Author: nothalfgood

I do not currently know where I am – Pt. 2

*This post is a continuation of part 1.*

I found myself propped up anew on a very tribal-looking yet very comfy couch. The woman continued to look at me with the strangest grin as she flicked on the room’s two coconut-themed lamps. She was clearly going for some tropical motif, but it felt more like a doctor’s office containing a couch and two lamps.

“Who are you?” I asked in the awkward silence.

“Oh, you wouldn’t know me, hon, but I read yer blog-thing!”

I shuddered. “But my mother is the only one who reads my blog.”

She cackled as she lifted herself up onto yet another hospital bed, of which she apparently has several. “Well, no more o’ that. With the start of advanced content discovery algorithms, people from all ’round the world are able to access yer blog and be a part of yer quest to regain yer dignity. Remember? From yer first post, Seeing the glass half full? This is the culm’nation of yer master plan, a part of which I seek to be a part of which. I want you to fulfill yer destiny, and that’s why I brought you here.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, not understanding.

“Now which one was it where you said, ‘I’m so not with it that I could report myself missing. In fact I just might do that and hide in bed for a few days’? You said that, don’t you remember? It was in Three St. Andrew’s Hospitals too many, a Tragedy in one act–which, by the way, was an awesome title that got me so ready for yer hilarious story. I said, ‘This kid needs a break, and I’m going to give it to him,’ so I finally kidnapped you and gave you a hard earned chance to lie low for a while!”

I was in utter shock, dumfounded by what she was telling me.

“A thank ya’ would be nice!”

“I have no words. Y-y-you kidnapped me because you couldn’t see that I was joking, and now you want me to compliment you? As though you just did something good for me?”

“Don’t be such a square-head. This was what you wanted–you said that! You think it was easy to find the right guys who could nab you and bring you here and set up this hospital room with the right paint and the right bed and a lady to play the nurse just like in the real St. Andrew’s Hospital and make sure that you weren’t disturbed this whole time? Huh? You think it was easy?!”

“I was unconscious! I might have memory loss, plus I have a job and a life that only I can put on hold, not some random person that’s trying to stalk me! How did you even find me?”

“Mapquest.”

“But how did you find my address?”

“Oh, well that’s easy! I visited every Futuristic Coney Island franchise in the area and asked. Eventually someone knew what I’s talkin’ about.”

“I’m at a loss for words. This is so despicable, it’s–it’s–”

“–I see. So ya don’t appreciate yer readers.”

“I don’t give a flip about my readers, not one of them! What you’ve done is illegal!”

“Says the boy who has been hiding in my shed for three weeks.”

I stared at her.

“You think anyone’s gonna believe you now?”

It took me a few moments to realize that she was suggesting she’d blackmail me. It was true that I couldn’t prove she kidnapped me, and so I didn’t know what to say.

“One way or another,” she told me, “you’ll have to be realizin’ that I’m doin’ this all for you. We’re friends now, and if you won’t learn that the easy way and just accept my help and support, then yer gonna learn it the hard way, which I haven’t figured out yet, but it won’t be as easy as the easy way I can assure you. Are you gonna stay here for a little while, or are you gonna try an’ escape like a coward?”

“I’m not going to try and escape,” I said.

“Good,” she said. “So first thing’s first–”

“I’m just going to escape,” I said, and I smashed the button that tilts her bed. She flew backward onto the floor in a twisty manner.

I jumped to my feet and hobbled through the house to the front door and outside.

I looked both ways down the neighborhood street and crossed it.

She opened the door, yelling, “You’re not gettin’ away, coward!” and chased me as best she could.

Both with limps now, we gave good chase for about twenty minutes before reaching the next street. I waved as a taxi was driving by, and the driver waved back with a smile.

We turned the corner and made our way out of the neighborhood, and I spotted a grocery store on the corner. In its direction I stumbled.

A boy scout was standing outside the door: “Troop 121B – Camp Yankee Dolphin welcomes you to Greene’s Grocer. Would you like to donate $10 to support children in impoverished areas prepare for the school year?”

“Not today, thank you.”

“You get free popcorn!”

