Thursday, May 25, 2017

To hell with the hat

Gloomy day here in Boston.  Rainy, cloudy, and I have tickets to the Red Sox tonight. Go figure.  Probably no more than 55 degrees outside.    

Besides I still feel lousy.  I am out of the boot nearly 100 percent, but at most moments I walk a little like a wobbly drunk.  If I get up a head of steam I can appear almost normal, but I am still a long ways away from being able to square dance.  I am more bemused than amused by the disparate projections of my recovery time. Since March 17th, the day of the deed, I have heard everything from four weeks to eighteen months.  Just this week a physician's assistant said 6 months--(his boss had thought 3-4)--and a chiropractor a day later suggested it would be more like 8 months to a year.  Yet everyone says "I'm doing great."  Does not feel so great.

But the fact--and great news--is I'm still here on planet earth which is a lot more I can say for the millions permanently parked in a cemetery.  I visited my parents' grave last week. They are buried up a slight incline near the end of the berm. So to get to their site I have to pass dozens of others.  Every single one of them would be screaming that they would take my limp, and the essentially useless Red Sox tickets and the gray sky, and the extra poundage that comes from being sedentary, and the fluctuating predictions, and the cost of a flight to St Louis where a buddy is having a 70th shindig next week, and bobbing heartbreak, and friends who are hurting or dead, and whatever else one could glom onto when feeling blue. The guys in the cemetery would be screaming for a shot at life.

Life is a horn of plenty.  It is the ultimate amusement park. All the rides are available. I had a sweetheart once whose uncle ran the roller coaster ride, the Cyclone, at Coney Island. She could go anytime she wanted on the roller coaster.  And that is what life is for all of us, a free ride on a roller coaster.   Sure there are ups and downs. Yes, there are times when we limp and it would sure be good to eat all the pizza we want,--but there is so much opportunity to do what the various people beneath the headstones at the cemetery cannot.  As Andrew Marvel wrote in his poem, "To His Coy Mistress", "The grave's a fine and private place, but none, I think, do there embrace."

The inspiration for this blog came to me about a half hour ago.  I was looking through some old books and came across one that is really just a compilation of jokes. It is called Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar.  I read it a few years back and it still kills me to pick it up and see the jokes therein.  (A real benefit of losing my short term memory is I forget jokes and get to laugh a second and third time.)  I came across the joke below and, once again, got a good laugh from it.   

A Jewish grandmother is watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave comes and takes him out to sea. She pleads, “Please God, save my only grandson. I beg of you, bring him back.”

And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new.

She looks up to heaven and says, “He had a hat!”

As one of my uncles would have said, "To hell with the hat."  We're alive. Ride that roller coaster.  Every day. It is free.

Another joke from the book goes like this.

Three friends are killed in a car accident and meet up in an orientation session in Heaven.  The celestial facilitator asks them what they would most like to hear said about themselves as their friends and relatives view them in the casket.

The first man says, "I hope people will say that I was a wonderful doctor and a good family man."

The second man says, "I hope people will say that as a schoolteacher I made a big difference in the lives of kids."

The third person says, "I'd like to hear someone say, 'Look, he's moving.'"

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