Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Me Walk Pretty One Day

Oh, dear. Val is unbalanced again.

It all started in class yesterday, on that wonderful day of days, the late parent conference night. Not that the parents are late. They show up right on time, as soon as our ordered-in supper has been removed from the bag and set before us. No, it mainly started with a headache, which may or may not be related to the anticipation of being at work for 12 hours.

As soon as first bell rang, I headed for the hall to supervise young ‘uns rushing to class. On my way, I carried some assignments that needed returning to some former absentees. One young lady came in as I was headed out.

“Oh, here are some papers that I handed back while you were absent.” Of course I held them out, and expected her to grasp them and continue to her seat. But since we are working with kids, our expectations are never fully realized. She continued to her desk all right, like a homing pigeon returning to its home. And stood there. Expectantly.

Far be it from Val to dash a young girl’s expectations. I turned to foist the papers on her, had to lean a little bit, because she was rooted to that desk like youngster holding his place along a parade route with a Walmart sack waiting for candy. As I reached and leaned, something inside me snapped. Something inside my left knee, to be specific. Sad situation when reaching and leaning are equivalent to an iron man competition for Val Thevictorian.

As the day progressed, that knee practiced tricks. I could be strolling along, minding my own business, thinking I was going to put one foot in front of the other without even thinking. Knee had other ideas. Like collapsing as an overtired toddler might do in the middle of a hardware store, becoming boneless, or doing the “dead dog” as my brother-in-law the ex-mayor used to say when his kids were toddlers. So I grew cautious, and stepped gingerly.

This morning I could barely walk. The one not-so-bad knee was now the bad knee, making the former bad knee the almost-as-bad knee. You can’t limp when both legs want to debate who is weakest. So I made my way through the house like Frankenstein learning to walk. Like a sweet potato in a root experiment that escaped its plastic cup, teetering about on toothpick legs. Like Babe Ruth (less the 12 hot dogs and 8 sodas that he consumed between games of a double header) waddling toward home plate. Like Hick stumping around on ankle bones with no feet, which is how he sounds walking overhead when I’m in my dark basement lair.

The bones of my knees felt like one big mortar and pestle, grinding a light bulb to small shards. WAIT! I can’t do that. I take it back. For the love of science, knee joints are not like a mortar and pestle! That would be our friend the hip, with its ball and socket. No, my knee joints felt like two pestles grinding a light bulb to small shards. You know how chicken bones have that smooth white cartilage at the ends of the leg and thigh bones? Mine is like shredded coconut.

Of course my doctor says this has nothing to do with my blood-thinner medicine. Like I’ve been virtually unable to walk all these years, not just since I started that poison at the end of May. Since which time any little injury swells and burns and aches to beat the band.

I guess I’ll just have to stop handing back assignments.


  1. Every day I see 30 year old's on Judge Judy that are on government dole disability because they have some minor infirmary, I guess you are from the wrong generation.

    Seriously, take it slow!

  2. You need a new "command voice", like HERE is your paper. TAKE IT!

  3. Hold out the papers. If they don't grasp them, they'll end up on the floor...and the kid can pick them up from there.

    You don't want to spend your retirement years bedridden and being waited on hand and foot by Hick... or do you?

  4. Next time you say, "If you want it, come and get it." Then park it on your desk. You have to stop going out of your way and risking injury for these ingrates.

  5. Time to start delegating more. Remember, you're a "Victorian" and Queen Vickie did precious little and let others do all the work.

  6. Twelve hour days and dealing with mindless students and their parents--teachers deserve combat pay or at least compensation for dangerous work. But what do they get??? Guess I don't need to remind you. Take care and get some crutches whether you need them or not. You deserve some kind of benefit even if it's only sympathy.

  7. joeh,
    If Val takes it any slower, she will be losing a race with a Galapagos tortoise.

    I DO have such a voice. It escapes about once a quarter, when I'm standing in the hall as my job description dictates, and I spot students shenaniganning inside my classroom. The other teachers in other doorways swivel their heads my way, and sometimes applaud.

    You city teachers are ruthless! I daresay you lock up your rainbows and unicorns if students are not conforming. Little Johnny's tender self-esteem just curled into a fetal position.

    I daresay being waited on hand and foot by Hick would mean that one hand and one foot would get what it needs to not-perish.

    Funny how they have enough energy to fidget and squirm and keep their thumbs in perpetual motion on those phones, but can't reach for a piece of paper. Because I don't have the gumption, I would like you to round up the basket of kittens and economy-size bag of lollipops, and lock them in Sioux's closet with the rainbows and unicorns.

    I'm just now perfecting my stiff upper lip, old chap! I might give it a go after fortifying myself with a spot of tea and some crumpets.

    The last crutch I saw was the one Hick took off the nails in the garage wall and handed to me to prop open T-Hoe's back hatch when the pneumatics went out in the lifter. You're right about a crutch garnering sympathy...