The Bitter Truth

My fingers were crossed. Psych! Those aren't even my fingers, it's clip art from bigstockphoto!

Yesterday, I posted my humble Versatile Blogger Award acceptance speech and fulfilled all the requirements for winners, including listing 7 little known facts about myself.

Being something of a prankster and pathological liar, I couldn’t help but sprinkle a few stinking lies in the seven facts about myself.  I requested that readers of the post give their opinions as to which ones they thought were true and which were not.

As of this moment, there have been 41 views of that piece and exactly three people have made guesses.  To be fair, I asked that anyone who actually knows me in the real world restrain from blurting out the answers, lest I brand them as “tools”.  I find it a little difficult to believe that of those 41 readers, only three of them don’t know me in the real world.  For one thing, I’m fairly confident that I don’t actually know 38 people who read all that much.

This is only the second or third time I’ve asked for audience participation in a post.  The previous efforts were also met with the similar soundtrack of a solitary cricket chirping in an empty auditorium.  When you’ve had several consecutive days with higher than usual number of hits on your blog as I have, it’s easy to get carried away and think that people are reading your stuff and getting you.  Maybe they are getting me, but are so awestruck by the brilliance of my sarcasm that they dare not attempt a public exchange of ideas with me for fear of looking less than intelligent.  I know when I comment on posts, I give careful consideration to my chosen words for just that reason.  Sadly, on my award post, the response requested was basically true/false – so we can eliminate fear of ridicule as an option.

In fairness to those few brave, loyal readers who went to the trouble of guessing, here are the answers.  Thanks to all three of you for participating.

1.  I was born in Vienna, AustriaFalse – I was in fact, born in the town which is the home of Northern Illinois University on a bitter cold January morning many decades ago.  I’m sure I stumped a few people on this one, as my sparkling command of the English language is more consistent with those who hail from other parts of the world.

2.  I am a physical therapist who works with special needs kidsTrue – Satirical leanings and a rapier-like-wit are actually assets in my career.  For the record, I also work with adults in other settings.  Just to clarify, I would never ridicule one of my patients, but the rest of you dolts are fair game.

3.  I have a fondness for dessert winesFalse – Very false.  I am no stranger to spirits of all sorts, but I’d prefer a strong, hoppy India Pale Ale, any number of tequila’s, boutique bourbons, or single malt scotch over some nasty, sweet dessert wine.  You can save that swill for someone who eats dessert.  This one should’ve been easy, as I have never been seen wearing an ascot – ergo – no dessert wines for me.

4.  My son is a jet-setting professional poker playerTrue – He’s abroad as I type this, flying hither and yon to play in tournaments and make more money than his old man.  If you sit at a Texas Hold Em table with him, don’t come crying to me later looking for cab fare and your retirement savings back.

5.  My younger brother met Kurt VonnegutTrue – Worst of all, I don’t think he’s a fraction of the fan that I am.  He actually meets all kinds of famous people all the time anyway, so I don’t think it meant much to him even if he was a fan.  I’d ask him, but his mellow attitude about it would just infuriate me.

6.  I see my mother on TVTrue – Mom is an actress and she shows up on my TV from time to time.  She hasn’t been acting too much lately, as she and Dad are bogged down with blog reading assignments.  As you may have read in an early post of mine, she and my father have a history of squandering her residual checks on cruises and dog-sweaters.

7.  My basement is filled with survival gear and back issues of Guns and AmmoFalse – While I’ve written, and will write again very soon about the Nat Geo series “Doomsday Preppers”, I am not a survival expert (Not yet, but that show is getting to me…stay tuned).

Those are the 7 little known or false facts.  In the fun spirit of lies, here are a few bonus lies:

8. I’m a massive fan of operaFalse – If I wanted to see some fat lady sing in a foreign language, I’d take public transportation in Philly.

9. Yardwork is a passion of mineFalse – Paying non-English speaking gentlemen to do yard work on my behalf is a passion of mine.

10. I’m a pet loverFalse – My gimpy dog left me a prize this morning which, due to a slight slope in the floor, extended the entire length of the hall.  I am convinced that this accident was no accident at all.

11. I prefer movies about space travelFalse – In fact I avoid movies with the word “Star” in the title.  I don’t know an Ewok from a Tribble, and I’m fine with that.

