“You are so accident prone,” my wife says.
“No, I’m not,” I reply, “I jus’ move so fast at times that I become clumsy.”
“If you say so,” she smiles sweetly, “But I’ve never seen you move fast once.”
“Pffts,” I press through my tightly pursed lips.
The injuries, though not severe, take a toll on the body. Aside from a broken back, done years ago, as I’ve aged I’ve found my skin turning thin, so thin in fact that at times I’ve had to stop and asked: “Now where in the fuck is that blood coming from?” A tear here, there. Never had to worry about this when I was twenty. What do you mean I ain’t twenty no more? Then there are the crumbly bones and the loss of muscle. I used to have nice legs, but being unable to jog or walk long distances anymore they’ve become…what? Stringy? Thin? Sticks? I like ‘what’ better.
There are also the other injuries that happen on the periphery, like the hard-charging, hard-playing boys of next door. The eldest broke his hand running through his house, hitting it on the door frame of his room. Boys (and girls, too,) break parts of their bodies constantly. The younger of the two brothers broke his leg while riding his bike, then three days before his case was to come off, fell off something in the school yard and broke it again. Then while playing around on a scooter two days ago, the eldest jumped it from our other neighbors driveway, which is higher than ours, landing on our drive and then wiping out in the roadway. Broke the same hand and this time the arm.
Both boys and some other neighbor kids are out there right now jumping bikes and scooters. I won’t even go into the greater injury, this one being the pocketbook of Mom and Dad.
Up the street, our street, a ‘way’ really, we had a drive-by shooting. No one was injured, but it left a lot of folks in this usually quiet neighborhood a little shaken. I heard the three gun shots, but thought it was two-in-the-morning, but didn’t go look to see what was happening or even check the time. People blow off steam with guns and fireworks all the time, thinking this area is still rural. It is, but the people ain’t. More suburbanites coming this way on a weekly basis.
Sheriff’s department is still out investigating. Whomever it was, they blasted three holes into a house, that I’ve had my suspicions about for at least five-years. I’m not the only one. Rumor, and it’s only a rumor, is that it’s a drug house. But thinking back on it, I’m sure that if it were, the law would have been all over the place and we’d have all heard about it one way or the other.
“Did you hear anything?” the young deputy asked me as I was sweeping up the crap spilled from our trash can, that the garbage man managed to leave behind because they insist on using those stupid pinchers that squeeze the shape out of the plastic bin, while shaking the innocent piece of green, half to death.
“Yeah,” I said, “Three shots around two in the morning.”
“Any idea whether that came from the east or the west of you?”
“Nope, no idea. Gunshots happen out here and I don’t really pay close attention to them unless I hear voices to go with them.”
I looked west as another deputy’s rig came to a stop, his bubble-gums popping on.
“Your partners lights,” I said.
“Roger,” the deputy replied, “And thanks. Have a great day.”
No matter what the people in that house have done, they deserve to be safe in their beds at night. I’d go up there a stand watch but neither the cops nor my wife would take it very well. So I won’t go, which I’m sure is a disappointment to my 30-30, Betsy-Boo. That’s what I call her. I have no idea what she calls herself. It could be Bob for all I care. It has sat in the corner, fully loaded, one in the chamber, and has never gone out and shot anyone willy-nilly, jus’ because. So for that, this particular 30-30 can call itself whatever the hell it wants.
Another point of injury, which turned out okay was with our elder dog, Yaeger biting off the cap to a tube of diaper rash cream and getting it stuck in his trachea. The old doggo loves fish oil pills and could smell the fishy odor of the cream and decided to help himself to some. Still don’t have any idea how he got his teeth on it. He came out of the back room, choking, drooling, wheezing and scaring the shit out of us.
Found out, post-haste, that Mary and me still work well together in emergencies. I handle the medical shit and she handles logistics. She grabbed the tube of crap he’d found, as I performed a modified Heimlich, the kind you do only for dogs, dislodging it, but not fully clearing the back of his throat. By the time I picked him up and hauled him to the back seat of the car, Mary had it covered, the air conditioner at full-tilt and was opening the garage door. I was dialing the vet hospital declaring an emergency.
“Is there a number on the tube to call in the event of accidental ingestion?” the woman on the phone asked.
“Looking,” I answer, “No. But poisoning will be secondary in this case. He’s choking.”
“Oh,” she said, “I see. Are you en route?”
“Yes,” I responded in my bestest and calmest paramedic’s voice, “About ten-mikes out.”
Obviously, she’d been here before and returned, “Roger, we’re prepared.”
“Hmm, two ‘rogers,’ one day,” I think as I push the end button on my cellphone.
Meanwhile, Mary was driving like a professional, zipping and gliding between vehicles, left to the right, and right to the left, and back again. I believe that had I the equipment and the need, I could have slipped a catheter in a subclavian vein, jus’ below the collarbone had she been the boxes’ driver. Certainly felt like the old days.
Yeggs was in a panic naturally and starting to loose steam. I decided I couldn’t wait anymore and risking a bite was not as bad as him dying right there in the car. “After all this time, Yaeger,” I said, as if he could understand me, “This ain’t the way to go!” I shoved my hand in his mouth and found the plastic cap stuck at the base of his tongue, fingered it until I could get a hold of it and removed the fucking thing. He immediately settled down and like the old Lab that he is, he acted as if nothing was wrong and was in fact enjoying the car ride. Talk about transitioning in the ‘now.’ Called the vet and canceled the emergency and returned home where everything was copacetic once again.
I only ended up with a couple of scratches and one real tooth mark in my left hand from the ordeal.
So what fresh dangers do we have before us today. Hell. Who knows. I am going to mow the back yard, so there is that. Nope. The finally injury is suddenly witnessing the fresh pot of coffee, still peculating, and for no reason, bubbling, spitting and running its hot content all over the kitchen counter. Wasting such good coffee hurts. That’s akin to, but not as bad as, spilling an alcoholic beverage, which is technically, alcohol abuse.
“Damn it!” my wife growls as we begin cleaning up the mess of brown liquid and bits of ground bean, “I can’t believe I forgot to put the basket in place again.”
“It happens,” I say as calmly as I can.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get it cleaned up and make some more. In fact, I’ll make it this time.”
“No. I’ll make it again,” she says, exasperated.
I know better than to argue with her at this moment and thus avoid any possible injury.