The Master Mechanic and the Missing Testicles

Three years ago, after giving a manfriend a vigorous ride through truly exciting terrain, a little surprise resulted:

But I have no radiator–where the heck was all that fluid coming from?

NOTE: Terms have been slightly modified to respect the more delicate sensibilities of male readers.

I stop at the top. There’s only a length of hoohah hose long enough to fit a man’s hahhoo.

Here Be Dragons Vag Diagram

My Biggest Dragon Flew the Coop Long Ago

With my two autocidal diseases, I’m used to surprises. I didn’t rush to the mechanic. The next day, I was still leaking fluid, but also still breathing. I made an appointment with a friendly hoohah-cologist.

After shallow spelunking, and some sealant application, she shrugged and said “With you, who knows? Hold off on fun, and try again in a few days.”

That many days later, after more sealant, she said “Jeez, I don’t have a clue. Everything looks really healthy up there.”

Over the past three years, that same hose has leaked again after fun. Not often. Just often enough to make the idea of dating a new guy awkward:

“Hi, New Dude. Uh…listen: There’s the minor matter that I might spring a serious leak if we go uphill or take it above 55…”

Three weeks ago, I lost so much fluid my date and I almost headed for the 24-hour emergency garage.

I later googled like mad and finally discovered that my symptoms could indicate The Big C: Corrosion.

Last year, repeated fluid diagnostics had indicated corrosion somewhere under the hood, but but no scans or mechanics had found any.

I think, instead of the Big C, maybe a teensy bit of misplaced radiator material at the top of the hoohah hose springs a leak–

IF I have fun the same days I’ve applied the recommended additive for older engines: S-Trojan.

(Forget that Pro-Jetster-Zone junk for engines THIS old!)

I really need to get this tricky problem solved. This is my only vehicle, and I’ve noticed most dudes aren’t real fond of hoohah to hahhoo radiator fluid transfer.

They pretty much freak out at the sight of a little coolant.

I needed to see a Master Mechanic.


I was nakey, but only from the waist down. I was to be checked out by a tip-top corrosion doc.

I wrapped my nakey bottom in the gown and waited, after running out into the hallway just long enough to pee–and to show off my designer outfit.

Naked From the Waist Down

I Can’t Say I Was Overfond of Their Gowns

After about 15 minutes, the doctor entered. A tall, pleasant-looking man, he smiled and shook hands while introducing himself. Unfortunately, he shook like he wanted to best a male rival.

I inadvertently cried out from the pain. He asked “Did I hurt you?”. I answered “Yes—only a little.” My aching hand throbbed. He didn’t apologize.

I looked toward the door for the female resident or a nurse who’d join us, but the doctor sat down and asked his first question:

“I understand you believe you’ve had a hysterectomy?”


Me (calmly): “I find that question patronizing.”
Doc: “How is it patronizing?”

Me (teacher mode): “Well, what if I were the doctor and you the patient and I asked you: ‘I understand you believe you’ve had your testicles removed?’

Don’t you think you would remember? Do you think it’s different for women because our parts are internal?”

Doc (huffily): If you find my question patronizing, I don’t think this is going to work for either one of us.”

And he stood up and walked out of the room.

I was left there, pantsless and doctor-less. Still not knowing whether or not I have–corrosion.

I’d had to jump through hoops like a performing seal to get this appointment. There are very few Master Mechanics with his expertise. NOW what?!


Leaving the famous hospital (Geezers Die-Die, perhaps?), I spoke to a lovely woman in Customer Relations, asking: “What would you think if…?”

Upon hearing the question, the lovely woman’s face looked like she’d been hit in it by a hot iron. She called his words “unconscionable”.

My sister Meg said: “I would have been struck speechless.”

My friend A. said she would have had two thoughts in sequence:

“Does the doctor mean we women should have no confidence at all in any doctors or medical facilities? That when we’re told we’ve been given hysterectomies, we’ve instead been lied to and defrauded?

Or, does this doctor think I’m insane?”

My nurse friend in Pasadena laughed hysterically. She loved my answer, but said:

“You should have asked him if he was off his game because he was having his period!”

I snorted back. “I should have put on a dumb-bunny voice, leaned forward, and said:

‘Gosh, I’m really not sure, Doctor! Can you look down my throat and check to see whether my uterus is still down there?'”

The department mucky-mucks told me to write what happened, send it to the Complaint Department, and wait ten business days for a response.

Not one muck offered another doctor, or expressed concern over my still-undiagnosed condition.


This ugly visit happened the same week I learned a dentist has lied to and defrauded me, and

The same week a licensed plumber came to finish installing my dishwasher but instead flooded my kitchen floor.

