True to tradition, my family celebrated the holiday weekend with liberal doses of picnics and prescription medication. Nothing says family fun like an undisclosed rash and a husband on muscle relaxers. I tried to schedule a major household appliance malfunction with expensive repairs as well, but it seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t fit everything into one weekend.
Let’s start at the beginning.
I love the outdoors. No matter how hectic my schedule may be, I try to peer outside through the dust on the living room blinds at least once a day. The stunning view of the sunshine on the amber waves of weeds helps me not to take my air conditioner with allergy filter for granted.
Given that I’ve even tailored my workout schedule (fork lifts and refrigerator bends—who put the mustard behind last month’s pot roast, anyway) to staying inside, it’s hard to fathom how I managed to cover myself in poison ivy. But cover I did, wall to wall, ankle to elbow. It's still showing up, so I can't name all the body parts affected specifically yet, but it's already passed PG-13 and is steaming upstream toward an R rating.
A friend told me to rub banana peels on the rash to stop the itching. I tried that but I still itch, and now I’m craving cornflakes. And I’ve got a Chiquita sticker on my fanny pack. I've also got a husband who is out for the count when it comes to spreading on calamine lotion.
Which brings us to our feature presentation.
Experts polled at my kitchen table this morning agreed that after the age of 50 it is best not to attempt dangerous feats best left to a professional, such as rerouting the plumbing or bending over to tie your own shoelaces. Bill Dear, a daredevil of the highest order, having not long ago fixed the dryer all by himself with only one extracurricular part procured from ebay, chose to pick a holiday weekend when all doctors are off practicing surgery on home-grilled two-inch thick fillet mignons smothered in steak sauce and sautéed onions, to test his limits by bending over on purpose.
The resulting muscle spasm extravaganza threw him to the floor like Luke Skywalker on the receiving end of the Emperor’s wrath and required the requisite holiday visit to Urgent Care where he twice found himself on the business end of a pointy needle full of “happy place” medication in the form of muscle relaxers and pain killers.
Once back at the house, the patient began to exhibit mannerisms that lead us to believe the medication was taking affect and so, as they often will, the resident young people, with the spirit of their youth and the logistical problem solving ability they’ve learned in classes of higher mathematics and unsupervised homeroom, set up the video camera to photograph our hero in the throes of muscle relaxer mellowness. I didn’t even realize he knew the Lumberjack Song in German.
Of course, in keeping with the festivities, the toilet overflowed, the dog chose that moment to indulge in a particularly ambitious case of diarrhea, and the cat threw up on the living room carpet.
Given the nature of our traditional holiday celebrations, I’m considering signing up to work overtime on the Fourth of July.
But for now, I’m faced with a more urgent problem.
Should I go straight to You Tube with the Bill Dear footage or save it for a special Xtreme Edition of Funniest Home Videos?