I have no idea what became of Donnie. Just as well, he would have whipped my ass with a million questions and I wasn’t really up for an in-depth discussion at that time. I went to another semi-private room, but this time I had no roommate. I was looking forward to getting a shot of the Valium and Heroin cocktail that I had grown so fond of, but quickly found that the well had run dry. I was now “self-medicating.” There was a big syringe full of pain medication on some kind of pump that was hooked into my IV that I could control by pushing a button. The nurse told me I could push the button once every six minutes and receive a small amount of the medication. Much like socialism, it was a great theory that didn’t work out so well in practice. I firmly believe that one of two things occurred:

1) the button was broken… or
2) I received a syringe full of watered-down liquid aspirin.

I pushed and pushed and pushed that damn button and all I got out of it was a sore thumb. I came to the stark realization that the whole “self-medication” concept was a crock of shit. I was up and down the entire night and didn’t get much sleep. My back was hurting from the incision and my legs were numb and cold. Without a super-sized shot of pain reliever I just wasn’t going to be able to get comfortable.

Having missed dinner the night before due to the surgery, I was beyond hungry when my breakfast tray arrived. Powdered eggs and microwave sausage links never tasted so good! I think I inhaled everything on the tray in less than thirty seconds flat. So with breakfast out of the way and no possibility of scoring a shot of the good stuff, I began to focus my attention on step one of getting out of the hospital, taking a leak. Not that I was ready to jump up and go home, but as slowly as things in that hospital moved I figured I’d better start working on the list of dismissal prerequisites if I had any chance of getting home by Christmas.


Believe it or not, taking a leak was the biggest hurdle to cross in my quest to be dismissed from the hospital. Since my body was basically asleep from the waist down, the doctors were concerned that I might experience a problem with bladder function and control. If I couldn’t whiz on my own, they would be forced to catheterize me and keep me for a few more days. The last thing I wanted was another radiator hose shoved up my dingus, so I set my mind to completing the task at hand. It took several attempts over an hour or two, but I finally managed to squeeze enough out to satisfy the nurse. She told me that she’d let the doctor know that my plumbing was still functional and see what she could do about getting me out of there.

I spent the next couple of hours pushing the pain medication button every six minutes; not really because I needed it for the pain, more because I knew I was going to end up paying for the whole cartridge and wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth. I wasn’t about to waste a single drop.

The Chronicles of Back Surgery - Part VIII: The Road to Recovery

Right before lunchtime, the nurse finally came in with all of the discharge paperwork. She went over the forms and gave me instructions on how to change the bandages covering my incision. Dr. Brown then stopped by and said that he’d need me to make an appointment with his office before Christmas to check my progress and talk about starting physical therapy. He also told me that I was not to do any bending, stooping or lift anything over 10 lbs. for the next 30 days. I let him know that I had long since abandoned my dream of becoming the world’s first 300-pound ninja, and that I was confident I could carry out his safety instructions without a problem. I still couldn’t feel my legs and couldn’t walk; therefore I was issued a shiny new, metallic candy-apple-red walker. It must have been the Corvette of walkers because every 70 year-old in that hospital turned green with envy when the nurse had me take it out for a test drive in the hall.

With my shit packed up, my race-walker in tow and my ass firmly planted in a wheelchair, the nurse rolled me toward the lobby. Life as I knew it had changed during my short time in the hospital. I knew the road to recovery went through physical therapy, but never realized it would take me all the way to a mid-life crisis. I always envisioned my mid-life crisis taking place in Vegas surrounded by silicone-breasted, blond strippers and sports cars. Instead, I got a trip to the hospital, a vomit-covered retard and a walker… As I lay here in bed doing exercises to regain the feeling in my legs, I often wonder how things went so terribly wrong. I keep waiting for the neon light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes life is a cruel, cruel bitch…

An open letter to my 3rd grade daughter's teacher...


Why do elementary school teachers find it necessary to assign big, elaborate take home projects to their students?

