At any rate, the talk show host asked her what the greatest invention of her life time was and then suggested... "the airplane?" Of course she agreed with that. I did the math in my head. She was born in 1908 which meant she came about 5 years later than the first powered flight. ( I had the original date wrong)
As I listened, I thought...what was the greatest invention in my 52 years? Computers, cellphones, channel changers, garage door openers....the Garden Weasel or the Sham Wow?
The truth was and is, I simply couldn't answer that question until late last night when suddenly I remembered what invention I prize above all other innovations in my brief lifetime.
You see yesterday, I had to do something I dread with every breath I take. Work. I had a break in my four inch sewer pipe which caused sewage to back up into the downstairs laundry room. Nothing pisses me off more than sewage in my house. So after sending a camera down the pipe, we located the break and then set about the task of digging up 6 feet worth of broken sewer pipe and replacing it. This required hand digging a grave sized hole to a depth of three feet and doing it in very tight quarters next to the house. It is back breaking work, stooped over a hole on your knees, digging a giant sized hole.
After a few hours, I was covered in dirt and sewage because in my mind I still think that I am 21... and somehow my mind plays tricks on me. I forget how painfully slow my recovery is. I can no longer tell the true from the false.
At about 9:30 last night, I gazed into my medicine cabinet. There it was. The greatest invention of my life, something I take virtually every other day, something that has allowed me to stay active for as long as I have.
Ibuprofen. Not far behind and most certainly in 2nd place, Omeprazole, the great stomach acid stopper.
I managed to string together a fairly healthy 7 or 8 years together at the beginning of my life. At some point, right about the time I jumped out of a tree house and onto a board with a nail sticking out of it that went completely through my foot, I was doing ok. Since then, strained knee ligaments and sports related injuries, a destroyed left rotator cuff, broken arms and ribs from various motorcycle accidents, blood clots, swollen legs and veinous insufficiency and the world's flattest feet- have conspired to give me some of the finest top to bottom nagging pain. I am not even counting my teeth which are giving me fits- the last one broke lengthwise about a week ago and I pulled the loose half out with a pair of needlenose pliers. It had already seen a root canal so yanking it out wasn't too bad.
Growing old is not for pussies. And whining about this shit- well it makes you look like an even bigger pussy. So don't do it. I can do it here because a lot of you don't really know who I am- and the ones that do- are worse off than me anyway. Like Troy and Ronnie.
I can't even imagine how much fun all of this will be by 62. Maybe it will get better.
So last night I popped three of those bad boys and I gazed longingly at my Vicodin which is my emergency back up plan when the ibuprofen fails. They have this kick ass ibuprofen in Canada but you have to smuggle it back in like some sort of nefarious criminal. It has caffeine and codeine in it and it is fantastic but I am out. So I settled for the weaker American version of ibuprofen which worked- it works very well for me. Today, I have been staring at that giant dirt pile. Shit. I just can't bring myself to go fill in that hole- at least not yet. Maybe it will just go away on it's own.