All About My Elbow

For about four weeks, I’ve been in pain. It’s not so bad as long as I don’t use my left arm. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) I’ve gotten used to having two arms and I rely on them both to get through my day.

After a few weeks of watching me grimace when I bent my elbow (something else I like doing), my wife asked me the same thing I’d have asked her if she were in the same condition.

Not my elbow. So far, mine is still inside my skin. (public domain)

“When are you going to call the doctor?”, she asked. And while that’s something you might expect someone who is hurting to do, I tend to wait a little before I dial-up the doctor.

“It’s just a strain”, I replied, “it’ll pass”.

“How’d you strain it?”

I couldn’t answer that, so I agreed to call the doctor “soon”.

I Didn’t Call The Doctor

“Soon” passed, I didn’t make an appointment and then my wife and I went on vacation. We had a great time, but I wish I’d gone to the doctor first. That would’ve kept me from pretending my elbow didn’t hurt during our journey. And at night, my mind drifted over what was happening inside my creaky old body. Do I have tendonitis? What is tendonitis anyhow? What if it is tennis elbow? Why would I have that if it were? What if I need an elbow replacement? Read the rest of this entry »

Charlie Brown, M.D.

Last weekend, my wife’s mom took a nasty spill on some ice. This reinforces my position that ice is nothing but trouble when we let it exist outside of a cup or cooler.

Ice, where it belongs. (image by nattu CCbySA2.0)

Anyhow, the nasty spill led to a broken leg. The break led to an ambulance ride, which led to hospitalization and ultimately, surgery.

The day before the surgery, my mother in law was visited in the hospital by one of the physicians on staff. We’ll call that doctor, Doctor B.

After the surgery, Doctor B’s partner, Doctor A, came by to check on her. Because she’d been seen by so many doctors, when Doctor A spoke of his “associate who saw her yesterday”, she didn’t know which physician he was talking about. Doctor A settled the question by describing his associate:

“He’s a middle-aged guy, balding, with a big moon face. He looks like Charlie Brown.”

It happened that I was in the hospital room when Doctor A gave that description of his partner. I had a laugh and put the matter out of my mind – until the next day. Read the rest of this entry »

Sign In Stranger

The FAA Air Traffic Control Tower in operation...

Why are they behind dark glass? Because it would freak us out to know who they are (Image via Wikipedia)

Over the past few years, I have developed the idea that there are certain things that are better done by strangers. I’ll go so far as to say that despite the fact that we teach children to stay away from strangers for good reason, strangers play significant roles in our lives. Let me explain.

A few years ago I flew on an airline that had as one of the options available on its audio entertainment system, a channel that would allow passengers to listen to air traffic control. I thought this was pretty cool. It was especially cool since I knew someone who was an air traffic controller at our airport. I settled into my seat, tuned in the channel and started listening.

I kept hearing calm voices giving commands that I couldn’t understand as I listened for my friend’s voice. Then it hit me. What if I heard him? Would that be reassuring to me? What did I know about the man? He was probably the best juggler I knew, he was married, he had a daughter.

When he and I talked he didn’t use the calm air traffic voice. He laughed. His tone varied. I knew too much about him; he couldn’t possibly get my plane off the ground, he was a juggler. Read the rest of this entry »

Occupational Stereotypes – A Policy Of My Administration.

This sweep was so stereotypical they made a statue of him and stuck it on a chimney. Well done, sir.


A chimney sweep just came to do his thing at the spacious and luxurious El Rancho Omawarisan. He did his job efficiently, with absolutely no mess, and he was pleasant to deal with. 

He was a complete disappointment. 

I have pictures in my head of what people who do certain jobs look like.  It causes stress and mistrust when they don’t conform to those pictures. In my mind, and possibly in yours, a chimney sweep always wears a top hat and a coat with tails. I can forgo some things, like the Dick Van Dyke fake Cockney accent, but the top hat and tails are must haves. I would have gladly paid another $50 to have a guy working up on my roof top in a top hat. 

With that in mind, I am announcing the Occupational Wardrobe Stereotype Act (OWSA) as the latest policy of the upcoming Omawarisan administration. Under OWSA, people would be able to gain certification as being stereotypical in their work clothing choice. OWSA certified workers would have greater earning power than their non certified peers. Read the rest of this entry »

Wearing a paper towel.

Today I went to a new doctor. My old dermatologist moved. I avoided going and starting with another because, well, for no good reason.

I went to the new office, filled out a couple pages of information about myself and went back to an examining room. The nurse spoke to me for a few minutes, then handed me a folded paper thing and instructed me to hang my clothes up and cover myself with the paper sheet. She left the room and I did what she asked me to.

Even though she said paper sheet, my mind convinced me what she meant was paper hospital gown. Read the rest of this entry »


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