My youngest daughter (Gracie) just turned nine years old and is in the third grade. Last week, she brought home a letter from her teacher that outlined her latest assignment. Each student in her class was assigned a planet and was instructed to make a scale model of said planet, along with a display board containing facts about the planet’s surface, atmosphere, distance from the sun, etc. The instructions suggested that the model could be made from paper mache, Styrofoam or other materials readily available at any arts and crafts store.

My first reaction to the letter was to ponder why I was being punished. Had I done something to piss Gracie's teacher off? Did she think I was bored at night and needed something to do? Maybe she owned stock in Hobby Lobby and was trying to artificially manipulate the value of her shares…

The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I became. Does she really think that a third-grader is capable of making a scale model all by themself? A third-grader can’t make a scale model of shit... And paper mache; are you fucking kidding? Only a retard would give a 9-year old a bunch of newspaper and a big ass bowl of flour and water and expect them to do anything other than stucco the kitchen table. So, I guess if you don’t need your kitchen table refinished, you go buy $50 worth of shit at Hobby Lobby and hope for the best. At least you’ll have a shot at getting acrylic paint out of the carpet…

And then there’s the display board and facts…Who’s gonna have to look up all that shit? If the required information can’t be found at mylittlepony.com or doesn’t have anything to do with High School Musical 2, she’s not gonna have a clue where to start looking for it. Besides, I’m not really down with having the keys to my laptop glued together by paper mache covered fingers.

After pondering the assignment over the weekend, I started typing. Here's a copy of the letter I sent to Gracie’s teacher this morning:


Dear Mrs. Boonecourt,

I am writing this letter in response to Gracie’s Mercury project, as well as the parental handout detailing the purpose, objectives and design guidelines for the assignment. After a thorough review of your instructions, I’ve determined that you are quite possibly smoking crack.

Look, this is my third swim through that school and I’ve already been down this road before. I’m a member of the PTA, I help at the school carnival, I go to every school program, no matter how half-assed or boring, and I’ve bought thousands of dollars worth of flower bulbs, candy bars, wrapping paper and other shit from fundraisers over the past ten years or so. I’ve done a lot of shit up at that school, so I think I’ve paid my dues and earned a little latitude… I’m not doing any more school projects. Period.

In lieu of the assigned Mercury model, I will be forwarding a recycled science fair project on electro-magnets that Gracie’s older brother turned in when he was in 5th grade. Mrs. Martin graded it as a 94, so there’s really no need to duplicate her work and grade it again. Just cut to the chase, plug an “A” into the gradebook and let's save each other a bunch of time, energy and bullshit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Sincerely,

David Dorris

I’m now screening my calls and fully expect to be placed on double secret probation by Dean Vernon Wormer.

The Babywhisperer


I love babies. Not necessarily newborns because they are always red-faced and cry all the time. I like babies when they are about 6 or 8 months old. By then they are fun to play with; they make funny noises, do tricks, laugh, and wave their arms and stuff. You can play those stupid-ass games with them like peek-a-boo and they just laugh like a retard at the circus.


My niece is 9 months old and she and I have kind of started to bond. Now that she is getting a little older, I really enjoy babysitting her. I had that opportunity on Friday night. My son and I baby sat her while my brother and sister-in-law went to a wedding rehearsal-dinner of a friend.


About 6:00pm, my brother-in-law, sister-in law and niece show up at the house. He looks like some sort suburban sherpa, packing a play pen, high chair, car seat, numerous toys, a personal DVD player and a diaper bag packed with enough provisions to care for every baby in Parker County. She is carrying the baby, a blanket, and a friggin gym bag full of noise making Fisher-Price toys and no telling what else. They dump all of the baby paraphernalia next to the kitchen table, and then whip out the paperwork. They had a Medical Treatment Authorization Form, a brief medical history of the child that also included all pertinent doctors’ telephone numbers, and another sheet of paper detailing the baby’s eating schedule, feeding instructions, sleeping schedule and a phone number for every one of their living relatives in case of emergency.


