It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Holiday - Part III

Sorry, I was momentarily distracted by Peter Graves nibbling at my elbow. Where was I?

Ah, yes! Summer Holiday! Emergency rooms! Hospitals! Dodgy doctors! Desolate bitterness.

What I Did on My Summer Holiday by Earl Fando - Part III: The Rogue Zepplin

Day Five - Beached:

Mum stayed the night in hospital and was released the next day after not being given all the tests she was told she should have. I long suspected that doctors only speak to each other about golf, summer homes, trophy wives (and husbands for female doctors), and malpractice insurance premiums (and only to complain on this latter point) and not a whit about their actual patients. Apparently, the doctor who suggested in the emergency room that a certain test should be done was never heard or more likely ignored by the doctor who ordered mum's release. Anyway, my brother nearly broke something on hearing the news, possibly a neurologist's loft wedge.

We had stopped by the hospital that morning and stayed for a few hours. Mum suggested we take the Littlest Fando to the beach so she could have some play time, and so we did, despite my loathing hatred for sand and seaweed. We also took the boogie board, which apparently is designed for use in the water and not as a Kleenex stand.

We went to a beach opposite the side of town with the very popular and well-known beach. (No, I'm not going to say the name.) There was a smattering of people here, which is like a spattering, only without as much saliva. I felt relatively safe knowing that the sharks were 30 miles away stalking the unpleasant masses of summer holiday-ers sipping Budweiser and harrassing the locals.

The water was brackish, but warm, which left me with the uncomfortable feeling of standing in the runoff from a bidet. Nonetheless, small fish and the Littlest Fando frolicked in the waves as did a few other nearby people in swimsuits completely ill-prepared to contain their bodies, or the bodies of people half their size for that matter. There was more crack than at a Colombian film premeire.

My lovely wife sensibly stayed on the beach and looked for shells and also watched to terns that decided to stand on a small dune and stare at us for 45 minutes. She said there were three to begin with, but one of them obviously caught a brainwave in the broiling sun and flew off to another dune. Just before we left there were terns and gulls standing on every little rise of sand to the horizon, staring at the open water. I assumed they all kicked the arse of the 5 or 6 pelicans monopolizing the fish out on the water.

We left in part because my child was creeped out by the masses of tiny mussels that were just under the surface of the sand. There were hundreds of air bubbles on the sand and if you dug down with your hands just a few inches, you'd pull up masses of tiny shells. All of them had living mussels in them and as soon as a wave would crash in, they'd burrow back down into the sand in unison. None of this is very amusing I realise. Did I mention that they all formed the words "Paris Hilton is a no-talented bimbo" if you whistled the theme from Showgirls? There I feel better, and I haven't even seen Showgirls.

I of course forgot to bring "flip-flops" and wound up with sand in every orifice of my body except my eyes and 3 pores. Good thing mum has a Shower Massager to blast it all out!

We arrived back at mum's place to find her there. We had Indian food for dinner. These aren't related. I just love a good curry.

Day Six - Quacks and the Women Who Visit Them:

I met my mum's doctor the next morning. Let's just say his bedside manner left much to be desired, such as a personality, or coherent questioning, or some sense of concern for living beings, or an actual bed, rather than the guerney situated in the back office.

Out of respect for my mum's medical condition, I'll say no more about this other than that I'm fairly certain the doctor never smiled once while we were there, not even when mum mentioned payment and he realized he could bill Medicaid. He made Dick Cheney seem like Jimmy Fallon.

The afternoon was quite nice. We pondered visiting a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, as I'm very keen on things like "How many knitting needles can a person safely pierce their pectoral muscles with," "What's the world record for swallowing portable radios," and "Just how entertaining is contortionism?"

Unfortunately, Ripley's charges and arm and a leg to get in the place or even to watch a couple of short 3-D movies... Believe It ...or Not! (You had to know that was coming.) For those of you who were wondering whether the term "charges and arm and a leg" was rhetorical or not, well despite the fact that this is Ripley's, yes it was. Anyway, paying an actual arm and leg would be getting off cheap considering the actual rates, which were vaguely reminiscent of medical bills.

Instead, we went to a maze. Yes, an actual labyrinth. The premise of this form of entertainment is that you enter a confusing array of passages, wander about until you find the few locations you need to stop at, and then wander out again, dodging your fellow maze-dwellers. In other words, it's a lot like going to the mall, only they charge you at the door. The Littlest Fando proved quite adept at maze navigation, particularly at the end. She navigated by dolphin, as there were two artificial dolphins that were perched above a corner of the maze. All I managed to think of was to make fairly unconvincing dolphin noises as we passed them. That and periodically shouting, "Look out for the bloke with the big bull head!"

We then went to the go-carts again, just because my child really enjoys beating the crap out of her father on the race track. The race began quite early, actually. Whilst we were queueing, I reminded my daughter which of the cars was fastest the other evening, the #15 which was pioted then by a lovely young teenager who beat the trousers off of all the guys on the track, myself included (although she was the ONLY person who passed me, along with my adorable, lead-footed tyke). So, naturally my child managed to manoeuvre around the two people in front of us - despite my emploring her to be patient - and hop into #15, ready to slam the accelarator through the chassis and into the pavement. I'm not sure she's quite learnt where the brake is yet. The previous time we raced here she almost ran over an attendant, and that was while parking.

This time she got a fellow racer sent off. I didn't see the incident, being in the rather slow #11 car and impeded by a fellow who couldn't out accelerate my tortoise of a go-cart but maintained enough speed to keep me from ever passing him. So, I only saw whatever wasn't blocked by this bloke's large, hairy, slow-moving back. I should've pulled a Ricky Bobby on him.

Apparently, she went around some guy, who must've been in his thirties, and he passed her back but only by bumping into her cart. I am fairly certain she shook her fist at him and shouted "Idiot!" but only because she does that in the car to other, less respectful drivers when I'm driving. Like father, like daughter I suppose.

I made dinner myself that evening: Fillets and rice. The steaks turned out quite nice, but for the first time in my life I forgot to add butter to the Bearnaise sauce package which made for a much more pasty sauce. As mum can't have butter, it worked out I suppose; although she didn't actually try the sauce, preferring the American version of chop sauce, the ubiquitous A1 - which stands for something beginning with the letter "A." At least I did remember to salt the rice.

Next: Part IV - Le Grand Finale

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