Tuesday, November 24, 2020

If The Patient Survives, I Might Just Kill Him

I think having your gallbladder taken out must be bad for your memory. Or your disposition. Or maybe it takes away your give-a-darn. Farmer H is skating on thin ice. Which I presume is not recommended so soon after surgery.
Friday night, I came upstairs to get supper ready for the invalid. Even though he'd been out running around across four counties all day. I'd picked up a pork steak dinner for him at Country Mart's deli, along with a big salad for all of us to share. Farmer H had mentioned the night of his surgery that a salad sounded good. He's had the pork steak meal before, and usually gets 2-3 meals from it, because it's a lot of food.
As I rounded the banister, and asked Farmer H how he wanted me to warm his pork steak, he said, not a little churlishly,
"I don't want a lot of food!"
"You don't have to eat it all. I guess you'll want a small bowl of salad."
"No. I don't need salad."
"Okay... last night, you said you liked the salad, and wanted one. So I bought one to help you poop."
"You get yours! I'll make my own!"
"If I'd known that, I wouldn't have come up for another hour. I've barely finished my lunch."
"You make yours, and then I'll come in and make mine."
"Okay. I'm making myself a McRib out of my pork steak."
"I'll do mine."
"Do you want some onion?"
"Okay. I won't use a whole one. So I'll just throw the rest away."
"I might eat some. Just a couple of slices."
THEN he had the nerve to say it would be nice if I was concerned about his operation!
Dang it! His passive aggressive ways make me so mad! I think it might be time for him to learn another lesson. Like his 30 years of self-laundry duty. Only with meals.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Where Are The Steri-Strips: A Gallbladder Version Of Who's On First

There is the edge of dumbfudgery, and then there is the abyss. Farmer H took a nosedive over the precipice on Friday, and grabbed me by the wrist on his way down.

"I heard you in the shower. Did you take off the gauze squares from your incisions?"

"No. They're fine."

"Your discharge papers said not to get them wet. And that if they were bloody, to take them off. That one had blood on it, but I said it might be good to wait until your shower to pull it loose."

"They're not wet."

"You didn't get water on your belly in the shower?"

"Yes. But they're dry now. I just got out. They dried fast."

"The instructions said to take them off if they got wet."

"They're fine. I didn't see no steri strips."

"They might have fallen off. That's what the instructions said, too. To leave them on until they fell off, but not to worry if they DID fall off."

"I lifted up that one bandage, and there was no steri strip."

"Okay. Maybe it didn't need one. But the gauze should come off."

"No. There was no steri strip."

"I know. You just told me. And you told me yesterday that there wasn't a steri strip on your belly button. I saw there wasn't, when I put on a bandaid for you. They can't close up your belly button hole by pulling it together with a steri strip."

"It's the one that hurts."

"Yeah. Gravity pulls your stomach down when you stand up. They made a cut, and slid a tube in there. So of course it hurts as things shift around. It's cut on the inside, too."

"There's no steri strip."

"And there's not any steri strips on the top ones, either. With the bandages."
"Maybe not. I didn't have any after my gallbladder surgery. The incisions are small. They don't always need a stitch or steri strips. Just like a small cut heals."
"Them papers said to leave the steri strips on until they fell off."
"But you don't have any. The instructions were general. For post-surgery. Not specific to gallbladder surgery. Some people may have steri strips, and some may not. And the papers said to take the gauze off if it got wet."
"It's NOT wet."
"But it WAS. After the shower."
"It's dry now."
"You are trapping moisture and possible bacteria in there by the incision. They want it open, to heal."
"There's no steri strips."
"I KNOW THAT! Quit saying the same thing over and over!"
"Well, there's not."
"It said to take off the gauze!"
"I can't take it off! Then what will hold the cut together?"
"I guarantee you the gauze isn't holding your cut together! It was just there in case any blood seeped out. Only one of them did! You didn't need steri strips, and you don't need the gauze! Take it off!"
"HM. Something has to hold that together until it heals!"
"Let me see. On that bloody one. It's fine! It's not pulling apart. It's a closed cut that's healing. Not pulling apart or anything! And that's the worst one, according to the blood on the gauze. Which you should take off. Because it got wet." 

