So Much For Trying To Relax

For those of you who are following along at home, you will realize that I did not put out a post last week. Now, before you all cop an attitude and think that I just took the day off, well, you are partially right. But I did have a good, at least I think so, the reason for failing to provide said written material.

Let me take it from the beginning and I do have to start out by giving you a disclaimer.

What you are about to read is true. While the end result did actually happen, the circumstances around it had to be changed because Mrs. Nickels said that if I told what really happened, she’d kill me. And as those who have been following my chronicles for a while now know, death by Mrs. Nickels is not the most pleasant of experiences one would want to face

It all started a week ago Saturday. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. Children were playing in the neighborhood. I woke up that morning and I arrived downstairs in the kitchen just as the last drop of coffee fell into the freshly made pot. Yep, all the makings for a day ruled by “Murphy’s Law”.

Now you may be asking your collective selves “Just how could a day that started out so good finish so badly that we ended up missing one of your riveting, highly entertaining and deserving of a Pulitzer Prize blog post?”

Be patient people, I’m getting to that.

As I said, I got to the coffee decanter just as the last drop hit the full pot of freshly brewed nectar of the gods (coffee) and I proceed to pour myself and Mrs. Nickels a cup. And while I take my coffee black, Mrs. Nickels, on the other hand, takes her coffee just like a certain superhero named The Flash takes his coffee: A whole lot of milk and 37 sugars.

So anyway, after my lovely wife doctors her coffee to the point that every diabetic in the neighborhood starts to drool, she gives me my morning peck on the cheek and together we sit down at the kitchen table in silence for a moment or two while we drink the magical elixir that brings two adults back to life after an evening of being a semi-comatic state.

Once we both arrive back into a semblance of this state called “reality” we began to proceed from using monosyllabic sounds into words which form complete sentences that most people would understand.

“Morning Mrs. Nickels,” I said as I took another sip from my hot drink.

“Morning Babe” she replied in return.

Saturday mornings are really kind of special for us. Ever since the kids have moved out, it’s amazing just how blissfully quiet our home is. Gone are the fights over the remote as to who gets to watch what cartoon. Gone is the slamming of the front door as each of our offspring seeks to escape before they finish their Saturday chores. No fighting, nothing being slammed, no one ratting out their siblings because they have nothing better to do then set them up for a crime they didn’t commit. Yes, peacefulness at last.

So, as we are enjoying the serenity of our home, Mrs. Nickels looks over at me and says “Listen, it’s a gorgeous day out. So I have an idea. Let’s stay home and just relax. No chores. No washing the cars or doing the laundry. No yard work. Just a day of total relaxation just the two of us. There are only two quick little errands that have to be done and then we can spend the rest of the day by ourselves. If you like, we can BBQ a couple of steaks for dinner later but for the rest of the day, we do absolutely nothing.”

I sip again my Columbian Energy Drink (again, coffee), look over at my wife and say “Excuse me, but who are you? Aren’t you the woman that likes to get out and about on a beautiful day like this? You know you are the “let’s see what humanity is up to today” sort of person whereas I am the person who is “I’ve seen humanity and it sucks big time” kind of guy. The woman who believes that there are a time and a place for everything…including clean laundry and clean cars. And lest we forget, aren’t you the lady who, like Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now, loves the smell of freshly cut grass in the morning? Because you look just like the same woman I went to bed with last night, but obviously you have been abducted by aliens while I was asleep and now they are using your clone in order to achieve their plans of World Domination.”

“Wait a minute” I continued “What are these ‘two little errands’ that you said needed to be ran. Because if they involve your mother coming over here or anything involving The President of Mexico (my euphemism for Manual Labor) then the deal is off. I can always get on the Harley and be out of here before your Mother has a chance to park her broom.”

“No Mr. Nickels,” she said as she got up to pour me another cup of my Black Gold, “It’s nothing like that. I need you to go to Walmart and pick me up an ironing board. I’d go myself, but I can’t fit it in my car whereas it will fit quite nicely in your massive Jeep with no problem. Then, since you’ll be out anyways, you can then go to the store and pick out a couple of thick and juicy steaks for dinner tonight.”

I was about to open my mouth to protest in the midst of her rebuttal, but once she got to the part where I could “pick out a couple of thick and juicy steaks” I knew that she knew that I knew I would do her nefarious bidding of purchasing and transportation of said ironing board.

Later that morning I arrive at the place Mrs. Nickels calls Walmart or as I like to call it ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ (on steroids) because H.G. Wells couldn’t even imagine the creatures I’ve seen meandering up and down these aisles.

But I digress.

I found the ironing board in question. The reason I found it so fast is that Mrs. Nickels knew what aisle it was in and also sent me a pic on my phone as to exactly which of said boards of ironing looked like.

So, I get the ironing board, go to the check stand and while I am waiting, I am standing behind a middle aged woman who’s glory days were obviously left on a barstool somewhere in Kansas. She was friendly enough because she did smile when I let her go ahead of me due to the fact she only had a 12 pack of beer to purchase. But I notice that when she did smile, three of her front teeth were missing. They were probably sold, or should I say pawned, to the Tooth Fairy in order to pay for that delicious 12 pack of Walmart Brand Beer this woman was about to purchase.  She was wearing, and I’m not kidding here, a threadbare halter top and a pair of SpongeBob shorts. But what made this so interesting was that up near her the back of her neck was a tattoo that said “My name is Debbie” and yet, where her so called “Tramp Stamp” would have been, was the same tattoo of “My name is Debbie” except it was upside down.