“I didn’t realize that ya’ll were going away to Europe… I’ll do my best to send her to a good college…What's up with all this shit?” I asked.


They informed me that they just wanted me to have everything that I might need to take care of the baby. To ease their anxiety, I reminded them that I had raised three children without any of them developing scurvy. I then told them that we were planning to have a relaxing evening of handgun target practice while drinking beer as we lounged by the pool; nothing to worry about at all, we would be fine.


After all of the instructions were covered and the baby was positioned in the high chair so that she could watch a “Baby Einstein” DVD, the wedding-goers made their escape and finally slipped out the front door.


I got up and went over to the table to see what my precious little niece was doing. She was staring attentively at the little DVD player, apparently watching the show. What the hell? Babies don’t watch TV at this age, where was Baby Einstein when my kids were this age? She was really watching the TV… un-believable… As long as she was content, I figured it would be a good time to eat myself a big-ass bowl of Blue Bell.


I made a combo platter of Natural Vanilla Bean and Milk Chocolate. As I was putting the ice cream back into the freezer, the baby got pissed off and started hollering. I looked to see what she was yelling about; she was leaning out of the chair, arms outstretched, reaching for the ice cream and cursing me in some kind of angry baby gibberish. Being the baby-whisperer that I am, I knew just what to do to stop that crying.


I got two spoons out of the drawer, one for me and one for her. I pulled up a chair along side of her and we dug into the Jethro Bodine sized bowl of ice cream. She got more of it on her little face and her dress than she did in her mouth, but she was having fun. She loves her some ice cream!


After finishing the ice cream I had to clean her up. I first took her dress off and then wiped her face with a wet rag. Rather than dress her again, I left her clad only in her diaper so she could be free. I carried her over to the sofa so that she could sit with my son and I to watch some real TV.


There we sat, the three of us, watching a ballgame on Fox Southwest. As we watched the game, I was thinking to myself about what an easy baby she is to take care of. She doesn’t cry much, she sleeps through the night and she eats normal food now. Babysitting her is a walk in the park.


After watching some of the game, Jacob and I decided it was time for dinner. Rather than cook anything, we opted to load the baby in the truck and go to Sonic. I had Jacob hold the baby while I got the car seat strapped in, then loaded and buckled up my niece, still clad only in a diaper. Jake rode in the back seat so he could entertain the baby as we made the 15 minute trip to town. By the time we got there, she was kind of fussy and was not real happy about being strapped in the chair. I ordered her a grilled cheese kids meal and got the boy and I some double-meat man-burgers. By the time they brought us our order, the baby was fully pissed-off, crying, and was ready to eat.


I instructed my son to start feeding her some french fries. She sucked those bad boys down faster than an Ethiopian eating a bowl of oatmeal. Soon they had finished the fries and moved on to the main course, the grilled cheese sandwich. Jacob started tearing off little pieces of it and feeding them to her. Eventually, he gave her half of the sandwich so she could suck and chew on it herself.


When we reached the house, she was full, content and fast asleep. Rather than wake her up, I just un-buckled her car seat and carried the whole apparatus into the house. Still sleeping, I sat her car-seat down between the sofa and the coffee table so I could watch her while I ate. She never moved; she was sleeping hard.


I finished my burger and reclined into the prone position on the sofa for a pleasant evening of basketball and babysitting. Once again, I though about what a breeze it is keeping my niece. She just plays, eats and sleeps… It was at that point that I heard what seemed to be a baby fart.


“Did you hear that?” I asked my son. “Did that noise come out of you?”


He denied it and said that he thought it was the baby. We both laughed as we looked at the sleeping, pot-bellied flatulent baby, still sitting in the car seat.


“That’s a white trash baby, Dad...” Jacob said. “Just look at her… She’s sleeping in a car seat… in the house… with only a diaper on, she’s blowing serious chedd and she doesn’t even wake up… That's a white trash baby if there’s ever been one.”


