My old chum, Freddy Farquart and I were sitting around sucking down Scotch when a thought intruded. “Hey, Freddy,” I said, “There were some times in you life where you dodged the bullet, right?” After a suitable pause, I looked up and said, “Ya know Freddy, I’ve dodged a few myself — if you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine”.
“OK, Merl, you first”, said Freddy as he took another sip.
So here’s what I told Freddy.
When I was six, I had a strangulated hernia. Rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery.
At age thirteen, I had my tonsils removed and caught pneumonia for the first and second times.
At fourteen I fell off a roof. One the way down, I scrapped the skin off my back in the cedar shakes. I also lit on my head, knocking me out for about five minutes. Moreover, I skewed myself right in the armpit on a small picket fence surrounding the little sidewalk on which I koshed myself. One of the small pickets went into my shoulder joint, dislocating the bones.
When my fifteenth year came around, I broke my hand playing ice hockey. Asshole from Bloomington stomped on it because I stopped his puck.
About twenty or twenty-one, I buried an axe in my leg while helping Grampa clean up after a storm.
When I was twenty-four, I had a seizure and found out I am an epileptic. I have both Grad Mal and Temporal Lobe.
At thirty-three I had surgery for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
At about the same time, I had a putrescent cyst cut out of my ear canal.
As of this writing, my mouth is as full of gold as Ft. Knox and I’m missing three teeth.
When I was fifty-eight, I found out I have cancer and had a totally maiming operation that really fucked me up.
I’m as deaf as a post and have hearing aids turned all the way up. Through the years I learned to lip-read.
As 2003 rolled around, my appendix blew and I was in the hospital for the better part of a week as they treated me for Peritonitis.
In 2013 I had another operation for the cancer.
A year and half ago I found out the cancer had metastasized and went on chemo — which, praise be, seems to have worked!
Last Christmas Season, while playing Santa, I got dehydrated and contracted gastroenteritis thanks to norovirus. This caused me to go to the hospital (via ambulance) where I was put in isolation in the cardiac ICU because of the heart attack I had, thanks to septic shock that topped it all off. They tell me it was a near thing.
Today? All is well. For now . . .