SIDNEY — The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the Sidney man who died Tuesday afternoon after a mechanical accident with his vehicle on Cisco Road.
It was not my fault I got a new car. The old one was perfectly good and with, 200,000 miles, it was just getting broken in. Then my right shoulder, to use the precise medical term, went wackadoodle. It all happened relatively quickly. When I consulted my friendly neighborhood orthopod, he took an X-ray, studied it for the briefest of moments, and shook his head. Having had a lifetime of interactions with orthopedic surgeons, I can tell you that when they look at your x-ray and shake their heads, it is not a good sign — it is not a good sign at all. Brace yourself for an array of new scars and long stints in physical therapy. I think his exact words were, “You have the shoulder of a ninety-year-old who has been sledge-hammering concrete since puberty.” The expert opinion was that I needed a new shoulder. Since I could not comb my hair or raise my arm or reach into my back pocket with my right hand, I tended to agree with him. His advice was to go get one, so I did. It is an excellent shoulder. In the interest of not disobeying my surgeon and physical therapist, though, I did have to get that new car. Out with the manual transmission, in with the automatic. You already know all of this so I’ll get right to why I’m bringing it up again.
There is a song, one of those on the order of “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” that makes you want to pierce your eardrums with an icepick. (Author’s disclaimer: Do not, no matter how good an idea it may seem at the time, pierce your eardrums with an icepick. Do not pierce your eyes or nose or any other vital part of your body. If you must pierce something, pierce your neighbor’s eardrums. That will keep him from complaining about your dog barking. Further disclaimer: I’m joking. Do not assault your neighbor. Unless he really deserves it.)
Back before it took a lot of nerve and a really efficient face mask, I flew commercially to Florida to see a friend. We spent many happy days together, one of which entailed taking a train (!) to a nearby town to do some shopping. There was a shop that sold nothing except a vast variety of vinegars and oils. I realize we have a shop just like that in Troy. I’ve been there. But when you are on vacation, you are almost obligated to do things that don’t make sense, like parasailing. So I bought three bottles of very tasty flavored vinegar. The nice store people knew a tourist when they saw one. They wrapped my purchases in bubble wrap, then put the swaddled bottles inside a zipped plastic bag. When it was time to pack to come home I placed the double-wrapped bottles inside yet a third bag. When I travel, I put a bright red band around my suitcase. This helps me identify it and also helps hold the bag together when it is being tossed around the cargo hold of an Airbus.
The world is divided into two types of individuals: those who text and the other dozen people on the face of the globe.
(Note to readers: I realize I have expounded upon this topic before. But email ads are so annoying that it is impossible to complain adequately in a mere 800 words. Hence the redundancy.)
Everything you need to know about my neighbors can be summed up in their daughter’s name for them: The Lawn Rangers. These people love taking care of their lawn. With two giant mowers so that each can share in the process, they mow, rake, sweep, feed, spray, and generally make the rest of us look bad. They cut on the diagonal. They hunt down every stray blade of grass that stubbornly escapes the whirring wide decks of their mowers. They trim. They mulch. Their lawn, of course, is gorgeous. It is at the receiving end of a lavish amount of attention and it shows. All this is just sour grapes because my lawn will never be featured in “Lawn Beautiful” or even “Lawn Adequate.” If there ever is a publication called “How Your Lawn Shouldn’t Look” mine will be their first cover story complete with “before” photos.
If you ever decide to do some home remodeling — and I am not for one single solitary sane second recommending that you do — here is a little piece of advice that I have arrived at the hard way. Do not, I repeat, do not, under any circumstances, even if it means moving in with your in-laws or tenting it in your back yard or exploring the comforts of life on the streets, attempt to live in the actual home that is the site of the home remodeling.