I laughed at my son’s astute observation and congratulated him on his sharp eye for identifying WT qualities in his cousin. My attention quickly turned back to the game and to the nap that was welling up inside of me. My gut was full of double cheeseburger and I was content to lie on the sofa and relax. I was peacefully holding the remote control in one hand and my rig in the other. I thought for a fleeting instant that I might just fall asleep for a few minutes, but reality brought me back from the edge of slumber. Reality… in the form of a smell…


Shit… And not just any shit, baby shit. The ill wind hit my nostrils like a sledgehammer to the face.


“Jeeezzzzusss Christ… She’s loaded!” I proclaimed as I quickly arose from the sofa.


“No way am I changing a diaper Dad… it’s all you…” my son said as I went to get the diaper bag. “Gawd almighty, she reeks!”


“Jacob, go get some Fabreeze or some shit from under the sink.” I said “she’s funkin' up the whole living room.”


I had forgotten just how bad baby shit could smell. How could something that sweet and innocent emit a smell so wrong? I rifled through the diaper bag and found some baby wipes. I then found one of the 30 or so diapers that my in-laws had sent for the two or three hours that I was going to keep her. Then I heard her whining from across the room, as the commotion and my vocal reaction to the smell of her ass apparently woke her from her sleep.


“Dude!!!! Ohhhh man! Dad, c’mere quick!!!! Ohhhh man… dude!!!” my son yelled in a panicked tone of voice. I grabbed the whole bag and headed to see what was wrong. As I rounded the corner at the end of the sofa and looked down at my niece, I will never forget what I saw.


There was shit everywhere; she had shit on her legs, there was shit on her hands, there was even shit on her feet. She was covered in shit.


I knew what had happened; there had been a catastrophe of mammoth proportions… She was experiencing diaper seal failure and had suffered a massive blowout. I had only heard the horror stories from survivors; I had never witnessed, first hand, the overwhelming filth and incapacitating odor of a blowout. The child was covered in shit; I had never seen anything like this before. As a father of three, I have changed some pretty rank diapers in my day, but this was more than just your standard nasty-ass diaper change.


I stood dumbfounded, mouth open and eyes wide as I realized that I was going to have to deal with this situation without the help of a mother. There was no one to call, this situation could not be ignored; my son was right, this was to be “all me”. The horror in my son’s voice changed to laughter as he saw the expression on my face.


“She exploded! Dude! I’m never holding that baby again!” he laughed. It wasn't funny to me. I had to develop an Emergency Action Plan for this crisis.


I dropped the diaper bag and fearlessly moved toward the tar baby. She was crying and she was covered in shit. She appeared to be no happier about this situation than I was. Her crying and squirming to get out of the car seat only made things worse. With all the kicking and flailing, I was afraid she would sling shit off of her legs onto the furniture or carpet. The more she squirmed, the more shit oozed out of her diaper. The clock was ticking and I had to think and move fast.


I grabbed her car seat with one hand and picked it straight up, being careful not to touch any of the adjacent furniture. I felt like I was playing a game of Operation, only I had a shit-covered baby in a car seat rather than a plastic bone and a pair of tweezers. I got her out from in between the sofa and the coffee table and headed for the guest bathroom.


As we rushed across the living room and down the hall, she squirmed and leaned forward. The shit had not only leaked out at her leg-holes, it also shot up her back. Imagine what the back of a kid’s shirt looks like after riding a four-wheeler through a mud-hole all day. She had shot a diarrhea rooster-tail out of her ass. That’s what her back looked like; only she had rubbed it in to the fabric of the car seat and smeared it around. I surmised that 60% of the child’s body was covered in shit.