"It's dry now. It's fine."

Sad thing is, Farmer H was not under the influence of painkillers when this conversation took place. I guess he's going to leave that gauze on there until it grows into his skin like a mesh patch. There's no talking sense to him. Even typed discharge instructions are not to be obeyed, in Farmer H's mind. He makes up his own rules as he goes along.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

First Rule Of Lie Club: Don't Provide Details Of Lie

Farmer H has been caught in a lie. Oh, c'mon! Don't discredit my lie-detecting skills. It takes a little effort to get to the bottom of the lie. I have to squeeze him like the rubber tubing of a polygraph machine's chest sensors.

Friday brought us 40-degree temps and pouring rain. So Farmer H was not out of my lovely lady-mullet as usual. In fact, he popped into the Mansion around 11:10, as I was standing at the kitchen counter taking my medicine. He walked past me and to the bathroom, I thought. Somewhere out of the kitchen. He returned shortly, and with his hand on the doorknob, said

"I'm headed down to Bill-Paying Town to see about a gun."

There's nothing unusual about that. I generally don't see Farmer H from the time he leaves on Friday morning until he comes home for supper around 4:00-5:00. He sells at his Storage Unit Store, then has lunch, sits around talking to his cronies at somebody's garage or business, then gets his weekly shot.

I had been to town for my magical elixir, and had my lunch ready on the kitchen counter for The Pony to pack down the stairs to my lair. I sat down on the short couch to talk to The Pony, who had for some reason left his cell bedroom to join the world.

"You know, Pony, I think your dad has gone down to Casino Town without us. He mentioned yesterday that he was thinking of going on Saturday. I told him that was not a good idea. That he could wait until Tuesday, like he had originally planned. He said his gun lady had five guns for him."


"He SAID he was going to Bill-Paying Town when he left here around 11:00. Look. It's 3:00 now. That's WAY too much time for a trip over to Bill-Paying Town. 30 minutes there. 30 minutes back. An hour to look at a gun and barter or dicker on the price. Maybe 30 minutes to eat lunch. He would have been back here by now."

"How long for Casino Town?"

"Hour-and-a-half there. Hour-and-a-half back. An hour to get the guns and talk to the pawn shop lady. Probably a stop at the casino like he usually does. Lunch. It's been four hours now. He could be back any time, depending on if he did any gambling."


"You watch. I bet that's where he went."

I stopped short of actually BETTING The Pony. Believe me, it crossed my mind. To bet him a $5 scratcher that Farmer H made a clandestine trip to Casino Town.

In my office, scratching my own tickets, I heard Farmer H stomping around on his footless ankles in the master bathroom. I know that I went downstairs at 3:00, because I watched the end of a Guy's Grocery Games with The Pony. So it was on the hour. Then I ate my lunch, and watched some conspiracy videos, and loaded my music to scratch tickets by. When I heard the stomping, I looked at the clock. It was 4:20. The time I usually get to scratchin'.

I asked Farmer H at supper time if he went to Casino Town. He didn't answer. I was in the kitchen, warming my leftover BBQ pork steak from Country Mart deli. I'd smelled Farmer H warming his own around 4:35. That BBQ smell travels! 

"I didn't hear your answer."

"I didn't hear your question." [Lie Sign #1: delay in answering, stalling for time]

"Did you go to Casino Town?"

"No. I went down to Bill-Paying Town about a gun. I told you when I left."

I went to sit on the short couch (The Pony was in his nightly 2-hour tub) to talk to Farmer H in the recliner. Even thought the rope I was giving him to hang himself would have easily reached from the kitchen.

"It doesn't take that long to go to Bill-Paying Town and back. Even for a gun."