Unending similar weeks led me to need a break from blogging. When one has bad luck magnetism as powerful as mine, one must sometimes withdraw to regroup and remuster the optimism required for normal human interaction.

I think of you guys, and miss your blogs, but I am still muster-less. I am even considering renewed thumb-sucking. What a warm feeling it was. I think I’ll give it a try tonight, while I hug my stuffed bunny. He has never let me down.

Yet. (sigh.)

–O. Babe

Thumb-Sucking Mandrill

My Baby Pic


One of the Tailors Did It (Yes. Thank Me. Again.)

(Why “Thank Me”? All will be revealed, my chicks.)
If It Wasnt For Bad Luck
I was, of course, dateless. Possibly because I am physically repulsive and devoid of kindness or wit. But I don’t think so.

My buddy A. and I were too tired to go out on the town. We decided to wait to celebrate until the coming weekend:

We were headed for Disneyland! It would still be Christmas there until the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6th). We WOULD get the Christmas we’d missed due to three bad birds.

Three Bad Birds

Bad? Oh, Mens, They Were Bad!

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, typing on my table-t ( 🙂 ).


(What do you think of my super new ringtone from InMyEye-toons?)

It’s a Tons o’Tuna dude.

MY goal? To set up a meet with him. HIS goal? To phone-flirt.

I don’t have time for this! Chats and phone calls tell you nothing until AFTER you’ve met. Cut to the chase, boy!

As he’s telling me all about himself and himself, and himself, and throwing in a few questions, and sometimes waiting for part of my answers,
Blah Blah Blah Speech Balloons
I have plenty of time to finish what I’ve been typing.

Suddenly, I notice my cell’s about to die–I’d better plug this puppy in!

The I-plug is in another room (I.-e. ( 😉 ) the plug with the I-cord attached to the I-jack for the rapidly-fading I-device). I stand up and take a step toward The Power of I.




I am lying full length on the floor.
I didn’t trip. After only 45 minutes at the tablet, my entire left leg has fallen entirely asleep. That CRACK was the sound of a homophone.
I have a post of limericks I wrote at work one bored day decades ago. One of them goes like this:

The woman named Barbara Taylor
Had a fling with a globe-trotting sailor,
But he nine months at sea,
And poor Barbara T.
Found her gob-stopper proven a failor.


Future Sailor Onesie

A gob-stopper is a giant hard-candy ball. “Gob” is slang for “sailor”.

Now, that limerick has a sequel:
The woman named Barbara Taylor,
Had her dress taken out by a tailor,
But when fitting her slip,
Her foot it did slip,
Her bone that was broken’s called “talar”.

I’m lying there on my floor (across two floors, actually), staring at my now-bent glasses flung under the tree.
Floors-Eye View Bent Glasses & Tree Skirt

Actual Floors-Eye View

I’m feeling some…significant pain. Pretty certain I broke my ankle.

Tuna-Dude is still dronin’ on. We’re on speaker phone, mind you—at full I-volume.

I just CRASHED onto the floor, but this dude is acting like nothing happened.
I have no idea
With Herculean effort, I suppress the two words of Italian I normally resort to in these circumstances.

As is my wont [usual habit], I do not want…
Anyone to know, any pain to show…
(Typical of abused kids)

So I go on saying “Uh-huh”, and “Yuh”…
As I crawl all fours, on across two floors…

Get some ice to treat (“rattle, rattle”)…
My now-swelling feet (“ziplock bag crackle”)…

That’s because one foot,
Doesn’t rhyme so goot…

And the dude drones on. He is so, like, GONE.

Seriously. He doesn’t notice a thing as I hop down the hall to the bedroom and get into bed. I finally get off the phone with this Person I Will Never Ever EVER Date.

Two hours of ice later, a distinct-edged silver-dollar-sized swelling rising kneeward, I decide an E/R visit is in order.

Broken Ankle Foot Bruise

Actual Ow.

I know I should put no weight on the thing, but if I call for an ambulance, protocol is to take me to the nearest facility—not the competent one.

Bugger-All Institution‘s E/R,   BIER,   almost killed me in 2013. (Yes, literally.) I choose instead to drive myself to Justifiably Excellent’s E/R. It saved my life in 2013. (Yes, literally.)


I walk down three sets of stairs to my car:
“Ow.” “Ow.” “Ow.” (Not for each set–For each step.)

I drive up to the E/R entrance. As soon as I pull up, a lone security guard turns his back on me (yes—literally). When I call out to him “Where do I park?”, he walks away.

