Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Needle And The Damage Done



That's my right forearm. It's purple. I have a left one the very same. That's some serious bruising. Why? No, Mrs. D. and I didn't trade blows although it kinda looks like it. No, I have the nurses at the Ottawa General Hospital to thank for it.

Every week I have an appointment at the hospital's Medical Day Care Unit for chemotherapy. But while I show up my veins often don't. Maybe they're scared. I would be too after all the poking and prodding. The chemo is intravenous and that means a needle into a vein. More often than not however it takes several attempts to find one.

You know how they say "third time's a charm"? In my case they say fourth or fifth time. And each miss results in a piece of gauze and several strips of tape over the failed attempt. By the time I'm done I've used up a significant portion of the hospital's tape allowance.

Just as an aside, I think nurses as a rule take a special course in tape usage. They're such experts with that role of sticky fibre and they love to plaster their patients with it. And when you remove it? I get a free depilatory session.

Anyway, by the time I get home with four or five taped patches on my forearm I wanna tell Mrs D "Hey, you should see the other guy." Instead, to quote Neil Young,  I mutter "I've seen the needle and the damage done."

Friday, 17 March 2017

The World According to Jean


Canada is blessed with two main all news networks, CTV News Channel and CBC News Network. In my house we have a third called the Jean Network. The Jean Network is a term I've affectionately given our handy man Jean who is doing some work for us around the house. I haven't told him this though.

Jean is a personable guy, sociable might be a better word, very sociable, and informed. He spends all day listening to talk radio while he's working so he's up there on the latest news.

I say news but it started with the weather. We've had a considerable dump of snow lately and the temperature's been extremely cold. How cold? Don't worry. Jean will tell me when he arrives for work each day.

Ans he's the one that told me about the multi-car pileup on the 401 and the even multier (new word alert) car pileup on the Quebec Highway where people actually had to be taken to hospital with frostbite after being rescued from their cars. And I learned from the Jean Network that a bureaucrat or two had been fired from the Quebec government over the poor response time in rescuing those people.

And I was one of the first to hear of a local 70 year-old woman who died from a hit-and-run the other day. Well not the first. That was Jean.

And I even get updates throughout the day. So this works out great. I can read my book to my heart's content without having to watch the news myself.

And it's all included in the charge for the work around the house. Now that's a handy man.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sunset Boulevard Redux


When she was much younger Barb had a dream job. One that she'd aspired to all her life. She was a singer in a prominent girl group. She got to dress up, get all dolled up and accessorized and best of all she got to sing and dance. She couldn't be happier. But Barb had a hard time separating her life on stage from real life. In fact, when she met new people she'd often shake their hands, look them straight in the eye, shoot her arms up in the air to the right and then the left, take a quick step forward, a step back, turn and whisper:

Hi, they used to call me Barb the Blue Angel
sha-la-la
doobyway
dum, dum, dum

And she continued to act this way long after they'd turned out the spotlight. She didn't know who had turned it out but someone evidently had. Probably the last one to leave the theatre. Needless to say people would be taken aback not having expected such a greeting. But Barb would just laugh and say:

Yakety yak, yakety yak
Don't talk back

She'd often tell people "I'm big. It's the 45s that got small." Her favourite rejoined was "Tell Mr. Lanois I'm ready for my solo." Bizarre, yes, but she was, in an odd way, meticulous about her musical meanderings.

For example, may years ago her then steady boyfriend Thor, lead guitarist in a punk band took her out for a quiet dinner one night and popped the question. Barb replied:

Ooh wah, ooh wah, ooh wah, ooh wah, ooh wah, ooh wah
Why do fools fall in love?

Just then the waitress passed by and Barb asked her:

Ah, ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya 
Little darling
Could we get the bill?

But Barb wasn't long for this world unfortunately. One day, after imbibing a few too many fruity alcoholic drinks with little umbrellas at the Washed Out and Destitute whiskey bar, she added her name to the pantheon of once promising rock and roll artists who died before their time and stumbled into the path of a magic bus and was killed instantly.  Now Barb had earned herself quite the reputation as a back-up singer and in the years to come after her "popular " years. But not a very positive one. Along with being meticulous and a natty dresser she also was a bit of a bitch. Thus it came as no surprise to those gathered when the music accompanying the funeral procession began:

A wimoweh, a wimoweh
A wimoweh, a wimoweh
the lion sleeps tonight

And those who thought Thor might have chosen The Bitch Is Back breathed a sigh of relief.


