Last night I met someone who tells a much longer story than me. I mean I'm pretty good at adding a bunch of details that are interesting to me and not the listeners necessarily, but this guy took it to a whole new level and I wish to share the story with you (because you don't have to read it and I really want to write it).
Last month, a card got sent around our Kiwanis Club for this guy in the Eagle Rock Club who was in the hospital. I didn't hear who it was for and I figured I only know one guy from Eagle Rock, so I probably don't know them, so I didn't sign the card. At the end of the meeting, the card was sitting abandoned on the table and I made sure it got to someone who was going to deliver it. That's kind of my job around the place--make sure nothing falls through the cracks, is in my job description. Anyhoo, last night I get to the Division meeting (meeting of all the club presidents for the division--my club president is not very good about attending and I'm the Pres elect, so I'm going now), late and sit next to a guy whose face I know, but I can't place him. When it's time for Eagle Rock Club to step forward, he got up. I never would have pegged him for Eagle Rock, because I only know one guy from Eagle Rock and that wasn't him and he looked familiar. Anyhoo again, (btw Eagle Rock is the club that has the member who owns an Italian Restaurant that we went to for a fund raiser and a Christmas party one year--the only two times I've been in Eagle Rock, except to the library two times and when I got really really lost a few times) (btw again, there's really no punch line worth all the excess words, so if you are bored already, don't bother) his name is Ted and I recognized his name right away as someone who's been around forever, whom I've known for years (the way you know a name and a face without actually putting the name with the face. He was with a different club for years that has since disbanded and that's why I didn't place him with Eagle Rock.) It was time for club reports and he gets up and says "I have to get this straight right here and now. Women are smarter than men. Most men are lucky enough to have a mother who will take care of them, because they just can't survive. They need a woman to protect them. Many men are even luckier to find a wife to help with the job. Of course, men need to listen to women--that's very important. We recently had a skylight installed at our home and my wife pointed out that they chipped the paint when they were installing it. I said, that's ok, I'll touch up the paint. My wife said absolutely not. Wait until our son is visiting so he can do it or we'll hire someone." Ted says "I know to listen to my wife, so I said ok. Then on November 4th, she called and said 'Don't start dinner, I'm so buried at work, I'm not going to be home until 9 o'clock tonight.'" So Ted says to himself "Hey, she won't be home to stop me, I'll just touch up those chips around the skylight." So he gets the ladder and the white paint and he's a careful guy, he's paying attention, but he thinks if only I were a little taller I could reach the spots. Now he knows not to stand on the top rung of the ladder, but he thinks to himself, I'll be really, really careful. He gets on the top of the ladder and knows somethings wrong right away--his head is going one way and his feet are going the other way and he is now falling horizontally. It is really dark and so he thinks, well this is it, I'm dead. He rubs his eyes and they are full of paint, but he gets them sort of cleared off and looks at the clock--it is 5:15. He went up the ladder at 4, so he's been unconscious for over an hour. He hurts--everything hurts. He tries to move and he can hear broken bones rattling around. He can't move his left side--his arm, his hand. And there's paint EVERYWHERE. In his eyes, in his ears, down his throat, all over the carpet, all over his clothes, all over the walls, all over the skylight, on the pictures on the wall, everywhere. So he's been out for an hour and his wife isn't due home for another four hours. The phone is in the kitchen on the wall and he needs to call his son, so he turns onto his right side sort of and crawls to the kitchen. He uses a stool that weights about a pound, but now feels like it weights a ton to try to knock the phone down and he gets it down. The phone starts talking. It didn't ring and he didn't dial, but it's his son on the phone. He's a little out of it from the pain and all and says "How did you know to call me" and his son says "That's what phones do Dad, you dial and someone picks it up and you talk." Ted persists, "But how did you know that I wanted to call you now?" "I don't know," his son says, "I'm getting ready to go out and I wanted to know if you want to have lunch this week?" "Sure," Ted says, "but I don't know if I'll be able to have lunch this week, because I'm in pretty bad shape and I need you to come over right away." "Do you want me to call 911," his son asks. "No, there's too much paint--I don't want to get it all over the ambulance, just get here as fast as you can." So his son comes over and sees him and again offers to call 911, but Ted says no, get some old sheets and wrap me up some so paint won't get on the car. He feels like his legs are ok, so he wants his son to kind of lift him up, but not until he has the sheets on him, so that he won't get paint on his suit. So his son gets the sheets and kind of wraps them around him, but then he has to stop. "You know this is really funny," his son says. Ted says, "Yes, I know that, but I'm in a little too much pain at the moment to appreciate it." So they get him up and put towels in the truck and get him in the truck, with the sheets all around him and get him to the hospital and his son wheels him into emergency in a wheel chair where they are giving him a shot for the pain as he's arriving. But the doctors stop for a moment (after the shot) before they treat him to say "You know, you're a few days late for Holloween, Casper." (The sheets, the white paint everywhere) So he had broken bones in his hand, four broken ribs and a split butt. He described the split butt like a salami that you slam on the counter splits--that's what happened to his butt. The nurse said she'd never seen anything like it. So Ted thanks all the clubs for the get well cards, he's doing much better (thanks to all the morphine) and he showed us his favorite card from the High School Kiwanis club that he visits twice a month. He always wears a suit to their meeting and one kid wrote, get well to the cool guy in the suit. He got a kick out of that. So someone asked if all the paint is cleaned up now--oh no, he says, there's still paint everywhere. But he added that his son told him to make a claim on his homeowner's insurance--apparently stupidity in your own home by yourself on a ladder is covered.