Excerpts from New Book…If 40 Is The New 20, I Must Be 10

With the invention of the new GPS systems, life on the road has become interesting. I use the word, “ interesting”, not “easier”. Gone are the days of printing out maps an old person can’t read while driving. Now, we can program that GPS to our destination, punch the “Go” button, and get detailed instructions from Miss Whiney Pants. I say this with all due respect, for “Sister” has kept me on the right path many times, but if that girl says, “Recalculating” one more time, I will clip her chords.
The hubby and I have sat, on many a day, in our driveway screaming at each other while we attempt to program the GPS. I touch, “Where To”, click on “Favorite Places”, assuming that Sister knows where I want to go. She doesn’t. I get a message that says:
“TYPE IN NAME OF CITY”
I begin to type. I hit the first three keys correctly, but miss the fourth letter. Sister, who is faster than a speeding bulletin, types back:
“Dallardsville, Tx.?”
Hubby just drummed out the lyrics for Swan Lake, so I need to hurry.
Not Dallardsville, Sister. I need to go to Dallas.
This time, I spell correctly. Now, it’s time for more instructions.
TYPE IN NAME OF STATE
I begin to type in the word, “Texas” when my fake fingernail slips off of the ‘x’ key and hits ‘j’ instead.
Sister replies:
Tejas, Kansas? Tejas, California? Tejas Illinois?
My head begins to spin like something out of the Exorcist. Blood is rushing to my face, and hubby reaches over me to grab Sister out of my hands.
“I’ve got it!” I yell in a voice loud enough to melt his good eardrum.
I start over.
TYPE IN NAME OF STATE:
This time, I get it right. I’m ready for the next set of instructions.
TYPE IN ADDRESS:
I begin to type. 6065 Pickwick Court
Sister answers back:
666 Picnik Court?
“No, you Satanic nimcompoop” I squeal.
“What did you just call me?” hubby asks.
“Nothing,” I growl.
I type out the address numbers again.
6065 Pickwick Court
666 Nitwit Court?
By this time, Ray is gunning the engine and smoke is coming out of both him and the hood.
“Forget the GPS,” he yells. “I’ll find the place myself or stop and ask for directions.”
I know his mind has melted with the manifold. He never asks for directions.
“I’ll handle it, honey,” I say, trying to sound cheerful. Carefully, I type in the address:
6065 Pickwick Court, Dallas, Texas
FINALLY, SISTER DISPLAYS THE CORRECT ADDRESS! WE’RE READY TO GO! I PUNCH “GO” AND SISTER BEGINS TO ANNOUNCE THE UPCOMING TURNS.
Now, you are probably thinking that things will flow smoothly from here. How old did you say you are? Because if you are over 55, you know that you will be wrangling with Sister over hill and vale. And, if you’re lucky enough to arrive at grandmother’s house, you will look and sound like the Big Bad Wolf.
Sister’s whiny voice comes on. Go right. Then, go 1.2 miles and turn left. Turn left. We are barely moved down the road, and sister is leading us on a blind goose chase. So, what can you do but pick her up and change her signals. This will be easy. First, I re-type the directions.
Go right,then go left. She repeats this twice. I look at my husband.
“Look, I know how to fix this. I will just re-enter our home address and Sister will lead us to Dallas.” I forgot one important thing. Sister obviously hates Dallas.
START: I type in “Home”
Sister replies: 6065 Pickwick Court
“What the heck?” I yell out loud. “Sister thinks our destination is our starting point. What am I going to do now?”
Hubby looks at me with that, “I’ll be calling the men in straight jackets to come for you soon” look.
“Take it slow,” he says, in that way too nice tone which totally irritates me.
START: I type in my home address, each number and letter slowly written.
Sister writes back: Destination address?
There is no button for, “No you idiotic machine”, so I turn off the machine and prepare myself to start over. By this time, hubby has made his way out of the city limits. Suddenly, he pulls over and stops the car.
“What are you doing?” I say, not slowly or calmly.
“We’re turning around, going back to the house, and look at a Texas map.”
Something tells me this guy is a keeper.

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More from “Is There A Doctor In The House?” from my book…If 40 Is The New 20, I Must Be 10

(This portion of the chapter begins when I arrive at the pain center to be examined for the first time.  Eventually, I will have two injections in my back)

Finally, I arrived at the correct room, signed my name, filled out more forms, and sat down.  The waiting room was full.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know there are many butts in this world.

I had just found a seat when a lady called my name.  Excellent, I thought.  I’m going to get right in. But, it was the restroom where we were headed.

“We need a urine sample,” she said.  “Tinkle in the little cup, put your little cup in the little drawer by the little sink, and then go back to your room.  I’ll call you when it’s time for you to come out again.”

I had the strange sensation that I was being potty trained.  I did what “mommy” told me, and went back to the waiting room.  A few more minutes passed before I sat down in a real room. Two cute girls were in there.  I assumed them to be eleven or twelve. One of the girls began asking me a stream of questions:

“Have you ever taken illegal drugs?  Do you sleep on goose down, polyester, or cotton?  Is your husband a member of the Mafia?  Can you jump down, turn around, and pick a bale of cotton?  Do you prefer plaids or prints? Does your cat sleep on his back or side?  When was your last rabies shot?”

No doubt, these were important questions, but I wasn’t clear about their relevance to my problem.  I dared to ask them something outlandish.

“Is there anyone here who can help me with my back and hip pain?”

“Oh, of course, silly” the cute little technician replied.  “The doctor will be right in.  But first, we need to check your blood pressure, measure your shoe size, and get an inseam.”

I was concerned that this place was in cahoots with the infamous Rabid Cat Mafia, often seen wearing plaid suits, and napping on goose down pillows in the cotton patch. Then, the door opened.

“Hello, Mrs. Smith,” said the kindly voice coming in the door.  “I’m Dr. C.U. Hamn, and I will be shooting you in the butt.  Do you have any questions?”

“Well, yes I do.  I have a list here,” I told him, trying to pull a three paged, single-spaced note from my cluttered bag.

“Go ahead, shoot,” he said.

Portion of chapter, “Is There a Dr. in the House?” from my new book

I’ve been crowned, filled with lead, had a cadaver bone put in my spine, gone through back shots, knee shots, chiropractor visits, massages, had my boobs squeezed between hard metal, given birth twice, head examined more than once, limped, hopped, snapped, crackled and popped, stared at charts with fuzzy A’s, B’s, and C’s, fake eyes put in, blood pressure go up, sex drive go down, and knots come on me that made me look like a wart hog. And that’s not all.  I have a butt load of other issues.  Yes, my butt hurts, too.

But, don’t think for a minute that I’m a quitter. I soon began feeling nutty.  I was thumbing through some ladies’ magazines and saw a beautiful woman enjoying a bowl of granola loaded with nuts, cranberries, dates and figs.  The caption on the picture said, “If you could look like this, wouldn’t you go natural?”

Are you kidding me?  If I could look like her, I would go butt naked in the park.  But, never mind my fantasy life. I made the decision to befriend herb and his BFF’s, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  I sprinkled flax seed and wheat germ on everything from toast to turnips.  I bought vitamins and fruit juice by the case, and ate so much Greek yogurt that I imagined myself to be the Temple Goddess Nutritiona.  I ate handfuls of walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds and anything that crunched. Then, I fell in love with Dr. Oz, and became neurotic about my blood pressure, waist circumference, kidney and liver function, and dead brain cells. I suppose you could call me a health nut, but most of my friends just call me a nut.