“Anyone who would change their mind after learning about free popcorn is an evil person.”

“Well at least fill out this survey for–“

“–I just don’t have time right now!”

I burst through the doors, feeling a bit like a heel. Speaking of heels, my pusuer was on mine. She paused by the boy scout, though. She started talking with him. I took the opportunity to escape.

I hid in the bathroom for what seemed like an hour but was really only 53:22. After I left, the building was empty and the lights were off. I walked up to the front doors and just barely pulled them open–and trust me, it took a lot of pried on my part. An alarm sounded, but I had enough, so I took to the nearest diner I saw and had a lot of freedom fries while I had the opportunity.

I hitchhiked my way home through midnight, but I’m quite certain that this is not over.

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I do not currently know where I am – Pt. 1

Good morning. I assume it’s the morning anyway. I can’t see outside.

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been really busy the last few weeks, eating, drinking, sleeping, getting kidnapped, and having to bring the car in to get repaired.

Note: That’s not a chronological list.

I was on my way home from work when it happened; it’s only a walk for five minutes to the warehouse from home that I take when I don’t have my car, and it was during the return walk at 8-of-the-evening-clock when it did happen.

Where? I don’t remember. Not far.

Who? I couldn’t catch their faces, but they were well-built and wore coveralls, and I did see a van that was parked close by. There were ladders on this van. Perhaps they were a gang of commercial painter/hoodlums or something, but they were definitely shady.

I am currently at St. Andrew’s Hospital, and I’ve been told by the staff that I’ve been here for more than a week. Nobody knows who the mugs were. Or they won’t tell me. That’s a possibility, because they are very weird here.

They have the curtains closed, so I can’t see outside. I’d ask to be sat up–I’m too weak to help myself–but the nurse just says no. Playing with the buttons didn’t do anything but help me raise my legs or tilt to either side. Then I’d ask for water but she says no. I’ve asked several times for her to open the window but she tells me that I need more rest and sunlight will make it hard for me to rest so just rest please and stop asking about the flipping window.

They won’t let me eat anything but McDonald’s. I have nothing against McDonald’s, but I don’t really have anything for it, either, and so it’s strange to be both willing to eat hospital food and still being denied.

I do actually need water. I’m writing this post as I wait for the nurse to come with it finally.

[…]

And now I have it. She asked what I was writing and I told her the truth–I’m blogging. She asked what about and I lied–self-help. Now she’s gone.

The fact is that I’m the one who needs help. I feel trapped. I am trapped. I feel, therefore I am. Q.E.D.

I called the warehouse an hour ago on my bedside phone and got no response, despite the fact that the wall clock read 9:30, so either the clock is inaccurate or Wally left his office key home. It wouldn’t be the first time. He lives a half-hour away. All highway miles. Forty-five minutes away when he wakes up late.

I can’t concentrate. I’m seeing colors. No wait, that’s just a memory. Blood everywhere. No wait, that’s red paint. Hang on, I’m getting something. It was a red building. A barn? No, it wasn’t a barn. A fire station? No, just be quiet for a minute and let me think. I don’t know. It’s all so foggy. London? No, leave me alone!

I have to get out of here. I inch myself to the edge of my bed but lose all strength. I sit for a while and then think of a joke: “Why didn’t the standard, foot-long ruler get lonely? Because a metric ruler was centimeter!”

On the count of three I lifted myself to my feet and, with great doing, had stumbled to the wall to support myself.

Floor tile after floor tile after floor tile, I watched the floor tiles pass under me as I passed over them without passing out. Before I knew it, I was at the door. *bump* Ouch! I hit my head on said door. I opened it.

Much to my discombobulation, I observed what appeared to be the inside of a small garage marked with gardening equipment and a small mower. The garage door was open, and the yard outside was a beautifully landscaped site, with flowers running along a proper wooden fence, huge trees canvassing the whole yard like a local politician, and a sprinkler making its spritzy rounds across the green grass.

I shed the garage and saw that there stood a very fine, very immaculate stone-wall house just at the end of the yard, facing away from me. I walked slowly and with great pain to the front lawn and saw that the lights were on.

