Mike Gold and His Invisible Donuts
(For reasons that will become obvious, this, my first column in about a month, is to be run both on www.MichaelDavisWorld.com and on www.ComicMix.com. Go nuts; read it twice and offer contradictory comments!)
I have a friend named Larry Schlam, a noted child’s rights advocate and a former Bronx street-corner singer. Back around 1973 he and I were cutting through the Montgomery Ward store in downtown Chicago and I wanted to stop at their donut shop, which was excellent. Larry, who is prone to eating frog’s legs and sushi (not necessarily together), explained the concept of “empty calories.” This past month, I learned the concept of invisible donuts.
This winter, the convention has been to slip on the massive ice floe that has engulfed most of this nation east of the Rocky Mountains. That’s not for me. I don’t roll that way. A month ago I took a fall about thirty feet below the ice, at the Times Square subway station. Had this not been an accident, I would have had the foresight to bring along a coffee can to collect contributions. Intention aside, I managed to pulverize my left shoulder – and, of course, I’m left-handed. I’m damn near left-everything.
But I say “pulverize” instead of “break” because that’s exactly what happened. Several X-Ray technicians, emergency room personnel, and my surgeon-to-be all wondered why I wasn’t on a morphine drip. Nonetheless, my shoulder replacement surgery was scheduled for about two weeks later, doubtlessly so I had time to reflect upon my behavior. However, I was given Oxycodone and Vicodin to battle the pain. They said I was stoic. I said it hurt.
Both are opiates and are taken recreationally by some. Contrary to common wisdom medicine is an art form and not a science – what works for you could be no more effective than a Skittle for me. The meds helped with the pain, but the concurrent high was insufficient for me to break out my Jimi Hendrix albums. So it goes.
When it finally came time to go under the knife, I was told I’d be in hospital for one night, maybe two. Surgery was scheduled for the last Monday in February. But I woke up on Thursday with a bit of grogginess and that whole unmentionable catheter thing (yes, guys, you too can squirm). Being in compos mentis, I figured I was wrong and the surgery must have happened on Wednesday.
Well, I was wrong. The new shoulder went in on Monday, and Tuesday evening I had a severe reaction to the anesthesia. My blood oxygen was down to a near-lethal level and I was acting like – in the words of my gifted daughter Adriane – a 220 pound drunken three year old. Evidently I was funny and charming, but I scared the hell out of the assembled medical practitioners. As I do not drink alcohol and do not have a street drug problem (they called around to confirm this), they were dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, I was having a blast. Prior to my blood oxygen train wreck I announced to the assembled masses that two boxes of invisible donuts had just materialized on my chest. Given the circumstances, I believe there was some attempt to quantify the humor of my revelation. A short time later, Adriane saw me pantomiming eating those donuts. She asked “Are you, ah, eating those donuts?” I responded mouth-closed (even in my condo in Wackyland, I endeavor to remain polite) by opening my eyes brightly and nodding happily.
I’m told I spent Wednesday in the ICU until my numbers recovered, and I was discharged the following Friday. My new shoulder has more chrome in it than a ’57 Buick and I still can’t use my left arm for more than a few minutes – this piece will have taken me about six times as long to write. After a few more doctors, I’ll be starting physical therapy in a couple weeks. Larry Hama, who’s been through this type of thing and just had a hip replacement, advised me “Whatever the therapist tells you to do, do it.” That’s good enough for me.
So I haven’t quite disappeared from the planet as of yet. I’m blessed with good friends, comrades who cover for me without squawking, a wonderful slew of professionals at Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals, and a daughter so awesome and self-sacrificing I wonder what I did in a prior life to deserve her.
Invisible donuts are just as satisfying as the real thing – but getting them is a bitch.
Mike Gold will get back to performing his weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com as part of “Hit Oldies” every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information. He thinks this will happen on Sunday, March 16th. Gold also joins MDW’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.comicmix.com where he pontificates on matters of four-color. Gold also joins ComicMix’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.michaeldavisworld.com, and chances are you’re presently reading these words at one of those two venues.