CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Excuse please if today's column is a bit vague, but considering many read their paper during breakfast, some imprecision is a kindness.
Younger readers may want to skip this entirely as it applies only to those age 50 and above, or those who have a family medical history that, once shared with a doctor, soon has the patient asking, "You intend to do what with that hose?"
Although I'm still a few years from 50, my family history is such that this latest was my second. I recall almost nothing at all from my first. Not even the location of the facility where it was done. The one niggling memory that remained from that time was a mental note to myself to get some of those Pull-Ups for Grown-Ups the next time around.
Unfortunately, I didn't read that particular mental note until after I'd taken the four tiny pills (which I've come to think of as Seed-Sized Nuclear Detonation Devices) and downed the first of so very many GatorAid enhanced, yet still chalky drinks. By then, the clock was ticking. It was like having swallowed a time bomb, then pouring more and more fuel on it every half hour, knowing that at some point, the fuse would be lit. And the lighting would burn.
That's where a mathematical equation came into play. My side of the bed is exactly 16 feet from the bathroom. Living in our house with me are three dogs, two cats, one teenager, and one 51-year-old man. So--how many of these objects can locate themselves between X (X = my side of the bed) and Y (Y = the Necessary Destination)? I'm not good at math. So very, very not good at math. I've seen dog show agility courses with fewer obstacles than what I encountered.
But that only happened once. My way was clear from then on. Celeste went to bed. Geoff slept on the futon in my office. Two out of three dogs spent the night hiding in the closet. That third dog, however, lacks both survival instinct and intelligence.
Every time I stood, he read my movement as, "Yay! We're going to get cheese!" and then, apparently convinced I wasn't aware I was heading away from the refrigerator, whatever single brain cell that remains alive and well in his head prompted him to weave repeatedly in front of my feet in an attempt to change my direction.
By this point, I was at the stage that calls to mind this basketball thing. I'm not sure what the term for it is, but when a player shoots the ball and it swooshes through the net without ever touching the rim--that's kind of what had started to happen a couple hours into the prep. The swoosh.