I Need More Bullets

IMG_0027I was just taking a shower and I had a thought.  Do other women have mulch in their showers?  Or lawn clipping, or leaves or twigs or whatever else fell off the man when he showered?  Men are a funny bunch, aren’t they?  I mean both funny ha-ha and funny odd.  Though probably not funny to each other…just to their women.

It used to drive me batty when I had to rake the shower, or bedspread or sofa, but at this point in the game, I’ve given up trying to teach an old dog new tricks.  I consider it a WIN when the old dog can remember his OLD tricks.  I’m not going to rock the boat by piling on more.  Quite frankly, I’m just glad the old dog is still here!  However, I have noticed that as he gets older, I have to learn new tricks.

Growing up in the seventies left the lasting scent of “Peace” and “Love” swirling in my brain.  So when Steven first got on his ‘We Need a Gun’ kick, I just laughed it off.  Normally, it only takes a few weeks for him to either forget a kick or just naturally move on to a new one.  But the gun thing wouldn’t go away.  He thinks that the cancer and chemo left him weaker and more sluggish than he was in his youth.  I think it might be aging that makes him feel that way.  But the cause is moot, because the feeling meant enough to him that he just wouldn’t forget the ‘We Need a Gun’ chant.

Ole BessieSo after months of his droning, I gave in and we went to a gun show.  I knew that if I cracked that door open, he’d run right through it, and he did.  He even called for back-up.  One of my brothers is both a hunter and a typical nudging brother, so Steven started getting reinforcement from someone who talks and texts me regularly.  It was an ambush; they wore me down and overpowered me with millimeters and ought-sixes and semi-automatic babble!

Now we have a gun and the chant has become “I need more bullets.”  Seriously?  He hasn’t used the first box up yet..or at all.  We live a small, safe beachside community where our house is 4 blocks away from the police station.  I told him we’d get more bullets after he shoots someone, which made me start wondering what would happen if we really had an intruder.  With all the medication Steven takes, he can sleep through a Space Shuttle take off, a major thunder storm, an accidental stomp on a dogs squeak toy in the dark and the triple crown of Whippet racing that tracks over the bed…at midnight.  Remind we why we got a gun…

Then I started getting links in my e-mail inbox.  All types of gun propaganda.  All from my husband.  The last one I opened was a You Tube home video of some Larry the Cable guy wanna-be who was hiding behind his bed with a shotgun aimed at the door (where the camera was located) and and handgun aimed at his window in a Dirty Harry scenario that just happened to include his sleeping pet beagle who wouldn’t get off the unmade bed. I couldn’t even watch the whole 9 minutes because I could feel brain cells dying as that hillbilly ranted.  When I asked Steven why I had to see that nut job, he said it was all about being prepared.  We needed to rehearse…just in case.  We needed a plan of action!

That’s when I discovered that Steven planned to be asleep through the siege.  There it is!  He’s worried because he is so knocked out after the meds kick in that he’s afraid that if something does happen, he won’t be able to respond…to protect us.  He’s worried about me, which is sweet.  What’s not sweet is that his plan begins with me hiding behind the bed, in camo pajamas with a flash light pointed at the door and a gun in my hand rehearsing the Bin Laden raid.  Seriously?  I’m the ‘Peace’ ‘Love’ generation.  I never planned to shoot a gun, much less to shoot a person!  Do other wives have to do this?  I can see other women raking their showers, but crouching next to the bed like a sniper?

I’m a patient woman.  And I know my husband.  I knew it wouldn’t go away until I humored him, so I sucked it up and walked through the plan with him.  Rehearse…we must rehearse!  Dogs in the closet so they don’t run into the line of fire.  Check.  Flashlight on and pointed at the door so I can see the perp.  Check.  Before I take my place I’m supposed to roll Steven off the bed to the floor for safety…but he wouldn’t let me rehearse that part.  Hell, where is the fun in doing this if I don’t get to push him off the bed?  Whatever…I rehearsed.  I’m a fast study and good sport, and I knew that this would stop this craziness.