I jumped back before anyone might’ve been able to see me. Crouching, I snuck around to the side of the house and peered in, shaking. I saw no one.

Just as I started stealthily crossing back to the front and heading down the driveway to the sidewalk, a big, old, loud red truck zoomed up the street and parked in front of the house. Panicked, I ran, lopsided and limping, as fast as I could away and down the street.

“Hey,” the driver of the truck, an older woman, 50s or so, a Taurus surely, shouted as she slammed her door and pursued me. “You can’t leave!” she followed up.

I couldn’t run any longer. I stopped and got down on the ground. “Leave me alone!” I shouted. “I don’t know who you are! Just leave me alone!”

She came closer and stared down at me as I tried to regain my breath. “I know who you are!” she said, smirking a smirk of evil while laughing. She dragged me back to the house.

*This post will be continued.*

The Franklin Counter: Old veterinary hospital gets new equipment

*This article from The Franklin Counter was reprinted with permission.*

Did you know that there are more than one thousand animals in the universe? I just found that out today.

A surgeon at the veterinary hospital here in Schumacher shared some exciting news with the world via the hospital’s Facebook account about the positron emission tomography facility that puts the “heart” in “state-of-the-art.”

DR. SHANE Grilla, M.D., N.Y.P.D., R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., the head surgeon at New Haven Veterinary/Cemetery, had much to say about the new cellular-level imaging machine.

“I’m glad that we could have this discussion on this fine day,” he started off in a discussion I had with him on Thursday. “I would firstly like to thank the veterinary hospital (from now on to be referred to as ‘the Hospital’), the incredible management team that helps guide our operations to the highest standards (‘the Management’), and also everyone else who has participated with the hospital over the years to keep our doors open and keep our animals in good shape (‘the Animals’).

“What this new imaging center will enable us to do at the Hospital is find and treat the Animal’s illnesses much faster than ever before. Animals are just like humans in regards to their susceptibility to tumors and other (sic.) interminal difficulties, so being able to scan them quickly and with atom-splitting accuracy is… quite good, for lack of a more enthusiastic term.”

DR. JAN Adieu, M.D.-V.R., New Haven’s shoulder surgeon, agreed.

“I’m very, VERY excited that we have access to this kind of new, crazy, VERY cool tech that we can use to do so many things! We can do PET scans in the blink of an eye, SUPER fast!”

“You mean you’re a veterinary hospital and only now you can do PET scans?” I inquired at her own respective discussion while trying desperately to remain impartial.

“Well,” she began politely, although I could tell she was flustered by my obvious wit, “we’ve always had the capacity to take PET scans, OBVIOUSLY, of course. Now we can just get them as fast as our CAT scans, FAST!”

“Which aren’t as useful?” I asked, although I knew I was right.

“Not for most cases, no,” she confirmed.

Indeed, New Haven has an incredible collection of medical machines for pettable patients, one of the largest in the country (not to mention one of the most expensive)! Of only 200 models produced of the well-known medical supply conglomerate Mobayashi Karu’s now discontinued K05#-ER Scanner System, 1 is housed in New Haven’s own vet hospital. With already more computers and sensors than staff–and they have a surgeon designated for each part of the body!–the new PET-scan facility makes it an even more impressive inventory (and one that would surely be hard to account for should anything get stolen).

“As an animal owner, I’m real happy to hear about them bringing in this new thing at our local vet to help keep our animals healthy,” FARMER BILBOY Tugg wrote in a recent editorial.

The farmer brings in livestock for regular scans to determine which to sell for processing and which to “clean up a little” first.

“It works out well,” he added. “It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it’s covered by insurance. Those three things will justify anything in a business.”

The hospital has been reaching out to the farming industry in an attempt to re-brand itself, especially since their unprofitable cemetery and palliative care services have been keeping them in the hole for the last few quarters.

Dr. Shane explains, “We really don’t have much choice but to run this organization like a business. We’re at the forefront of technology in the state but receive no government funding, so there are no promises that we can make about how we operate, except for when it involves being at the forefront of technology. At least this is how I see it. You’ll have to speak with the Management for further details. Must be 18 years or older to call.”

