Friday, May 6, 2016

"Will getting wisdom teeth removed affect my score on IQ tests?" and other serious questions your dentist thinks you're joking about.

Getting wisdom teeth removed can be a daunting experience. 

You read horror stories on the internet about 'dry socket' or 'nerve damage' or 'he smashed my teeth up with a hammer and chisel and removed the shards from my jaw bone with his fingernails'. Or watch terrifying documentaries like 'Little Shop of Horrors'. Now, I'm no expert (or 'Dentist'), but I do know a thing or two from personal experience (I know nothing, I was solidly unconscious), so I've compiled some useful facts to put your mind at ease about wisdom tooth extraction.

"Will getting wisdom teeth removed affect my score on IQ tests?"
My dentist said no, but he was laughing so I feel he didn't understand the question fully.

Based on my limited research, I would say, yes. Most likely.
They're called wisdom teeth for a reason. And I know they might be causing you excruciating pain. They might be pushing up against your other teeth, forcing them to move about and causing irreversible damage to the roots of the adjacent molar. They might be growing side-ways and coming out the side of your mouth like tusks. But I have two words for you: Intelligence hurts.

"How many times can I faint prior to the surgery before the dentist loses respect for me and asks me to leave?"
Definitely at least once. I said to the dentist, "I'm terrified of needles, there's a strong chance I'll pass out when you inject me". We both laughed heartily as I looked away and he fastened the strap around my upper arm to get the vein. I was doing great til he told me that he wasn't giving me an injection, he'd inserted a cannula into my arm and would administer the sedative through that. Those things are fucking disgusting. When I came round a few seconds later twitching and in a cold sweat, I laughed weakly and said, "Told you I'm a fainter". He laughed too, but the smile no longer reached our eyes.
Bonus tip: the dentist holds your sedative for ransom. If you forget to breathe, he'll cut you off.

"Will the dentist kneel on my chest, smash my wisdom teeth up and lever the shards out with the dental equivalent of a crowbar?"
Quite possibly. I'm going to say yes, but frankly I have absolutely no memory of the event and am purely basing that on a dream I had a few days prior to getting my teeth out. Your mouth and jaw will hurt for a few days after the surgery, and the above scenario would definitely cause those symptoms.

"If I get sick after the surgery, will the acid in my vomit travel through my empty tooth socket and into my skull and burn through my brain?"
An understandable worry, and a very common one at that. Again, the answer is, yes, most likely.
Think of the roots of your wisdom teeth as little plugs. When you pull the plug out, you open your brain up to exposure from the outside world. I'm sure you've seen the funny videos of people talking nonsense after getting wisdom teeth extracted. That's because their thoughts are literally leaking through the holes where their teeth were. 
Thoughts are usually harmless. Stomach acid is not. Swallow it down.
In my case, the dentist plugged my empty tooth holes with gauze soaked in a clove oil mixture, thus sealing my brain off from the world. Ironically, the taste of the gauze made me sick.

"I don't agree with witchcraft, can I still wash my mouth out with salt and water?"
Unfortunately, no. Everyone knows that salt is a powerful demon deterrent and by washing your mouth out with warm water and salt every few hours you are forming a magical salt circle of protection around your empty socket to prevent against the evil spirits and hellborn creatures who would climb into your brain through your tooth hole and possess you. If you don't agree with witchcraft, you could still technically go through the motions but to be honest, you'll probably end up infected or dead.

"On a scale of one to fat, how fat will my face be after the extraction?"
Really fucking fat. Reassuring comments from your family and friends can be helpful in making you feel better about the swelling, however. My personal favourites (mostly from my younger brother) include:
"How's your face today? Still fat?"
"Your face is ridiculously funny"
"Your face is so fucking fat."
"Oh God, you're so ugly"
"I can't stop looking at your face, it looks so stupid"
"Aw man, you're hideous"

Similarly, as you rest up for the next few days, allow your family to take pictures of your face and apply silly filters to even more grossly distort your features.