"What do you mean THAT LONG?" [Lie Sign #2: questioning the questioner]

"You were gone over 5 hours."

"No. It was less than 3." [Lie Sign #3: denying provable facts]

"You left here at 11:00, and got back after 4:00."

"I left here at ten 'til twelve! And got back at 3:00!"

"No. I was in the kitchen taking medicine. Hadn't even turned on the TV."

"I'll prove it! Right here on my phone! I called that guy at 11:18, right after I left here."

"Exactly! You left around 11:00. Just like I said."

"Well, I got back at 3:00."

"No. I was sitting here at 3:00, watching TV with The Pony. You don't even get your shot until 4:00! When I heard you walking around in the bathroom when you got back, it was 4:20. I was scratching tickets, and hoped you weren't coming down, because you're bad luck. AND, I'd already eaten my pinwheels, AND my bag of chips, AND my two Girl Scout Thin Mints, and watched some videos and loaded music."

"No. I got back at 3:00."

"So you didn't go to the bathroom until 4:20?"

"No. I went to the bathroom as soon as I got home."

"Exactly. Then you made your supper while you were up."

"No. I didn't make my supper until 5:30."

"Then how did I smell it at 4:35? AND, I went to the bathroom at 5:30, and you were not up walking around. It was quiet, and I thought you might have gone to the auction. Which you always do, and want to be DONE eating at 5:30."

"I didn't go to the auction."

"But you went to Bill-Paying Town. DIDN'T YOU?"

"The guy I went to see about the gun said he had some business down there, and I said that was a coincidence, I did, too! So we went down there together."

"I KNEW IT! So you've lied to me."

"It ain't lyin'."

"It is TOO! You did it on purpose, but I can always tell."

"It's a good thing I went! That pawn shop lady's son was selling two of my guns when I walked in! So I called her and told her, and she called HIM on the other phone, to say he had to sell them to ME. But he'd already made a deal with that other guy, and told his mom, 'You didn't tell me to HOLD the guns for him. You just said he was COMING BY.' So I only got three of my guns." [Not a sign, but a JUSTIFICATION for his lies] "She had a rifle that I offered $400 for, but she said she needed $550. Which I can understand, because it's about an $800 gun. So I paid her $550 for it."

"Aha! You just HAPPENED to be carrying all of your gun money around with you when you were only going to look at ONE gun over in Bill-Paying Town!"

"No. I didn't have that gun money on me. I came home to GET IT!"

"So you KNEW, when you were going out the kitchen door, that you were going all the way to Casino Town to get your guns."

"Well. I came home to get my money."
If Farmer H had not tried to supply all those details, he could have absolutely fooled me by saying he'd gone to shop at Goodwills after seeing the gun guy in Bill-Paying Town, and then stopped by to shoot the bull with his cronies.

The Devil is in the details.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

They Tried

My errands before the financial meeting included a trip to the bank. I had a check to deposit, which had come from that very financial group. Every year, I have to take a minimum amount out of an account that was inherited, and is some kind of retirement account. I don't know a lot about investment stuff. Only how much I have, and that there's a penalty for not withdrawing some of it by year's end. They can't write the check at the office. They have to send it to corporate, and I get it in the mail. Thankfully, nobody got their filthy thieving mitts on it!

Anyhoo... you might remember that once the bank teller accused me of trying to deposit a FRAUDULENT check from my own credit union, just because she called the wrong phone number on the check. AND that my bank has a policy of not wanting to give you credit, even for a CASHIER'S CHECK, until 10 days have passed. Farmer H went toe-to-toe with them on that policy one time (back when customers were allowed inside, and could go toe-to-toe), and they waived it for him.

Anyhoo... I outsmarted those telleristas this time. I wanted to take out some of our weekly cash. And also to deposit that check. The normal way to do it would be to fill out a deposit slip for the check, and fill in the amount of cash back. Uh uh. I was too smart for that! Because that one time, they didn't even want to give me cash from my account (nothing to do with the check) when I made a big deposit. Acted like ALL my money would be held for 10 days. Which is ridiculous! Anything over the amount of a deposited check should not be affected.