With the plans of killing the cemetery gig, it is unclear what direction the city’s zoning committee will want to take with the remaining parcels of land that New Haven Cemetery will presumably want to sell, but for the sake of the neighboring business owners let’s hope that this direction is the same one as the rest of the city. As for where Shane Grilla and Jan Adieu take the hospital and its many residents, I see them going no where but up!

The bad cheese story

Some time between Monday night and this morning, someone dropped off several thousand pounds of Swiss cheese at our door.

We did not want to sell it. It had already half-melted in the morning’s warmth and began to smell rather bad. Transitioning it to a place inside, so that we could get the forklift in and out, took a fair struggle that required all-hands-on-deck and an early vegan lunch.

Wally went into his little office and reviewed last-night’s security footage. After twenty minutes emerged, we got the news:

“Someone was definitely here last night,” he informed us.

We all pretended to be shocked.

“It was a big, burnt-reddish van that stopped by at 4:15 in the morning. Two guys jumped out and unloaded the Swiss faster than a flapjack on the 4th of July. It was actually pretty cool watching how fast they moved. I was impressed. Angered, but impressed.”

“Did you catch a company name on the van?” I asked.

“Oh, you know what? That’s a pretty good idea. I guess I should’ve been looking for that, but there’s just a lot on my mind right now with the holiday and all. I’ll check it out.”

He did that, and we opened some windows. We packed some orders that had come in yesterday, but everyone was left anxious by the cheese’s presence.

I tapped on Wally’s office door. He opened up with a note in his hand. “Deer Dairy–they’re the ones who gave us the cheese.”

“What took so long?” I asked, again the one to question authority.

“Huh? I fell asleep. You know, anxiety. Anyway, they’re just down the road, so I’m going to put in a call and see if I can’t figure out what happened last night.”

Unsure if we had the integrity to wait out another elongated period by standing around without getting anything done, Fouvre and I decided to play a round of horseshoes with some spare croquet wickets we had found in a bin for assorted sports equipment. The game ended promptly, though, when the notoriously square BARNDALE Junior asked us what we were doing.

Without any orders coming in or going out, thanks to management’s preoccupation, we began growing indignant, throwing fits, catching drifts, and just being all-around blunderpuffs.

Wondering why Wally’s next task was taking longer than the first, I flipped out my phone and dialed up his office line. After three rings, Wally finally picked up his end of the call and answered:

“This is Wally Walid Washington. How can I help you?”

“Hey, Wally, um… we’re all wondering what’s going on.”

It took five seconds for him to burst out of his room and say, “Oh–Great Scott–I’m sorry. I guess I must’ve drunk something I shouldn’t have. Anyway, uh, they confirmed that they did drop off–this is Deer Dairy–that they dropped off cheese here and that they thought we were Futuristic Coney Island.”

“We don’t look anything Futuristic,” Barndale shouted. “At least we throw our trash out!.”

“I said those exact words,” Wally laughed. “They apologized and said they’d take the cheese back for its proper disposal. I didn’t even know that that was a concern for cheese.”

“Oh, yes,” I said, “cheese is very concerned about apologies.”

However, one hour later, as the cheese was still sitting on our floor and causing irritation, we received a call from the dairy saying that they were done, but our previous estimate of several thousand pounds was way too high.

It became clear what they meant when the suited-up MR. MADGE, owner of Futuristic Coney Island (and several other locally misnamed businesses), pulled his full-size sedan into our drive. Crinkled napkins and paper cups fell from his door as he stormed up to Wally’s office.

“This isn’t funny, Sawyer! You think you can just walk into my place and steal cheese? Yeah, well you can’t! Well, you apparently can, but it’s still not funny!”

Wally opened the door and looked at him.

“Hey,” Mr. Madge said, “you’re not Sawyer! Where’s he hiding?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

“Of course you do! He owns this place…!” and then he paused for about twelve seconds, taking a good look at the surroundings. “…This isn’t Deer Dairy, is it?”

“It isn’t.”

Boy, did his expression change real quick. He fixed his tie with one hand and retreated to his car, which in turn retreated to the street and drove away.