The main thing to remember, is not to take it all too seriously. 
Sure, you're at risk of infection, your face will swell and might bruise, you won't be able to eat solid food for days, if you smoke or use a straw you could dislodge the blood clots necessary for healing and give yourself dry socket, but at the end of the day, it's all a bit of fun isn't it?

You only get max. 4 wisdom teeth, if any!! Make the most of the experience! Neck a bottle of vodka before you go in for your extraction and laugh with glee as what could be either 1 or 4 dentists, you can't be sure, struggle to stem the flow of your thinned blood! Kidnap the tooth fairy if she comes and torture her for a large sum of money in exchange for her freedom. Apply for disability allowance for loss of limbs! Burn down your neighbours house and blame it on the medication; you're down a few IQ points, you don't know any better!! 
Most of all, wish the experience on those you hate, so you can laugh at them when their turn comes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

You Never Forget Your First...

At first glance, it would have been a great premise for a book. It had about 6 classic Chick-lit backstories in one. My older brother was his best friend so we didn't know how he would react. A solid premise. Our older sisters had been best friends for years. Not as strong a start but still, an old faithful. We had been friends for years. A popular theme. We were 11. ............wait, what? 

Ah yes. The catch. Nobody wants to read chick-lit about 11 year olds...

We were friends. Our families were friends. We went to music lessons together. Eventually we realised we sort of fancied each other. (Insofar as 11 year olds can fancy each other). It was all very innocent but exciting - the sneaked glances, the playful banter, sneaking out of class to go to the shop together, sitting together in music class as often as possible... I sent him a Valentines Card. I know - it was serious stuff. Eventually it got to the stage where we had to either admit our feelings or forever wonder: what if.

I remember it so clearly. It was a Friday night, after music lessons. My Dad was driving us home. We were sitting beside each other in the car. He looked at me and said, do you want to be my girlfriend? And I said yes, but no kissing yet because I wasn't ready. He said that was ok. We held hands for the rest of the journey to his house where we dropped off himself and his sister, and then continued home. I told my mother when I got home because she had told me before, no boyfriends til I was at least 16, but I knew she wouldn't mind. In retrospect, she probably knew it wouldn't last...

We went to different schools, so we didn't see each other for the week until the next music class. There were no mobile phones and we didn't ring each other coz that's not how it was done. The following Friday, a week after we had started going out, and the first time we had seen each other since, we decided we were better off as friends and we broke up.

It was short-lived and it was beautiful. We never kissed. We held hands that one time on the way home in the car a week earlier. I waited another 2 years before I got my first kiss: in the Gaeltacht on Achill Island, aged 13, from a guy who fancied himself a practitioner of black magic, and who made a wand out of sticks and detritus from the ditch - a fact I didn't learn until afterwards when my friends told me to run quick because he had 'put a curse' on another girl in the course because she refused to go out with him after they shifted in the first week...but that's a story for another day...

I did learn a valuable lesson from that first failed attempt at love:

No man; be he 11, 12, 30 or whatever; will ever wait for a girl who doesn't put out.

...Actually, I probably didn't learn that one for another few years... The lesson I learned was probably more along the lines of, 'never date your friends', or some stupid preteen-girl shit. There's a reason why this would never make a good book. I was 11 - surely you weren't expecting much from this story. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Less of a chef, more of an....arsonist

Most people know that I am not a competent chef

Most people don't realise quite how bad I am... 

And I'm bad. I'm bad as in 'burnt-on-the-outside-frozen-on-the-inside-pizza' bad. I'm bad as in 'survived-on-waffles-and-alphabetti-through-university' bad. And yes, I chose alphabetti and not normal spaghetti hoops because I could spell my own name with my food while I ate it. What can I say, grown-up life isn't for everyone.