I step down from my mini-SUV (“Ow.”), walk over through the double doors, limping badly (“Ow”, “Ow”,”Ow”…I think you’ve got it now), gimp painfully up to the desk, and say:

Me: “I think my ankle is broken. Can you tell me where to park?”
Desk Dude: (pointing directly at the ceiling) “Over there.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.”
Desk Dude: (pointing to a light fixture) “That way.”

Me: “Um…Can you tell me something like ‘the northwest corner of this-and-that streets’?”
Desk Dude: (pointing right) “Turn left. It’s next to the bank.”

Me: “Uhhh…I don’t know where the bank is. Turn left where?”
Desk Dude: (shrugging) “Park in the street.”

Me: “Are you serious?”
Desk Dude: “I don’t know what else to say.”

I have no idea
I park a quarter-mile away.

Let’s skip the long, painful walk from my car to the E/R.

FINALLY I’m in the E/R. Let’s get me out of there quickly, too, shall we? Short version: No ice is offered, no splint is applied. I’ve already expertly Ace-bandaged myself. An X-ray is taken; I am told I have only a sprain.



E/R: “Miss Outlier? We made an error. Your ankle IS broken.”

This time, when I pull up to the double doors, a valet is waiting to park my car. I am told that a valet always parks the cars of ALL patients self-driving to the E/R.

All patients but the one you all need to thank.

A plaster splint is applied to my ankle and calf, surrounded with a double layer of Ace bandages.

Tra-la, tra-lay, back home, away!


I remove my wooden walking shoe to go to bed. The E/R’s re-wrap of my Ace bandage now looks like this:

ER Ace Wrap

Babe’s Blue Ox Over There Could Have Done Better

Whaaat??? The plaster splint beneath the bandage is still sopping wet. The plaster was left with too much water, and the splint must be replaced.

Tra-la, tra-lay, to the E/R, away!

As I limp through the double doors for the third time in 24 hours, another patient comes through with me. Coincidentally, she limps up to the desk and announces “I think my ankle is broken.”

SHE is seated immediately with a bag of ice.
Clearly-Irked Young Boy
The Weekend After New Year’s Day

Pressure, I later learn, from the-poorly-shaped second splint causes me unending…discomfort. No Disneyland.

A. and I do NOT get our Christmas or New Year’s celebration.
No Fun Allowed
You people d#mn well better be thanking me NOW. By putting my best foot forward as your bad luck magnet on the very first day of this new year, I have now consecrated your entire year with whatever good fortune comes your way.

Three ER Wristbands

My Consecutive E/R Wristbands.

They say “Good things, they come in three”,
But you can’t prove that truth by me,
While you all seem to get good luck,
I’m ass-fault-ed by life’s dump-truck.

This post is NOT funny. I am decidedly grumpy.
I Has a Sad Kitteh
I would go out and kick something, but I don’t have a leg to stand on.
Balancing Duck

But Once I Regain My Balance, Look Out!

And that, children, is how this Babe celebrated New Year’s!

It is extremely difficult to achieve a fracture of the ankle’s talar bone–a key bone which supports all your body’s weight. It is done, typically, only by male athletes at the top of their game, such as professional snowboarders, or by falling from a great height–leaping tall buildings in a single bound, or skydiving without a chute, perhaps–or by being inside an accordioned car in an accident. I fractured mine by standing up. But I like to think I stood up athletically.

The great news is that while the vast majority of talar fractures require surgery, pins, a cast, and months of recovery, mine is minor:

No cast; it’s moot:
The “break”, mere chip 🙂
For foot, a boot,
For pain, a quip.

Metal Knee Child Drawing

I’m Happy I Have My Own Two Legs, Y’All.


Quoth the Raven: Holy Sh#t! (You Seriously Need to Thank Me…)

You may not want to read this crescendo-ing post. You’ll know when you reach that point. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

When I look back, the first omen was the underwear.

Lacy Blue Undies of Evil

Don’t Laugh! Evil Comes in Many Guises.

I had gone to visit my pal, A. (no, not that A.—the other one). She’d moved to the wilds of Outer Monrovia (they keep goats there). We’d been walking down the sidewalk (ooo! they had sidewalks now!) when I reached into my purse for a Kleenex but instead pulled out a pair of lacy blue panties.


While A. laughed, I remembered that I had grabbed the panties last-minute to add to the Goodwill bag in the car because they had recently shrunk from bikini to thong-sized. Clearly, it wasn’t that something else had grown.

I started laughing, too. “I’d better get rid of these before we get to the Inn!”
That’s when we heard it: A raven on a nearby branch:

“CAW!! CAW!! CAW!!”