It did.  Since then, we haven’t spoken of the gun…except for the ‘I Need More Bullets’ chant.  Although that’s not really about the gun.  That’s more about trying to get a rise out of me!  However, now Steven sleeps better because he feels like he’s got protection.  Unfortunately, then I couldn’t sleep because I felt so RESPONSIBLE for our safety.  Recently, though, I had a moment of clarity.  We had a storm and the thunder and lightning had the dogs huddled up in bed with us.  Steven was snoring and I was trying to nod off.  There was a knock at the door…

Steven SleepingI got up, went to the door, and opened it, no gun in tow.  Surprisingly, Steven was right behind me holding the gun.  Standing there was a police officer with a flashlight.  He was alerting us that the storm had knocked down a tree in our side yard and it was blocking the road.  He was just giving us the heads up because that’s the kind of danger we have in our little community.  Beware of trees. Standing there in my uber-sexy camo pajamas, I thanked him.  He probably thought I thanked him for the heads up.  I thanked him because we didn’t have to shoot anyone, but if we did, it would have been Steven doing the shooting.

My wonderful, brave and awake husband stowed the gun and walked out with the officer to survey the damage.  When he came back in he climbed into bed and quickly drifted off to sleep knowing that if he had to, he could be the tough guy he used to be before cancer, before chemo, before 50.  He could protect his girls.

I just raked off my side of the bed and fell asleep thinking about how funny men are.


I Left My Hurt in San Francisco

Golden Gate BridgeI hate to get political.  I really do.  I think it’s a conversation that rarely ends well when you debate someone with the polar opposite opinion that you hold dear.  It ends not as a meeting of the minds, but rather two strong willed people parting company, muttering “idiot”, “moron” or “dickweed”  (or maybe that’s just me muttering “dickweed”)  Anyway, it is a part of life, and I’m nothing if not an advocate of current event awareness.  Hence, one would think that a political thought might occasionally have to pass through here. And away we go!

This is a copy and paste from The New York Times.  It is an Associated Press article published on May 18, 2011:

“A group seeking to ban the circumcision of male children in San Francisco has succeeded in getting the measure on the November ballot.”


Fisherman's WharfAre you freakin’ kidding me?  Steven and I were in San Francisco for a 2 week vacation in 2009.  We had a blast, but it was different!  A friend there has back problems.  She has a medical marijuana card.  They sell it like Advil.  That’s legal.  We saw people smoking pot waiting at the bus stop.  That is legal.

There are tattoo shops where you can walk in, get inked, have your nipples pierced and have holes the size of hub caps stretched into your ears.  That is legal.  At Fisherman’s Wharf, I saw 2 not-so-pretty girls sucking face with each other, 2 way-too-pretty guys pawing and playing grabby-ass with each other and an old man making out with his Schnauzer.  That was gross, but apparently legal.

So again, are you freakin’ kidding me?  Steven is all up in arms about this.  According to his take on a specific Bible passage, he will expound on the belief that males be circumcised as homage to God.  (We’ve covered the differences in our interpretation of God, Christianity and Bible passages in past posts, so do your history homework – reading is FUNdamental).  As a Catholic schooled gal, I’m not being irreverent when I say homage – schmomage.  An uncircumcised schlong is just ewwww-ie.

View from FairmontI can’t say that I’ve seen THAT many wieners in my life time, but aren’t most American men circumcised?  Why would this even come up?  Like San Francisco isn’t nutty enough!  Now they are going to try to pass a law making it illegal to do a little snip-nip when a baby boy is napping and his junk is the size of a pig in a blanket.  Much better to wait until he’s 18, when he’s old enough to realize how much that chop-chop is going to hurt.  And by the way, if all went well during puberty, this should no longer be a nip-snip.  I hope Obama-care covers fillet man-dong!

Steven has been through the nastiest of chemotherapy.  We always say a day without chemo is a great day.  Unless you just turned 18 in San Francisco.  Suddenly chemo doesn’t sound so bad.

Nut jobs.  (I mean the Californians!)

Cotton Balls, Aloe and Hemorrhoids

There are two sides to everything, including me.  I know how to behave in polite company, but sometimes I just have to cross over to the inappropriate side of the street.  Sometimes, I need it to keep me laughing. Rereading my last few posts has me realizing that I need a break from the heartwarming, rah-rah, you-can-do-it, sappy stuff.  So let’s talk hemorrhoids.

