Cumberland Times-News

Columns

February 15, 2014

This wasn’t the best place to stretch out

First, an apology. The opening part of our Feb. 2 discussion (“Those people had plenty to argue about”) should have read:

“Tomorrow is the 149th anniversary of a minor footnote in American history but an important date in West Virginia history. It was on Feb. 3, 1865, that slavery was abolished in the Mountain State.”

I said it was the 99th anniversary. Dummy.

Adding and subtracting and coming up with the correct answer was never one of my strong suits. It kept me from getting A’s in high school chemistry and physics instead of B’s and C’s.

It seems that I ran afoul of Goldy’s Rule 77: When you try to do too many things at once, you will do something wrong, and it will be such a simple thing that neither you nor anyone else will notice it until it is too late.

 ——————

The EMT was on the radio, saying that the patient’s vital signs were good, and he was conscious, alert and able to respond to questions and was not intoxicated.

Those were good things, I reflected, particularly since he was talking about me.

It has happened before, and I should have known better, but — as it says in Goldy’s Rule 155 — you may learn more from your mistakes than you do from doing things right.

Hopefully, I have learned my lesson. This will be reflected at the end of today’s discussion in Goldy’s Rule 157.

The nurse at the hospital asked me for a contact person, and I told her about my cousin Cyndy ... except she lives about seven hours away from Gettysburg. She’s eight days younger than I am and I’m used to listing her as next-of-kin.

“What about ME?” asked Capt. Gary.”I’m HERE!” OK, I said to the nurse. Put him down.

Gary gave her the phone number at Gettysburg Eddie’s, where all this started. He doesn’t handle hospitals very well (all things considered, I don’t blame him) and wanted to go back to watch the Super Bowl.

He asked if I minded that, which I didn’t — the bar was right around the block — and I told him to go ahead. No use in both of us missing the game. Besides, we were there for his birthday.

Me, I’m used to hospitals ... if, that is, you ever can get used to them. I also know that if you are in a good mood, that makes it far easier for the people who work in them. So I tried to be that way.

The lady asked me my marital status and I said, “Divorced ... for 40 years.”

She laughed and said, “I understand where you’re coming from.”

The doctor said the tests and EKG were normal, so I could leave. I wasn’t even intoxicated — at least two beers short of DUI level, which wasn’t bad for being in the bar for six hours.

He said what happened to me sometimes happens to other people for no apparent reason.

I was reminded of a time I thought I had a serious health problem, but the doctors found nothing that could have caused it.

People asked if it bothered me that they couldn’t find anything wrong.

I told them, “Hell, no! If they’d found something, THAT would have bothered me!”

Gary had celebrated his 50th at Gettysburg and wanted to celebrate his 60th there. So we went, not knowing that the mother of all ice storms would join us there.

My feeling has long been that ice belongs in a glass, surrounded by some form of beverage.

We didn’t get back to town until Thursday afternoon, which is why last Sunday’s column was a rerun.

We celebrated Gary’s birthday on Tuesday at Gettysburg Eddie’s, where the owner Bill and his staff are like our family — our Band of Brothers and Sisters.

There was a cake — with the candles that don’t want to blow out — and a half-yard of beer for Gary to drink. He got three birthday cards, a bunch of balloons sent by our friend Jayne in Wisconsin, who was aided and abetted in the arrangements by Paula the beertendrix, and I don’t know what all.

He was almost crying while I was lying there on that hospital gurney, but the night of his birthday he was moved to tears for a different reason. It’s good to know that you’re loved.

Best of all, our buddy Andy — who got run over by a train and lived to tell about it — has left his wheelchair and crutches behind, only seven months after he almost died.

After I got out of the hospital, I went straight back to the bar. Everybody in the place stood up and applauded for me. I felt almost like Norm Peterson on “Cheers.”

The first person to come and hug me was the off-duty EMT who came right to my side when I began to totter and passed out.

Gary grabbed me by one side, and Mark, our buddy who runs the motel where we stay, hollered “Get the @$%& out of the way!” and grabbed the the other.

I was unaware of this. Next thing I remember is looking up and being surrounded by people who wanted to know how I felt.

I said. “I’d be a lot more comfortable if I wasn’t stretched across these damn bar stools.” That got a few smiles.

“You had everybody in the place worried,” said our buddy Brian. “But you were as calm as could be.” Which I was.

I told Gary we’d had a rare gift. We had it demonstrated to both of us that people you don’t know very well, if at all, can suddenly care a great deal about you.

As for me, I already knew that going for several hours without eating while I am drinking — even if it’s not enough to get me drunk — is not a good thing.

I get lightheaded and, in this case, passed out. I’ve heard of it happening to other people.

Ironically, I was hungry and would have eaten, except that it was Super Bowl party time at Eddie’s, and the food was about to come out.

By the time I got back from the hospital, I wasn’t even hungry (when I sat down at the bar, they gave me a big glass of ice water).

The sandwich I ate didn’t go down very easily, but it go down it did — and the next morning at breakfast, I made up for lost time.

So I have now instituted what I think may be my favorite Rule of all:

Goldy’s Rule 157: Goldy eats.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!

    July 27, 2014

  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • O’s, Pirates will be buyers, but when?

    Not that we should expect any blockbuster deals to go down as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, but the names you hear in Baltimore are catcher Kurt Suzuki and starting pitchers Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett and Jorge De La Rosa.

    July 27, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    July 27, 2014

  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014