I got her to the bathtub and turned on the water, but how do you get her out of the seat without sticking your hand in shit? You employ the resources that are available to you by punching the release button with the legs of a Barbie Doll that was left on the side of the tub. I carefully grabbed the baby by the shoulders and started to lift her out of her seat. Peeling her out of the car seat looked like pulling apart the two pieces of bread on a peanut butter sandwich. There was almost a diarrhea vacuum holding her in place in the chair. The shit clung to her back like wet drywall mud. It was one of the foulest things I have ever seen. And the smell… Dear God, every breath that I took undoubtedly caused irreversible damage to my lungs. Short of the Union Carbide tragedy in Bopal, India, there has never been a more toxic substance released into the Earth’s atmosphere. I was gagging, my eyes were watering and I was doing my best to not add insult to injury by puking all over her.


I lowered her into the tub feet first, trying to sit her down on her butt so that I could begin the Haz Mat cleanup. As soon as her little feet hit the bottom of the tub she began to flop and twist like a fish on dry land. Not only did I risk dropping her, she was also smearing shit all over the tub. I decided that shit all over the bathtub was better than shit all over me, so I lowered her all the way in and let finger-paint to her heart’s content.


She hit the bottom of the tub and immediately began trying to roll over. Had she been coordinated enough, she could have opened and closed her legs and arms and made a shit angel on the white bathtub. I grabbed the wand from the wall and turned the valve to “Shower”. As soon as there was warm water coming from the hose, I started spraying her down. The water further infuriated her. She started crying loudly and was trying to crawl, but she kept sliding around in the shit.


There was shit, water, shit-water and baby parts sliding all around inside the tub. It was a truly disgusting sight. I hosed the Wolf Brand off of her back and ass, then tried to flip her over so I could hose off her stomach. She would have no part of that… The crying eventually morphed into mild laughter and she finally stopped trying to shake like a wet dog. I grabbed her by the shoulder and turned her on her side. It was like washing a muddy truck at the do-it-yourself car wash, I just sprayed the shit off of her undercarriage; all I was missing was the foamy brush. I had to grab her by one leg and hold her ass up to get the brownie mix off of her bonkey and taint. She had shit in between her fingers, toes and in every baby-fat fold on the lower 2/3 of her body.


When I finally got her reasonably clean, I sprayed the drain to make sure that all of the residual waste had been washed away, and then hit the lever to engage the stopper. I let the tub fill up with about 2 inches of clean water, and called for Jacob to come help. Regular bar soap would not suffice for this job; I needed to employ some industrial strength, grease cutting, anti-bacterial power.


“Hey Boy… Bring me some soap out of the kitchen.” He dutifully arrived with a big green bottle of Palmolive. I doused her body with the green soap and lathered her up. She was still pissed off from having to be hosed down, but at least she wasn’t kicking and screaming any more.


I scrubbed her down from head to toe, rinsed her off and wrapped her up in a towel. I turned to exit the bathroom when I saw my next problem; the car seat. This problem had a very simple solution; shut the bathroom door and ignore it.


I took the baby into the living room and put a diaper on her post haste. She seemed to be content and was probably worn out from the 20 minute screaming and wrestling match she and I had just finished. She began to fall asleep, so I carried her over to her play pen and laid her down. She slept until 10:15 when the wedding-goers returned home.


“Well, how was she? Did ya’ll do ok?” they asked. That asshole Jacob just started laughing again.


“Great, everything was fine. No problems… She was a perfect little angel… until the hand grenade went off in her asshole.” I replied.


My son started rolling on the floor while my sister and brother-in-law looked at me like I was insane. When they asked me what in the hell I was talking about, I directed them to the car seat in the guest bathroom and began to describe the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.


“The whole kid looked like that seat. She looked like a fudgecicle minus the stick up her ass.” I told them. “As for that seat, burn it, take it outside and hose it off, throw it away, whatever you want to do with it… From here on out, it’s all you!”

The Worst Part of Getting a Divorce...

There’s really no other way to put it; divorce is hell. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a heartbroken spouse who has been discarded like yesterday’s newspaper, or just a person seeking an amicable ending to a loveless marriage; every divorce eventually takes it’s pound of flesh.

I’ve faced countless challenges during the dissolution of my seventeen year marriage. Some of these trials have been easy to cope with, some have been excruciatingly painful to endure, and there are others that I still can’t figure out how to get my arms around. It’s just been too much, too fast; there are times when it feels like my life is just spinning out of control.

