Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sure Fire Home Remedies

Imagine this, your son or daughter is playing outside and gets a couple of bruises and scrapes. They come inside in the house and what is the first thing you do? Do you call 911? (Don’t laugh people call for minor stuff like that all the time) Do you call his doctor and see if you can get an emergency visit or better yet take them to the ER? Or do you reach for the antibacterial soap, band aids and ice pack and offer them a painkiller? If you agreed to any of those answers above, I suggest you stop here and not read the rest of this blog.

I remember falling from my yellow skateboard and scraping both of my boney knees. When I got home my dad gave me a casual almost nonchalant look and reached for a half-full bottle of Swans green alcohol. Studying my bloodied knees carefully he dashed copious amounts of the evil liquid into my open sores. “BLOW! BLOW! BLOW!” He yelled. I almost had an asthma attack from keeping the alcohol from burning a hole into what felt like my very bone. That single experience taught me how to fall without scraping my knees and fear the green alcohol.

For the few readers who decided to stay, I wanted to say somehow we have become too soft when it comes to our kids. As a child growing up in the middle of Dixieland, I was brought up with the idea that boys had to be strong and girls even stronger. With that being said, if I fell outside and hurt myself while playing I didn’t stop what I was doing. I just bled until it stopped. Back then there was no sympathy for boys. A boy had to practically carry one of his severed parts into the house to get any attention out of his father. And if you think I am joking, even the doctors would call you a sissy if you showed up with minor injury. A black eye then was a badge of honor; today it is a lawsuit to the person or item that made it. A helmet back then was for the special children not for daredevil kids on banged up ten speeds. Today I am surprised that someone hasn’t invented the personal airbag for the perambulating professional. Note if someone does invent that item I claim first rights to it.

Green alcohol has survived ,recalls, bans, frivolous lawsuits and a menagerie of bad parenting books. Oh yes. That emerald green liquid has put the fear of Jesus in the hearts of Southern boys everywhere. It smelled like my grandmothers favorite chewing gum but burned like a huckleberry switch on bare legs. And IF my parents didn’t have anything in their medicine cabinet they had wintergreen alcohol because of the diagnostic properties. Simply put if you were hurt enough to endure the burning pain and still complain you went to the doctor. But if you didn’t complain after the burning pain you weren’t hurt in the first place.

Back then being injured was a physical form of adversity. You either survived the injury or died. It was as simple as that. And it was that adversity made us stronger. Today however parents look for the best antibiotic ointment money can buy for their children whose only real injury comes from falling off of the couch onto soda cans. As a parent I feel we should really ban all the ointments, Band-Aids and topical lotions and resort back to the good ole green alcohol.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Yay Me.

Sunday morning for me consist of watching paid advertisements for the latest ab-destroyer-thingy and church programs that are nothing more than paid advertisements themselves. I sit and stare at the spiritual commercials in awe. Wondering how pastors, equipped with lapel microphones, studio equipment and sound guys, have the ability to keep a straight face. Believe! They cry. Repent! They admonish. They point their dramatic fingers in judgment towards their well dressed congregation and right into the TV audience. As the camera pans I can see sparkling jewelry and makeup laden faces. I see Brooks Brother’s suits, and silk ties. There are no hungry masses, the sick are not lying between the isles and the homeless are not listening intently in their tattered garb. I change the channel disgusted. Don’t get me wrong: I have a sense of faith. I believe in a greater Being than myself. However, the Christian battle cry, “What would Jesus Do?” has left me with a confirmed answer, because so much wrong has been done in his name, he would throw his name…away. So I have decided that the best spiritual path for me to take will be one of my own creations. So I hereby bring to you The United Repugnant Front of Ultra Conservative Libertarians Incorporated. Repugnology for short and as a Repugnologist there are tenets listed below that are essential to my faith:

1. Anyone found guilty of any heinous crime against spouses, family or children, will be smited with bags of cold quarters, until those bags stop jingling. Anyone who defended those found guilty will be smited with those non-jingling bags. And those who oppose the smiting process will be sent those bloody bags of quarters as a warning. Yay Me.

2. As a Repugnologist, you will not have preachers, reverends, bishops, deacons, pastors, priests, nuns, monks, friars, holy men or witch doctors. There will be one monthly surprise visit where we will ask you to recite one tenet. If you fail to repeat it word for word there will be ceremonial smiting of the closest adult person of non-relation with stray items of our choosing. Yay me.