Now what surprises many people about precisely how bad at cooking I am, is the fact that I actually studied Home Ec in school. For those of you who don't understand the implications of that, I took cookery lessons. And not only could I still not cook by the end of the 5 years of that class, but my family would no longer even try my attempts after I food poisoned them that one time. God, some people can hold a grudge!

But what I did discover in the last few years, was that I am a surprisingly good baker. Sweet shit. Not savoury shit. Which is probably because I much rather eat sweet stuff, so it makes sense that I'd be able to make it. Now, lets be honest, I discovered this fact because of a fundraising project we did in acting school where someone would bake something every day that would be sold for 50c or a euro to the other students (really popular project for hungry students). And because the other students didn't have the bias of my family's history with my cookery, they were happy to eat my wares. Yes. I used them like guinea pigs. I experimented on my friends. And to cut a long story short, I was good at baking cakes and biscuits and shit. But pride comes before a fall, my friends, and oh fuck me, did I fall.

It was late one night, not so long ago, that I decided that I wanted some chocolate. We did not have any chocolate in the house apart from drinking chocolate, and with no access to a shop, and the clock reading 12am, obviously I concluded that the most sensible thing to do was to make my own chocolate. In the form of brownies. And I did. I mixed that butter and sugar and chocolate powder, I added the flour and the beaten eggs. And all those other things that I don't remember because I was using a recipe that I didn't memorise and this is not a cookery class. Who am I, Delia Allen? Is that her name? It's not, is it...

Now, the problem with our old oven is precisely that. It is old. In fact, it was a wedding present for my parents, so it's almost 30 years old. I know what you're thinking, replace that shit. No. It's not a fan oven, so the temperatures need to be adjusted accordingly when using it. And bearing in mind that it was 12am and I was tired and am also incredibly stupid, I must not have adjusted correctly, because altho the cooking time had come and gone, the brownies were not cooked. They were still runny on top. A fact that I discovered to my dismay when I took the floppy silicone container out of the oven and brownie mix ran out onto the floor mat and it looked like poo and I panicked and had to clean it up fast while juggling a hot baking tin with a glove that had a hole in it. Now to speed up the process, I decided that it would be exceptionally clever of me to put the brownies in the grill to finish them off nice and quick and crispy on top. And so I did.

About 10 minutes later, watching tv with my younger siblings, I remembered the brownies and sauntered into the kitchen to check up on them. To my horror, there was a shockin smell of burning. And smoke coming out of the grill... Which I had closed... Accidentally. Now, remember that the container in which I had placed the mix was made of silicone. And for some reason, the fact that silicone might catch on fire in a closed grill situation did not cross my mind when I shut that grill door. But fuck me did I realise when I opened the grill and was greeted with a roaring flame pit!

Im not going to lie. I panicked. I panicked like a little bitch. I T-Rex armed and looked around in confusion and shock and then I called to my siblings to come quick, something horrible had happened. Knowing I was cooking, they figured something bad would happen eventually, but they didn't figure that burning down the house was a possibility. So they stayed in their seats watching the television. At this stage I was getting frantic, and something in the way that I was now hollering the place down, or possibly the smoke billowing out of the kitchen finally caught their attention. Obviously, my younger brothers initial reaction was to piss himself laughing, but as the flames grew and began to reach towards the wooden ceiling, they realised the gravity of the situation. I went for the fire extinguisher. I could not reach the fire extinguisher. My very tall younger brother got it instead. He declared that he had always wanted to do this, as he pointed the nozzle. There was a cloud of powder and as the dust settled, we realised that the night had just taken a very dark turn. Not only had the powder extinguisher put out the flames in the grill by coating it in dust. It had coated every single surface of the entire kitchen, as well as ourselves in powder. It was like an explosion in a flour factory. And my brownies, in their melted silicone container were fucking ruined.

