Let me start this week by going back to last week’s column. I just wanted to make it known that the final paragraph of my last piece was meant to be strictly funny and ironic nothing more, nothing less. No one called me out on it, but when I read it later on, I was afraid that people not familiar with my work might have thought that I was being pedantic or condescending. When in fact, the entire closing paragraph was written with tongue firmly imbedded in cheek. I figured the fact that I set a new world record for the longest run on sentence ever in print would have given away my sarcasm, but I just wanted to make certain I dispelled any hint of literary arrogance.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, (and my chest will come into play later on in this story), I can get started on this week’s piece. As is so often the case, this is one of those weeks when the column just wrote itself, and I was nothing more than a vessel for the story. The combination of Mother Nature’s wrath, my own perpetual bad luck, and a sweet little old lady made my work pretty easy. Hence, Kim and Kanye get another week of reprieve from my linguistic tsunami.
The six inches of snow last week, following a holiday weekend and combined with single digit temperatures all week ensured that I was essentially housebound with my three daughters while my wife worked. There was my pair of toddlers who are usually with me, but my 10-year-old only had school one day, and there was a two hour delay for it. Now throw in the fact that the little girl down the street spent enough time at my house that I can probably now claim her as a dependent. This time of year I’m only working weekends in the bar so by the time Friday came around, I couldn’t have been more eager to escape my frosty, estrogen heavy dwelling and go to work. If only for a little male camaraderie, sports on the TVs instead of Frozen, and the ability to drink something a little stronger than hot cocoa in a Princess mug.
As I pulled out of my driveway last Friday (in my wife’s Jeep which exponentially increased the odds of my safe travel over my Honda Odyssey) I had no idea that this scenario would ultimately lead to a chance encounter with one of the sweetest little old ladies I’ve ever met and a renewed sense of faith in humanity. This one is going to bounce around a little, but I’ll do my best to keep it easy to follow.
The night went as well as could be expected as far as a Friday night in February working a bar in Ocean City goes. The weekend following a holiday weekend when it’s 5 degrees out with snow and ice everywhere isn’t a banner weekend by any means. By that of course I mean that only slightly more than a handful of people were brazen enough to ascend three flights of icy stairs for the profound privilege of having me serve them a cocktail or two. So I essentially wrote off the night as a financial loss and viewed it as me hanging out with one of my best buddies, watching a little basketball, sharing a burger, and capping off the evening with a little vodka. But it got me out of the house for a few hours, reminded me that I do still have a little shred of testosterone, and made me feel like I’m a little bit more than just a nanny.
With nothing at all noteworthy to write about the shift itself, I’ll jump forward to the end of the night when my partner and I closed up and were walking to our respective vehicles. I trudged through snow and ice at about 2:30 in the morning and made it to about 8-feet from my car. At that point, I hit a patch of ice, went both airborne and horizontal, and immediately lost my bout with gravity. I came crashing down onto the curb with the velocity of the unfortunate recipient of a parachute that failed to open. I must have gone down like I was shot because my buddy came rushing towards me like it was much more serious than I had initially thought. I never even dropped my bag, and I couldn’t feel any pain at first, so I assumed I was fine. I didn’t take into account the fact that it was only 5 degrees out at the time and I couldn’t really feel anything…let alone pain. As I mentioned earlier, I had driven my wife’s car that night. 17-year-old Jeeps don’t exactly heat up quickly in these conditions and I didn’t think I had enough gas to let it run for awhile, so I hopped in the car cold and started it up. I only had about a ten minute commute so I figured I could tough it out until I got home.
Once home, I peeled off some layers, fixed myself a bite to eat, and made my rounds from room to room kissing all of my lovelies goodnight. As I began to warm up, the pain in my left torso increased, and by the time I climbed into bed, it was knocking on the door of excruciating.
Well, it turns out that this ran a bit long and is going to take 2 weeks to tell the whole story. So thanks for playing along. I hope you’re enjoying it so far. Check back next time to see where all of this is going.
Until then, Syd Nichols
Please send me your thoughts and input at firstname.lastname@example.org