No–No, I’m wrong. The panties were the second omen. The first happened a week earlier. I had just told my Tons o’ Tuna blind date that A. and I were planning to visit the famous Mission Inn in Riverside for the first time, to celebrate our Christmas late by seeing its famous light display. He had recently been, himself:

“Oh, you’re gonna love it! It’s gorgeous. And the food there is world-class!”

Oddly, a chill passed through me. Then, even through the restaurant’s window, I heard it:

“CAW!! CAW!! CAW!!”


(The Tuna date radiated jolliness. I learned of his large circle of friends, three cars, perfect stock picks, many travels—all mentioned innocently, no boasts. I couldn’t help but feel pride: It was MY special life which had enabled him to enjoy such blessed good fortune.)


A. and I reached the Inn early, after passing through hideous downtown Riverside (gack.).

The Inn is a jewel. (pictures here.) I wished I’d had an entire day to wander around. These are the only pictures I took, I was so busy gawking:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At dinner, there were four choices of where to eat. Two had nothing gluten-free but lettuce. One was beyond our wallets–any meal out was a rare treat for us as it was. The fourth was Italian. Nothin’ says gluten like pasta. Worse, directly above the door, peering down at us, was another raven:

“NAW!! NAW!! NAW!!


I threw the panties at it. “Shoo, you!”

We were hungry!

I informed the waitress that I cannot have gluten. A. is a low-sodium vegetarian. Between salads and appetizers, though, A. and I cobbled together a decent meal. Which proceeded to unravel with the WORST service ever.

  • A bowl of salty seasoned bread is set down, prompting irked reminders to server and waitress.
  • The appetizer comes embedded with bread slices.
  • My salad arrives half-an-hour after A.’s.
  • My veggies are delivered between two slices of bread. But A.’s soup has no croutons. Because we wouldn’t want her to get any gluten.
  • After having to ask, A. and I finally get our coffees refilled for the first time. With lukewarm coffee.
  • My salmon is brulée [burnt], but my crème is not.
    When my crème brulée arrives ice-cold, with barely a crust–it is the WalMart of crème brulée’s–I hesitate: What if it has gluten?

    Too silly: This is the fabulous Mission Inn!

    I regret the missing crunch and flavor, but the custard happily tastes quite good. A. has a small taste and agrees.

    After waiting only days for the check, we depart. Despite it all, A. and I agree that we have enjoyed our meal: Good flavor, good company, quiet and comfortable surroundings.

    We stroll up the outside of the mission building. As we reach the front, A. exclaims to me, “Oh, look: “They’ve turned on the lights!” I exclaim, too: “Oh, no!: I have to run to the bathroom–RIGHT NOW!” At which:

    I RACE back in the Inn,
    JET through the lobby,
    ZOOM toward the bathroom,

    Only to find that the staff has ROPED OFF ACCESS TO IT.

    “Guests Only.”

    I give One Hard Look at the man behind the velvet rope and spit “BATHROOM!”
    He immediately jumps to one side and opens the rope.

    Wise decision. He will live to see tomorrow.

    I push past him, run through the door, and find

    THE LINE. It is a woman’s bathroom, after all, and we are, in long-established sexist practice, given half the places as men despite more than the double needed to urinate and handle periods. THANK GOD there are only two people ahead, and they immediately get in, and I get in and–

    You don’t want to hear or be near what happens next.

    Imagine Hades saved what Cerberus had on offer…
    Cerberus Statue
    For a year.

    Add what Hercules shoveled out of the Augean stables
    Mucking Out Stables Comic
    And…   (I’m SO sorry):


    Except for the tiniest portion, vaporized for extra atmosphere.

    Tra-la, tra-lay!

    So there I am, in a public restroom, spilling my guts, so to speak–in a most…indiscreet way, in multiple “scentses” of the word. (Oh, dear—this is most embarrassing to write about.)

    The Professor Farting

    “The Professor Farting In Front of Class”, by Timothy Mooney (an old classmate). See His Coattails Fly Out? Bet HE’s Embarrassed, Too.

    But NOTHING compared to being in my pants shoes then..

    It gets better.

    The next thing I know, I hear a mom-voice saying “Just go ahead, honey, and stand in front of that one and wait.”

    Two little feet point at me under the stall door. Seconds later, a little voice says, “Mommy—there’s something WRONG.”, simultaneous with mommy’s voice gasping “Sweetheart, come away from there! Hurry, darling!”

    Okay, I made up that “Hurry!” part. But not the rest of it.

    Eventually, I was able to leave the stall, acting as nonchalantly as I could, given that I had to step over people passed out on the floor.

    I remembered to wash my hands.