We toyed with the idea of waking my parents. And by toyed, I mean, my brother declared he'd love to see the look on my mothers face when she saw the kitchen. But eventually, and possibly convinced by the frantic look in my eye, it was agreed that my sister would photograph it, we would do our best to clean it, and THEN we would tell my mother, showing her just how bad it had been and what a great job we had done in cleaning it from what it had been through photographic means rather than in person.

6 hours. It took 6 hours to clean that room. My brother was the first to drop. And then my sister. And fair fucks to them, they hadn't almost burnt the kitchen down, so they didn't need to stay up as long as they did to clean the place. Especially when it was in every single crevice and crack in that room. Presses with doors? Not a barrier to the powder fairies. Drawers? That won't stop the dust! Inside sealed containers? Now I don't know how the fuck that one happened but it did. I took the oven apart. I washed every pot and pan. I got up on the highest shelf and into the lowest press and the place was still covered in dust. At 7am I took a shower and sat in the living room waiting on my fate. The wraith of an Irish Mammy.

She entered the room cautiously. No doubt confused by the sniveling she could hear coming out of the room. Lets be honest, I had no sleep, Id had fire extinguisher powder in my arse crack for hours, and I had inhaled a serious amount of dust (which on further inspection of the extinguisher was apparently a bad idea, as the instructions were clear that you should let the air clear and wear protective gear and masks before cleaning the room) I was miserable and waiting for my death sentence.

There's been a terrible accident, I declared ominously, as she entered the room. 

She didn't look impressed, and seemed to ignore the statement, continuing on her way towards the kitchen door. I panicked. A theme of the night, it seems, and before she could reach the door, I had the whole story pouring out of every hole in my face in its hurry to get out before she could witness the devastation that lay behind the door with her own eyes.

Did you stay up all night? She asked. 

I was taken aback. This was not the reaction I had expected. There was no smoke coming out of her ears. I had all of my limbs. Now, I had gone through every scenario in my head. I had run through the numbers and this was not looking good for me. But I did not expect the mindfuck that she laid on me next.

You know that's not good for your sleep cycle, dear. In future, I was informed, no more baking at night (read: when I can't supervise you) and next time you set something on fire, use the mini extinguisher beside the cooker. It would have made so much less of a mess. (I'm sorry. What fucking mini extinguisher?? Who buys a mini extinguisher without telling anyone, and hides it- granted, in retrospectively plain view- beside the cooker so I don't know it's there in an emergency?!) Don't worry, dear. Nobody got hurt did they? ...Did they??

Reassured that everyone was safe and sound the world returned to normal when she declared,
You did a good job trying to clean it. Go to bed, I'll wake you at exactly 4.20pm, that's 8 hours sleep. We'll clean the kitchen properly later. ...And for the rest of the week...

It is a number of months since the fire incident. My mother suggested yesterday that I bake some gingernut biscuits. She's pointed out the new fire blanket that she put in the kitchen and the new mini extinguisher. And reminded me that if she's not home, the oven does not go on.

On the plus side, it's been a while since anyone suggested I give cooking the family dinner a go. It's the little things...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Summer Dream Destroyed

Years and years ago, when the summers were always warm and lasted half the year. When there were fun games you could play with a tin can and your imagination (we were never allowed to play with tin cans, they were a health hazard). When doing something bold didn't get you put on a contraption known as a 'naughty step', oh, no, it got you a belt of the wooden spoon. And if you laughed and said "that didn't hurt" as we were wont to say as we got older, you got another smack, and a harder one at that, and you knew better to play the big dog, the kingpin, the...well, you get the gist.

Back in these happier times, my brother and I were best of friends. We would do everything together. Spy on the Soviets (although Im not sure we knew what those were), attack ships and find buried treasure, or just climb trees and throw apple cores down at my younger sister who couldn't climb. We were divils if ever there were ones. And one day, we saw the perfect opportunity for rascalry in the form of an open window.