This afternoon, a representative of the real Dear Dairy showed up with a cheesecake-gift and informed us that their delivery van’s GPS had been malfunctioning recently. We all had a good laugh and partook of the kindly gift with high spirits.

I realized that Wally wasn’t present by then, though, so I searched the premises for him. He was nowhere to be found. I even briefly interrogated our hoarder coworker, asking if he had kidnapped him. (He said no, but that doesn’t generally mean much.) The mystery, therefore, stood: Who would eat Wally’s piece of cheesecake?

Wally had, in fact, driven home in secret, admitting to himself that he was unable to stay awake anymore. He called the rest of this week off, leaving us plenty of time to clinch our horseshoe prowess.

The Onyx, The Oryx

Please enjoy my poem titled The Onyx, The Oryx, which was written with intent that it would be read while listening to Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes, although anything that is older than 1898 is passable.

This poem was created for an assignment that I had in 10th grade English with MR. LAMPLOIS, a notoriously difficult teacher. The piece was written to fit the description, “An ode which captures the essence of life as an inanimate object,” as Mr. Lamplois had dictated to us one very long morning. It was up to the class to figure out what that meant.

The Onyx, The Oryx, inexplicably, was good enough to garner a C+ on the assignment. It was, of course, very contrived (and it tongue-in-cheek, too, until I saw my grade). So, once again, please enjoy this sufficient poem that I currently consider the highlight of my writing career:

 

The Onyx, the Oryx,

Teach me of your ways.

Your labyrinthine characters

Are certain to amaze.

 

The Onyx, the Oryx,

You’re my seed of hope.

You stop the cracking whip when I

Reach the end of my rope.

 

The Onyx, a special stone,

With semiprecious fate.

I open up my heart to you;

It’s like we’re both agate.

 

The Oryx, the antelope,

The cantaloupe of deer.

Sweeter than a honeydew

And smarter than a steer.

 

The ancient Greeks have honoured you

For millions of days.

My words are all I have for you–

They’re all I have to says.

 

The Onyx, the Oryx,

I must tell you true

That I intend to one day win

A Scrabble game with you.

 

After the semester was over I found out that I was one of only four kids who passed the class. In fact, Lamplois told me on the very last day that he thinks that I should become a poet.

“You have talent, kid,” he told me. “Not as much as I did when I was your age, but some.”

“Wow, Mr. Lamplois. I can’t express my gratitude.”

“If you are interested in publishing any of your work, please let me know. I’d be willing to sponsor a strong submission from you to a journal. Wouldn’t that be exciting?”

“That would be exciting,” I said, unsure if he was asking about the publishing opportunity or about him offering to sponsor me.

I soon later wrote what would be an unofficial follow-up to Onyx  titled The Ibis, The Iris. Here we go again:

 

The Ibis, the Iris,

Two creatures of a kind.

They must be parking meters–

They’re so easy to fined.

 

Dogs are called man’s best friend;

For girls, it’s diamond-stuff.

But compared to Ibis and Iris,

Those things seem quite rough.

 

The Ibis, the giraffe-chicken

Who flies across the sea:

Your wings will never hit

What your eyes will never see.

 

The Iris, the Iball,

Receptacle of light.

Someone get me a mirror,

‘Cause man! your outta sight!

 

After a long, long day

Of feeling weirdly weary

It cheers me to know that part of

My eyes spell the inverse of Siri.

 

In this way, dear Iris,

And Ibis, just as so,

You make my days much brighter

Than you will ever know.

 

Like ever, ever know.

Like, please don’t even guess.

You would be so far off that you

Would need a new address.

 

“My days are much, much brighter”;

Those six words shall suffice.

If you keep nagging me for more

I might not be as nice.

 

Like seriously, back off.

I’m trying to keep it cool.

I’m not the one who’s standing there

And acting like a tool.

 

Fine, be that way, then!

I’ve saved this up ’til now,

But no one needs input from

Unqualified critics anyhow.

 

Without indicating any of the intended irony, I submitted this new poem to Mr. Lamplois to look over. He changed his mind about sponsoring me, and I don’t blame him. The world was not ready for this level of postmodernist technique. Or maybe I was so far ahead of my time that my time was way behind me. Maybe it was a combination of the two and I just needed to find a new niche.

