Tiger attacks and broken bones lead to a forgettable 2007It’s the day after Christmas as I write what I intend to be a typical “New Year’s Resolution” type column. It’s difficult to get started, though, because it’s the day after Christmas and I haven’t really begun to think about 2008 yet. Such is the weirdness of weekly newspaper deadlines.
Anyway, looking back on the year that’s been, I remember breaking my foot a year ago today one week before I was set to move to Olympia and take on a new career. It’s bad enough being “the new guy” in a job situation, but when you’ve got an outstanding attribute let’s say a big cast on your leg, over which you awkwardly attempt to pull your suit pants resulting in a wrinkled unshapely mess where one’s leg should be then it’s even a bit tougher of a situation.
No one remembered my name for the first two months. I was just “the gimp”, “that limpy dude on the third floor”, or “that guy who obviously won’t be playing any pick up basketball this year.” On top of that, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it is to work crutches on marble floors and stairs, and for whatever reason, most of Olympia seems to be constructed of imported Italian marble.
This Christmas, I’ve managed to escape without major injury; although I’ve been fighting a nasty infection for the last couple weeks that damned near killed me. It started innocently enough. I was lying in bed, sleeping, minding my own business, when I woke to a strange weight on my chest and a searing pain in my lip. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted by my large orange kitten Tiger, his right claw hovering over my face, his little mouth mewing the “I’m hungry” sound.
Sure enough, Tiger had ripped a gash in my lip which I washed out and promptly ignored. A few days later, I paid the price for not taking this incident more seriously, as my face blew up as if someone had pulled a rip-cord on the back of my head: cheeks puffing out like an overstuffed chipmunk, glands in the neck swollen like lead marbles, red, swollen open wound over my lip and a constant fever of 101.
Eventually, this delightful condition found its way into my throat and chest, and thanks to little Tiger, I ate Jell-O and chicken noodle soup for Christmas dinner. And the three dinners leading up to it. (Note after seeing reports on the deadly tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo over Christmas, I’m feeling much better about my personal Tiger attack. At least in my case nobody died, and my cat wasn’t shot to death by four cops. I know, bad taste, but whatever.)
However, I am feeling better now. My infection is clearing up. My foot has healed up pretty well. And I’m getting set to head down to Olympia once again. I’ve got my New Year’s plans sewn up and I feel like I’m ready for whatever 2008 may bring although I’d be especially thankful for a year without broken appendages and infected faces, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.
Kevin Hulten maintains the Off the Record blog at www.lakestevensjournal.com.