Living next door, in those times, in the old house we used to refer to as 'Over Beyond'- the house where my father was born- was my older cousin, C. She was, what we called, a grown-up. She had a job (babysitting my cousins- other side of the family...confusing?) a car (not a full license, but those were simpler times) and she watched shows we weren't old enough to see. Sometimes she used to let my older sister go over and watch Home and Away, and Coronation Street, and those kinds of shows, which I really didn't want to watch coz they seemed kind of boring to me, but we weren't allowed to watch in my house, so I really would have appreciated being invited.

Being an older human, who obviously didn't think us mature enough for H&A, my cousin was therefore seen as perfect pranking material, and one day, my brother and I discovered that she left the bathroom window open a crack. Not much, but enough for a small hand to get through and open. And not only that, as fate would have it, the window opened outwards like a door. Needless to say, my brother and I were through it in seconds, and even remembered to close the window back over behind us.

My cousin was in the kitchen, watching her soaps (without inviting me..I'm not bitter, just setting the scene!!!), when my brother and I crept in behind her and loudly greeted her, scaring the life out of her. She angrily chased us out the front door, myself and the brother laughing our arses off... and something about how effective the game had gone...made us want to do it again... And so we did. The second time around it was just as funny, if not funnier, because this time, instead of assuming we had gotten in through the front door with the spare key before she arrived home, C had no idea how we had gotten into the house... And so we did it again. And again. And while she was becoming quite irate at this stage, we were beginning to wonder if maybe our summer's entertainment hadn't been found already.. (considering it wasn't going to be Home and Away..)

Until. Disaster struck. My older sister, came outside and heard the kerfuffle. And unbeknownst to us, she followed us around the back of the house, watched us go through the window and very loudly announced that she was telling the babysitter. We made futile efforts to try to convince her that we would be her best friends if she didn't tell, and that we'd love her forever, but alas, our pleas went unheard. And not only did she tell the babysitter. Out of some misguided loyalty through shared love of soaps, she told our cousin as well. Gone was the open window. Shattered, the element of mystery. Dashed were our plans for a summer of moving things around while she was gone, and placing random objects in strange places. Instead, all we got was a schkelp with the wooden spoon and an early trip to bed.

And no. I was never invited to watch Home and Away OR Coronation Street with cousin C.

I'm not jealous. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Driving on the Wild Side of the Road...

One of my sisters is learning how to drive. 

Yes, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, oh yay, that's grand, you'll be able to scab lifts off her the whole time! Yay! And yes, I do. And you're thinking, sure isnt that well enough for you, don't you have the easy life? But I don't think you quite understand the risks I take, the dangers I face everytime I accept the offer of a seat from Salty the Danger-Driver. Well buckle up lads, coz its quite a journey from when she first drove a car to where she is now.... and its about to get bumpy...

Not one of the naturally spacially-aware members of society, one of the biggest challenges for my sister Salty was remembering that there were two sides to the car. And they weren't both the drivers side. As a result, Salty often drove too close to gates on the passenger side of the car, leaving plenty of room for her own side, but forgetting that being aware of your own side of the car was the easy part. On one particular, fateful day, my brother was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, and my sister was driving laps around a large shed and yard in a sort of circuit we had mapped out. Now normally this circuit was kept relatively clear of...well.. anything that could be crashed into. But this day, something was different. My father had moved the plough to the side of the circuit!! (And by the side, I do mean off the track that should have been driven on, leaving more than enough room to pass by.) As Salty approached the plough, my brother reminded her to watch out for the plough, and she answered that she was. But he repeated it more sternly. And she repeated her answer. And suddenly, he began to yell, the plough! The plough! The fucking plough! Finally grabbing the steering wheel and wrenching it to the right to narrowly avoid the passenger side of the car and his own person being, well... ploughed. And Salty giggled nervously and said, oh, I thought I'd left enough room. She had. On her own side.

