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Thursday, January 22, 2015

I, Eye, Aye

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for DIY Surgery

I recently joined the 21st century with the purchase of a smart phone but I did not understand why they called it an I phone if it is a smart phone.   Wouldn’t it be called an S-Phone ?  Maybe the I stands for intelligent.  When I told my mother about my I-phone, she could not understand why I wanted a phone that you had to hold up to your eye.  That got me to thinking about homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have differently meanings) and my son’s doctor.   I shall explain.

My middle aged son has a prosthetic eye so when he gets an eye infection, I take it quite seriously.   When I saw the swollen tissue around his eye socket, I went into “Mama Over-Drive.”  I called our local VA clinic only to discover they were “in between” ophthalmologists.  No surprise there.  She advised me to take him to the Houston VA three hours away in heavy traffic.  “Nope, we will go to Shreveport. It’s closer, smaller, less traffic, and I know my way around.”  Civilian Mama’s can say that.

When dealing with government agencies, you go directly to where the power is and that would be a secretary or receptionist.  If you can find a person that is both, you are gold.  I called the Eye Clinic and hit pay dirt with James, receptionist and secretary.  I explained the situation and that we were already in the system.  He told me that if I asked for a referral from home, it could take two to three weeks so go directly to the Emergency Room.   “A nurse will look at him and say ‘Hummm’ and refer him to a P.A. who will look at him and say ‘Hummm’ and refer him to a doctor who will look at him and say ‘Hummm, send him to the eye clinic’  and I will get you in to see an eye specialist.”

The next morning we left at 6a.m.  My plan was to arrive in time to get a parking space within a mile of the emergency room, after the early morning heart attacks had been treated, and before the 8a.m. shift changes to avoid being lost in the switch over.  We lucked out in that we did get a parking spot a few yards from the ER entrance and before the shift change.

 I had removed my son’s fake eye and had it in a zip lock bag with water.  I contemplated having him carry that in his hand with his eye socket uncovered achieving a sort of a zombie look in hopes we would gross everybody out and get faster service but it was before breakfast and the only person getting queasy was me.

Just as predicted at 9a.m. the nurse said “Hummm.”  At 10 a.m. the P.A. said “Hummm” and at 11 a.m. the doctor said “Hummm.  Send him over to the eye clinic.”

At 11 a.m. James got us registered and an appointment with the eye specialist.  Now I have learned over the years to be prepared for long waits.  I had my I-Pad and I-Phone fully charged.  I had my tote bag with water, diet Coke, Snickers, two skeins of yarn, crochet needle, scissors, a couple of “Kin We’re Not Related To” books to sell or read, the eyeball, and a list of all medications.

At 3 p.m. I had eaten the Snickers, drank the diet Coke, and crocheted three sweaters, an afghan, four scarves and a hat.  I had advanced eight levels on Candy Crush and texted everybody I knew on my now dead I-phone and I-pad.

Finally we got in to see the doctor who asked:

“Why did you take the eye out?”

“It was hurting him.”

“You took it out because it was hurting him?”




“You took it out yesterday, yourself, the eye?”

“That’s what I said.”

Finally my son said “A doctor took it out after a car crash fifteen years ago.”

The relief on the doctor’s face caused the color to return. 

 Fake eye, real eye.  Same word, same spelling, different meaning.

When the doctor could breathe again, he wrote a prescription and asked that we return the following week to re-evaluate the situation and to see if a new prosthetic eye is needed.

 I resisted the urge to say “AYE,  AYE Captain.  I will return with my son and the EYE as requested.” 

Ok, cut me some slack. I didn’t say it….out loud.  Both my brain and my butt were numb. I had been seated in a car or waiting room for 11 ½ hours.   Ayiii-ya-ya Ayiii







Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where Have All the Turkeys Gone?

By Jody Worsham, yes co-author “Kin We’re Not Related To” in case you forgot

All rights reserved for handicapped ramps

From early November to late December the supermarkets abound with turkeys:  fresh, frozen, buttered, injected, smoked, fried, Cajun, Mrs. Smiths.  The turkey hotlines are staffed 24/7 to answer all of your turkey needs.  Magazines feature perfectly bronzed turkeys complete with drumstick booties deliciously displayed on platters with cranberry garnishes.  Google hits are in the millions for recipes for leftover turkey. 

And now it is January.  Where have all the turkeys gone?  They no longer fill the endcaps at the supermarkets.  So what has happened to the big birds?

