Thursday, March 11, 2004

The DGA Special Humor Edition

Dave’s Great Adventure, Book 2
Chapter 2, Verse 10
March 11, 2004
Special Humor Edition

Hey, if you don’t think there’s anything funny about dying on a cross while you sing songs, well, I‘ve got more stuff for you.

Today I, as my kids would say, "screwed the pooch."

I was in the shower getting ready to go to the lab, early as usual, to get blood drawn. As I was washing up with the washcloth, the tail end of the cloth apparently wrapped around the Optiflow and, that easily, yanked it out of my chest! It was a bit of a flail at the time, as I had soap in my eyes, shampoo in my hair and couldn't see well, but suddenly the catheter was sliding down my chest into the tub, with a stream of blood hot on its heels.

Now, the wound is so high up on my chest that I can't see it without a mirror, so I clawed around madly, trying to see through soap blurred eyes, trying to cover the "exit wound" with one hand to stop the bleeding while I tried to rinse off my head and body with the other, all the time wondering, "Do I put pressure on the skin wound, or on my jugular where the 22 caliber hole is?" I guess my platelets are doing okay. By the time I rinsed off, the bleeding had completely stopped. I walked down to see Kathy with the catheter in my hand, and was met with a gasp. Now, we'll need the damn thing any day now (with luck, if my white count will ever go up) so I called the clinic, with great trepidation, to confess my sin. What they'll have to do is replace it with another, different kind of catheter, before we can collect any stem cells! Dammit! Details to follow.

My white count as of today is exactly, precisely what it has been since we started doing the blood counts. That's not what I wanted to hear. Every day that it stays low delays the start of our collection process. Tomorrow I go downtown for my blood tests and they'll do some more specialized testing of my white cells. Likely more expensive tests, to boot.

I was talking to Joan today. She asked, "What, didn't you have enough material for your DGAs?" Hay Man Ray, up in Montana, said he thought I was catching his “clumsies.” His dad used to say to him that he “was as clumsy as a bear cub masturbating with boxing gloves.” Now, that’s an interesting visual.

See, I thought you’d think that was funny.

I have another short exchange that I’d like to send along to you, an e-mail exchange that had us laughing loudly at the descriptions of two technophobes that some of you know. We’ve been corresponding with Clovis and Phil Dennis up in Juneau since last summer when we stayed in their B&B for a while. Clovis responded to a recent “Adventure” letter, setting off a series of messages. See if this stuff makes you laugh too. Caution: mild profanity ensues!
You guys don’t know Phil, but he and I are both curmudgeonly, anachronistic stick-in-the-muds. We don’t do well with change or new technology.

Last Monday Clovis wrote the following in response to my letter, in which I mentioned getting the new and improved seventeen inch monitor

“As soon as your pop quiz hit my screen, I printed it out, then took it. Did very well too, only missed a couple but finding the answers!! Zowee! I print out everything you send because unlike some people I know, we only have an old 12/13 inch monitor. The letters on our old black keyboard have worn off too, and since Phil types with “two fingers looking,” I painted crude letters on the keys with paint and the sharp point of a pencil. Talk about high tech! We do not want to miss a thing you write and appreciate very much your sharing, so keep those cards and letters coming.... I have a different take on money than most. There is always another dollar to be made and if you have it, use it for what is meaningful to you. And I know your life is meaningful to you and Kathy and a whole lot of other people, so do what you can to keep it viable!”

I responded: “Hey, are you giving me permission to get the $6000 plasma TV, or what?"

I type with two fingers too. I haven't worn off the letters, yet, but I have ruined more than one keyboard by slamming a fist into it when the computer wouldn't do what I thought it was supposed to do. So I get new keyboards frequently! I actually broke the desk one time. I guess I need anger management classes. I get frustrated with technology that (seemingly) gets in the way, rather than helping. Of course, it's really my fault, most of the time.”

Then Phil wrote:

“Morning David: I smile (broadly) at your mention of intemperate behavior vis a vis technology. As a college freshmen and aspiring writer, I therefore assumed I needed to know how to type. How could I become the next Ernie Hemingway in longhand? Then I ran into the GD machine, AND a school marm anal retentive control freak instructor. One fine day when she was castrating us in singsong fashion by subtracting 10 words per mistake, I swept up the dang typewriter in my strong male arms and in one fell rebellious swoop pitched it out the open window. It helped the fall and impact being’s how we were on the building’s third floor! Of course that ended my typing class and mayhaps my writing career. And cost me all the shekels in my jeans. But to this very moment, I have no regrets. So, I identify with you my friend. It's basically a Japanese conspiracy to destroy what little remains of our masculinity and mental health.

And, yes by all means buy the dang plasma TV. Cheers, Phil “
That led to my thoughts on the matter:

“Hi Phil,
I had to laugh out loud while reading your descriptions of the typing class. You had the balls to do what I have always wanted to do. I have felt on so many occasions that it would give me tremendous satisfaction to take the f-ing computer and toss it off our second floor deck. Unfortunately, we have grass below so it wouldn't give a very satisfying "crash" unlike your third floor impact.

At work we went from traditional hand written charts to fully computerized charts about four years ago. Not a good time of my life. "Piece of sh*t!" emanated from my office doors on a regular, almost hourly basis. The fact that I can't type without looking at the keyboard didn't help, as I'd laboriously type (I really mean "peck out" with my forefingers) a long complex patient note, only to look up and find that caps lock had unexpectedly been on the whole, or part of the time, or that I had unexpectedly hit some other key which stopped the note from even being entered, and the note resultantly looked like hell. "Piece of sh*t!" Slam, bang!

The company replaced a couple of keyboards and a few mice, at first. Then I got the word that any more would be at my own expense. They sent someone out to help me learn the computer system. I thought she was a computer geek. She spent hours with me, showing me shortcuts, tricks to make it easier, etc. Only later did I find that she was a shrink sent out as sort of a damage control manager, trying to make me take it easier on the company equipment. Hey, they thought I was crazy or something! "Piece of sh*t!"

Clovis responded:

“Hi David,
Now I know what Kathy has put up with all long years because you sound JUST like Phil!! I'm sure she is like me and doesn't get excited when you rant and rave about technology, but if there is anyone else around, they are certainly taken aback. Even the dogs run and hide when Phil starts yelling to the gods. "Piece of sh*t!" How many times have I heard that! We too laughed out loud at your last descriptions. Wonderful writing. Makes us appreciate even more the effort you have taken to communicate with us. A labor of love really, thank you again.”

And with that, I’ll close. I think this is by far the shortest DGA I’ve sent out since I first got the fuzzies. Enjoy the respite.