Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time In! Medical notes and Gilligan's Island.

[image: contentusatoday.com]

Meanwhile, America wants to know!  What does Gilligan's Island have to do with Thoroughbred breeding?

Actually nothing.  Has to do with the girl in the story.  By now you should know that I don't always do commerce with the truth, the whole truth and whatever is left at the end.

Before I wander into that department, I want to take a moment to congratulate my surgical team on their skill and daring with claw hammer, chainsaw and most importantly, catheter removal.  Especially the latter.  That will remain as one of my more 'remarkable' experiences.  I came to believe, about midway through this process, that if doctors are going to insist on rummaging around inside our bodies in later life, then perhaps they should install zippers early in life.  About the time they cut the cord.  Since we're still working on cognitive function, I doubt we'd notice the intrusion.  Ah, that night nurse!  "We're going to remove the catheter now." 


When she was done, the first thought that came to mind was:  halibut fishing.

Now, as far as Gilligan's Island is concerned, you first have to appreciate what a remarkable TV show this really was.  A Greek masterpiece in the finest tradition.  Every human foible explored and re-explored in a mere thirty minutes by a group of actors that never got dirty, never ran out clothes, food, liquor, visitors or the wild assumption that anybody really wanted to fix the damn boat.  On a farm, Gilligan's Island is late 1970's state of the art therapy.  It starts when the string [dis]organizer on the weed-eater runs dry.  Takes a year for that to happen.  Coincidentally, it also takes a year to lose the instructions.  Since it is Seattle, it is raining.  All repairs take place in the living room since the barn still leaks.  When you are faced with a complex task, the first thing most farm managers do is head for the medicine cabinet for some pharmaceutical support.  I prefer the little pink ones with the 'V' on them.  I think it stands for vigilance or something.

While I'm waiting for pills to get vigilant, I flip on Channel 4.  Sure enough, Gilligan is waiting for me.  Let the therapy begin:

"In situations such as this (any situation is good here), I try to focus on people with bigger problems than my own.  That leads me directly to the 3rd-season of Gilligans Island.  It has been three-years on the island now and nobody has hooked up yet.  You'd think that either The Professor or Gilligan would have made a move on the Movie Star.  Or fixed the boat.  We've already figured out that The Skipper is gay since he's always hitting on Gilligan.  You know, the 'little buddy' thing.  Real touchy/feely.  Then there's Mary Ann.  She's pretty uptight, more than likely a Baptist, but probably leaning toward The Professor, who's a little sexually stunted anyway, but even so, if they don't get off this damn island then he loses tenure and the big house on campus.  She's not going back to waiting tables.  Then again, he is a little quirky.  Could be a Ted Bundy behind those glasses.  The Millionaire has certainly run out of alcohol by now, so The Wife has gone from enabler to intensive-care nurse.  The Movie Star is getting some action somewhere, but nobody is quite sure, leading to speculation that something is going on during the commercials.  Rumor has it that midway through the fourth season, Erica Kane washes up on the beach with three members of the Brazilian soccer squad.  Oliver Stone takes over directing the series, leading to more speculation on who really killed Kennedy.  The Skipper? 

With the medication kicking in and a couple hours of re-runs, the possibilities are as endless as the project.  The celibates of Fantasy Island begin to beg certain questions about other similar relationships, involving people of a familiar nature marooned on another island by an unfriendly body of water, watched over by a hippopotamus and a serial duck killer.  Yes, the string is finally organized, but not much else.  Every time optimism surfaces, a single sentence seems to drown it.

"I'll come by later with the $4 million and the tickets to New Zealand."  Checking to see if she's actually listening.

Jesse pauses on the line.  "No, not tonight.  I've gotta clean some tack."

Now you know.  Oh, the hippopotamus and the serial duck killer?  They're in the book.  Yeah, you have to buy it.  And no, that's pretty much the end of the catheter stories.  I might use it as a metaphor in a medical novel I'm working on.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ever heard this speech...

