Saturday, July 16, 2022


According to my apartment mate, who came home after a funeral, our landlady's husband returned from the hospital with his lower leg in a plaster cast, an improved ability to swear, and desperate for coffee. So he's well on the way to recovery. No, I have no idea what caused this. He's older than I am, and, apparently, leads an interesting secret life.
I'm imagining athletic capering.

It is highly likely that as soon as he was able he was out in the airwell puffing on a ciggie. With that desperately needed cup of Java.

The other thing that comes to mind is that as a white dude he very likely doesn't know beans about swearing, cussing, or any type of really blistering language. Our landlady as well as my apartment mate are of Toishanese stock. And have a 'vocabulary'. At least, hereditarily they should have a 'vocabulary', although I had to explain to my apartment mate a while back what "ma ge hai" actually meant.

[Ma ge hai: think of it as punctuation which you should never use even though I've met several old fellows who can't stop punctuating everything they say with it and consequently blistering the nearest painted surfaces as fuses blow milk curdles glasses shatter and my virgin ears start oozing pus. Period, comma, semicolon, exclamation mark.]

Both times when I came home from the hospital I needed coffee and a smoke. One cannot smoke in a hospital setting, and the coffee is better outside the ICU.

I keep having this vision of making an escape the next time, while still hooked up to a drip device, so that I can enjoy the pipe and tobacco I cunningly hid in my pajamas.
There's an alleyway across from the hospital which would be perfect. Except that it slopes a bit. Do hospital wheelchairs brake easily? Don't want to go rolling and shoot out onto Pacific Avenue at the far end, crashing into a Muni bus, OR embedding myself in the concrete of low-income housing development. At least not before I've had a good smoke.

On the other hand, I can also imagine a petite nursey-wursey chasing after me demanding that I stop rolling and smoking forthwith ma ge hai.

Damn' these stubborn old kwailo! That wheelchair is expensive!
And we've lost several IV stands to smokers this week!

[An IV stand, depending on supplier, can range from $56.00 to $154.00. Same product, different prices. A really cheap one is $22.00, but it isn't easily height-adjustable, and would probably be wrecked before it got halfway down the block. Just in case I should mail order one, and be sure to pack it with the dictionary and a pipe for possible future needs.]

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a splendid bakery with excellent milk tea about half a block from the hospital, for when I need some serious caffeine. I should jot down their number so that I can have them deliver.

I am a boyscout and a Dutchman. So I'm both prepared and trained to plan for all eventualities. We're kind of anal that way.


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