Dealing with the battles of divorce, recovering from back surgery and struggling to take care of my children and myself has left me absolutely spent, both emotionally and physically. My fuel tank is empty and I feel like I’m running on fumes. I just haven’t had the motivation or energy to do much of anything lately; it’s been a struggle just to get out of bed every morning. I’ve been teetering dangerously close to the edge of depression and finally recognized that I needed to do something about it before things got completely out of control. So last week, I summoned every ounce of energy, pride and self respect I had left and made a bold move toward repairing my shattered life…

I cleaned the house.

My journey down the road to recovery began at ground zero, the bathroom. Just picking up all the dirty clothes and wet towels made a big difference, but the real work was still ahead of me. The bathtub looked like a gas station wash basin that had been used to clean up greasy auto parts. There such a thick coating of funk on the bottom of the tub that it might have qualified as an OSHA approved non-skid surface. It had an adhesive quality to it, much like the sticky portion on the back of a Post-It Note. It took an entire can of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles and two applications of Easy-Off oven cleaner to cut through the layer of filth and expose the smooth, white porcelain.

After the toxic cloud of chemicals in the bathtub disbursed, I moved on to my next task. The toilet was so foul that I almost had to rent a pressure washer to get it clean. As embarrassing as this is to admit, the throne was so filthy that the dog had even stopped drinking from it. I understand how the bathtub got so dirty, but the whole toilet thing baffled me. It’s not like my son and I are 5 year-olds who haven’t mastered the art of aiming yet. How does piss get on the underside of the toilet seat and lid? I guess that’s one of life’s many mysteries.

The sink wasn’t nearly as bad as the toilet or bathtub. It was simply a matter of vacuuming up all the whiskers, then using a hammer and wood chisel to chip the globs of toothpaste off of the counter. I then polished the whole thing with a paste made from Lime-Away and Comet.

Cleaning the bathroom completely wore me out, so I took a break and started the laundry. There was literally a mountain of dirty clothes piled up in the corner of the laundry room, so I got a chair and started sorting by color. After getting organized, I started with the first of five loads of “dark” stuff. It ended up taking me all day to get everything washed and dried, but I did get more out of the experience than a drawer full of clean socks and underwear. I gained an appreciation for the expensive front-loading washer and dryer that my ex-wife had fought so hard to talk me into buying. You can cram a shitload of stuff in there all at once and really cut down the number of loads you have to do. The washer spins so fast that the clothes were barely wet when they came out. I was amazed. Then the dryer only ran about fifteen minutes before everything was ready to go. I was pleasantly surprised and decided that it was indeed worth the money that I spent to buy those expensive, behemoth pieces of equipment. I hated to admit it, but my wife was right about that one.

After kicking the bathroom and laundry room’s asses, I was on a roll and was in full “White Tornado” mode. Brimming with a newly found confidence, I decided to go ahead and make the kitchen my bitch. Upon entering the kitchen, my confidence was quickly shattered and I realized that the kitchen was going to make me its bitch…

Once again, I was completely overwhelmed. I knew the kitchen was going to be a chore to clean, but I had no idea that it was that bad. I guess when it started to get crowded with dirty dishes and trash, I just quit going in there. It looked like the inside of a dumpster, if a dumpster had cabinets and an oven.

There were filthy dishes everywhere, and when I say “everywhere, I mean everywhere. There was a pile of disgusting dishes about two feet tall and four feet wide covering the countertop in the general area where the sink was supposed to be. I couldn’t really tell if the sink was still under there somewhere or not. There were plates stacked on top of pans, stacked on top of bowls, stacked on top of glasses, with silverware sticking out from everywhere. There was even a dirty frying pan full of bacon grease sitting on top of the refrigerator. I had no idea we had that much stuff; my neighbors had to have been bringing in their dirty dishes and secretly stockpiling them in my kitchen at night while I slept.

