The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Back to the ER

Posted by thedarwinexception on March 20, 2007

In case Paul hadn’t been having enough excitement lately, he decided to really mix things up yesterday. I was sitting here at home about 2 in the afternoon, and the dogs started barking and then I heard the door opening. Which was odd, because usually people will knock before they come in. I went downstairs to see who was walking into the house – and it was Paul. Quite unusual.. I never see Paul before at least 6 o’clock.

I was happy to see him so early and I said “Wow! That was a short day.” Then he held his arm up and showed me the little hospital bracelet wrapped around his wrist. Before I could even ask “What? Did you pass out at work?” (since I guessed it was something to do with his thyroid, knowing the doctor who treated him at the clinic said “I’m surprised Paul hasn’t passed out with his thyroid levels and blood pressure so low.”) Paul said “I got poisoned”.

Well, that’s a new one.

“Poisoned? With what? A Chemical?”

“No”, he said, “with Carbon Monoxide”.

Apparently the farm he works at has propane heaters in some of the barns and sheds. And they aren’t ventilated and some of them don’t work so well. Paul had gone into one of the little sheds to do some work on some equipment and when he hadn’t come out after an hour his boss started to wonder where the hell he was at, because the job should have taken 15 minutes. His boss went looking for him and found him passed out on the floor. Paul doesn’t remember passing out – the last thing he remembers is having a headache. Then he remembers the boss waking him up and putting him in the truck. He doesn’t remember the ride to the emergency room. Which is probably a good thing, because according to his boss Paul was vomiting the whole time he was in the truck.

So, he spent the next 4 hours on the oxygen machine at the emergency room, and they inserted a monitor through an IV to check the oxygen levels in his blood. By the time he got home the only ill effects he had was a pounding headache, some nausea and a lingering “bad taste” in his mouth.

Then he slept the rest of the day – “because of the poisoning”, of course. Which was a nice change from his normal response lately of “It’s because of my illness”, referring to his thyroid condition. Which is driving me fucking insane. Everything he does now, and more importantly, everything he *doesn’t* do, is a direct result of “my illness”. I don’t know how long he plans on milking this thing, but I’m here to tell you, I’m about ready to remove his fucking thyroid myself with an unsharpened spoon.

I’m making supper. It’s in the oven, and here’s Paul sitting on the couch eating a can of Pringles. I see him and say “Paul! Supper is in the oven.” He says “I’m hungry – it’s because of my illness.”

Paul plans on getting 2 or 3 things done for me on Saturday – hanging a shelf that’s long been sitting on the computer room floor, bringing in some wood from the back, since it’s supposed to be cold again, and most importantly (to me), picking up his tools out of the living room where they’ve been sitting for 4 days. Does he do any of these things? No, he spends the whole day laying on the couch in the TV room watching a “Mother’s Car Show” marathon. Finally about 5 o’clock I say to him “Paul, you didn’t get anything done today.” He says “I know, but I’m just all tired out – it’s because of my illness.”

He yells to me on Sunday (from the same couch where he spent all day Saturday), “Hon, can you take the dogs out?” I go into the TV room and say “No, I can’t – you take them out. I took them out all week, and all day yesterday while you laid here on the couch – get your ass up and do it.” Paul says “Well, it’s cold out and the cold really bothers me – it’s because of my illness.”

Now, granted, when he says “it’s because of my illness” he has a really big smile on his face. He knows I’m not buying it, and he knows I can trump his illness at any time. And even he doesn’t think he has any excuse other than “Hey, I’m lazy – sue me.” But, I made the mistake of pampering him for a couple of days after he was first diagnosed, and there’s nothing that’s going to encourage him to milk it any more than me pampering him. But the pampering is done, baby.  Get the fuck off the couch.

But, he isn’t milking it enough to stay home form work and get anything done. And he actually took me to the store last night, which he hasn’t been doing lately, either. Paul found out that taxis only cost like a dollar around here – to take you anywhere you want to go in the village, so instead of taking me grocery shopping (which he hates), he tells me to take a cab. His excuse has been “That’s *so* much cheaper than me taking you there – I’d spend more than $2.00 in gas.” Coupled with the excuse of “That way I can stay here and watch the woodstove- rather than letting it die out while we are grocery shopping.” But last night he took me to the grocery store. And I remembered why I liked the idea of him not going with me.

Samples. They had samples last night. And why is it that Paul can’t walk by a sample table without eating every fucking little cupful of samples the lady has out? And why is it that when they have samples suddenly Paul acts like he doesn’t know what the fuck food is – food that he eats every single fucking day of his life? They had a big plate of samples at the deli counter. Little cubes of ham with a pretzel stuck in them. Paul started grabbing one after the other and shoving them in his mouth like he hadn’t eaten in three days. (He’s hungry – “it’s because of the illness”.) He looks at the deli lady because she’s staring at him like you know, maybe we should have held hands and said grace before the meal, and he says “This is good – what kind of meat is this?” The lady looks at him and says “Ham.” Paul gives her this puzzled look like she just said some fucking exotic foreign food he’s never heard of before and he says “Ham? That’s good stuff. Ham, huh?” Then he says “And what are these things?” Holding up the pretzel. And the lady again looks at him like he’s a fucking idiot and she says “Pretzels.”

I was so fucking embarrassed, I told him to go home and I would call a cab when I was done. He says “What? Why?” I told him “You are looking sick, maybe you better go home and lay on the couch in the TV room.” Which, of course, was an invitation he couldn’t fucking refuse. Then he says to me “Yeah, I do feel tired. It’s because of the illness.” He was smart enough to leave before I could pick up one of those new things they call “Pretzels” and start digging his thyroid out of him. 


2 Responses to “Back to the ER”

  1. groo said

    I’d say Paul is down to 7 lives left. Maybe fewer if he doesn’t get his ass off the couch soon.

  2. darkon said

    I guess George Carlin was right when he said it’s possible to make a joke from anything. Glad to hear Paul is doing better.

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