Friday, August 08, 2014

Middle Age Injuries Are No Laughing Matter

We had the privilege of having Sunday lunch with our dear friends. A great meal, great conversation, a paddle around the bass lake with moderate success. All seemed well until the science experiment.

My friend is a chemist. His current laboratory is his pool. He is experimenting and needed some human subjects. His wife was in the pool and so I figured we were safe but I am guessing that he has had her on particular preventative anti-dotes before he enticed the Hurts into his chemical bath.

We should have been suspicious on two accounts. First, the neighbors were gladly sunning themselves beside the pool. It was warmish, not blazingly hot, but they were directly in the sun, growing rapidly radiant by the minute without so much as a dip of the toe in the strangely bluish hueing water. Secondly, there was a white two gallon bucket freely floating in the water with the words CHLORINE handwritten on the side. Now, I know chlorine can be a good thing in a pool but I also know that it is a hazardous chemical. That is what I get for unfailing confidence and trust in my Phd. Chemist experimenter. After my swimming trip, I am fairly certain his wife's suit is made of impermeable materials. I also noticed she never ducked her head under the water!

Did I mention that he recruited my twelve year old son to fully sink the bucket to the bottom of the pool directly over the drain? My eyebrows twitched but I am a trusting soul. I was distracted for a moment and looked away but I thought I heard the chemist utter a whisperingly suppressed, braw, ha, ha, ha! from behind his hand as he appeared to wipe his face. My son did not drown but I wonder what all he encountered down there?

Back to the dangers of middle age.

My first injury. Burning eyes. Not normal chloriney stingy. I know what that feels like and don't mind it much. This was downright, eye plucking, losing my eyesight, I think I might die, I want to cry, sort of trouble. I think my contacts melted. Even after I removed my contacts, the pain refused to subside for hours and sleep was intermittent with dreams of eagles plucking at my face. I dreamed of my friend smiling and sending his carrion off his right arm towards me with rapid blinks to communicate to the bird to attack in the eyes. The eyes! Get the eyes!

Second injury- Severely sprained finger. The Experimenter planned this one, too, methinks. I am wondering if the real experiment was to see if high doses of topical chlorine might actually aid the rapid healing of deep contusions. The answer is, "No!" Every letter I type is with an agonizing wince as my swollen finger buckles against my other aging, arthritis doomed, companions.

His plan? Just dive through that tube there. Tube is really a refusal to humiliate myself further. But I do have a commitment to the absolute truth. So, at the risk of embarrassing my family such that we have to rapidly relocate, I must admit that the Tube was a Rubber Ducky. Not the little three inch kind that floats around in your kid's bathtub. I mean the kind the kid floats around in at the pool. This one may not have been a Rubber Ducky. I think he was a Dinosaur. The very creepy kind. Anyway, the Chemist convinced my unsuspecting progeny to dive through the ducky first. I don't think it would have hurt his feelings had my son sprained his neck. That would have made the experiment really exciting. However, since my son is much smaller than the opening of the Ducky Tube, he made it through in one successful swish.

The Chemist Experimenter then made the successful dive. This was impressive as he is also a middle ager and not laughing at Middle Age Injuries. But he is in surprisingly good shape, a frequenter at the pool and I suspect he has practiced relentlessly leading up to the said experiment, diving through excessively large Ducky Tubes and reducing the size to this pee wee Ducky as he learned the move with success. It was the perfect set up.

My turn. No problem. What are those famous redneck last words? Oh, ya, I remember. "Watch this!" So, my dive at the Ducky, not through, resulted in two negative effects. First, the Ducky is duck soup, deceased, pierced through, popped, limpified, no longer buoyant. In a word, he is a dead duck. Now, just because the Ducky was pierced, does not mean he gave up without a fight. He resisted, if only briefly, but with pluck. My finger popped the life out of the old duck but not before the said digit made a quick twist that way and then an equal and opposite twist this way, after which it swolled up good and big. Don't try this in your pool at home. The chemist laughed. So did the progeny.

Third injury, a new one. Duck elbow. On my way home, I was discussing something radically important with the wife of my youth and the arrows in my quiver. I am unfortunately unable to edify you with the import of that particular diatribe because I cannot remember what it was. I do, remember, however, that it involved directions. I know this because I was enthusiastically, pointing South, then West, and when I hit NorthWest, something in my elbow snapped and the torn and deceased Duck got one last laugh in his rubberized deathbed. Yes, I hurt myself pointing. But at least I was making a point in multiple directions and can maintain the excuse that the motion was more circular than direct. Don't try circular pointing if you are over 45!

I can now tell my mad chemist that excessive chlorine and whatever else chemical concoction he conceived for his guests, does not, in fact, heal diving or even pointing contusions. I believe we have a clear negative on his hypothesis. Put that in your bucket and sink it! I am looking forward to taking him fishing.

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