St. Patties #298 – 3/15/2016

“It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.”
-Irish Proverb

Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances I am awake. Yes, I sprang ahead. I want that hour back. Please tell my body that when you spring ahead you are to sleep later. My body does the opposite; it gets up earlier. Not good on blog day when your mind needs to be as sharp as a tack. Instead, I am sitting here in front of the computer just trying to stay awake while I write. Have mercy on my readers today.

St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday this week. How do you plan to celebrate? In Cedar Rapids, there is a huge parade downtown with tons of people many of whom head to a local beverage establishment where green beer is consumed well into the night. I, being of the geriatric vintage, you will see me clad in my green tidy whities under my normal jeans and t-shirt attire. I don’t do crazy like I used to. I recall the most outrageous time I had was when I was in the Air Force stationed in Newburgh, New York. A few friends and I headed over to the local Irish bar next to the all-girls catholic college. This place was PACKED. I remember drinking screwdrivers this night. My friends and I bailed out about 2:30 am and went back to the base. How we got there, I have no idea. To say I was wasted is an understatement. The really bad thing that I had not planned adequately for was that I had KP (Kitchen Police) Duty beginning at 4:00 am. Ho-Boy, off I go to the kitchen. I remember peeling potatoes and vomiting alternatingly. Around 6:00 am someone took me to the infirmary where I received a shot. I reportedly was delivered back to my barracks. My roommates related the weird things I did for 3 days – none of which I remember. I pretty much gave up on screwdrivers, Irish Bars and St. Patties Day after that.

For my seventieth birthday this year, my current wife purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school basketball team, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I’ll call Missy, who identified herself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.  Here it is.

Monday: Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Missy waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo! Missy gave me a tour and showed me the machines. She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Missy was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

Tuesday: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Missy made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air – then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Missy’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It’s a whole new life for me.

Wednesday: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Missy was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Missy put me on the stair monster. Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Missy told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other stuff too.

Thursday: Missy was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Missy took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine – which I sank.

Friday: I hate that creep Missy more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. There was no part of my body I could move without unbearable pain. Missy wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the &@#$*~ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from, you jerk!) The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Saturday: Missy left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the stinkin’ Weather Channel.

Sunday: I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my current wife will choose a gift for me that is fun – like a root canal, a colonoscopy, or a prostate exam.

I was out for a walk last weekend. Up ahead there was an old man out on his porch. I walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. “I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” I said. “What’s your secret for a long happy life?” “I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise.” “That’s amazing,” I said. “How old are you?” “Twenty-six,” he said.

We who have seen war never stop seeing it. Stay well, Brother. If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!