Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

I just knew it was going to be a difficult week when Wednesday evening Pieter and Jeanne flew in from the west coast only to point out immediately that we had no Bigalow Black Tea—Pieter, THIS IS A COFFEE HOUSE! In fact, right now, my morning cup has already been brewed and enjoyed. If Pieter wants that Bigalow stuff, the best I can do is supply him some multi-fruit flavored, caffeine free, simulated tea that we reserve for colds.

Tea was not the only issue upon arrival. Earlier, a hasty call Marcia and I received from somewhere on the dark road between Indianapolis and ‘Nati-town begged me to reserve space at a local ER. Pieter stressed it was for an undisclosed medical issue he would only describe as being in a “nether” region. Boy Doctor at a close by Trauma Center took the challenge. Soon, some notes were scribbled well enough to get him a encapsulated product from some big ‘pharma’. He’s well now.

Jeanne, being the loving and true soul-mate that she is, just shuffled along mumbling words like: “I just don’t understand”. Later, when we were all back at our house, these words changed over to frank and heartfelt requests to which Marcia joined in, with: “are there any straws we can use with the wine bottles?”

Not to be outdone, medically speaking, I swung into action with my own ‘situation’. But, first, I should mention that I, along with minimally half the city’s population, have been dealing with a cold. In fact my whole body has been at war. About the time that Pieter and Jeanne walked into our front door I was fighting the pivotal battle to prevent my own ‘Dunkirk’. They were greeted by continuous non-stop volleys of my “Hack-Hack” guns spraying the air around. Marcia kept supplying the fresh boxes of the virgin-fibre tissues I required to wipe down my nasal barrels, and at the same time massive bottles of anti-germ gel for nearby wounded.

Also, Cincinnati being the heavily Catholic town that it is, goes into a Friday Fish Fry Frenzy, especially during Lent. Just like winter school closings, local media outlets have Fish Fry location readings twice an hour. Last night Pieter, Jeanne, Marcia, Tevita, Adrianne, Vai-in-a-pram, and I, walked to the local Eagles Hall for our baked Cod. The place was humming as 800 pounds of fish were baked, fried, and deeper fried, distributed, and eaten over a three and a half hour period. That all of that food could be eaten in such a short time was made possible by dispensing tables full of $4 pitchers of beer. So far so good. We were having a fine time.

Then!

As we finishing the meal, I am not certain if it was “Hack-Hack” residue or a small final nibble on a slice of pumpernickel bread that lodged poorly, but I stopped breathing. Well, just about stopped. I did realize that I was able to suck in a slight bit of air through the tiniest, minuscule gap. I couldn’t talk and only communicate with buggy eyes and some gesturing.

It was like an opening scene in a Tom Hanks war movie—everything turned into slow motion. From far away, almost as through a tunnel, I heard commands being shouted at Pieter to search for a Heimlich maneuver specialist. I saw him eject from his chair and aim for the bar. Why the bar I have no idea. I saw Adrianne look at Tevita who was ready to grab Vai, click his heels three times, and say Tonga, Tonga, Tonga.

Vaguely I started overhearing a nearby discussion about my facial color – was it getting pale or was it turning grey? About this time blessed bodily reinforcement arrived in the form of angelic “Adrenalines”, millions of them. I knew it was millions based on the amount of sweat I started producing. Meanwhile, the result of Pieter’s search was a veterinary assistant (maybe it was a dental hygienist) in a purple scrubs outfit. I believe she probably had performed a Heimlich once on someone’s pet.

The battle my “Adrenalines” fought proved to be successful. The few molecules of air I had barely been able to keep going turned into a full-blown wind-storm. Slowly lights started to get a bit brighter, sounds became clearer, and movement about me took on real time. I could talk again.

People around us smiled with relief. For some reason our whole table wanted to get up and leave and proceeded to do exactly that. As Adrianne and Tevita left us, I think I overheard her say something like: “is this what aging is like?”

Alice, the Madhatter and the Doormouse have invited us to a Very Merry Birthday Tea Party celebrating Dinah’s second birthday. It’s scheduled for tomorrow and we’re all hoping it’s still on since she’s been in the same half of the population as me. She too has a cold.

I am soooo ready for Spring. Today it will be 70 and should there be any weather reversals over the next week I’ll be soooo disappointed.

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,

Dirk

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