Collapse of the Berlin Wall

Yesterday was a first for me. I was on the subway and nearing my stop. I got up from my seat a minute ahead, something I do all the time, walked to the door, and landed flat on my back. The ground gave way under me. More correctly, I gave way. My knees buckled and I went down. It happened so fast it took a few seconds to realize I was staring up at the ceiling. I must say I collapsed gracefully, as if I had practiced this maneuver all my life, like a ballerina on point. In actuality I came down like a ton of bricks.

Fortunately there weren’t many people on board so I had the floor to myself. And it was reasonably clean. The few passengers that saw me go down didn’t move, they just watched me collapse. IMG_4443

One man, who sat near the door, helped me get up, sort of. He helped me sit up and then I got to my feet on my own. I didn’t have any broken bones, head concussions or scrapes. I didn’t look wounded. I did not want to be one of those riders who got sick on the train and the whole subway system jams up while the paramedics and the police with their German Shepherds show up. I just got off at my stop and kept walking.

I made it to the office and gulped down my first cup of coffee.

A few hours later my lower back began complaining. That’s all, just a whine of self-pity in a minor key. I could live with that.

Calvin says, “You know, taking me for walks has limbered you up, otherwise you would have folded like a deck chair and stayed there.”beagle

Gone

Our mattress had become lumpy and bumpy over the years, much like us, so Alf and I bought a new one. I refused to empty our savings for the thing so we settled on the best at the lowest price possible. Even then it was outrageous. Some countries’ GNP is lower than what we paid for it.

After two weeks in it was clear it wasn’t working. Our bones were hurting and we felt we had aged ten years. So off to store we went and bought a better and more expensive mattress to our chagrin and to the salesgirl’s delight. We arranged to have the “old” one picked up the same day.  fullsizerender-10

The truck rolled up that evening, two burly men climbed out and in a blink, the mattress and foundation had disappeared from the bedroom, leaving just the metal frame on the floor as evidence.

Next thing I hear was, “Thank you, ‘bye,” from one of the guys.

“Hey, wait a minute, where’s the new mattress?” I said waving him down from the truck.

The two men jumped down and fished through their paperwork with a flashlight.

“No new mattress on this order,” one of them said.

“You mean you’re driving off leaving us with no bed?” I said with hands on my hips.

“Do you have a place to sleep?” the talkative one said.

“Yes, but that’s not the point,” I said. My irritation was spilling out of my vocal cords by the second.

The man called the warehouse, got someone on a swing shift, mumbled something  into the phone and said, “Your delivery is scheduled for Tuesday.” This was Sunday night.

“I can’t believe this!” I said.

I peered into the back of the truck. Nothing in there that resembled our new mattress.

“Off with you, then,” I said.

The next day I called the store and discovered the salesgirl had messed up, that everything should have been delivered on the same day, but did she take any responsibility? Nope.

Where have all the manners gone?

Calvin says, “They left at the turn of the century, along with all the rich foods.”  beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Shot in the Shoulder

I visited an orthopedist today for what I diagnosed as a rotator cuff sprain in my left shoulder.

He wouldn’t take my word for it, so I had to get x-rays to prove I was correct.

The x-ray technician looked like a teenager. I asked for a thyroid shield. He reluctantly produced one, but wasn’t happy with the idea. “What if it shields some of the views and then we have to repeat the process?” he asked me with a smirk. I wanted to smack him. I gave in. Probably a bad idea but it was better than having to take three additional pictures if he was right.

Then he said, “Don’t worry, it’s a low dose of radiation.”

“So come over here and stand with me,” I said smirking back as he ran behind the protective wall.

Three x-rays later I was in the examining room being interviewed by the orthopedist. “What did you do to yourself?” he asked as he looked at the pictures.

“I played polo and lost, and when I dismounted my horse bit me in the shoulder.”

The doctor’s eyes got as big as the knee facsimiles on his counter.

“Just kidding. I don’t know what I did. I woke up one day with my shoulder aching and it’s been complaining ever since.”

“Hmm…well I can offer you drugs, physical therapy or a cortisone shot. What will it be?” He sat there staring at me like a bartender while I processed.

None of the choices appealed to me.

“Drugs go all over your system,” he said doing circular motions over his chest and stomach with his hands. “Physical therapy might not work. The cortisone shot is localized and will take down the inflammation, which you certainly have after your run-in with your polo partner.”

I gave in to the shot.

He rubbed novocaine on my shoulder and shot the liquid into the muscle, like a vet with a horse.

“Call me in a few weeks. I’m going on a fox hunt to England.”

Calvin says, “Hey, take me with you! I’m closer to the ground. I can sniff out that fox faster than my paisano pack.” beagle