One way or another, though, I would grow to appreciate the days of that following summer, of not knowing what to do with myself. Those days, of course, are gone, however. Maybe some time soon I’ll sit myself down and get back into that poetry mindset, but when you always have something important on your mind, it’s hard to come up with anything creative. Trust me–I’ve gotten pulled over a lot.

Are you suffering from Ad Nauseam?

Ad Nauseam, adv/n

adv: Describing that which has been repeated so often that it has become irritating

n: A mental disorder brought upon by overly repetitive activities, including; but not limited to; work, school, and professional wrestling

 

Do your daily activities seem pointless? Does your willpower seem to diminish severely by the end of each day? Do you find yourself in an infinite regress of finding yourself in infinite regress?

You may be suffering from Ad Nauseam, and if so, maybe I can help.

You see, every morning I do three things to keep me in working condition:

  1. >2 min. brisk shower
  2. 1 standard unit breakfast cereal, dry
  3. About 35 min. solid, unrelenting aggressive energy aimed directly at the sky, also dry (at least in the morning)

I’ve been doing these three things every day for 4 1/2 years, now; the only thing that has been broken is my desire to stop.

Firstly, water on the face. Not hydration. Just water on the face. Remember, you just spent the entire night in complete motionlessness–you’re not looking for relief at this point. If you’re not begging for your 2+ minutes-long shower to be over, than you need to adjust the temperature accordingly. Don’t forget behind the ears.

Secondly, breakfast–the most important meal of the day (and the most bland if I get my way). In old Sparta they understood that food was for nourishment, not enjoyment, but this art of function-over-fashion has been long antiquidated–much like the Chinese yo-yo, except while yo-yos go up-and-down, breakfast goes down and stays there. Don’t think too hard about that.

Finally, I find that the transfer of extremely aggressive energy from the person to the external void is very healthy. When you’re able to concentrate on all of the injustices and problems stacked against you, it clears your mind of unrealistic opportunities and, best of all, grounds you in the present moment. In fact, that’s exactly why whenever your parents made you angry as a child, they’d inform you that you’re “grounded”–in the present moment. (That or you were in a high-voltage area.)

Now, of course this is all just my opinion, but I hope you can see that it is the best opinion available on the matter because it is all true.

Being that I have a fair amount of free time, I have become one of the nation’s leading consultants on this common, quite physiological affliction. Doubtful? I have written several books about a variety of things, so you can be sure that I am an expert on something. Additionally, I have not seen any verification whatsoever that any world government has consulted anyone that is not me on this issue, and so certainly no one is more qualified than I.

Than me.

I am the most qualified person.

There we go.

You may ask yourself, “How can I remedy my Ad Nauseum?” and that’s a fair question, although I would ask that next time you consult a professional before going to yourself for advice. For starters, I’m sure you will find that turning everything into a game will do wonders to this end.

For example, my work compadre FOUVRE Yourk and me–and I–like to race when trying to perform particularly monotonous activities. Fouvre may be slow-going and not very hard to beat, but he never ceases to express an insurmountable desire for competition that helps drive me to always attempt greatness.

One time we received a shipment of used cards from the famous Merrier Casino, and Wally decided that we should regularize the order of cards in each box. Fouvre and I instantly volunteered to be in charge of doing just that, and for the next 45 minutes we were in full-shuffle-mode. The final tally was 62-38 in my favor. By the end we were as flushed as those cards, but we managed to turn busywork into Child’s play.

You are suffering from Ad Nauseam. Don’t feel bad, though. Everyone is doing it. When you don’t have something to work toward, no goals or plans, it’s hard to tell if you’re doing what you need to be doing and trying as hard as you should/could be. That’s why I suggest you do those three things I mentioned whenever I find myself with an especially troublesome case. (That’s also why I often suggest scheduling all of your sick days months in advance, but that’s a subject for another day’s article.)

Just remember this: Boredom is a state of mind. You can stand up to it. We can stand up to it. Together. Maybe tomorrow.