The prompt from Tara at Two Word Tuesdays was meticulous/punctilious this week.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine


Now I wonder how many men have uttered those words made famous by James Brown, possibly followed by "Say hello to my little friend."

The older men get the more help they need in the sex machine department. Or so I'm told. Who knew James Brown did. I didn't. Maybe his problem was those tight pants. Just for the record. I don't wear tight pants.

Many aging men rely on the "little blue pill" or the yellow one. But that doesn't work for everyone. Unfortunately. But now there's something that might. Botox. You heard me. Not only does it give ladies a stiff upper lip. Now it might give men a stiff, um, somewhere lower.

It seems some Canadian urologists (let's hear it for Canadians!) have stumbled across another use for botox. They've been testing it on male rats. Now just for a moment try to imagine giving a needle to a male rat in his johnson. Must be a pretty small needle, not to mention the aforementioned sex machine. Do they need a magnifying glass? Do they have to strap him down?

But, regardless, I bet a lot of men are pulling (no pun intended) for that little rat (no other pun intended). And it must have worked because apparently they intend to start clinical human trials in the next six months or so.

Now in case some of you are worried about sticking a needle in your manhood every time you want to have sex the beauty in this discovery is it'll last possibly up to six months. One injection and you're good to go for half a year. Still I don't know about sticking a needle in my willy. And the urologists aren't sure of all the side effects. One might be prolonged erections without sexual stimulation. If that happens men might have to get used to another phrase, this one from their younger years" "Is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to see me?"


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Princess and the "P"


Penny was precious. A bit of a princess. All her life she'd been a little bit of a prima donna. She was pretty, sure. But it was more than just physical. To some, she could act in a preposterous fashion. To others, she seemed petty. But when all was said and done Penny was preoccupied with herself.

In her teens she was a punk with purple hair, pancake makeup and pink pullovers. She wore yellow pumps and stockings with tiny pin holes. And she had plenty of piercings. Needless to say her presence left something to be desired.

Penny's mom Pat and father Peter were at their wits end over Penny's appearance. And they worried too about the pals she chose to hang around with at public school. Pressed to explain Penny's comportment to her friends' parents Pat and Penny would pose such responses with the proclamation that "It's just a stage" and "Oh, she'll grow out of it."

Penny's parents must have been perspicacious because their little prima donna grew up, got married and got pregnant. Unlike her teenage years when Penny was profane, perverted and a few things unprintable, Penny changed. Largely due to Paul.

Penny met Paul in Panama. And on their return to the United States picked, of all places, Pennsylvania to live and raise their progeny. You couldn't find a more proper gentleman than Paul. He was a little prim, somewhat priggish but totally personable and pleasing. The perfect pairing for Penny. Paul worked at a well-paid profession and provided well for his paramour Penny.

When their son was born did they name him Percy? Possibly.

This week's challenge from Tara at Two Word Tuesday was perspicacious/perceptive. And if you think my interpretation has wound up you are, indeed, perceptive.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My Back Pages - February 2017



This has to be one of the weirdest February's on record around here. Mild, mild temperatures, thunder, lightening and rain. Alas my reading this month wasn't quite as exciting.

Got four books under my belt this month. Two Nero Wolfes,  a great book about the television industry and a procedural about the Baltimore police homicide squad. 

The Rubber Band is Rex Stout's third Nero Wolfe novel and The Red Box his fourth. The two were written in the 1930's but they're wickedly funny and intriguing as far as detective stories go.

The third book was a fascinating look at that era of television unique to me and my generation, following the so-called golden age of television. The Platinum Age of Television: An Evolutionary History of Quality TV was a delightful and comprehensive look at television from the 60s and 70s onward. It's full of behind the scenes gems mined by TV critic David Bianculli.

The last book of the month fooled me. I remember watching Homicide: Life on the Streets on TV after Bianculli mentioned it in his book. So I thought, hey, why don't I get the book it's based on Homicide: A Year On The Streets. This was a lengthy tome and when I read it I found there to be more narrative than dialogue which I thought was kind f funny. Little did I know, but found out when I got to the end of the book and the author David Simon's notes, that he spent a year with the Baltimore homicide squad and the book is a true story based on that experience. It was a fascinating read. Simon by the way is also responsible for the TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Wire and Treme among others.

So eleven books for the first two months of the year. The number's down this month because I spent a lot of time watching television. The end of The Young Pope and The Affair occurred in February. And I started watching Black Mirror, a quirky yet delightful sci-fi anthology series from Britain. If you liked The Twilight Zone when you were younger you'll love Black Mirror. As well, Billions is back and I started watching Big Little Lies. All in all a pretty full month.
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