Thursday, July 13, 2017

Normal Brain?

So on Tuesday I had my head examined. A CT scan was done on my brain.


The results were normal.


Which I found to be a bit disappointing. I’ve lived with this brain almost my whole life and the last word I would ever expected to be applied in description of it would be the word “normal”.


My brain is normal? Honestly, I’m offended.


Anyway, no blood clots floating around up there to account for why I had a stroke back in January. I think the reason for my stroke is the same reason why it didn’t kill me: dumb luck or divine intervention. Take your pick. I really think it’s time to move on from this quandary. So far, my neorologist’s efforts to locate the source of my stroke have been for naught except to insult me.


“Normal” brain? Really? As if!


Let me tell you what embarrassing thing my “normal” brain got me into on Sunday.


My wife Andrea, daughter Randie and I made a quick excursion from the Fortress of Ineptitude – South to the beach. After an hour on the sand and in the surf, we had all we can stand of the beach. My eyes are super sensitive to salt water and the waves kept laying the smack down on Randie. And the ocean smelled funny. So we staggered back to our car to get some lunch.


Our favorite place to eat at the beach is Friendly’s. It’s a chain restaurant with some pretty good burgers and even better ice cream. There are Friendly’s elsewhere but Randie insists we should only eat at the locations at the beach. (ACD much?) Well, it was the highlight of our beach excursion: my eye weren’t stinging, Randie wasn’t getting slapped down to the ocean floor and nothing smelled funny. So let’s call that a win.


But then: trouble!


Our car wouldn’t start.


As I’ve noted before, Randie has been driving a lot lately and getting much better at it. To be honest, I’m kind of getting spoiled to being driven around. For this trip, I was in the back seat; for longer rides, Andrea gets car sick riding in the back. Me, I’m Ok with it. I’m just chillin’ back there. I even had comic books to read; it was like being a kid again.


But as we were getting ready to leave the Friendly’s parking lot, our good feelings were dashed when the car wouldn’t start. As the resident man, I did what a man is supposed to. I got out and popped the hood. I stared intensely at the engine.


Which marks the full extent of my automotive skills. The nice big friendly button marked “Push me to make car go” could not be found.


At this moment, a nice couple approached their vehicle next to our car. The man asked if we needed help.


Now, bless him,, he’s just trying to be helpful. But who stands in front of their car, staring forelornly at the engine for fun? I resisted the urge to be sarcastic. I mean, I’m standing there looking for a nice big friendly button marked “Push me to make car go”. Who am I to judge? So I said, “Yeah, the car won’t start.”


To his credit, this guy resisted any urge to be a smart ass and say, “I didn’t think you were standing there for fun.” No, he asked if I needed to be jumped off. And I resisted the urge to reply, “Only if you buy me a couple of drinks first, sailor.” No, I said that would be helpful, adding, “I have jumper cables.” The guy noted he too had jumper cables. Maybe so but I’m trying to contribute something here. So I opened the trunk. “Jumper cables? Jumper cables? Jumper cables? Oh, there they are.” 


OK, I’m not that clueless. I do have a (gasp!) a normal brain. I do know what jumper cables look like.


So I bring out my cables and begin to affix the clamps to my battery posts. Jump cable clamps are notoriously hard to open. For me, anyway. With both hands, I managed to get  one of the clamps opened and barely grasping one of the posts. The guy helping me reaches in with one hand (ONE hand) and affixes the clamp more firmly to the battery post. My wrists are still sore from struggling with that damn clamp and it this guy opens the clamp with one hand.


Meanwhile, my daughter is sitting behind the wheel, mortified that this car problem has happened on her watch. The guy tells her to crank the car. Miranda notes that the key isn’t coming out of the ignition. This prompts our helper to observe that the car is not in park but in drive.


A car will not start while it’s in drive.


How the car wound up in drive before Randie started the car, well, it’s complicated but suffice to say that Randie was even more embarrassed. And I’m not feeling too good about this myself. Why didn’t I piece this together myself? Randie felt incredibly stupid in front of this guy but hell, she's just starting to learn to drive. I’ve been driving for 4 decades; how do you think this made me look?


“Normal” brain? Really? As if!


And I’m so glad my suffering amuses you.

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