    Outside, I stepped over the guard where he’d fallen at his post (what can I say? my influence was widely-felt) and said to A. “I’m sorry—I have to go to the car RIGHT NOW to get Immodium.”

    I turned my back on her and raced to where we’d parked. She joined me just as I downed two pills from the travel First Aid kit. In time to hear me say:

    “OH, NO! I need a bathroom again! IMMEDIATELY!! What do I do NOW!?”

    Hallejujah! A. saw that we had parked directly in front of a still-open museum. I raced up the stairs, ran through the doors, and screamed at the woman at the desk:

    “I’m sorry to be so crude, but I have GOT to—‘

    “—use our bathroom?” inquired that blessed saint. (Hmmm…Do you think she was used to recently-fed customers of that restaurant showing up on their doorstep?)

    “The downstairs one is in use [Of COURSE it was!], but we have one on the second floor.”

    Past the “Staff Only” sign. Up two flights of stairs. I barely make it.

    A. and I decide to enjoy the pleasures of the museum for 25 minutes until I am able take a third Immodium. By then I’m sure everything will calm down.

    Twenty-five minutes and three bathroom relays later–twelve more flights up and down–the museum closing, I am worried.

    Third Immodium swallowed, we debate what to do. We decide to haul my thoroughly-repugnant backside for home, swinging wildly off the freeway when needed, hoping the third Immodium has done the trick.

    Here’s how THAT went:


    Ten minutes later.
    Scene: A Sports Chalet.

    Cast: A., me, and my #ss. Plus nameless extra.

    “We need Women’s Winter Wear, STAT!
    And where’s your bathroom, please?”

    Boogie to the back, bolt ’round the Golf display, spot the bathroom door,

    DISCOVER IT’S LOCKED (of course).

    Knock on it, no answer, knock more loudly, no answer,


    NO ANSWER !!!

    Run up to the nearest employee, make my voice very peaceful, in inverse proportion to my panic:

    “Excuse me, the women’s room appears to be locked with no one in it.”
    “Oh, yeah, that happens all the time.”


    And of course, of all the places next to this off-ramp, THIS is the place I chose to stop.

    The Sports Spud opens the door. He starts to explain all the ins and outs of the door sticking.

    I slam the door in his face. Better that than the alternative.

    I’m sorry, Spuddy.

    And I’m really, really, sorry, Woman Who Was Waiting to use that tiny room after me. I left no visual evidence of my passing, of course, but I swear A. and I had a tailwind all the way back.


    Somehow, we did make it back: to A.’s home, and then I to mine. (Thank you, Home Depot pit stop!) Where I was deathly ill until 1:00 a.m., despite more Immodium. By this point, A. and I knew it was not an out-of-control gluten reaction, but serious food poisoning, with dizziness and disorientation. A., too, was now ill.

    But of course, A. didn’t get sick until she was comfortably at home.

    Friend she may be, but I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em:

    Clearly cheating, A. is not pulling her full bad-luck weight on your behalves, and you-all do not need to thank her quite so much as me.

    Sad Christmas Star Mouse

    And THAT, Children, Is How This Babe Celebrated Christmas!


    Congratulations to me! This post and its special content has earned me the very first ever “Bravest Blogger Award”!:

    Raven Nevermore Bravery Badge

    Awarded By Yours Truly



    I phoned the restaurant’s manager to report the food poisoning. The Hotel was quite concerned—until they learned A. and I were not guests of the Inn. They went from “Security will call you back immediately” to “Security will call you back tomorrow morning.” to never calling back at all.

    So I called the County Board of Health and reported their #sses. The Bella Trattoria at the Riverside Mission Inn was inspected that same day and it was found that their fridge was overfilled, which resulted in the foods not being kept at a low enough temperature.

    Oh, but they assured the Board of Health that their foods were safe.

    That makes ME feel better.

    I have since learned the restaurant offers gluten-free pasta, not mentioned by our sub-regular waitress.

    A. and I are going out again this weekend for a late New Year’s celebration, since I was, of course, dateless for the real event. I can’t wait to eat out again!

    Next Luck Magnet Post: One of the Tailors Did It
    Prev Luck Magnet Post: The Saga of AT&T–Episode 1
    1st Luck Magnet Post: You All Need to Thank Me


    The Saga of AT&T (You Need To Thank Me–Remember?)

    Listen, my fellow downtrodden, and hear,
    How I took it as hard as can be up the rear;
    Not once, not twice: Can you say “More than three”?
    By the Customer Service at AT&T.

    They Only Think They’ve Beaten Me

    When doctors cut into my body, I prefer to get anesthesia.
    Anesthesia Smiley
    Don’t you?