3. Wood chuck, could, chuckwood, a if chuck, chuckwood, a could wood much how. Yay me.

4. As a Repugnologist you are hereby required to do one of the following: cut your neighbors grass, have a neighbor over for dinner, or just have a decent conversation about anything you and your neighbor decide to talk about on the 5th day of all prime numbered months. On the 11th day of all non-prime months you will find a homeless person and give them two meals. If you don’t know what a prime number is, find out. Yay me.

5. Be nice, play fair, respect others, remain tolerant, talk second, shoot first, don’t lie (unless it is about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Bigfoot and Santa Claus, it is the “joy in children’s life” kinda thing), know cultural boundaries and cross them only if armed. Yay me.

6. Love your family with emotion; hate your enemy with a passion, never offer the other cheek unless it is a butt cheek and then it shall be unwashed. Yay me.

7. Keep Tuesdays close to your heart by feeding one obviously starving person. Not the overweight homeless person. If you cannot find a hungry person, find a cold person and give them a coat or blanket, or a hot person and give them a cool beverage to drink. Yay Me.

8. The Omnipotent One shall be know as The ONE. Refer to it (even though we are chauvinistically predisposed to think he, it could be a she) as The ONE and know that The ONE invented the sense of humor. Know that The ONE has multiple aliases even though you might not know the ONE by The ONE’S entire list of aliases act like you do. After all, The ONE created the Universe and the single cell organisms that evolved into you. Yay Me.

9. Anyone found in disagreement of our spiritual organization will be “flipped off” with the middle finger of the left hand and summarily asked, “Where should I put this?” Yay me.

10. Don’t argue with evangelists, missionaries, or those who are saved, for they can induce a smiting upon themselves of repugnant proportion. Just take the pamphlet and say, “My horse is on fire,” leaving them wondering how a horse would catch fire. Yay me.

11. Reflection time is from 6:45pm to 7:00pm daily. During this time, reaffirm to your spouse, children or family members how much you love them. If they are not available, call them. If they are not there, write a note or send an email. IF you fail to do so, it will be considered a heinous crime, then refer to tenet 1. Yay me.

12. You must end all affirmations with Yay me. Yay me.

These tenets can be modified as the need arises or if The ONE decides to update these rules by email, handwritten letter or emblazoned into a mountain side.

As you can tell, Repugnology is straightforward and uncluttered by any of the traditional rules. There is no sanctuary; there are no tithes, or sweaty pseudo-prophets bouncing around on a carpet covered stage. No guilt by association, like the other guys. There is space for fellowship and the sanctum is located right under your feet. As you are finding out, Repugnology is just one of many ways to the great amusement park above. Not like the other guys who adamantly say their way is the only way, lest ye be burned by the shiny demon.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Bad Scare Is Better Than Good Advice

As an emergency care worker, (as much as I hate that name I have to use it for this blog) I cannot express enough the importance of wearing a seat belt. Twenty years of mending the injured and covering the dead have forced my hand with this blog entry. No matter how hard the public safety sector politely tries to warn the driving population of the dangers of driving unrestrained, some folks just don’t get the picture. My state in particular (like a lot of other states) has a “Click it or Ticket” law. However I recently overheard someone say that the twenty-five dollar fine was fair enough to ride without a seat belt. "Click it or Ticket" is a toothless law in my book. Now what would have a nasty bite is a two thousand fine for the first offense and impounding of your automobile for thirty days for the second offense. But there is no way that bill would pass. And the sole reason I am not a politician.

The photo above is an open tibia fracture and more than likely a person in pain ,probably the result of a bad accident. This image was pulled from Ogrish, a website dedicated to blood guts and gore and responsible for a lot of sleepless nights. I posted this image here for one reason only---shock value. Now just imagine if you woke up one morning and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to throw off the gloves and show what really happens when you have an accident without the proper protection. I could only imagine the horror as millions of Americans woke up, to the most graphic Public Service Announcement money could buy. I can see it now:

Bob American is driving down any one of the nation’s interstate systems, his cell phone rings. Driving with one hand he chats incessantly while maneuvering through the morning rush hour traffic. Noticing his exit he puts on his turn signal and drifts onto the exit ramp. The intersection light ahead has just turn green so he doesn’t slow down. Out of the corner of his right eye he sees a dark image. Headlights…silver grille….BAM...truck….t-bone…Bob is thrown out of the driver’s side window. Wait it gets better. The green Chevy behind Bob cannot brake in time and runs over his battered body. The camera zooms in on a single shoe tumbling slowly in midair. The scene speeds up as Bob flips and cartwheels into oncoming traffic. The camera flashes. Once for each time he is hit by a car. Four flashes later the spot ends with the camera zooming in tight on his bruised face with the scene fading as he takes his last breaths. The screen goes black with a tiny caption that reads, “Wear your seat belt”.