Now if you thought that a narrow brush with a farm implement like that would be the necessary kick-in-the-arse that my sister needed to concentrate more and develop that whole-car awareness, you were most definitely wrong. Not long later, in a little circuit journey by herself, Salty managed to crash the little Toyota Starlet at 10km/hr into a 12 foot wide gate, when she panicked upon seeing that she had taken the turn a bit wide and was going to crash straight into it and froze. Neglecting to brake. And crash straight into it she did. On the passenger side. But it's ok. She wasn't hurt. Because she had left herself enough room.

Now as you can imagine, this put poor Salty out of action as far as driving was concerned for quite a while. And in the meantime, she went to the merry old land of Oz for a year and a half, and when she returned to these fair shores, and returned to the back-arse of nowhere without independent travel to work or anywhere at all in fact, she quickly took it upon herself to sign up for some lessons. And she took some lessons. And got insured on my mothers car. And used to drive to and from work with my mother beside her. Until the day she drove home, took our driveway too fast, panicked, hit the accelerator instead of the brake and drove my mothers car right up the steps to the porch door. Yes, the car was damaged.

More lessons came and went and my sister was trusted with a little beep-beep of her own! A Renault Clio. Sports model. Partly coz if she crashed that she'd have to pay for the damage herself, and partly because having to get to and from work at different times during the day, at the same time as my mother retired and needed her own car so she could be free to go galivanting around the countryside doing God knows what at God knows what time of the day meant that Salty really did need her own car.

And guess what. She hasn't crashed it. Yet.

Although, there has been some scares. For example, on several occasions while I've been in the car, she's made some mistake or other that I will not have noticed. Until she will point out the mistake she just made to me and I will remember that she's a silly-billy and sit less comfortably for the rest of that journey. My personal favourite time has to be the time when, and in fairness to her she did warn me that she was tired, but she literally fed me a blow by blow account of all of her mistakes along a journey home at night time in the semi-darkness.

For example, as we passed a cross-roads she turned to me and said,

> Oops, almost forgot to dip my headlights there
And just as I processed the danger level of that statement, she corrected herself

> Oh no, I meant stop. I almost forgot to stop!

I don't know what worried me more. The fact that she doesn't know the difference between dimming her headlights and stopping, or the fact that she almost forgot to stop!

And as I contemplated that fact, we flew over a speed-bump, bumping our arses, and she found it necessary to exclaim
>Speedbump! Sorry, didn't see that there!
With a happy chirpy note to her voice.

Other comments to that tune on different days have included things along the lines of:

>Oops, almost ran us off the road there.
> Ooh I took that roundabout waaaaaay too fast, didn't I! Definitely should've stopped there!

And today's gem, which was said more in a hypothetical, imaginary sense than realistic... and with slightly more menace than maybe made me feel comfortable:

>You realise that if I ran us off the road on your side right now and into one of those poles, it'd be you who got hurt and not me...... Remember that. What if I swerved here? Hmm?

Which, considering the fact that one of the neighbours always protectively raises his arms in front of his face when she passes him in her car.. regardless of whether he is driving himself at the same time or not.. does make a girl wonder how many of those seemingly offhand comments are as innocent as they come across and how many are sly reminders of the fact that she holds the power when she's driving the car. (And I'm never allowed to drive it, so it will always be her, just to clarify.. she has actually specified that. Not even over her dead body. Not even if there's a fire.)

And then you remember that this is a girl who got lost driving us home one day and took us down a narrow road with nowhere to turn back. Until we reached a GAA pitch and she decided to pull in there and turn in the carpark and go back the other way. However the carpark turned out to be at the end of an avenue, but it was a narrow avenue so she had to keep going til she got to the carpark to turn and there were people training and arriving to train who saw this apparent cruise-by of their session and must have wondered who the stranger with the L-Plate who drove slowly by the pitch, turned in their carpark and drove slowly back again was.
And it's the girl who collected me from my boyfriends house, drove from there to the local town to drop off my brothers girlfriend and asked in a confused tone on entering the town... Where are we? Its not a large town. And we have been driving through it and in and out of it and up and down it for as long as I can remember.