    After anesthesia, like many people, I throw up.

    Finger Throwing Up

    Look How Cute I Am Even While Barfing! I Had No Idea!

    Unlike many people, I throw up for as many as fourteen hours.

    I’ve hit that “personal best” twice.

    Dino Breath Award

    The Only Two-Time Winner!

    Good times, good times.

    Many anesthesiologists say to me “Oh, that won’t happen with MY special cocktail—Ho, ho, ho!”

    Like a jolly St. Narco-less.

    Anesthesiologist Sleep With Me Raccoon

    Doesn’t He Look Like Someone You Can Trust?

    I know better, and now do my own preemptive pre-surgical prep:

    I get an anti-motion-sickness patch of scopolamine [skoe-POE-la-mean] behind my ear. (Their radio ad is kinda catchy: “A Vomit Queen? Throw blow ex-treme? Sko-POE-la-mean!”)

    Scopolomine does cause some grogginess and dizziness.
    Remember that: It will be important later on in our story.

    Four years ago, I needed two surgeries re-done. (One was actually a re-do of a re-do.) I decided to get ’em both redone at once.

    My loving sister Meg came to take care of me while I was a woozy, oozy mess. I slept downstairs on my big blue sofa in my den during my recovery. Meg slept slightly removed in the back guest bedroom. I’m certain it had nothing to do with my snoring.

    Snoring Megaphone

    Like I’M So Bad: My Old BF, Snapped Via My Super-Secret-y Ceiling Porn-Cam. (Whoops! Secret-y No More!)

    Four days after surgery, exhausted from fetching and doing for me, Meg did not awaken when I stumbled up off the sofa for the very first time on my own. And chose to take my very first walk outside alone. At 6:00 am.

    A walk like a rolling barrel, for I was still under the effects of the anesthesia from surgery, and my second scopolomine patch (replaced post-surgery).

    Post-Surgical Owl

    Here I Am. Didn’t Even Think To Put On a Bathrobe!

    Even so, all would have been well had it not been for the AT&T telephone cable strung across my back door:
    AT&T Tripwire

    One of Two Outside My Door

    I had phoned American Telephone & Tripwire several times asking that they remove the latter. First asking, then insisting. Each time, I was assured they would remove it “right away”.

    I had given up for a while—they’d worn me down, and I was ill and occupied with other chores and crises among the day-to-day chores and crises which make up this odd life of mine.

    For a year, I had managed to alertly step over the trip-cable, despite its tricky nature, and a subtle drop-and-drag my right foot experiences at times due to one, or the other, of my diseases.

    Ballerina Tripping Lightly

    Surprisingly Graceful, For An Aspie

    But post-surgical drugged-out zap-happy Babe was not at her cable-avoiding best. So I finally tripped over the tripwire.

    Oops. No big. Had it been anyone else.

    But my luck runs—differently. (Did you happen to read You All Need To Thank Me?)

    Outside that open doorway, I had a half circle before me in which to fall. All of that half-circle was smooth and empty, except for one skinny, skinny pizza slice, way off to my right.

    Half Pizza With Thin Slices

    Guess Where I Fell?

    Feet away from AT&T’s cable (at angles 165-170°) was a metal irrigation pump. Atop that pump was a metal valve projecting vertically. Stabbing up toward the sky.

    Or up towards the body of someone who has just tripped over an AT&T cable left above-ground and directly across a doorway.

    Irrigation Pump

    Not My Pump–Mine Was Way More Corroded and Poke-ier and Stabbier

    The full weight of my falling body came down upon the handle of that metal valve, which DIRECTLY HIT one of my two surgical sites.

    Could happen to anyone.

    After slamming into the metal handle of the pump, I then fell off and landed as hard as I could upon one hip, with my opposite leg stretched across the pump. (Don’t ask. I am gifted with unique talents.)

    My second surgical site was…intimately placed. My spreadeagled landing started bleeding there anew.

    Have I mentioned that I am a particularly lucky gal?

    The pain was…stunning. I mean that I lay on the ground, stunned. I was unable to call for help, cry, or even moan. Some of you unfortunately know what it’s like, when you’re just trying to hold your body together and see if it will stay in one piece.

    The good news:

    My semi-splits did not cause the need for a fourth re-do of my lower-half repair.

    The other news:

    My semi-shishkebob on the metal valve did require a re-do. I had to undergo a third surgery on my upper body. Followed by physical therapy. For life.

    I am left with permanent discomfort (alternating with that p-word that doctors try so hard to avoid), and a permanent DENT in my body. Okay, “dent” is overstating it: It’s more like a divot. Still… I have to SEE that damned thing and be reminded every time of what AT&-damned-T did to me.

