A slow swimming tuna in a school of sharks
June 27, 2013
Did you ever feel like a slow swimming tuna in a school of sharks? You know the feeling I'm talking about, when it feels like the whole world is circling around waiting their turn to take a bite out of your backside. No? Maybe it's just me … let me tell you about my week.
It all started about a week ago when my wife called me at work. That may not seem alarming to most of you but when you consider that the last time Sandra called me at work, it was to tell me that "my" 16 year-old son had been arrested for drinking; so when she calls I brace for shock.
This time she called to tell me that there was water flooding our kitchen from the light fixture on the ceiling. As I drove home to investigate, I wasn't too worried because we are renting our place in Florida, no matter how bad it was I knew I just had to call the landlord. No big deal, right?
Sure enough the kitchen was flooded and it seemed obvious that we had developed a leak in the upstairs bathroom that had found its way through the floor and into the kitchen below. The plumber tightened a few fittings and said to call if we had any more issues.
The next day I had an appointment for a dental check up. Again, normally no big deal since I have had perfect teeth most of my life, but it was a bit worrisome when after the exam the dentist said, "The good news is that I'm pretty sure we can save most of your teeth."
It seems that the radiation treatment that had killed my throat cancer had destroyed my dental health. In the first 54 years of my life I had one cavity and in the last year I developed 38 more. That's not a typo. I had more cavities than I have teeth.
Fortunately through the magic of modern dentistry they could salvage my dazzling smile, unfortunately it was going to cost me about $10,000 after my insurance had paid its portion. But wait…there's more!
As I was heading home to tell Sandra that the money we were saving for a trip to the Bahamas was now going to be spent on several trips to the dentist, she called to tell me that her car had broken down and I needed to meet her at a local garage.
Once again, this wouldn't have been a big deal if her car had not been trouble free from the day we bought it and our upstairs bathroom hadn't mysteriously flooded our kitchen and I had not just been told that my heretofore perfect mouth would be setting off metal detectors for the rest of my life … but all that had just happened and I was starting to develop a complex.
A couple of days and several hundred bucks later her car was back on the road, the kitchen had stopped dripping and I had decided that surviving cancer was worth a few cavities. Things seemed to have settled down enough for me to go on a business trip … not so fast!
I had not been back to Nevada in almost a year, so I was a bit taken aback to arrive at our family home to find a few minor repairs waiting for me; the front yard needs weeding, the backyard sprinklers were not working, the hot tub was broken and a 20-foot section of our privacy fence was gone … that's about when the bad stuff started happening.
My son had been having a problem with his knee, so I drove his to see his orthopedic surgeon. It turns out that he needs a major knee surgery and he has lousy insurance so he needs a couple of grand for the surgery and someone to take care of him for five weeks after.
I think that's about the time I noticed that I had developed a kind of nervous twitch and started ordering bourbon with my breakfast. What else could go wrong?
About then Sandra called to tell me that she would be happy to come home and stay with our son after his surgery because the kitchen ceiling in our Florida home had just collapsed. I didn't say anything … I just twitched.
Tonight when I sat down to write this column my computer quit working … seriously. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffett, "I've got fins to the left, fins to the right and I'm the only bait in town!"
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist.