I have this disease that had been in remission for over a year before coming back over the Christmas holidays. What it does to me is really quite embarrassing, but if by sharing, I can help others, it will all be worthwhile.
It's quite painful and my behavior during the suffering is...well...sad. This disease gets inside my brain and insulates itself so nothing can get at and then it causes me to...boy, this is tough, it causes me to...walk on the beach with my wife. I'm so ashamed.Please, don't shun me in public next time we meet. I need your support and understanding to get through this.
My doctor believes this most recent recurrence over Christmas may have been triggered by a chemical reaction caused by a massive intake of chocolate chips, sprinkles, ice cream and fruit cake combined with low energy levels commonly associated with coma victims and Ted Williams' head. He attributed the latter (low energy levels not Ted Williams' head) to food narcosis and a New Year's Eve weight loss resolution that drowned in a Jethro-sized bowl of Captain Crunch on the morning of Jan. 1st.
The doctor did blood work and said my sugar readings pointed toward one of two scenarios: Either I was absorbing sugar by osmosis directly from the atmosphere or someone had tried to poison me. Counting on doctor-patient confidentiality, I informed him that my wife had once been briefly detained by local authorities back in second grade when she was accused of intentionally fattening up the neighbor kid with her Easy Bake Oven so he couldn't catch her anymore running home from the bus. She only avoided prosecution when the neighbor kid couldn't get a day pass from fat camp to come home and testify at her trial.Unfortunately, with recent events, she is once again, a "person of interest." But I digress.
It's day two of the new year. The elastic in my undershorts is making those little red marks a bit more prominent and the bathroom scale is buried underneath a pile of dirty clothes that is long on stretchy shorts and drawstrings. A bowl that had just played host to four scoops of ice cream sits empty on my stomach and I've just been charged with manslaughter for suffocating the couch cushions.
My teacher wife is home for Christmas vacation, affording her an insiders' look at the "on-the-go" lifestyle of Kevin Heald. She seems less than impressed after watching me go to the fridge, go to the bathroom and go to the bedroom for a nap. Catching me price-shopping for oxygen tanks after a particularly brutal afternoon walk with the dog seems to have been some type of proverbial last straw and now she's acting all crazy.
In a tone that is both threatening and demanding, she suggests that we take a walk on the beach. I fancy myself not a critic of the arts, but her grabbing the ice cream bowl off my stomach and the Pop-Tart from my hand while suggesting said suggestion, seemed a bit on the cheesy, theatrical side to me. I said I'd need to think about it. She proceeded to the kitchen while mumbling something under her breath. Oops.
Nothing good happens when Momma mumbles. The volcano analogy works very well here. We don't ask Momma what she mumbled when she mumbles. Instead, we rewind recent events in our head and then act accordingly. Or order takeout.
"I've thought about it and I'll be in the car waiting on you, honey," I said, but not before asserting my male dominance by letting her cool her heels for at least five, maybe even 10 seconds. We drove to the beach. Since my disease had been in remission for over a year, our beach sticker has expired. The wife says to check in the ashtray for quarters for the meter. I remind her we haven't had an ashtray since 1995. She mumbles again. The updated forecast calls for heavy ash with intermittent lava.
I tell her I'll ask somebody for change, but I have no luck. The beach stickers are nearly impossible to peel off one car and put on another. Or so I've heard. A young gentleman, most likely known as "dude" to his acquaintances, tells me not to worry, the meter-readers never come. I've been known to cook a can of biscuits past the expiration date and I've lived to tell the tale of drinking a Budweiser beyond its born-on date, but this meter mischief was a frontier my starship had yet to explore. A query posed to the wife as to whether this counted as a walk on the beach if we went home was nothing more than a reminder to pick up the latest Rosetta Stone on mumbling. We went for our walk on the beach. I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privileges on the meter issue, lest there be a diligent meter-reader reading this totally fictional account of my fictional visit to the beach. Totally.
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We told Kevin he couldn't write a two-part column just about going for a walk on the beach and he said it was a really long walk and if he had to do it, you had to do it. Sorry. He can be reached at LIFEisHEALD@yahoo.com.