Friday, July 18, 2014

This might sting a little




All I had to do was pull a few weeds.

And now I think I have the Ebola Virus.

Yeah, I know. It’s not something transmitted by plants.

But I don’t care.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

***

My assignment was a simple one - pull a few weeds around plants in the yard. I didn’t even have to get all of them. Just the little buggers that had grown too closely to the pretty flowers and bushes.

My husband, armed with some new fancy, schmancy organic weed killer, would then kill all the rest of the dastardly weeds in an ala Dirty Harry, Make My Day kinda way.

No big deal, right?

Right.

Unless...well, unless someone...I’m not saying who...put her hand somewhere she shouldn’t have and had an allergic reaction to something she never should have put her hand into in the first place.

Got it?

And, no, I wasn’t wearing gloves. It was just a few weeds, right? Only wusses wear gloves to pull a few weeds.

***

I looked down at the side of my right index finger where a blister the size of a Buick had busted and torn away, leaving a large flap of skin hanging in the wind.

Some type of bodily essence (I’m not sure what exactly) oozed from the wound. And since I hadn’t been wearing the aforementioned gloves when the darn blister made its appearance and broke, there was a ton of dirt and grime and other nastiness coating the entire thing.

Hands down, one of the grossest things I’d ever seen.

And I’ve given birth, people. Seen a new baby, covered in all the goop and slime of childbirth, recently expelled from my uterus. Moving on....

At least only one of the blisters had ruptured. The rest caused by the allergic reaction were currently behaving themselves. So that was good.

My husband wasn’t home, and the 9-year-old pansy insisted, “Owies creep me out.” Not so good.

So it was up to me to serve as my own EMT. Sure, I’m not gonna be that guy who cut off his arm to free himself when he got stuck while rock climbing, but I can handle a blister.

***

It’s a bad sign when there are three large bottles of hydrogen peroxide in the house, and all of them expired before 2008.

I was up the proverbial creek at this point, but I needed to clean the darn thing before it got any worse.

I turned on the faucet and stuck the raw wound under the running water. Bad idea, I know, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

And apparently a girl’s gotta throw up.

The streaking hot pain shot through my hand, up my arm then into my stomach where I just about tossed my breakfast all over the bathroom floor.

Screw this. There’s no need to live in the Dark Ages, people.

A quick call to my mom-in-law - since my husband was still AWOL - meant a new bottle of hydrogen peroxide was on its way.

***

In all fairness, a little hydrogen peroxide isn’t a big deal.

Shortly after college I went rollerblading for the first - and only - time. After a few short blocks on level streets, I’d suddenly decided I was a kickass rollerblader and could do hills too.

...For the record, I was not a kickass rollerblader.

I soon limped back home with a new respect for gravity and a swathe of road rash down my thigh.

Fresh out of college with no medical insurance meant I had to take care of it myself, and the only thing I had to clean it with was a bottle of rubbing alcohol.

So, yeah, I poured half of it onto my cheese grater-looking thigh.

I’ll be honest with you.

It stung. More than just a little bit. I cursed a few times then passed out in the bathtub where my roommates found me two hours later.

But I survived. And I will survive this blister too.

However, don’t think for a New York lovin’ minute I’m ever gonna weed (or rollerblade) again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#BringBackLawnDarts




Even though the passage of Title IX in 1972 opened more doors for female athletes, the effects had yet to trickle down to my small Midwestern town when I was a tow-headed, six-year-old tomboy in 1979.

We had a soccer league, but due to the lack of interest from the XX chromosome group, the few girls who signed up had to play with the boys.

I was sometimes the only girl on a team, which usually meant I got to hold the soccer ball in the team photo and pick where we’d go for our post-game snack.

Life was pretty good.

For 11 years, I lived with sprained ankles and bruised shins and loved every minute of it.

***

Dear non-soccer-loving friends, it’s OK if other people like soccer.

Really. It is. It has no effect on your life whatsoever. Bashing people who like the speckled-ball game won’t make you richer, better looking or get you into a size-2 dress.

There’s no need to trash them on social media with hashtags like #SoccerSucks, #IHateSoccer and #SoccerFansDieVirgins.

Please don’t debate the merits of American football vs. international futbol and who has the better athletes.

Because, really, 99 percent of us can’t run two blocks down the street without getting winded, throwing up all over our $150 running shoes then keeling over into the gutter waiting to die.

So - honestly - we’re not qualified to judge anyone here, regardless of what sport they play.

Unless it’s bowling.

I think we can all agree about the physical prowess of professional bowlers. Moving on....

There’s no need to whine about how boring soccer is. It’s boring because you don’t watch it enough to understand the strategy involved, how plays are set up and what the heck offsides means.

Just let go of the anger and move on to something more worthy. Like reintroducing lawn darts to the American public.

Now there’s a game that I miss. Although with inflation and the escalating cost of health care, those visits to the ER would cost a lot more in this day and age.

***

Dear soccer-loving friends, it’s OK if other people don’t like soccer.

I know, you hear the insults and it hurts. They kinda make you feel like that Cousin Oliver character on “The Brady Bunch,” don’t they? He was just never part of the “bunch” no matter how much they tried to make us like him.

But get over it.

Who cares if people think soccer is boring? Quit being so defensive. We don’t need to hear about the merits of the sport in detail great enough to fill a doctoral thesis.

And, come on. Nobody cares what the difference is between soccer and futbol. And that futbol is supposed to have that pretentious little accent mark over the “u.”

You’re purposefully trying to sound superior.

People. Don’t. Like. It.

And you gotta admit that non-soccer fans have a point about the players flopping on the ground like a fish out of water after a collision equal to a warm breeze floating by on a summer day.

It’s embarrassing.

I’ve no idea when this concept of flopping started. Back in the day, I would have been jerked out of the game for acting like, well, a jerk.

Then I’d have been put on water cup duty with a stern promise from the coach that I’d be running extra laps the next practice.

Bring back the No Flopping, No Whining, No Acting Like A Big Crybaby days and you’ll get more fans.

Just sayin’.

***

Dear bandwagon soccer friends,

You rock. You are the reason television ratings go sky high in the U.S. during the World Cup.

You are the Goldilocks of the soccer world. You are hated by soccer fans and non-soccer fans alike simply because you are exercising your God-given right to root for the Good Old U. S. of A.

You paint your faces and wave your flags, and it’s awesome. You wrap yourselves in red, white and blue colored scares when it’s 125 degrees outside. You sing and cheer and laugh even though you have no clue what’s happening.

Rock on.

It’s not bandwagon to root for the Americans in the World Cup when you don’t watch professional soccer any other time.

If that was the case, we’d never cheer for USA Hockey and the please-eat-a-sandwich-sometime American figure skaters during the Olympics when we don’t watch those sports any other time of the year.

We’re Americans. Let us have our fun.