Friday, November 13, 2009

Survivor - Extreme Home Edition episode 6

On this weeks episode we have a special musical guest Banjos, performing not live, Dueling Banjos. These fellows are a bit more lively than our usual fare so you may want to adjust your volume...or not. Jed Clampett could not be reached for comment. Probably out back swimming in the cement pond. (Post, posting note: the Dueling Banjos song has been moved down to the bottom of the playlist if you would like to listen to it. It is particularly appropriate for this post and just plain funny)

Once again we find our heroine deep in the bowels of the medical profession where she continues to wage her great battle against the most unholy eeviill ROCK. She was last seen flat on her back with a little mask muffling her enraged cries of “FISHES!” In the distance the mocking laughter of the Unholy Evil ROCK was heard. Which oddly sounded just like the charming anesthesiologist’s voice but this was no time to complicate things with questions. The Evil ROCK would soon know the full extent of its folly when those slippery little fins swished by. “Ha! Victory will be mine.”

Of course there was this one little setback. I was in the hospital again. Why? Oh not the evil little gnome that was living inside me, no. This time it was something else entirely. Something unexpected, like the Spanish Inquisition. And like the Inquisition it was just as stupid and as I was quite sure, it was just as painful. Do you recall the caveman diet I was on to help build up those lonely little blood vessels? Do you also recall the cute little jars full of iron packing pumpkin seeds that I had all over the place to snack and nibble on? Not so much? Me either.

Well as it turns out pumpkin seeds are not quite like sunflower seeds. The shells are not puffed out away from the seed like sunflower seeds. They don’t split and crack as easily but they do happen to be a lot softer and almost chewy. Of course there is that one little bit about the outer edge that is pretty tough but that can be got around if your in a hurry and really don’t mind so much. I was and I didn’t so I chewed the little buggers without a second thought. You can never really say enough about the second thought. We should all have them a lot more often. I wish I had.

One of those little hard sharp outer edges had put up a most gallant fight in his final moments and had managed to land a final savage stab at his oppressor. At first the wound went unnoticed but soon the damage grew to unimaginable proportions and my rock slinging days were numbered. They were actually numbered at zero because the only rock I could think of was the one they were going to use for my headstone. It was a happy thought and I thought it often. Eventually I went to the ER and I shared my happy thought with those fine people. Maybe I was delirious with pain but someone said something about things that sounded oddly like the Spanish Inquisition and I actually thought it sounded like a good idea. Well they did have drugs this time and that was a big improvement. My inquisitors wheeled me off to some mysterious chamber and I was relieved that they had finally given up on that dreary sack cloth fashion. The fluffy cloud and sheep pants were so much more cheery.

Meanwhile back at the ranch… the Saint had been sent home once again. “Long surgery, she’ll be out for hours, blah, blah, blah.” Been there, done that. A quick stop by Blockbuster and the couch was his new best friend. Everything was going fine. The movie was stupid, lots of stuff got blown up and there was no stupid plot to get in the way. And then the phone rang. It was the hospital. Panic raced through his veins like a souped up ’67 Camero in a get away scene. It was the doctor, the surgeon to be exact. “Aren’t you supposed to be in there operating?” “um yeah, we’ve got her in there right now and we were wondering uh…what the hell was she eating?”
Five pounds of tire rubber turning to smoke on the asphalt and my reaction= Screeeech!
Are you kidding me? Is there no end to my humiliation?
No. Apparently not.
A pumpkin seed nearly killed me. They are evil and diabolical and that is exactly why they are used at Halloween. I know they sure scare the he** out of me.

In a day or two I was back on the ranch. Though I had a new found enemy in the squash family it was time to get back to my first sworn enemy, the ROCK. I shoveled more gravel, slung more rocks and generally kept chipping away at that unholy alliance of gravel and stone. In between outburst befitting the offspring of a truck driver and a sailor I helped the Sainted one haul up fallen trees from around the property for future firewood. OK fine. Some of them were for my bird roosts but mostly the trees were his.

We were bringing up a series of small trees from down the hill and I felt my lower back give a little protest but that was to be expected when lugging a flipping tree up a hill. We got them situated against the barn when we heard a horrendous noise coming from somewhere. It sounded like a semi truck and a freight train in a slow motion collision. To confused to panic properly we just stared into space as our brains sorted through every known explanation only to come up with semi truck, freight train, slow motion collision.
At the top of the driveway we see a boulder the size of a VW Bug coming toward us. It is being pushed by a track hoe which is being driven by our very friendly neighbor wearing overalls and a big sloppy grin. From up on high and over the unimaginable din he shouts “Hey, I thought you all could use a rock! I seen you been collecting them and I had this one just laying around over at our place so I thought I’d bring it over. Where do you want it?”