Three St. Andrew’s Hospitals too many, a Tragedy in one act

I’ve had a very long day, longer than I would have preferred or could have prepared for. It’s involved several forms of transportation across the state and away from work, which sounds like a relief until you realize that I was on an absolutely unnecessary business trip that involved too many hospitals of the same name. Let me expound.

Yesterday for Watson Elementary’s middle school commencement–assured to be a marvelous affair year after year–there were meant to be multicolored streamers available for decorating the gym walls. These streamers were nowhere to be found, told us Principal RILEY Stirrup early this morning, who had ordered the streamers via http://www.endlessssupply.com, one of our company’s biggest online-delivery-service clients. This delay, this one instance of misplaced customer dissatisfaction, was enough to set Wally on one of his the-customer-is-always-right skirmishes, and I, of course, was the first person he saw to help.

Since 7:30 a.m. it has been a relationship-reaffirming road trip with my boss and me and our two-stones-worth of fancy paper.

“Do you think we should stop for some breakfast before we hit the highway?” he started off.

“Did you recruit me so that I could help you make this decision?”

“No, I just thought we might need it.”

“We need this car, but is that something you think we need to go get?”

He glanced sideways. “If you don’t want breakfast, then fine. I’ve always been kind of a go-getter, but we can wait if you’d prefer.”

We were off on a tangent and then on the road.

Now, something worth understanding about where I live is the roadwork.

Wally took a detour from Exit 48 to 49.

The overpass at 49 was closed down to one-way traffic.

We sat staring at a red stop sign for 5 minutes before they waved us through. And Led was on the radio during that wait.

At 12:30 we reached the school. At 12:43 we got the chance to hang a left and actually go into the driveway. At 12:52 we found a parking spot.

The doors to the administrative offices were locked because their walls were being repainted–no surprise there. We dropped our parcels outside the door, and then we just had to find where our executive officer was hiding. Where do you imagine management would be at this time?

Why, the hospital, where else? St. Andrew’s Hospital, according to the lady cleaning the halls at the time. (JANET R.? I didn’t ask for a name.) Try the emergency entrance desk for directions; Mr. Stirrup had a concussion this morning.

Sad news, but we there was no time for comfortable conversation. I punched it into Wally’s truck’s GPS’s search bar, and guess how many addresses came up?

It’s four. (Yes, four. See, three too many. 1+3=4. QED.) And we had no idea which one this “Mr. Stirrup” was at.

The first we went to was actually a cluster of satellite practices.

The second one had nobody by the of name Riley Stirrup.

The third was closed for construction. It looked kind of shady.

The fourth and final one, which we crawled into, was the largest of them all. There the receptionist (TERRY?) told us that they did have a Riley Stirrup but that he wasn’t expecting guests. We told him that we didn’t expect him to be in the hospital, and at that he let us go up to his 4th floor room, suggesting we take the stairs.

“Mr. Stirrup?” Wally opened with, along with the door.

“Yes?” Riley said, sitting up and closing his magazine on a finger.

“I understand that you never received the party streamers that you ordered from http://www.endlessssupply.com? Well, my associate and I happen to be suppliers for that service, and we just delivered your streamers this afternoon.”

“…Okay, cool.”

“….”

“We were going to send someone to the hobby store or something, but I guess that works.”

“….”

“Appreciate it, thanks, guys.” He then lifted his magazine once again.

We saw ourselves out the same way we came in, namely a state of–now extreme–hunger. We picked up fast food and drove home in silence.

I asked Wally when we got back at the warehouse if he was satisfied with his work for the day. “Gotta do whatcha-gotta do,” he said and walked away.

I questioned Wally’s true feelings when I found out later that he was closing down the http://www.endlessssupply.com account.

What I want to know is this: why St. Andrew? Because after some quick research, I found that Andrew is the patron saint of fishing and Germany, neither of which have much significance for the area. Maybe the hospital founder was an Andrew, or maybe they started small and drew more people in. I don’t know. I’m just exhausted right now. Deflated. I’m so not with it that I could report myself missing. In fact I just might do that and hide in bed for a few days.