Have the unsold birds been sent to the North Pole for low cost storage until next November?  Has the market been so over saturated that the mere mention of a turkey sandwich sends would-be-eaters racing for Taco Bell?  Has the turkey hotlines finally answered all turkey questions and has switched to automated calls only? Has the Google million hits counter now centered on diets and New Year’s resolutions?

But my next question is even more disturbing.  With the whole birds gone from the stores, where are those turkey legs coming from?  Do we have a lot of paraplegic turkeys wheeling around on skateboards?   And if all there is in the market place from January to late October is turkey legs and ground turkey, are the remaining whole turkeys in hiding?  Is there an underground turkey railroad moving the birds from carnivorous states to California, a known vegetarian state?  And is our ground turkey coming from those birds that did not make it to a vegan state?   

But most importantly, if all we have are paraplegic turkeys and “free” birds, where are next year’s whole turkeys coming from?  I can only hope there is a cashe of artificially inseminated turkey eggs somewhere waiting to be hatched. Otherwise Black Friday will become Black Thursday with no turkeys. 

Pulling a fish bone is just not the same as pulling a wishbone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Strangers in the Night, Slot Buddies

by Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for oddities

            There is something about being confined with strangers for a lengthy period of time that makes you lifelong buddies, even if you never learned their names.  People trapped in elevators for a few hours might end up exchanging Christmas cards the next year.  It happens to people waiting in line for three hours at Wal-Mart on Gray Thursday.  And if you happen to run into those people several weeks later you might, as I was, be greeted with “I appreciate your teenager entertaining my two-year-old in the freezer line.”  But nothing bonds people together faster than a few drinks on New Year’s Eve in a casino around a bank of slot machines with a common “enemy”.

            Over the past few months at our favorite casino donation center, we have repeatedly encountered two people we have dubbed “The Odd Couple.”   The Odd Couple seems to have staked an imaginary claim to four of everyone’s favorite slot machines and no one else should ever play them.  If you do, they will stare at you, point at you, and frown if you win any of “their” money.  The maximum donation is $1 if you hope to ever hit the jackpot.  However, the Odd Couple will only play their system which involves keeping a thick notebook, using several player cards, allowing the machine to periodically rest,  having their spouse sit on the opposite machine so no one else can play it, and change up their bet ranging from 1 cent (yes I said 1 cent) to 20 cents and rarely $1.00. 

            Other people have come to recognize the Odd Couple as well, knowing them by various other names, of course.  I am not sure how it happened, but Carol and Sandra (we learned their names several hours later) and Dr. Hubby and I managed to occupy their four favorite machines at the same time much to the chagrin of the Odd Couple. 

As we were being entertained by the spinning slot wheels, the Odd Couple began to circle.  They pointed.  They stared.  They whispered.  We kept playing.  Dr. Hubby’s system involves “talking” to the machines so when Carol would go to the bonus round, Dr. Hubby would begin calling for more doubles, or bonuses, rather loudly.  When Carol got them, we all shouted. People gravitated to the excitement expecting to see a great win only to be disappointed at all the excitement over a $1.32 cent Jackpot.

 It seems, I am ashamed to say, the more the Odd Couple frowned, the louder we got.  To keep my playing money from running out too quickly, I would take frequent potty breaks.  The longer we held onto the machines, the odder the Odd Couple became.  Sandra said “I’ll play a penny at a time before I let them have my machine.”  After a couple of trips to the ATM machine, Carol vowed “I’ll outlast them even if I have to mortgage the farm.”  We learned later that she didn’t have a farm.   

As it got closer to midnight, the champagne began to flow even as the Odd Couple continued to circle.  Sandra wanted to go to her room and put on her warm pajamas and come back, but she was afraid one of the Odd Couple would grab her machine.  After a few glasses of champagne, referred to as “this kerosene stuff” by our new friends, one leaned over to me and said “If I was a drinking woman (I didn’t count the number of empty glasses) I might go over there and whip her butt.”  By this time my butt was numb and Dr. Hubby was hoarse from talking to the machines.  Somehow this had turned into an endurance battle, us four against the Odd Couple.  There was a sign on the wall with a 1-800 number to call if you had a gambling problem.  I think we had an Odd Couple problem.

At exactly midnight, 2015 arrived and 2014 left as did our Odd Couple. We won!  We were broke, but we had won. “Thank goodness.  I was about to run out of money,” said Carol.  “Now I can go to bed.  I have been wanting to for the past two hours,” came from a very tired Sandra.  Heady with our victory, we all smiled, wished each other a Happy New Year, exchanged addresses and I think secretly promised to meet back next year.  Strangers in the night no more.

 Odd, isn’t it?