Rather than jump headfirst into the deep end of the sink, I decided start the kitchen clean-up by picking up the trash. I easily collected two full garbage bags of empty Diet Coke cans, TV dinner trays, milk jugs and Hot Pocket wrappers. I discovered a big pile of mail containing my 2008 W-2 income tax form underneath a two-foot tall stack of empty pizza boxes. Jimmy Hoffa could have been buried in there for all I could tell.

After finally clearing some counter space and giving myself a little room to work, I formulated a plan of attack to excavate the sink. I determined that the best thing to do would be to get all the shit out of one side of the sink so I could start rinsing it off and loading the dishwasher. As I began to relocate the myriad of cooking and eating implements, I uncovered what appeared to be a cesspool. Apparently, the stopper was in the drain and the bowl was about three-quarters of the way full of a brown and gray water-based liquid that smelled like decaying ass. There was a film over the top of the liquid that reminded me of a stagnant pond. The film had some kind of moldy foam around the outside that was growing up the sides of the sink. It was nothing less than a science-fair experiment gone horribly wrong. After dry-heaving a few times, I composed myself, took a deep breath and plunged my hand into the water. I had to feel around and move some plates to uncover the stopper, but I managed to get it un-plugged before the toxic waste ate the skin on my arm.

I then started rinsing and loading cups into the top rack of the dishwasher. The glasses that didn’t contain dried milk or another hardened substance were loaded first. I knew I’d have to do some manual scrubbing before the others would be fit for mechanical cleaning. I tried to load everything as efficiently as possible to maximize space, kind of like a realistic and disgusting game of Tetris. When the top rack was full, I started with the plates in the bottom rack. Again, the cleanest dishes went first and the ones glued together with ketchup and maple syrup would have to be done by hand. Gathering up the silverware was like hunting for Easter eggs. I collected all I could find, loaded it into the basket, and then double-checked my load to make sure the door would close. I squirted a double dose of Cascade into the soap dispenser, then set the controls to “power scrub” and started the dishwasher.

I was again feeling like I had really accomplished something until I stepped back and took another look at the pile of dishes that remained in the other half of the sink and on the counter. They were the worst of the worst. We’re talking dried oatmeal, burned queso, petrified hot chocolate, and spaghetti sauce cement. It was going to take a jackhammer to get some of those dishes clean.

I knew I was going to have to change my tactics, so I went to the barn to retrieve the proper cleaning implement for a job like that, a wheelbarrow. I loaded the rest of dirty dishes into the wheelbarrow, rolled it outside and threw them in the trashcan… I decided those bad boys were beyond cleaning and we’d be better off buying some new ones.

I finished up all of the dusting, vacuuming and mopping about the time my son got home from school that evening. He and I made a pact that if the house ever got that dirty again, that we’d just move. Although I was completely exhausted from my janitorial odyssey, I felt refreshed and liberated. Reclaiming my home has made me feel like a productive human being again.

Even though the rest of my life is still circling the drain, at least the bathtub is clean!

My Appointment with Dr. Josef Mengele

Like so much James Brown, I once had bull testicles...

James claimed that his were purposely implanted by government agents, but mine were acquired by accident. While drilling postholes for a new section of fence behind the barn, I was violently racked by the handle of a motorized posthole auger. I guess I hit a rock or a big tree root, because the handle of the gas-powered drill jumped out of my hands and spun directly into my crotch. In addition to a huge purple bruise that developed on my thigh, my left testicle began to swell. After my balls continued to expand overnight at an alarming rate, I decided to seek the advice of a physician.

Let me first say that I would rather have my prostate examined by a doctor with hulk hands than go through the battery of ballsack tests and manipulations that I endured. Adhering to the policy of my PPO, my primary care physician examined me first.

Upon arriving at the doctor’s office, the nurse put me in the exam room, handed me a hospital gown and told me to completely disrobe, including my underwear. I promptly informed her that I was going commando due to the fact that my left nut was the size and color of a racquetball. She immediately left the room in disgust.