12. I love writing listsFalse – Good opportunity to wrap up this drivel.

Hangovers Dissected

It couldn't have been the beer and shots. My only hope is that they find a cure for MBF before it's too late. It's getting darker...I'm....getting weak...please..... no more suppositories...Skippy?!?....Is that you boy?! (Image from headachecures.com)

I know what you’re thinking; bad title.  No one with a hangover or even the memory of a hangover would relish the thought of dissecting anything.  Hangovers and dissection will often result in tossing your cookies in the general proximity of the gross anatomy lab.  Trust me on that fact and we’ll leave it at that.

The worst part of the hangover for me isn’t the headache.  Though it’s there, with bells on.  No amount of pillows or darkness or ibuprofen will erase it.  The nausea or general feeling of yuk isn’t the worst of it either.

The worst part of the hangover is my freaking imagination.  That tiny grain of a thought that maybe this isn’t a hangover at all.  That maybe the fact that I drank beers and shots and more beers last night is just a coincidence.   There’s a blossoming idea in my head and it’s thumbing through the Rolodex of horrible central nervous system killers.  Brain tumors and degenerative disorders with a side order of antibiotic-resistant infections.  It’s building steam and branching out to other horrible illnesses.

Massive headache – isn’t that a sign of an sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and Dengue fever?

Sensitivity to light – that’s consistent with  tumors on the optic nerve and Huntington’s Chorea, isn’t it?

Nausea – What illness doesn’t have nausea connected to it?

Soon I’ve convinced myself that I have some rare, horrific disorder.   I’m then faced with yet another brutally upsetting idea.  What if right now, lying in my bed trying to find a cool spot on the pillow to put over my face while suppressing increasingly moist, bourbon-scented belches is as good as it gets?  What if every one of my days from here on out is even worse than this?!  After all, this is the typical progression for Mongolian Brain Fever.  You wake up one day with hangover-like symptoms, then within a month you’re lying in an iron lung with anti-nausea suppositories every 2 hours.  Each day is worse than the one before it.  I’ll look back in my morphine induced haze to this first day of hideous symptoms and wish I could feel this good again.

Having lost the ability to communicate, I can only pray that my loving family will remember to remove the suppository from the foil wrapper before administering it.

That’s it.  Surely I’ve got Mongolian Brain Fever.  Disregard the fact that I haven’t traveled to the Gobi Desert or ingested under-cooked Asian ground squirrel in the past several months.  All logic is abandoned and I must accept that somehow it’s happened.  I narrow it down to one of two questionable dietary choices in the previous couple of weeks.  In a moment of extremely poor judgement, I had eaten one of those hot dogs on the heated roller thing down at the 7-11.  I knew it was a bad idea, but I was weak with hunger and cash poor.  The other possibility was that chicken salad from the week before last.  I thought that it had might have been in the fridge a little too long, but when I smelled it, the fishy odor was very faint.  Maybe I was too congested to notice, but it’s too late now.  Before any of you smart asses start listing the differences between undercooked ground squirrel and chicken salad, allow me to point out that there are dozens of unscrupulous chicken farmers out there who will feed their hens any number of sketchy ingredients to fatten them up.  We needn’t begin to speculate the actual ingredients of hot dogs.  I know it’s all a little far fetched, but these kinds of delusions are typical with MBF.

Convinced that this horrid day will be the best one I have left as I close in on the great beyond, I struggle out of bed.  I kiss my wife, despite her obvious annoyance with me, and my eyes well-up with tears.  I’ll miss this place.  I need to fight the throbbing in my head and get on with the business of the day.  I had originally planned to spend the day cleaning out the garage and picking up dog dookie in the yard, but my plans must change.  As this is likely the first day of my steep spiral down life’s drain, I’ll need to savor the hours I have left.  I decide to spend my day on the couch, surrounded by my family as they work on the garage and clean up after the dog.  I don’t want to burden them with the tragic news of my self-diagnosis.  I want to enjoy them in their state of innocent bliss.

They’ll undoubtedly resent my lack of help today, but within a few weeks, they’ll regret their selfish, petty feelings as they witness my rapid wasting away.  I’ll forgive them of course, they foolishly thought it was only a hangover.