[image: ajuell]

"He bought a stallion..."

Farm managers hate this sentence.  Life is so simple on the ol' farm without turning the place into one of those Motel 6's down by the airport.  Not that I've ever been down that way.  Still, horse sex is one of those things best viewed from a distance.  Ten-miles or more.  That's because when expensive horses are involved, tradition dictates that humans join in on the fun and to be honest, that's a few too many bodies thrashing around under the sheets for me.  By now, you've probably ascertained that our farm didn't specialize in expensive horses.  This was designed to keep our insurance premiums about on par with our egos.  But, we still had to keep up appearances and trust me, 'appearances' and 'ego' are not mutually inclusive.  Just watch the guy with the $10,000 hand-crafted Scottish golf clubs.  Yeah, they call that a 'hook.'

Then, there's the other problem.  The one in Chapter 12. (No real clues here.  You have to buy the book.  I got a truck payment due.)  See, about this point in the book, the farm manager begins stalking his future girlfriend.  She's already figured out that it's more about sex than marriage, so she's taken the usual precautions:  moved twice, changed her phone number three times...grew a beard.  But farm managers are an optimistic sort.  See, we work for people that see something positive even though they haven't won a race in nine years.  Kind of like stomach flu -- extremely contagious.  But sometimes cataclysm can be turned into opportunity.  So you phone the girl with a different kind of proposition:  

"Look, you only call this time of day when you want something."

"I called the other night."  That was the three-beer buzz call.  No, I don't share everything in this book.

"Right, and you wanted something else then."

"I just wanted to show you what I bought.  Come on."

"Three pairs of silk boxers at a quarter to midnight?"  She was working her way toward sarcasm.  Disgust was just around the corner.

"Well, they were on sale.  You told me I needed some new clothes."

"What'd you get me?  A wet T-shirt?"

Hadn't thought about that.  Maybe I should have been a little more subtle.  I guess the pair with the detachable ribbon and the printing about 'Guess what's Inside?' was a little too direct.  The sales woman assured me that they were the most popular.  She didn't explain why they were 75% off.  "Okay, okay.  Bad idea.  I was just thinking..."

"Don't.  What do you want?"     

"Well, er, might, maybe need some, well, I was wondering if..."

"God, now what?"  [Another case of...well, you've got to read the whole sorry story!]

"Doc bought a stallion."  That had the immediate impact of making me feel that my call had been re-routed to Pakistan.  "Hello?  Jesse, hello?"

"He bought a stallion?" 

I never knew that sarcasm was visceral.  "Yeah, that explains the boxer shorts.  They were for him."  Humor wasn't working.

"And let me guess, you want my help to breed his mares?"  I think I felt a little toothpaste in my left ear.

"Sure.  Doc says he's a cupcake.  Just need somebody to hold the mare.  Thought we'd see what he was like with Boo Boo tomorrow.  You know Boo, she likes everything."

"We?  As in you and me?  And the cupcake thing?  What's that about?  And Boo liking everything?  That's a cereal commercial, not a horse.  And what the hell is that noise?!"

"Just a little remodeling, no big deal."

"Look, I don't think so.  Let Doc...no...okay, maybe.  I'll stop by in the morning, but no promises.  Understand?"

"Sure, it'll be no big deal.  Bye."  Panic attacks are like hurricanes.  They have that moment of calm right before your house disappears.

I had some planning to do.  Elephant tranquilizer, I needed some elephant tranquilizer!  Maybe I could break one of his legs, stick an ice-pick in one ear, maybe drain out five or six gallons of blood.  What would James Bond do?  Nah, Jesse wouldn't go for that.  I snuck down to the barn to see what was going on.  He'd moved from ripping plywood apart to the studs. (Okay, that's another pun -- construction based.)  Doesn't he ever sleep?  I went out and caught Boo and threw her into the adjoining stall.  Figured the best way to appease a cannibal was to find him a meal.  Instead, he just cocked a hind leg and went to sleep.  Where's Freud when you need him?