But sure listen, she's a grand driver. And isn't she better than she was. And don't you go to mass on Sunday and pray for your safety and always wear your seatbelt and never go to sleep in the car while she's driving, and make sure that in your own head you're driving the car yourself so you can be on high alert..... just in case.....

And don't we all love a bit of adventure now and then....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My parents: funeral addicts.

My parents love death... I know what you're thinking, get out of the houuuuse! But no,really, don't worry, they're of that generation. That older Irish generation that loves nothing better than a good auld funeral. 

First of all, you get the wake the night before. Oh they love a good wake. Everyone crowding into a house, the rosary going in the background, tea and cake, and of course, a good old gossip. The current deceased, of course, and anybody else who may have died recently, and then, among certain company, anyone who may be on the way out. Though you keep that talk to a minimum among the older folk, in case they get paranoid that you're talking about them.

Then there's the funeral itself. Another excuse to meet up with the neighbours, have a spy on what's going on around the church. A reason to see people from bye-gones, and check up on how everyone's getting on with life, the universe and everything. And a good few prayers by a freezing cold grave-side for your penance. They love those. If you're lucky, of course, you get invited back by the family for tea and sandwiches after the mass. And best of all, you don't even need to know the deceased that all even, to attend! They won't know!

So why wouldn't my parents like a nice old funeral every now and again. ..every now and again. If only it was every now and again. But lately those two crazy kids seem to be attending a new funeral every week. And it reached its crazy-point pinacle last week. When we came home to find a list of dead people on the table in the living room.

You read it right. A motherfucking list of dead people. 

Naturally we were freaked out. Til it was explained that it was a list of people who had died so that they could send mass cards to the family. Very convenient. And a reasonable explanation. But it got me thinking.. And worrying..

Because there won't always be a funeral every week. And they seem to be a little bit addicted to this funeral malarky. And I fear that at some stage there will be a dearth of funerals to attend. A sort of funeral drought. A famine of the funeral variety. And instead of a list of dead people on the living room table, it'll be a list of predicted deaths. And where does it all end???

What if this list of predicted deaths starts to come true? And we begin to find blood-stained clothing in the laundry. And tired of predicting deaths for funerals that may or may not happen, my parents have begun to plan deaths instead??

Now, its common knowledge that I am not the biggest fan of old people. But even I know that this murder business for the sake of a funeral is going a bit far! I knew my parents were secret serial killers.

This funeral pastime needs to be stopped. And soon. It's for their own good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Speaking of feet.....

A number of days before Christmas, my mother broke her foot.

...She fell down some steps...seriously.... Although judging by my fathers reaction, you'd swear I pushed her!
On my own admission that I heard a noise and then her calling dad's name but no more until a few minutes later when she was already back in the house and he was there too, he immediately yelled,

>You heard your mother fall and yell for me and you left her there for 10 whole minutes until I came in and found her?? You did nothing to help her?? You left her for the wild dogs and rabid wolves to eat??!! (There were no wild dogs or wolves. I made that part up for dramatic effect. You get the idea though)

It took a solid 10 minutes to calm him down enough for me to explain that I hadn't heard 10 minutes worth of shouting and since I had heard no more, I had assumed that everything was ok. Apparently that wasn't a good excuse, and neither was my argument that my psychic radar which should have told me that my mother was injured and not just calling for him to help put up Christmas lights must have been off. But I digress...

As it turned out, my father, who also had not heard her calling for 10 minutes I might add..... couldn't bring her to the doctors to get her foot checked out, but luckily one of my elder sisters is driving now (more on that another time) and she, saint that she is, was able to take the patient to the doctors. From my sisters account it was a nerve-wracking drive.

