Sunday, October 3, 2010

Love that fall

October 3, 2010

“How about a topic change?”

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like fall. Oh, I don’t go around blabbing about it, but if you asked which season I liked best I’d hafta say that I’m a fan of the autumnal. I like to say it, too. “ Fan of the autumnal.” Cool.

If I felt better, I’d be sitting in my canvas lawn chair, atop the roof, looking down on the beginning of fall. Of course, the entire world isn’t experiencing fall right now. You understand that, don’t you? Down south they’re springing forward. I’m not crazy about spring. Especially spring in Papua New Guinea. That’s another one of those words that is fun to say. Papua. I don’t care to go there, but I like to say it.

Truth is, I don’t care to go anywhere right now. I don’t feel well. Did I not say that earlier? If you wanna know why, you’ll need to flip your hamster to the side and pull out last week’s article. Buckles won’t care. He only reads the headlines. Those face-up.

If you find the article, you will see that last week I mentioned kidney stones. That’s what’s keeping me down on the ground at the moment. I had the stones crushed last week, but I don’t think they were crushed enough. You could resurface a logging road with some of the stuff I’ve been passing. Puts me in a bad mood.

I didn’t feel real bad when I left the hospital. The nurse asked how much pain I was experiencing, from one to ten. I hate that question. Pain is so relative. Compared to a thumb under a sledgehammer, I was a one. I told her three. I thought it more of a five, but didn’t want her to think I was a wimp.

That’s the problem with giving a number for pain. If you were in the hospital waiting for a pain pill, you’d tell anybody who asked that you were a 10. But, nurses expect you to exaggerate pain, so it means little to them. That punishes the honest among us. -- “Oh, I’m in agony here, so I’d say I’m a eight.” If you say something like that to a nurse, you’re not getting a pill till two hours after the Jello crawls off. No, we’re conditioned to lie about pain.

Right now, I really am a three. I have nothing to lie about. I’m not in pain as much as I’m uncomfortable. Can’t sit still. One discomfort is the sense that I have to, uh… make water. That’s what Morgan Freeman called it in “Driving Miss Daisy.” For some reason kidney stones make you feel as if you always have to go to the restroom, only you don’t. Well, not a lot.

You wanna know what’s weird? I’m gonna tell you anyway. The doctor actually gave me a pill to make me feel less like I have to go to the restroom. Hey, I can’t make this stuff up! Some scientist somewhere – I’m thinking in Wisconsin – decided to spend his life finding a drug that would make people feel like they don’t need to go when they actually might.

Does the pill work? I don’t know. I’m too scared to find out. There’s just something wrong about tricking your body into thinking it doesn’t have to go to the restroom. Just is.

Right now I need somebody to change the subject. In fact, I wish you had done it a couple of minutes ago. I never wanted to talk about kidney stones, but you kept dragging me back in. So, stop it. I started out talking about fall, and that’s where we’re returning. Oh, yes we are.

Fall. Autumn. Autumnal time. I like it. Why you ask? Well for one thing, I like the feel of it. It can be hot as everything, but you can tell there’s some weird sensation lurking around, making you less miserable. Maybe even making you a tad hopeful.

For me, part of the hope comes from the realization that football is here, basketball is gone and baseball will eventually end. It just has to.

Okay, who mentioned lawn mowing? I thought I heard one of you. Well, mowing is another reason to favor fall. My yard has about two more mows in it before I put the mower into hibernation. The contraption has been anticipating hibernation since late July. That’s when it started making a whining sound after the first couple of pulls. Maybe it was me.

Oh, and don’t forget the leaves. They’ll all be turning brown and letting loose some time in late January. Up north the trees actually turn colors before they drop. A few of you may remember that Kay and I took a trip to New England last year about this time to see the fall foliage. Well, one of you remembers. Kay and I visited New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

And, you wanna know something? All three of those states want us back. Mostly New Hampshire -- pronounced New Hampshuh. We get about three e-mails a day from businesses in the Granite State. I get five from Dardon Ann, but she just sends stupid stuff. These New Hampshire people are sending neat pretty stuff meant to encourage us to retrip.

That’s not happening. Been my experience return trips are disappointments. Kay and I went to Epcot a bunch of years back. Had a great time. We returned 10 years later, and were really disappointed. The shock and awe was gone. There’s something to say for shock and awe. The good kind. Hard to win back that first time feeling.

Of course, right now, it’d be hard to win any kind of good feeling back for me. Just don’t feel well. I’m beginning to feel like a four. Yep, there it is. I’m now a four. I’ve got the discomfort working for me with a hint of pain. Maybe a 4.2. – Tell you what, next time let’s talk about something else. In fact, if I bring up kidney stones, one of you has to change the subject. I don’t care who. Whom. Just do it. Do it! – I’m sorry, I get a little testy when I’m a four.

To watch Brad and Mark’s latest restaurant review go to YouTube and type in Mark Hayter Grotto. You can contact Mark at

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