    Oh, but golly were they prompt at burying the cable once informed of the accident. The sweet gentleman who came out to do the actual work, Charles, had to use a spud bar…

    Spud Bar

    No, Not a Toothpick. It’s Iron, and Five Feet Long.

    …to break up a shallow concrete layer we discovered under the top two inches of soil. He said “That’s probably why they never buried the cable like they were supposed to—because they found this in the way.”

    Did I sue? You bet your #ss I did.

    This was the first time I tried to sue anyone. Four years later, when the case was 30 days from expiring, my lawyer told me that, since I’d moved across the country, and my travel wouldn’t be paid for, I might weigh the non-reimbursed costs of airfare and hotels for three trips against my 50/50 chance of winning “an extremely modest amount” (say, in the neighborhood of $10,000–the cost of a year’s medical out-of-pocket for me).

    My lawyer reminded me that the state of F#cking Florida® (official state name), unlike the other 49 normal states, considered ME liable to a significant degree for not dealing with the tripwire’s danger. Because, after all, I’d known it was hazardous, and it WAS on MY property.

    They had me dead to rights, there, folks, on both points.

    Florida Americas Wang.

    F#cking Florida.

    “What could I have done?”, I asked.

    “I dunno—put a wooden board or a rug over the cable.”

    “But—but– But with my right foot-drop, I would have eventually tripped over the BOARD!”, I said.

    “You could have paid someone to bury the cable.”

    “But– but– Did you know I’d been unemployed for TWO YEARS at that point after becoming disabled? (I am only partly-disabled and am part-time employed now, y’all 🙂 .) That the house was bought “as-is” with no working showers? That I was under a shrink’s treatment for depression?!”

    Don’t matter to the law, the judge, or a F#cking Florida® jury, y’all.

    Church Bans Kids

    As Miss Maggie Often Says, “I Have No Words”.

    So AT&T got clean away with their negligence.

    I am left with a reminder every morning (and some nights) for the rest of my life when I wake up in p-word (or discomfort), when I do my remarkably awkward physical therapy exercises, and when I look down and see my little AT&T divot.

    Thank you, AT&T.

    This post doesn’t end here because AT&T wasn’t finished with me, yet. But it will be continued in a later post when I’ve calmed down a bit.

    Chocolate Meditations Buddha

    “Jai-ai    gu-ru-uu     fla-ay-vaaa….Yummmm…..Chocolate’s gonna heal my world…”

    AT-END UM…

    There were actually two unburied cables outside my door, and it took me moons after buying my house to determine whom they belonged to.

    One was the responsibility of the cable TV company, but I didn’t know WHICH cable co. (they all refused to claim ownership). (I’ve never had cable TV, so had no hookup.) I finally asked a random cable dude if I could safely cut the cable, and got the green light. CHOP! That cable didn’t cross my doorway.

    By that point, I had finally learned the doorway tripwire was AT&T’s. I asked the same cable dude if I could safely cut AT&T’s more-hazardous wire.

    I cared not a whit if the entire neighborhood lost service, mind you–AT&T would have simply had to finally bury their cable when they came for repairs. He said “99% of the time, yes, but once in a while, no–it can carry a whopper of a charge.”

    AT&T later verified this during one of the “We’ll take care of it.” calls when I threatened to cut the cable because they’d been blowing me off:

    “Oh, no! You could get electrocuted!” So I was stuck.

    F#cking Florida® !

    Bugs Bunny Cuts Florida Loose

    Oh, Yeah: And I’m Not Overly-Fond of AT&T, Either.

    Next Luck Magnet Post: Quoth the Raven–Holy Sh#t
    Prev Luck Magnet Post: The Saga of AT&T–Episode 1


    You All Need to Thank Me

    My sister says I need an exorcism. That I should wear a GoPro strapped to my head and post my life to YouTube. That I would be my own grim reality show. My friend Joey says that is just silly. That of course the GoPro would stop working the minute it got close to me.

    My life tends to run a mite…unlucky.


    Guess Who’s Beneath That Lifted Tail?

    Yeah, everybody has bad luck, sure. Everybody thinks their problems are worse than everyone else’s.

    Everybody who knows me for more than a few months learns that my problems really ARE worse. If not worse, definitely weirder. Here is just one of them:

    I have been offline for almost two months.

    First, my home connectivity and my laptop both failed on the same day.

    *** (“That WAS unlucky.” “But not HUGE.”)

    That could happen to anyone. But how often DOES it?

    The internet I was able to get restored, although it took two weeks.