Anyhoo... this time, I filled out a withdrawal slip for my weekly cash. Then I filled out a deposit slip for the full amount of the check. I sent them through the tube. And a teller whose voice I didn't recognize got on the speaker, and said,
"Um. This check that... uh... um... So, you want to make a withdrawal? And deposit this check?"
"Oh. Alright. I'm working on it."
Heh, heh! She was SO ready to tell me there would be a 10-day hold! But she couldn't! They were two separate transactions! I didn't want any of that check back.
Score one for the valedictorian!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Nero May Have Fiddled While Rome Burned, But Farmer H Chewed The Fat While Mrs. HM Steamed

I really thought I had outsmarted Farmer H and our Financial Advisor. After all, I'd told the secretary that I wouldn't be staying for the whole appointment, and I'd informed Farmer H that I would be driving separately. 
I really hate this yearly meeting. So much fat to be trimmed, while Farmer H and Financial Advisor would rather sit around chomping on it. Farmer H forbid me to schedule a PHONE appointment, which was offered this year. And he wanted a day that Financial Advisor was there himself, and not a conference with his daughter, who is taking over his business.
My other errands went smoothly (better than I expected), and I arrived in front of the Financial Advisor's office at 1:53 for a 2:00 appointment. We've gone in early before, only to cool our heels out front until appointment time, even though no one else was there. So I decided to sit in T-Hoe's comfortable driver's seat, rather than in an uncomfortable plastic and metal chair. I didn't see SilverRedO yet, so I picked up my phone to send myself a picture for later downloading.


He appeared out of nowhere. Or, more accurately, from across the street, where he'd parked so secretively, even though there were 10 spaces in front of the financial office. He stood leaning on T-Hoe's hood, forcing me to go in early and wait in the butt-numbing chairs. 


Because Financial Advisor himself was at the door, calling for us to come on in. SIX MINUTES EARLY! Of course I translated this into six more minutes of torture. We went directly back to his conference table. Farmer H commented,

"Oh. You've got new chairs since your daughter came to work for you."

"Yes. She said we needed to update the office."

The chairs LOOKED more comfortable, but they were not! Although upholstered in fabric, they still had a hard feel to my ample rumpus, and the armrests were way too low for a normal person to rest their arms. They were like decorative armrests! Also upholstered in fabric.

Anyhoo... while waiting for The Daughter to join us at the appointment time, Farmer H and Financial Advisor started chatting about The Virus, and office protocols, and workplace edicts. Then The Daughter joined us, and joined in. A couple times, I dropped a hint that I was only there to SIGN NECESSARY PAPERS, and then I'd be leaving. Finally, Financial Advisor told The Daughter to put the accounts on screen. 


A giant big screen as large as our TV was mounted on the wall. I had to turn my head sideways to see it. There was precious little room between the table and wall to turn the whole new upholstered chair. My neck being swiveled did not help my headache at all. Even worse, I could not quite focus on the number columns. It was too far for my regular eyes, and my glasses didn't help. Not the regular part, nor the bifocals. So I just squinted, getting that nauseous feeling you get from overworking your peepers when you have a headache.

I asked a couple of questions about my investments, and then was ready to sign the paperwork and go. But wait! The Daughter made a startling reveal!


What in the Not-Heaven? Did I attend an appointment that I didn't have to? They all acted like I had to come in. But usually there's a signature. Saying, perhaps, that my investments had been discussed, and I chose to continue with the current procedures.

I made a hasty exit, after first hauling myself out of that uncomfortable chair and letting the circulation return to my legs. I have no qualms about letting Financial Advisor, and now The Daughter, make my investment decisions. That's what they're professionals about. Surely they want the most for my money, since they get a cut.