What! Where do I want it? You just brought me a giant boulder the size of a car right out of the blue and you want to know where I want it? You know, I didn’t exactly have that mapped out in my garden plan. I thought all these things but didn’t say them of course. I was to busy trying to think of what I was going to do with this “gift.” With the little bit I did know of this guy I was pretty sure that where ever that rock went right then was exactly where it was going to stay for the rest of eternity so I had better think of something fast. “There” I said pointing “put it over there.” It was the farthest edge of the evil ROCK. It would eventually become the second waterfall.

Apparently our happy and generous overall wearing neighbor took our shocked and incredulous expressions to mean “please bring us more” because that is exactly what he did over the next several days. I would be lying in bed passed out like the dead when suddenly a freight train would be barreling down on me. It was just my friendly neighbor at six AM bringing me another gift he was sure I needed because “ You sure seem to like rocks.”

On one particular fine day after another unexpected rock delivery and between pick axing the Evil ROCK and hauling up more trees my lower back did finally give me my final warning. And I ignored it. Sure it was stiff that night but it was always stiff and that seemed fair considering the situation. The heating pad and I had become close friends. We were more than close. We were sleeping together. But like all heated relationships it would soon end in disappointment and betrayal.

I awoke to greet another day of forced labor and began to roll out of bed when my nightmare began. Overnight my hot slender bed buddy had betrayed me and left me with a colossal case of STD. Stupendously Terrible…Oh forget the acronyms my back was in the worst spasm imaginable and the pain was excruciating. After maneuvers more careful than an astronaut’s space walk I managed to make it to the bathroom. It was now confirmed that I had just completed my highest achievement for the day. The day and night wore on in a hideous blaze of pain. The next day was amazingly worse as the spasm intensified. I wanted to call an ambulance myself this time but we live on a mile of rough unpaved private road and I had to know how good the shocks were on the ambulance before committing to one. I began to think about an airlift. I wondered if they would let me throw that deceitful heating pad out the window when we passed over the manure patch at the dairy farm.

Just as I was planning my escape and subsequent revenge a horrible thing happened. Actually a horrible mind numbing thing happened… to the air. The septic system began to back up into the house! It was coming up through all the drains like some toxic throw back to a 1950s teen horror movie. “It Came From Below” “The Bowels of Hell” “The Toxic Avenger” and other such titles of popcorn and Jujube beans fame. Surely this day could not get worse. Surely.

Plants were beginning to wilt, trees were starting to droop. This monster had to be put back into its swamp before it took over the county and soon the entire world. A call for help was made. The horror of it all was, well, horrible. My back felt like it was broken everything was filling with phenomenal skank when finally my saviors arrived. A big tank truck with the words Sweet Swirl Septic Systems emblazoned on the side pulled up out front and I suddenly realized just how those guys from the movie Deliverance pad their incomes between big movie deals. I didn’t catch their names, I was too busy counting teeth and wondering if that was a raccoon or opossum stuck to the grill. Well Hollywood must have taught these boys how to network with the best of them because the whole while they were working on, dare I say in, the problem they kept up a witty banter with each other and to my absolute humiliation, me. They were well versed in all the appropriate genre related jokes and had a particular penchant for jokes that required victim participation. Every time I tried to make my hobbled escape Two Tooth would suddenly need to ask me where something was and then start another joke. One Tooth would just grin and hitch up his trousers again. Apparently it could get worse.


  1. LeSan, I look forward to the next saga. I do not think another horrible thing could possibly happen! Were you storing all this stuff up for years? Or did you not ever seek medical attention in your young life, for anything? It all just got saved up until you cratered? The one good thing is that you are still around to post about it, so maybe it all works out fine.

    Waiting for the next installment.

  2. What a flipping nightmare! I am throwing away the pumpkin seeds right now! LeSan, who put a curse on you? Does somebody have a voodoo doll that looks strikingly familiar to you out there?

  3. Oh LeSan, I shouldn't laugh at your misfortune .... but I just can't help it some days - you crease me! (err, that's Yorkshire slang for 'you make me laugh - a lot'!)

    I guess I'd better go easy on my pumpkin seed intake too then?!

  4. Much sympathy, LeSan! Back problems have plagued me for the last 20 years. I think it is a common ailment amongst obsessive gardeners! Hope you didn't bust a disc, that is the worst.

    Thanks for another entertaining episode!

  5. I don't know should I laugh or cry. I like pumpkin seeds and we have a septic system, that is why this post sounds like a warning for me. As for you, I am amazed - what a heroic body you have. It manages to survive all the experiments you take it through. Take care of yourself Lesan, save yourself for us, your readers!