I don’t remember where I learned this, but for years the phrase, “You buy the premise, you buy the gag,” has echoed in my brain.  In joke telling, it’s the set-up, in writing, it’s the back story.  So before I really begin, here are the two back stories:

  1. Chemotherapy causes constipation which causes hemorrhoids.  During chemo, it is one of the most UN-funny side effects to weather.  I think once that particular problem comes into your life, it’s always there, lurking in the background waiting to rear it’s ugly head.  Or to head your ugly rear…whatever.  Steven has had chemo ergo…you fill in the blanks.
  2. Alexis has been trying to get a handle on a little health problem, nothing life-threatening, but in need of attention.  She goes to our family doctor here on the beachside, but she lives in Orlando.  Her job is hectic, and so is the doctor’s office, so she has trouble communicating her weekly updates as they monitor her changing medication.

That is enough premise.  Now please join with me for the rest of the ride.  I was iChatting with Alexis and she was complaining (she gets that from me) about not getting to speak directly with the doctor, wondering if her messages were being monitored correctly and yada yada yada.  I told her that I never have a problem getting through to the doctor, but you the main man.  Like with the hemorrhoids…to which she replied, “What hemorrhoids?”  I couldn’t believe that I never told her the Tale of Two Hemorrhoids (I’m amusing myself there.  You, too?)  

Once upon a time Steven and I made a round trip drive to Miami in one day.  It was about 7 hours in the car, and he was having ‘bottom’ trouble before we even left.  All that sitting put him over the edge.  We arrived back home to all kinds of creams, salves, balms and potions for hemorrhoids, but his tolerance is bad because of the chemo flash backs.  Naturally, this kind of thing always flairs up over a weekend, and after all our regular treatments were tried with no success, I started getting creative.  I knew witch hazel was supposed to be a help, and someone suggested putting it on cotton balls and cooling them in the frig first.  Not to be a wuss, I soaked them and stowed them right in the freezer.  If cool is good, frozen has got to be better, right?

I knew Steven had to be in MAJOR discomfort when I suggested that he stick a couple of frozen cotton balls up his wazoo…and he agreed.  Unfortunately, I think there is such a thing as TOO cold, and the freezer burn on his bum sent a shock to his sphinter that just made it even worse.  I went back to WebMD. ‘Herbs R Us’ and hemorrhoid.com, and that’s where the aloe came into play.  Not the Walgreens, buy it in a tube aloe.  No thank-you.  We have fresh, potent, all-natural aloe growing in our yard.  So I went outside, sliced off a few leaves, cut them up into butt sized portions and peeled them.  (OMG-butt-sized…I’m SO loving this). By this time, Alexis was crying from laughing so hard, because she knew that if I could convince Steven to put frozen cotton balls in his tush, I absolutely would be able to talk him into holding a slice of aloe between his cheeks. (WARNING: CUT OFF THE THORNY EDGES FIRST)

So by the time Monday rolls around, his patience is gone and he’s not having nearly the fun I’m having!  I reminded Steven to call the doctor as I was heading out to work.  I was about 3 blocks away when he called me on my cell phone.  He told the doctor’s office he had a problem with hemorrhoids.  They had told him they could see him on Wednesday.  Really?  I was not waiting for another 2 days of life with burning butt boy. 

The lesson for Alexis is that this is where the fun part comes into play.  You have to make it fun for THEM.  The office staff in a medical practice deals with tons of serious stuff and even more mundane symptoms.  They need a good story just like the rest of us.  Nobody wants to hear a conversation about chicken pox and the flu.  But how great is tonight’s cocktail hour going to be with a funny hemorrhoid story! Especailly when it’s true.  So I called and spoke the truth:

“Hi, this is Alexandra.  My husband Steven just called and asked to see the doctor.  Did he tell you he had a little problem with a hemorrhoid?  Did he tell you this part?  He was in so much pain over the weekend that I soaked cotton balls in witch hazel, stuck them in the freezer until they were frozen and then made him shove them up his ass.  It didn’t work.  So since Sunday, he’s been standing around at home, squeezing a slice of fresh aloe between his butt cheeks, hoping it doesn’t slip down the leg of his pants.  Does he really have to wedge it in there until Wednesday?…Yes he can be there by 10…and I’ll let him know that I told you about the cotton balls and aloe.  Try not to laugh at him when he comes in, but if you do, he’ll be OK.  He’s kind of used to it.”

And he was…because that’s how you get a fast appointment to the doctor!