Already driving slower than normal in order to protect the injured foot from bumps and the like on the bad country roads, she was subjected to complaints from a very agitated and nervous front seat passenger/ back-seat driver in the form of my mother who complained that she was going too fast, with her hand hovering constantly in the vicinity of the hand-brake. (In the early days of my sister's forays into driving, this hand often took swipes at the hand-brake at the first sign of a stop sign or a traffic light, inevitably causing tension and irritation for my long-suffering sibling). However, understanding that the mother was in some pain and no doubt on edge, the sister chose to ignore the hand of doom and focus on getting her there in one piece.

There was, of course, one more test to her patience. Half-way along the lane that passes as a main thoroughfare through one of the townlands, a car was spotted in the distance, just coming around a turn. With any number of gateways to pull into, and the warning of a number of hundred metres for both cars, my sister was not worried. However, the mother let out an ear-piercing scream, and shrieked,

>Stop! A car!!!!!!!!!

For the rest of the trip, the mother was on the edge of her seat, and keeping an uncomfortably friendly relationship with the handbrakes personal space. A very agitated sister later stated to me, 

>I swear to God, if she'd pulled that handbrake I would've got out of the car and sat on her foot!!!!! 
...I worry that this wasn't an idle threat... I've seen her angry. She scares me.

Never one for an easy solution to a problem, it was revealed that the mother had broken an exceedingly awkward bone in her foot and the question of surgery was brought up. In the end, (and I assume because it was so close to Christmas) a cast was put on her foot with the instructions to come back in a week for a check-up and they'd decide then.

I was concerned about who would cook Christmas dinner. And I worried I would have to have some part in it. I believe so did everyone else. As my boss said in work, 

>I've heard about the things you've put on the table! Sure you wouldn't know what you'd be eating!!!


I was assigned the much more appropriate task of setting the dinner tables, which my mother had instructed be placed together in a position which unfortunately resembled a penis. Everyone noticed except my parents and aunt.

There are many pros and cons about having a woman like my mother in a leg cast. However, to save you some tedium, I will be brief:

Pro: She can't get up the stairs to see the state my room has fallen into. I fear she would not be best pleased.

Con: We are now regarded as her personal slaves and she sends us on the most trivial errands around the house, waits til we have literally sat back down again, and then sends us on another. When questioned as to why she didn't just give us all of the jobs at the one time, she moaned,
>Well I didn't know what job I wanted you to do til you had the first one done.
..A likely story woman.

Pro: You can hear her approaching from a distance. The creak_creak_creak of those crutches gives us enough warning to appear busy, tidy small messes or generally disappear before she can arrive on scene to give out.

Con: In an unlikely turn of events.... Also 'You can hear her approaching from a distance'. When sitting in a room with only one entrance there is no escape, and the creak_creak_creak of those crutches is as ominous and bone-chilling as the footsteps of an approaching killer in the most eerie thriller movies. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. And the noise gets louder and louder and draws ever closer until......... You get the drift...

Pro: We are treated to the most hilarious comedy shows as she stubbornly insists on doing awkward jobs that take her twice as long as it would to ask one of us to do. For example, moving a chair from one room to another. Push, hop. Push, hop. Sit on a bench and push chair as far as possible, then use crutch to push it further again until she needs to stand and hop over and push again...And the mournful look in her eye as she does it, but then refuses your help when you offer with a hint of annoyance in her voice that you would even ask! Hours of entertainment. Or of course, the laptop case in the mouth like a dog, which is always a treat.

Con: One less taxi driver for the non-motorized members of the family.

Pro: The endless number of jokes about cripples, casts, breakages. It was her birthday today and my father wrote Hoppy Birthday in her card. And the messer of a neighbour in the church who whispered to my mother as he went by that there was an awful smell of feet that day.

Con: That foot. That bare foot. And no paint or anything on her toe-nails. The disgrace of it all. I hate feet.

And now we play the waiting game. Until she falls asleep in a position or place where we can assault her cast with pens and markers and the inevitable drawing of a willy.....