As much as I would like to see that public service announcement I know there would be a national uproar about how graphic the spot was. There would be angry parents who would make the talk show circuit claiming their children won’t ride in cars, psychologist who would offer free therapy to those affected and thousands of calls to remove the public safety announcement. However there would be more people putting seatbelts on faster than you could shake a stick at. Now say for example in real life, Bob was thrown out of his vehicle into oncoming traffic but the traffic swerved to miss him. Do you think he would wear his seat belt from then on? Of course he would.

As this blog is titled, sometimes it takes a little frightening in order to get someone’s attention. Do you remember the “brains of drugs” segment? I cannot help but think of it when ever I see an egg sunny side up or how about the girl diving into the dry swimming pool. Where did those type segments go? Since when did we become so touchy feely that we cannot emphasis the seriousness of death and disability. We have to find a way to get through to our fellow citizens when it comes to being safe. Personally there is no worst feeling than covering a body of a person that has been killed upon ejection in a car wreck. I have performed that task to many times to count. And sometimes I just want to kneel down beside the body as whisper, “Well since you screwed that one up what do you do now?” But I don’t, lest they lock me away in a padded cell.


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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Signs Of The Times

The title of my opening blog won’t be about the song of the same name. No. This blog will be about H5N1 (or bird flu), hurricane season and the ongoing war in Iraq. Let’s start with the bird flu. If you happened to grow up during the 70’s and early eighties you should remember the “Killer bee” reports that used to pepper the nightly news. I vaguely remember John Chancellor reporting on the location of those death dealing honey makers as they crept towards the United States. I sat staring at the floor model television imagining hordes of unstoppable mutant bees killing everyone I loved in sight. To my relief the bees didn’t reach the US until 1990 and with that they headed west. My Yellowhammer state dodged the brunt of their rampage. I went on that rant to say that the Bird Flu has not transmuted into an unstoppable man killing virus. As such if you are a bird, your poultry ass is good as dead. As of the 8 of May there have only been 115 human deaths from Bird Flu since 2003. 115 deaths however tragic do not a pandemic make. Anyone remember the West Nile Virus?

What is of some concern of mine is the impending hurricane season. If you have been watching the standard news channels lately you can tell that most of the commentators are bristling with excitement with the up coming season. Do you know why? (If you said ratings slap yourself for being a moron). The correct answer is he of she who plays next in the seething rain gets the most face time. You would think after the last hurricane season, there would be a consensus to store fuel and ready the masses for another year. But the truth is we haven’t recovered from the last season. My chief concern however is the five dollar gas prices that those storms will bring. If fuel prices are undulating like a fat girl on a beach ball now, what will hurricanes Alberto, Chris or Rafael or a combination of thereof do to the prices later? Sweet mother Mayhem! We will all be walking or suddenly turned into scooter trash.

Last but not least is the war in Iraq. Our nation has turned its attention from blaming each other for whatever reason to the act of removing the pretentious black and white “W’s” from the back of their SUV’s. Let’s face it; support is dwindling for our war. No matter how much spin our political leadership places on the situation. One dead soldier is one too many. Now don’t begin to prejudge me, I believe in opening up a nice frosty can of whoop ass every now and then. Sometimes you have to create an atmosphere of fear in order to have peace. If you have ever been at gun point you know that. The problem I have is no one admits to faulty intelligence. And for that we or at least I have become extremely suspicious of any thing that comes from on high. Every day we have remote controlled explosives killing our soldiers, suicide bombers, and ambushes. There are fanatical terrorist that behead their captured on film and an Iraqi government that is far from being sovereign. The Shiites and Sunnis are killing each other during a live fire civil war and during their breaks killing our soldiers. And somehow we think we have a handle on the situation. Not to mention the misinformed that rally against our troops and the hyper-patriotic who rally for the troops but are too scared to enlist.


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