Thursday, June 19, 2014


You realize you're getting older when the simple and wonderful act of sleeping causes aches and pains.

I would wake up sore occasionally when I was younger, but I could always pinpoint the cause, whether from skating, running, criminally excessive yardwork, or in older years, drunken hijinks. Other than the yardwork, I figured this was the infrequent price I paid for fun, and besides, for the most part, whatever aches and pains I had would fade away throughout the day.

Now that I am old and boring, there's a fifty fifty chance that I'm going to wake up in the morning with a sore neck. Which doubly sucks, since I can't take it as my penance for fun, and I don't even get any psychological peace out of it.

As far as I know, I'm just sleeping like a normal person. A friend once told me (kind of angrily, for some reason) that his dad insisted that nobody should ever sleep with their head higher than their body, but his dad was a chiropractor, which I'm still not sure is quackery or not. Still, that sort of stuck in my brain, so I try not to have a huge tower of pillows under my head.

Now that I think about it, this pain actually started when I was in the prime of my youth. I was about 25 or so and woke up one morning with a pain on the right side of the neck. Pain so bad that it hurt to straighten my neck enough to put on a shirt for work.

I made it to work like a responsible employee, where the pain got worse, so much so that I was  typing with my head resting on my shoulder. Some of my female coworkers gave me some cramp medicine, but that didn't seem to do anything. I tried a few times to straighten my neck out through the pain, but it wasn't happening.

There was a party that night, and I was in my twenties, so of course I had to go, even if my neck was clamped at a 45 degree angle. Maybe I looked like I was deep in thought.This would be my life from now on, a guy with his head fused to his shoulder. I should get used to it. I'd have to wear special shirts from now on, like in those movies where evil doctors transplanted another guy's head on some poor sap's body.
Hey, the guy on the left even looks sorta like me.

I was pretty sure that my neck vertebrae would eventually fuse to my shoulder blades or skull or something and I'd end up in a freak show like the Elephant Man. I drank a few beers that night which helped take my mind off my disfigurement and future carnival employment, then walked home and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up like a normal person. My neck was fixed! All it took was some alcohol and self-pity to fix things up, just like always.

Those were dark, pre-internet days. Now, within seconds I can find that I just had a pulled neck muscle. Pulled neck muscles are fairly common and it could have been solved by massage, which wasn't gonna happen, since the thought of massages sort of creeped me out at the time, and truthfully, kinda still does.

I'm still not entirely convinced, however, and still think that my morning soreness has something to do with the fusing of my neck vertebrae, which will reduce me to Elephant Man status in another 10 years or so. 

Eh, I was probably gonna end up working in a sleazy carnival in some capacity anyway, thanks to my laughable financial planning; at least this way I'll be in showbiz.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Poison Arrow

The opening day of Mowing Season is always bittersweet. Sweet, because after my lawn looks nice, I am free to judge my neighbors' shabby landscaping skills; bitter because I have to actually do work before getting down to the judging.

This year, as I was mowing around the flowers on opening day, I found an arrow. Yeah, an actual arrow, as in bow and arrow. I immediately blamed my shitty neighbors across the street, but their arrows were usually sonic. A few minutes later I found another one hidden in the grass. It didn't look like anything on the porch had been punctured, but it's not everyday that you find a quiver of arrows on your front lawn, so I was a little concerned.

I knew that there hadn't been any Indian attacks here in at least a hundred years, and even if the warpath had heated up, why start with me? Why not hit the sheriff or the ... stagecoach manager or something? I'm just an innocent homesteader, trying to scrape out a living here on my property.

Of course, they might not be recent arrows. They might be mystical revenge arrows launched from an ancient burial ground that was razed to build my house. That would explain quite a bit, actually, like why I've had to replace my TV 3 or 4 times, or why that faucet drips blood occasionally.

The cursed arrows. Hey, that's an awesome band name!
Using knowledge of the ancients, I submitted the arrows to a lengthy and intense cleansing ceremony, sort of like the one Billy Jack had to endure before kicking the crap out of those rednecks.

And hey, as an aside, ever notice how many southerners will claim some microscopic amount of Native American blood to make some tenuous claim of...well, I'm not sure exactly. Like, "Well, I'm actually 1/32 Cherokee," or "There's some Creek blood on my mother's side." Who do they think is buying that stuff?

Actually, I just left the arrows on the back porch and sort of forgot about them. 

Last week I put the haunted arrows in a bag of yard trash. You could see the tips of them poking out of the bag. I was a little concerned about the garbagemen getting cursed, but figured they probably had to take training on that sort of stuff, what with people regularly throwing out possessed dolls and ouija boards and whatnot. 

Yesterday when taking in the recycling bin, I noticed something was amiss. The trash bag was still there, but the arrows were gone. Some mystical Native American spirit took them from the Hefty bag and transported them back into the Land of the Dead. That, of course, is the only scientific answer to what could have happened.

With the arrows gone, I'm pretty sure any and all curses on the house have been lifted, but I might have to undergo another purification ceremony just to make sure. Or I might have to embark on an epic quest, like the time I searched for my niece in Comanche territory for five years. But that is a story for another time.

The view from my porch