Sunday, May 12, 2013

How Dodger Shirts Can Save Your Live

I was on the final leg of my four mile Saturday walk.  Made it down to the Grab and Rob but got sucked in for breakfast at the nearby Los Barrachos, a wonderful Mexican joint along the way home on this hot Visalia Morning.

The proprietor convinced me that a Cerveza Roja would be the perfect companion for my Torta Asada.  Whatever, I still wasn't fully awake.

I pulled out the newspaper I'd purchased from the the G and R and chuckled out loud about the Sacramento woman who had slugged a deputy just so she could have her ass hauled back to jail and dry up from her addiction. Whatever works.  Other patrons politely ignored my inappropriate laughter...

But now I was almost home, the Cerveza Roja just about burned off, and I saw a byclicist roaring toward me and screaming at the top of his lungs.  Couldn't make out his words yet but I took inventory and tried to assume the "Horse" stance, facing  your opponent laterally, front foot forward, back boot perpendicular as an anchor, hands half way uncommitted until you see the source of the threat.

At seventy five yards out I could hear the word "Dodgers", and realized that I was walking through a predominantly "Red" neighborhood still wearing the Bluish T-shirt from last night's surprise birthday party:  "Los Angeles" near the neckline, "LA" underneath, with bats crisscrossing like a skull and cross bones.  The guy coming at me looked young, crazed a little like that weird relief pitcher for the Giants, Sergio Romo.  I sensed this could end badly.

Especially since my right knee, the one I had used preemptively in the past to bust other peoples' knees and walk away unscathed, had recently suffered two torn ligaments which still hadn't been adjusted by surgery.

My left leg had little comparative kicking power and my left fist was going to be busy just trying to protect my recently broken rib.  All anyone would have to do is brush me in either of those areas, and I would be a screaming crying mess.

And then he was on me, still yelling at the top of his lungs: "Dodgers are just getting ready...they're going to take the pennant and you, my man, have made a great fashion choice!"

And he swished by me.  He must have been 50 yards away before I pointed toward him and yelled back,  "Yeah, you got that right.!"

I was barely 11:00 am.  I decided to go home, wash off my sweat, and watch a Dodger game if for no other reasons than loyalty--and gratitude.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to be Run over by Your Own Motorcycle

Your blood pressure is a little high...
"Maybe because I'm embarrassed about what happened to me."
And so I told my story...

And I told it over and over at the emergency ward while waiting for my x-ray results--until I suspected staff members were bringing people off the street, possibly charging admission...
"Okay, like I told the P.A. (Physician's Assistant)
I was riding a quad, you know an ATV, kind of like a motorcycle but with four wheels."

My latest listener nodded encouragingly.

"At the time, I was going down a steep hill, so steep most sane people wouldn't consider walking it.
My friend was behind me on his own ATV and we were taking it slowly, under 10 mph certainly."

Another nod from my latest visitor.

"Anyway, my right front wheel slid against a road channel and locked in sideways, stopping all forward motion.
The vehicle stopped abruptly and my body continued forward at the previous velocity."

And what happened?

"What happened?  Obviously, I sailed over the handle bars and landed 7 or 8 feet down the trail. 
Now usually, that's no problem.  Happens all the time, you know?"

A raised eyebrow.

"You know, like the saying I once saw on a t-shirt: I don't have a drinking problem. I drink. I fall down. No problem
Which is to say, I've fallen off  motorcycles many times-no big deal."

Then why are your here?

"Well obviously--because two wheeled idiot motorcyclists rutted this trail out over the years shaping it into an absolute "W".  I landed on the middle ridge of that sharp letter.
In seconds, it seemed to me, my friend was kneeling over me.  My first words were:

"It threw me." 
"Are you all right, John?"
"I'm not sure, Bob, , I remember a cracking sound when I hit the ground.  I didn't just feel it,  but heard it--with my ears.
Then I saw something big and green coming in from my right.  My quad.

My latest listener leaned forward in anticipation.

"Apparently the ATV I had just been ejected from had been idling, still in gear and at that point decided to move in for the kill. 
Kind of like--the bad man was down, time to finish him off but maybe it was just what they call post injury shock, I don't know."

My listener leaned back and went silent. I figured she was trying to distance herself from my Stephen King-like interpretation of events.  But I continued...

"Bob and I watched as the front wheels of my ATV rolled over both of my legs.  Didn't hurt much at the time, no snapping sounds, possibly because a quad is lighter when no one was actually riding it.

At this point my listener covered her mouth.

"And then the rear wheels--with all the weight of the 500 cc engine and tranny were about to roll over my legs a second time while I waited numbly for twin snapping sounds,
But Bob stood up and wrestled with the handle bars, managing to turn the killer machine away, and eventually jumped on top of it and parked it down the trail."

And all this happened how long ago?

"A little over 24 hours, I guess."

And it took you this long to seek medical attention for a fractured rib?"  (First I'd heard of it, thank you very much!)

"Well, you see, at the time we were less than half way to our destination."

Which was?

"Not sure. Just a couple of places way out on our map."

Then you started back to Visalia?

"Actually, no, because we found some huge logs along the way and we're planning on an enormous campfire that evening."

My listener shook her had back and forth and eventually stood up.

As she opened the door, 
I saw her motion to someone, a "next"  kind of gesture, hopefully for the PA, maybe even a real doctor.

But she turned to me before she left the room.

Have you considered having someone say a prayer over your motorcycle?

"Yeah, hah, that's good.  Like the Christine car in that old movie, bad mojo, bad metal, an exorcism kind of thing?"

She nodded and closed the door.

Honest to God, some people are so weird.  Why can't everyone be normal like Bob and me?