Anyhoo... Farmer H did not return home for another hour or two after I got there. I guess they had a lot of time to shoot the bull and chew the fat, since the secretary said most people don't want to come in for an in-person appointment these days.

Oh, and Farmer H said he really enjoyed talking to The Daughter. "She likes guns!"

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Wasted Meat Of A Ponytail Guy

We had another mishap with the Ponytail Guy's meat Tuesday night! Once again, I had my mouth all set for some delicious chicken nuggets with a light coating of BBQ sauce, caramelized in the oven, placed upon a hamburger bun with lettuce and mayo. You know what happens when Mrs. HM has her mouth all set for the Ponytail Guy's meat. She is sorely disappointed!

The Pony had taken himself out to Steak N Shake for a big lunch, and didn't want any supper. So I told Farmer H we'd have the chicken nuggets in the bottom of FRIG II. Not the best kind, the crunchy discs. The other kind, the irregular nugget. 

ALAS! When I pulled out the bag, they were discolored! Darkened! And when I looked through the plastic, some had a white spot of MOLD on them! I cried out, and Farmer H said they were probably still good! AU CONTRAIRE! I wouldn't eat one on a dare!

I took the bag to show Farmer H, and he agreed that we had spoiled the Ponytail Guy's meat. He said to dump them off the back porch to the dogs. I refused!

"I'm NOT giving my dogs moldy chicken nuggets! That can't be good for them!"

"What are you going to do?"

"Put them in the trash."

"Then they'll stink."

"They're in a plastic bag! And after a day, they'll be out in the dumpster."

"Here. Give them to me."

"Already in the wastebasket."

"I'll get rid of them."

"Dig them out for yourself. I TOLD you I only wanted you to bring a serving at a time over from the BARn freezer."

"Huh. You'd think they'd be okay in the refrigerator."

"They've been in there for at least TWO WEEKS! And before that, they'd probably been meant for a restaurant back in March. They don't stay good forever. Even in a freezer."

"Yeah. I guess you're right."

"What are you doing with those?"

"I'm taking them outside."

"DON'T let the dogs have them!"

When he came back inside, I asked what he did. He wasn't gone long enough to drive them somewhere, or burn them, or bury them.

"I took them over to the edge of the woods."

"Oh, because dogs don't have noses to sniff out food!"

"They wasn't out there. You don't know what might eat them."

"The DOGS!"

"They'll be fine. They eat the meat off an old rotted deer carcass."

"Yes. But it's FRESH rotted deer carcass. Not MOLDY rotted deer carcass!"

I hope my fleabags are okay tomorrow. It wasn't a LOT of chicken nuggets. But my little Jack is not a lot of dog. And he's the one with the best nose. I hope he has some competition during his feeding frenzy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wasted Day And Wasted Night

A few hours ago (as I type this), Farmer H reminded me that we have our annual meeting with our financial guy tomorrow. Which is TODAY, as you read this. I had completely forgotten about it. And I'M the one who made the appointment last week. We had the option of phone conference or some impossible technical thingy or in person. Of course Farmer H wanted in person. I did not. I'm sure that's why I blocked it out.

Anyhoo... good thing he told me! Now the whole day is wasted, because the only choice was 1:30. Or was it 2:30? I guess I need to call and check! I had planned to do the banking and mailing and gassing of T-Hoe. So now my plan is to drive separately from Farmer H, and pop in when it's convenient! Seriously. It takes less than 10 minutes to look over the annual report and sign the papers. Farmer H and the guy like to chew the fat. So they can have the office to themselves, and I'll only do the signing part!

I've spent a couple hours tonight trying to print Genius's weekly letter. That darn Not-Heavenish LaserJet! It never works the same way twice. I gave up and sent the job to the color printer in the workshop. I haven't gone in yet to see if I can harvest the pages.
The Universe is smiting me mightily. Maybe that means something good is around the bend. Or else it's post-smite for the good thing that already happened on Sunday.

 It was a great way to start the week. Now I'm paying for it, in a non-cash kind of way.