Birthday Bashes, Buttholes, Flying Shovels and Brotherly Love: A Week in the Life, a Reminder of Gratitude

I won’t lie.  Heading into Monday of last week, I was more anxious than normal, for several reasons.

I had a sort of surprise birthday party to co-plan, my mother’s __th.  Days later, I had my first ever colonoscopy, a tad late for 55 but had to get it scheduled, nevertheless.  That weekend, I had a dear friend’s family reunion invading our pub, sixty plus people.  I had to get my new wait staff up to snuff, the pressure to show everyone a good time not overwhelming but at least present.  Compounded by the nervousness of having a camera stuck up my butt, and what they might find, let’s just say there have been more relaxing weeks at SportsChump Manor.

Woo-sah!

Assignment #1: Celebrate Mom’s __th birthday.

A late-night sleepover date while stepfather of SportsChump snored blissfully in the other room, the (wee) morning of mom’s birthday was spent, just the two of us, catching up on old family stories and watching the early parts of two new, outstanding documentaries, TCM’s The Power Of Film and HBO’s Stax.  What can I say?  The Emmy-Award Winning Mother of Sportschump and I like to geek out over documentaries, music and film.

Not so early risers, I treated her to a delicious sushi lunch (breakfast?) where the owner/head chef himself custom created roll after delicious roll and followed that up with homemade fried apple dumpling wontons.

Mom knew about the lunch.  What she didn’t know was that later that evening, I’d recruited my karaoke band of many to surprise her by singing songs by her favorite artists.  They came out in all ages, shapes and sizes, some of them, like BCole’s rendition of Carly Simon’s “Coming Around Again” bringing Mother of SportsChump to tears.

Assignment #1 was completed to perfection.

Assignment #2: Have butt checked.

I don’t like doctors.  Never have.  While I’m no practicing scientist, I’ve long lived by the credo of garbage in, garbage out.  Try to eat healthily, exercise, and keep doctor’s visits few and far between.  He’s a nice guy and all, but I’d rather not go if I don’t have to.

But (pun intended) it was time for the old rectal exam, just to ensure that everything is where it’s supposed to be and nothing odd showed up, like a random wristwatch or some lingering, undigested steak from 2002.

What the hell do I know about colonoscopies?  Well, now, consider me an expert.  Countless people comforted me with the same six words: “The prep is the worst part.”  I’m not sure whether they included pre-colonoscopy anxiety as part of it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the procedure, you start fasting the day before, which is nothing fun for the over-eater.  A light breakfast, black coffee and that’s it for the rest of the day.  The loving, caring BCole, prepared soup broth, which was basically the only thing I could ingest other than the cleansing medication that kept me toilet trapped all morning until I’d relieved everything from my system.

The butt cam likes a clean view, I guess.  Well, thanks to that medication, I gave him one, to the tune of a lost seven pounds.

We drove to the office the following morning, wishing I was back singing karaoke songs rather than being put under.  Yet put me under they did.  Breathing relaxed, in my hospital gown, I was wheeled into the pooper room where the beeps and boops of the machinery made it sound like I was in a casino. If only.

An IV in the arm, assume the position then bring on the sedative.  They didn’t even have to count to ten.  Considering I’d spent nearly the entire night before sedentary on the throne, I didn’t need much more convincing to be knocked out.

And before I knew it, as everyone had suggested, I was up, groggy and treated to a Latin-style lunch courtesy of my caretaker.  I mean, I had a stomach to refill and what better way than with a table full of Tampa’s finest delicacies.

I still await the results, but the worst is over.  I even got emailed a picture of my insides, which looked surprisingly okay.  (You’re welcome for not including.) Like, no one ever wants to see a picture of anyone else’s guts but when you finally get the chance to look at your own, it’s not all that bad.  Talk about being ready for my close up!  Glad no one said cheese. 

It was back to work the following day, which everyone said I’d be ready for and on to assignment #3 for the week.

But first, a flying shovel.

Assignment #3: Arriving at work safely is no easy task.

If you reside in, and drive a vehicle through, any major metropolis, you can confirm that getting around is becoming infinitely more dangerous.  You have more people driving yet paying conversely less attention to the other vehicles on the road.  If you’ve maneuvered I-4, I-75, and I-275 in Tampa, the city’s manmade triangle of doom, you’re aware that any random piece of debris can fly up off the road at any given time, providing a Mad Maxian roadway of peril.

That’s when I encountered my first ever flying shovel.

As I looked to pass the slow-moving car in front of me, with a metal-hauling truck ahead of it, I merged over to my left lane.  I had plenty of time to pass both vehicles before getting back into the right lane and merging onto the I-4 exit.

That’s when I saw it for the first time.

Remember that brilliantly, cheesy action film Twister, in which Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt play scientists trying to develop a technology to better warn us of oncoming tornados.  The film is famous for one scene in particular: the flying cows.

Well, in the not-too-distant driving path, a shovel had flown out of the top of this metal-hauling truck and was headed straight for me, like the Twister cows, just made of metal, far more dangerous and all too real.

Already in the left lane, with very little emergency lane option further to my left, I veered even more to my left to try to avoid this shovel as it continued to spin violently in my general direction.  Traveling at interstate speeds, I did the best I could to avoid this large hunk of metal (that fortunately was not the result of my colonoscopy) and was headed right towards my windshield.  I got as far over to my left as possible and WHAM!!!

The spinning hand shovel struck what I could only assume was the side of my Sonata.  I’d avoided direct contact with the windshield and glass roof of my car but knew I’d need to drive another ten miles to work to see how much damage this godforsaken shovel had done to my poor vehicle.

A bad scrape, but in the grand scheme of things, it could have been way, way worse.  If you’re paying attention at home, all this has happened, the karaoke party, the sushi dumplings, the rumble down under, and the flying shovel, within seventy-two-hours.

It was a busy week.

Assignment #4: Show the E family some love.

“We’re coming in hot!” texted Brotha E, his annual family reunion had hit Tampa harder than a flying shovel hits a car traveling in the same direction.  The E’s host family reunions the way they’re meant to be experienced, with loved ones coming from all over the country to wine, dine, and share stories from yesteryear.  The weekend’s festivities included a yacht outing and a stop at their new favorite Ybor City Irish Pub.

Good times were had by all and the anxiety had subsided. It was great to reunite with extended members of the family, especially after the week I’d had.

So, to conclude this angst-ridden exercise, it is once again time to sit back, look at what we have and be eternally grateful for it: the family, our health, and the friends we have and love. 

Just be sure to watch out for flying shovels in the interim.

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3 Replies to “Birthday Bashes, Buttholes, Flying Shovels and Brotherly Love: A Week in the Life, a Reminder of Gratitude”

  1. You definitely had a few days of fun, Chris! I can sympathize with you about the colonoscopy prep – as mine was a few days before yours. So to speak, it’s “the shits”! But, since we don’t have to have another one for a few years now, “Let’s eat, drink, and be merry!” Good times to all!

  2. What a crazy week brother! You’re a great son to your lovely mother. Glad you survived the peek-a-boo and good maneuvering that flying shovel!

  3. As a victim of three prior invasions I can assure you that they don’t get any easier.
    I’m glad the damage caused by the shovel was not serious.
    Looks like a great party. Cheers !

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