    Here’s how the laptop replacement went:

    Purple Bar


    Tablet 1

    Worked fine right out of the box. Fine enough to introduce me to Windows 8.

    After being powered down, the tablet cogitated on the foul language I’d thrown at it during my Windows 8 exposure.

    In revenge, the next morning it failed to power up.

    *** (“That’s two strikes in a row.” “But you know stuff is made for sh#t now.”)

    I’d always hated Brand A products anyway. What was I thinking?

    Purple Bar


    Tablet 2

    Amazon lost the tablet in transit. But thanks to the tracking number, Amazon knows EXACTLY where it was right before it disappeared.

    *** (“Okay, tell me she’s not unlucky.” “She’s just having a bad streak.”)

    Tablet 3

    Troubles right out of the box.

    Contacted tech support, did what the engineer and I discussed.

    Then, had Windows apply all the updates that had accumulated since the tablet’s O/S had been loaded.

    The poor tablet was thrown into a tizzy by this, and hung.

    Nothing would break the hang: Not death by Task Manager, not the three-fingered salute, and not my resting awhile on the power button.

    I lay down and fell asleep at some point. When I awakened, the tablet was dead. Tech support determined it was a faulty device. Offered a choice: Their repair place, with 14 day turnaround, or back to Amazon.

    I chose Amazon, and am still awaiting my refund.

    *** (“What d’you say NOW?” “It DOES seem like she’s had more than her share of trouble…”)

    Purple Bar


    At this point, even I, used to this sort of thing, needed to take a breather and check myself. I consulted my go-to guide to make sure I was following all the recommended steps:

    Unlucky Guide

    Never Make a Move Without It

    Tablet 4

    Arrived crushed by FedEx. Luckily, I filmed the opening of the outside carton, documenting that the inside box was also crushed.

    *** (“Ready to concede?” “It DOES seem a bit much…”)

    While repacking for shipping back to Amazon, I discovered that the inside tablet box, besides being crushed, had been opened and then resealed.

    I don’t know if I shipped back a refurbished device sold as new, or if a light-fingered FedEx employee had seen an opportunity and taken it when the box sprang open.

    I could have been shipping back a brick, for all I know.

    At this point, my powerful aura of permanent bad luck overcame even a large corporation like Brand B.

    They publicly announced their withdrawal from the tablet market.

    I’m sorry, Brand B! I didn’t do it on purpose!

    Purple Bar


    Non-Tablet 5

    I gave up on the whole tablet idea and bought a bottom-of-the-line laptop from the local big-box store.

    HATED it. Worst touchpad ever, and no touchscreen.

    *** (“This one doesn’t count, does it?” “No. She was just a dumb#ss here.”)

    Purple Bar


    Tablet 6

    The keyboard arrived immediately. All on its lonesome.

    The tablet arrived over two weeks later.

    Without its power supply.

    A few days after pointing this out to the Brand D folk, my specialized not-just-any-generic-AC adapter-will-do arrived.

    But not its plug.

    *** (“TELL me you believe her NOW!” “Okay, OKAY–I’m CONVINCED!!”)

    This is Your Life Asphalt

    What D’Ya’ Think of THIS For My Show’s Title”: “LIVIN’ THE ROADKILL LIFE”? Would Anyone Tune In to Watch An Unending Stream of This stuff?

    On Halloween, the first full day I got to use my new tablet and its new plug, I contacted Brand D to make a special request:

    “May I please have an extension on the normal trial period for the device, seeing that you shipped the keyboard weeks ahead of the tablet, and the power supply a week after the tablet?

    I’ve had only a day to test the device, and tomorrow the keyboard trial period expires.”

    Here is the answer of a young man named Uttan:

    “Absolutely NOT. How long does it take you to test out the device, anyway?!”

    Purple Bar


    You understand, don’t you?

    You understand why, as soon as I got off the phone with Uttan, I ordered my seventh device from Brand E?

    And then got back on the phone with Uttan’s company to arrange the return of their device?
    Now, perhaps this is just your typical everyday luck of your typical everyday person. But I am thinking that the rest of you, whose lives don’t run in this direction, have an awful lot to thank me for.

    I suck the worst of the worst in my direction, and enable your luckiest days.

    You’re welcome!
    Hey: Maybe if I hire someone ELSE to wear the GoPro and follow me around..?
    (Dang it: Joey just said that if I did that, a bus would hit them. Sort of like “Final Destination: Outlier”.)

    Final Destination Bus

    Despite the Great Footage I’d Get, I Can’t Have That On My Conscience…

    Tablet 7 is due Wednesday–wish me (atypical) luck! 🙂
    Next Luck Magnet Post: The Saga of AT&T–Episode 1


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