Last week was the Fischer-Tropsch Short Course which I’ve been coordinating for my Father. Consequently, the past week was very, VERY long Indeed, it was protracted, lengthy and incessant. I did learn a few VERY important lessons:

  • I am too old and questionably medicated to sleep only a few hours at a time for more than a couple of days.
  • Don’t tell the wrong people at the restaurant that your credit card number is on file because despite promises that you will get approval on everything before the banquet and when that doesn’t happen you’ll get approval of a final invoice – you’ll get approval of ANY charges, for that matter – because they will charge you credit card without any invoices and they will overcharge you by at least $1,000. Then they won’t return your calls. So far I’ve only had to use the phrase “Affidavit of Unauthorized Charge” and “over-charge” and such. I fear I may get to the point where I shall be bandying about phrases like “litigation” and “sue your sorry…” Never mind. It’s just a shame that the one really nice, helpful person who is not at fault will no doubt get caught in the middle of it all.
  • If you don’t shower for a disgusting amount of time (and this is NOT the standard un-bathed status of the hiding, depressed person – this is in PUBLIC because you’ve not had time to do so and all your clothes are an hour away) far too many people will know about it. This COULD possibly be because I become even more stream-of-consciousness garrulous when I’m sleep-deprived than when I’m not, and I probably told everyone myself.
  • If you wear linen pants until you are so vile you should be hosed down, holes will mysteriously appear in the seat of said pants. Whether or not my own body dissolved my trousers is a mystery. It does lead to an interesting discussion: I used to be a purist about many things. I thought perhaps I should “change things up” a bit, and now I wonder. Now I have to pluck my eyebrows (or wax them), have regular haircuts, dye my “roots,” and yes, pay attention to what my underwear says. I’ll discuss my limits in this respect another time, but let me tell you that when you discover that you have large holes in the seat of your pants you will, by some cosmic fluke, be wearing underwear that says, “Wish on THIS!” on the back. I wish I were kidding.

Yes, I could go on (and on) and usually would (okay – JUST SHUT UP AND GIVE ME THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT THAT I DON’T ALWAYS GO ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…), but I am reminded of something that gives me some good perspective. You see, I COULD have swallowed a dental instrument during a root canal.
Evidently, you can swallow such a thing WITHOUT PAIN.
These are called a Gates Gliddens.

Ah, but no one could do such a thing! WRONG – Shirleen could do such a thing. Don’t get me wrong – she only swallowed ONE Gates Glidden. She went to the second appointment for a root canal (because, of course, the first appointment couldn’t be easily completed for some reason). Then she somehow swallowed a dental instrument. She did know she’d swallowed something, but presumed it was a piece of temporary filling. Then they began quite anxiously searching for the instrument. The dentist said, “You COULDN’T have swallowed that; it’s never happened before.” But it’s Shirleen. Shirleen has the “Luck O’ the Irish,” except it’s not the stereotypical “Luck O’ the Irish,” it’s more akin to the ironic potato famine sort of Irish luck. This explains a great deal about her health, her love life and why I was not entirely surprised when my Mom came home and said that Shirleen had swallowed a dental instrument. After it was confirmed that she had swallowed the Gates Glidden, the dentist did the quickest temporaryfilling EVER and the receptionist took her to the hospital where they endoscopically removed the sharp, pointy thing – TRULY luckily with no perforations anywhere.

So I just keep trying to remind myself, “I COULD have swallowed a dental instrument.” Of course, this not only serves as a reminder that things could be much worse, but that I’m long overdue to visit the dentist…