Shortly thereafter, the doctor came in and asked me how the injury had occurred. I gave him all of the horrific details of how the motor auger handle hit me square in the coin purse with a full 5 hp. of Briggs and Stratton mechanical torque. He cringed and turned away saying, "Ohhh my... Ohhh my..." He then requested that I lay back on the exam table so he could take a look at the damage. I saw him cringe, then crack a smile and almost snicker as he looked at my swollen quailskin. That sadistic bastard was laughing inside at the view of my bruised leg and testicles.

Then he touched my balls…

Nothing, and I mean nothing is more uncomfortable than lying on your back, spread eagle, having a middle aged gray haired man play with your balls. He kept squeezing my injured left cod, asking "Do you feel pressure or pain?"

I grit my teeth and replied with "If you squeeze it like that again, you’re gonna be in more pain than I am now."

After a lengthy digital exam, he left the room. I sat alone, humiliated and hurt. My danglers were throbbing and I was sitting 1/2 naked on a table with a paper cover, much like a full body ass gasket in a gas station bathroom. When Dr. Mengle returned, he informed me that my condition was a bit outside his realm of specialization and referred me to a Urologist.

Two hours later, I laid spread eagle on another ass-gasket covered exam table while a middle-aged, gray haired Pakistani dick specialist fondled my swollen gonads. I now have a newly found respect for women and their gynecological plight.

All of this genital probing resulted in the diagnosis of severely bruised testes that were causing a build-up of fluid in between the inner layers of tissue that shroud my balls. He gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and I prayed that the drugs would reduce the fluid build-up in my sack before my follow-up appointment four days later. If the drugs didn’t work, I would be left with no other option than to endure the most horrific medical procedure that the Pakistani witch-doctor could come up with.

In Dr. Gandhi’s words, "I will need to draw off the excess fluid."

Four days later, leftie was still the size and color of Shaquille O’Neal’s fist; I had to go back to the doctor. I have never been more apprehensive about anything in my whole life. The drugs did not make the swelling in my ballbag go away. Just as that goddamned witchdoctor said, he would need to perform a procedure to draw the fluid off of my sack. He said that it was a very minor procedure and that the pain would be minimal.

I knew it would be bad when they gave me 2 Valium to "relax me". They left me alone in the room for about 20 minutes, presumably for the Valium to take effect. Rather than zone out in a relaxed, drug-induced haze, I spent the 20-minute eternity visualizing all of the scenarios of how “the procedure” could go wrong. When the doctor finally came back into the room, he asked me how I was doing. I let him know that the Valium wasn’t working and then suggested he bring in a dick- anesthesiologist to give me some kind of genital epidural.

Dr. Deepak then tried his version of a motivational speech; he just smiled and told me that this would be a very, quick and easy procedure and that I wouldn’t really feel a thing. He then proceeded to give me a shot of local anesthetic at the base of my nutsack where it connects to my taint. Let’s just say that this was the least invasive thing that he did to me that day…

After an embarrassing few minutes of him staring at my wedding tackle, he said, "You may feel a bit of pressure..."

Pressure my ass! That dog-eating bastard stuck something the size of a gutter spike into my ballbag. I yelled out in pain as the bruised skin that houses my testicles was impaled by a Pakistani ninja torture sword. It felt like he had jammed that thing up into my nuts about two or three inches deep. He cradled my testicles in his hand and moved them around, almost like he was massaging them. But this was no erotic massage, it was nothing less than Geneva Convention banned P.O.W. torture.

"Yes, it is aspirating nicely..." he said.

"It doesn't feel too nice." I replied.

When he grew tired of fondling my genitals, he yanked out the telephone pole that was sticking out from the base of my cods. He monkeyed around down there for a while longer, mumbling something about seepage, hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls. He arose from behind the veil of doom that was draped over my knees and proclaimed that he was finished. I collected my prescriptions for more anti-inflammatory pills and antibiotics, and left the office in shame.

I’ve never felt so violated…