  6. Pumpkin seeds? Really? Wow. We had a friendly neighbor once. She brought us bags and bags full of grapes. Not the nice kind of grapes. The bitter, seeds-in-them, gagging types of grapes. Have a great weekend.

  7. I swear, LeSan. This really should be made into a movie, or tv show, or something.
    I'll be staying tuned.
    Oh, and...take care of yourself..will you?

  8. LeSan,

    Sorry you got onto pumpkin seeds the wrong way. I just love them and savor them as I eat them. Some have been too salty but never mouth tearing, at least for me. The boulder story is funny, wish we had a few here though. A pallet of stones now costs around $250 and up around here. Maybe once your back is better you could stack them on pallets and sell them, better yet hire a teenager to do the stacking.

  9. I hope it doesn't get any worse. Maybe you're getting all your bad luck all at once so that the rest of your life you will have only good. I can't imagine having such horrible back pain only to then have the septic tank back up.

  10. Your life is quite an adventure. Sometimes, I can't believe that anyone could make it through what you do.....

  11. Surely you make this all up LeSan! My goodness ... you cannot have all this happening to you... but if it is true ... thankful you are back at the rock ... and a hint about backs... heat will put a back into spasms... cold will calm it. I use soft ice and it feels so good, when we have overdone the workload. I know many prefer heat though. I have never understood how heat can help an inflammation? The descriptions of your neighbor and the septic guys are hilarious. Good luck with all the new rocks... and hope you will be well from here on out. Lovely photos. Carol

  12. JANIE~ So you don’t think another horrible thing could possibly happen huh? LOL I wasn’t storing it up nor did I avoid doctor visits. That’s just how life plays me I guess. If it isn’t weird or life threatening then I just don’t bother with it. Can’t remember the last time I had a cold. Thank you for your concern.

    ROSEY POLLEN~ No kidding what a nightmare. The troll taking all my blood was one thing. It didn’t hurt. The pumpkin seeds did a number on me and the back thing was horrible. I always joke to my friends that God is trying to kill me. Of course they are horrified that I would say such a thing. I say it in total jest. Me and the Big Guy have an understanding. I understand he is trying to kill me. LOL I’M KIDDING!

    NUTTY GNOME~ Laugh my nutty friend! Laugh to you heart’s content. I certainly do. Life is just to short to take seriously. I lived, I had great medical care and believe it or not I have been through a lot worse. This was easy. It was annoying…but easy.

    ALISON~ Thank you for commiserating with me. I have had trouble with my back for a long time. I had some childhood injuries that have plagued me. My back is in great shape considering the injuries so I can take a lot and bounce back quickly. I am glad you enjoyed this episode. Thank you.

    TATYANA~ I miss pumpkins seeds. I really do like them but I will never trust them again. It was the shells that did the damage. I just got lucky I guess. With those odds I should have been playing the lottery but with my curse I probably just would have ended up with an audit!

    TARA~ Sorry to hear about the sour grapes. Heheh Yeah, pumpkin seeds. It was the sharp edges of the shells that did the damage. Who would have thought? That’s why the surgeon called to ask what I had eaten.

    PATCHWORK~ A movie or TV show? Didn’t Lucille Ball do that? I know, kind of crazy isn’t it. While it was a pain (pun intended) we really did laugh. A lot. It was just to ridiculous not to laugh at it all.

    RANDY~ I am so happy that you stopped by. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate that. The thing to watch out for with the seeds is internal punctures. I know, who would have thought? You’re right stones are wildly expensive especially when you consider how much you really need most of the time for a project. They are just rocks after all!

    CATHERINE~ It would be lovely wouldn’t it if life let you get all your stuff out of the way so you could have clear sailing the rest of the way. Personally, I really should have been paid up for a few lifetimes already before this stuff. I’m demanding a rebate. The septic and back pain were simply classic timing. It really felt like a complete package at that point. Heheh

    AZPLANTLADY~ I did get a little tired toward the end of all this I have to admit. The thing is that what I have told so far is not the end of it. I am actually surprised myself as I go back over it to write here how much happened in such a short amount of time.

    CAROL~ I wish I could say that it was concocted story. Unfortunately I have the medical bills to prove otherwise. Bleh. Thank you for the back tip. I had back injuries as a child so I know what you mean about the ice. You really do have to get on this stuff early before it tightens up. I alternate heat for the spasm and then ice for the inflammation. A very hot bath works wonders as well and I also apply peppermint oil to help with blood vessel constriction. Oh, boy. I do have too much experience with this stuff. I wish I had taken pictures of the whole septic system event. Then maybe it is better that I didn’t now that I think about it. LOL