Sunday, August 1, 2010

If I Don't Wake Up

This may be my very last communication, ever. Today, while riding my bicycle, I had a head-on collision with a wasp, hornet, or other such vicious stinging insect. It stung me on the head, just above my right ear where there's a wisp of distinguished-looking grey hairs that, according to the often-opinionated Marilyn Peecher, might fool the casual onlooker into a false perception of respectability. This human bug-zapping incident happened about eight hours ago and it's after-effects are beginning to reveal themselves. The side of my head feels partly frozen and partly toxic. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I was bitten by a flying Egyptian cobra, but I don't think there are any of those around here.

I asked my ever-fashionable wife if she would wear that Florence Nightingale costume (from Florence Nightingale meets The Cisco Kid, one of our historical plays), but she just handed me an ice cube and told me to be careful from now on. She's a much better pretend nurse than a real-life one. I don't know how a person can be careful of an insect collision. They are very small and are upon you before you even know it. Did I mention that the terrible bug was going the wrong way in my lane? It was.

If this sounds goofy, it's because the deadly venom has already taken over my body, rendering my feet-on-the-ground common sense, developed by watching years of Andy Griffith reruns, ineffective. They say the first thing to go is a semblance of coherence. A little while ago, after my one and only ice cube melted, I began thinking of Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden and couldn't remember who was the witch and who was the genie, a possible sign that my delicate cranial pathways have wandered from their usual channels. Also, I mixed a bloody-mary, thinking it would take the edge off the sting, and to my surprise, discovered I've lost the ability to stir counterclockwise. Clockwise is still OK, but who knows how long that will last, so I immediately made a standby drink, just in case.

I may not wake up in the morning, or worse, sink into a coma that lasts for years. If that happens, here's some of the things I'm worried about:
- My mail. Someone should take it in and not be fooled by all the unscrupulous free offers that really are not free and not sign me up for something wacky. And they'll have to cancel my magazine subscriptions; I don't want them stacking up around my bed.
- Perhaps the most important thing: the media should not be allowed to film me while I'm looking all shriveled up and unkempt. There are two hundred 8 x 10 copies of my high school graduation photograph in the top drawer of my dresser for just such an emergency. These should be distributed to the press with a statement indicating I haven't aged a day since the picture was taken.

It could be a few years before anyone hears from me.

One more thing: the reporters should be told that I woke for a brief moment and uttered the words, "Geraldo is a jackass," before drifting off into a deep sleep.