And here I am thinking to myself “Maybe her boyfriend suffers from short-term memory loss. That would explain the tattoos” Of course when I told Mrs. Nickels later about what I saw, she set me straight as to the tattoos and their significance. I mean, I’d tell you guys, but after all, this is a kind of family blog, so to speak, and you never know who might be reading this.

So anyways, I get the board paid for and wheel it out of the store to my Jeep. I go to open the back tailgate and it won’t open. Turns out there is an inside lever that you have to crawl into the back of the Jeep, remove this tiny panel, flip up this tiny switch and this releases a security locking system that sometimes gets activated in my vehicle. It happens once in blue moon and it seems it happened today.

Remember what I said about Murphy’s Law? Yeah, this is the part where it comes into play.

So I climb back out of the Jeep, go around to the back, pull the outside latch, lift up the tail and load the ironing board. Put the hatch down and proceed to go to the grocery store to pick out two juicy and delicious steaks and begin our relaxing day.

So far…so good.

I get to the store, go in and not only pick out two excellent steaks but some other things (like more bacon) I thought we needed for the house. I get out of the store, get to my Jeep, unlock it, pull the back latch to lift the tailgate and…nothing!

It happened again.

So, this time, I am climbing over my back seat and with the side of the ironing board poking me in the ribs, I go to reach to remove that previously mentioned panel when I slip and my ribs land hard against the side of the ironing board.

I have to tell you, it hurt…a lot. Again, I get the lift gate open like last time and head home. I told Mrs. Nickels what happened and that I am grateful that we aren’t doing anything because now my ribs are really starting to hurt. So, I do what most guys do in this situation: Kind of shrug it off, pop a couple of Motrin and take it easy the rest of the day.

The next day was Sunday and by now I’m really in a lot of pain. I’ve taken shots to the ribs before when I was skiing or playing football with the guys and usually in a day or so the pain went away. But Mrs. Nickels wouldn’t let this go. She made me stay home from church (which I’m glad she did because I was in no shape to go, much less teach my class) and said that if I am hurting tomorrow, I am to go to the doctors and get checked out.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years is that once Mrs. Nickels puts her foot down about something, in this case looking after her husband, one had better do what she says because imminent death or at the very least dismemberment will be involved.

We go to bed that night and I can’t lay on my right side because it hurt so bad. I was having a hard time breathing. It hurt like the devil to yawn, laugh or even take a deep breath. I didn’t sleep well that night and Mrs. Nickels, though she didn’t say it out loud, was indeed worried.

Monday morning, the day I usually start work on this post, I call and found out that my normal doctor is booked for the day. But once the call center heard what happened and that it was an injury, I was directed to go to Urgent Care to be seen.

I arrive at Urgent Care when it opened, got checked in and sat down to wait with a book and my tablet. I figured that I might be able to at least start on this blog entry while waiting, but no! My ribs were basically telling me to “Sit still and shut up”. So I pull out the book I am reading at this particular time and tried to relax.

Picture this, you walk into a room and you see people all sitting down in a hospital waiting room and everybody has their collective heads bowed. One would think they were in a silent corporate prayer, but no! No, everybody was looking at their smartphones and either looking up their particular ailments on Web MD or watching Cat Videos on YouTube while waiting to be seen.

So, I get called back, tell them what happened and after being sent to get some X-Rays done I am informed that I broke my 7th rib. No, I hadn’t broken 6 ribs in the past, that is what the rib I broke is called.

They give me a prescription for pain which I picked up at the pharmacy there at the hospital and head home. Upon my arrival, I pour myself a cold sweet tea, call Mrs. Nickels who is at work and advise her of the situation, then head to my favorite recliner, sit down, pop a pain pill and next thing I know, I’m asleep.

I spend the rest of the day just relaxing in the chair, watching Netflix and trying not to move too much. The doctor said to take it easy for the next 10 to 12 weeks and that I may want to sleep in an upright position for the next day or so until the pain meds got into my system. She said that while my rib was broken, it wasn’t displaced, which was a good thing, so rest is the best way to take care of it.

When Mrs. Nickels came home, she found me in my chair doing what the doctor said. I must have dozed off again because she woke me with her customary kiss and said “Hey Babe. How are you feeling?”

To which I replied. “Tired. This is the first rest I’ve got since I got hurt. But” as I attempted to get up out of my chair “I’ve got some work to do on my book and a post to get out.”

Seeing the pain on my face Mrs. Nickels said “Dear. I’m too young to be a widow. And if you try to get out of that chair again, I’m going to kill you. No work. No posting, just rest for this week and heal up. You can go back to writing in a week, but until then…remember. I know where you work, live and sleep.”

Needless to say, I stayed in the chair, rested and gradually got to feeling better under the tutelage and care of my doctor and Mrs. Nickels

In closing, one must remember that while one can take their chances with Murphy’s Law, one must have a death wish one tries to go against the law of Mrs. Nickels.

P.S. And just in case you feel robbed because you didn’t get a blog post last week, don’t be. This post is twice as long as my normal post so, in essence, we’re even.

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