Friday, August 2, 2013

"Mopping Up"

This post is long overdue, and I sincerely apologize for the delay. 

Over time and on occasion – Pick one – I have written posts about events or experiences on which I neglected to follow up, leaving the reader in the dark about their ultimate resolutions.  This oversight, I admit without excuse, is thoughtless, sloppy and disrespectful to the reader.  So today, I’ll be tying up some loose ends.  

Better late than never.  But still, I could easily have done better. 


The Pool Fence.

I talked about a projected fence to be built around our pool to keep little children from drowning, and how this young scalawag had sweet-talked me into signing a paper, which he assured me, did not contractually commit me to his pool fence company but a subsequent reading of that paper revealed the opposite.

What ultimately happened?

First, we have not as yet installed such a fence.  And we really don’t want to.  Not that we’re okay with little children drowning in our swimming pool.  It’s just that, I mean, you keep your kids from going on the road, you can keep them from wandering near the water.  An enclosing fence may in fact be less a security device than a costly reassurance for hyper-anxious parents.   This one’s still up in the air.

As to my inadvertent – and stupid – commitment, on the day the installation was scheduled, the more intrepid member of our family called the misleading pool fence company and, in a tone reflecting no nonsense whatsoever, instructed them to not even think about showing up.

And they didn’t.


Before age 65, I had never had one.  I then enjoyed three of them within a period of three-and-a-half years.  After my most recent colonoscopy, the doctor called, informing me that the three polyps he’d removed had been benign, and suggesting that I schedule a subsequent colonoscopy in two years.  (My second colonoscopy took place after one year, and my third, after a year-and-a-half.)

Having prepared for this moment in my head, I confronted the gastroenterologist with a question:

“How much greater a risk would I be taking if I scheduled my next colonoscopy for three years instead of two?”

The doctor’s response to this query:

“None whatsoever.”

I agreed to a colonoscopy in three years, and considered it a victory.  But inside, I was fuming.  If the danger to my health was no greater after three years, why then did he originally recommend that I come back in two? 

(I am not asserting any financial implication, but who knows?  In reality, the two-year interval may have simply been a more conservative recommendation.  The problem is, A of all, the patient is generally too ignorant to make an informed judgment on such matters, and B – and I think it’s a problem – there is no consequence I’m aware of for a doctor who consistently over-tests.)

The Pen.

The old-fashioned stick pen I have written about that disappears from its holder for long periods of time and then unexpectedly reappears, took off again for about six months, and maybe ten days ago…

It was back.

New Comedians.

Not the most serious oversight, but perhaps the most embarrassing. 

I once asked for examples I should check out to upgrade my lagging awareness of the current comedians.  Some readers generously sent some suggestions, and I followed up on a couple of them.  But then I quit, and though I kept the list on my desk for some time, I eventually ignored it, and now it’s gone.

I was not disingenuous about my desire to keep up, but somehow, I was unwilling to make the necessary effort.  Perhaps I have a low threshold for staring at a computer screen.  Perhaps, I was simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of my “homework.”  Or maybe, I was just jealous of the comedians people liked, none of whom were me, and I was afraid that if I saw what they did, I would realize how “behind the curve” I am, and it would debilitate my “funny.”

I don’t know.  And if you still have that list, whoever sent it, perhaps you could send it to me again.  Maybe next time, I’ll try harder.  I have the intention to, anyway.

Those are four follow-ups I neglected to pass on.  If there are any others that you’re curious about, please do not hesitate to let me know.

I thank you for your indulgence.  And, as always,

For your showing up.


Doug said...

Agree on the pool fence. There's no substitute for vigilance. Parents need to make sure kids stay out of the street, and away from the pool. Oh, and swimming lessons can begin at a VERY early age. Most YMCAs or other similar orgs provide them at a reasonable fee. I've heard of too many stories of a child drowning even though a pool was fenced because the gate broke, or some other tragic malfunction.

Frank said...

Congratulations on not having had a small camera forced inside you before 65. Unfortunate having to make up that lost colonoscopy time so quick though.

Red N. White Barber said...

Where I live, state law requires a fenced yard for anyone with a pool. I would think it's the same in CA and most states. While I agree that a fence is a good idea, it's obviously not a guarantee. If I had a pool, I'd have 2 fences. I'd also have a moat, but that would probably require a 3rd fence.

RE the colonoscopy: I was lucky enough to be diagnosed with colon cancer when I was 49. So I've been enjoying the dignity destroying joy of colonoscopies for over 15 years, and once you've had colon cancer, the Dr. thinks it's a good idea to have a colonoscopy every 2 or 3 weeks - or so it seems. But after 3 or 4 annual photo sessions, I decided it was no longer necessary to do them so frequently. In fact, I've had a small fence installed around my hiney.

I imagine that I was one of those who submitted names for your list of comedians. Not that many that I care for anymore, but here they are:

Don Friesen
Billy Gardell
David Crowe
Bill Maher
Dennis Wolfberg (deceased, but still on YouTube, incl. his bit on colonoscopies.)
Jim Gaffigan

Except for Maher, I believe they are all clean comedians, little or no obscenities. I don't necessarily require that, but I prefer it.

Finally - I know this wasn't one of today's topics, but as long as I'm rambling...a week or so ago you mentioned that you know someone who thinks Vin Scully is boring, but even more fantastic, he preferred Jack Brickhouse to Scully. I happened to move to the Chicago area in '78 which was my intro to Mr. Brickhouse. By then, Jack had not just lost a little off his fastball, at times he'd lost the ball completely. I know the guy is in the broadcaster's wing of the Hall of Fame, but I found him to be lacking in many facets. Nevertheless, he is in the HOF so I'll give him his due - he must've been quite the broadcaster in his prime. Scully, even at whatever age he is, about 90?, still has his fastball and not only that, he carries out his job all by himself, nobody else to fill the air between pitches. And he's still got the great voice. He doesn't bore me at all. As for the real meaning of your blog that particular day, I hope at your level of maturity, you can now say I don't care if you don't like me or my stuff, I know I'm good! The rest of us know or we likely wouldn't be reading you every day.