Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Themes, PART 1: "Physical Pain and/or Discomfort"

The last 6 days have been busy for the Hungry Preacher.  I figured I'd offer a quick recap for those who wonder how their Thanksgiving festivities stack up to those of a neutral and normal third party like myself.  I will be your "control group".  I will do that for you.

The girls had a half day of school on Tuesday, and were off on Wednesday, an archaic practice held over from the days when children were expected to spend their Wednesdays before Thanksgiving saying goodbye to, then slaughtering, the family turkey.

I had big plans for the day and a half with my young daughters, and they were all thwarted when I was stricken with a diabolical and undiagnosed illness.  I was achy, experienced pain when swallowing, and had a 101 fever.  "Fun stuff with daddy" time became "watch stuff on TV while daddy sleeps" time.  So many memories...

The the pain I was experiencing drew me closer to my pilgrim forefathers who also endured physical hardships during Thanksgiving, but I needed to shake off my case of consumption* (* = what I assumed my condition to be).  I wanted to get back on my feet for 2011's Turkey Bowl, a game of tackle football that my brother regularly sets up with his friends and family for the day after Thanksgiving.

By Friday, I was well enough, and set out to prove that with a little more skill, training, size, and athleticism, I could have been an adequate high school football player.  Probably not on defense though, which is too bad, because my brother was NOT able to rope in enough players for each team to have specialized offensive and defensive squads.

Deion Sanders and I have now BOTH played on both sides of the ball during our football careers.

This meant that I would have to alternate between demonstrating my elite receiving skills and my textbook arm-tackling technique.  You see, it's all about moving your feet out of the way of the anticipated route of the runner, then sticking your arms out as he runs by.  I like to imagine my arms are brushes at a carwash, and the runner is the car.

As the game wore on, the missed tackles weighed heavy on my self-esteem.  I kept telling myself to "get my head in there" on tackles.  About an hour into the game, "get my head in there" I did.  Just as I dove at the ball carrier from the side, he--not seeing me--spun suddenly away from another tackler.  Using my nose, I tried to grab his rapidly approaching elbow and pull him to the ground, but to no avail (unless you count the fact that the ball carrier claimed his elbow hurt for about 5 minutes after the incident).

For symmetry's sake, I can't decide if I should put concealer under my left eye or purple eye shadow under my right eye.

Fortunately, of the 9 guys playing football, a whopping 22% were male nurses by trade.  They deemed me OK to continue playing by a vote of 1-0, with 1 undecided.  It wasn't until later that Phil, one of the nurses AND one of my favorite brother-in-laws, told me that, "You know, I'm thinking it probably IS broken."

Nose breaks come in all shapes and sizes, and mine seemed relatively minor.  In fact, it may have been beneficial.  Short term, it totally took my mind off the pain I felt when I swallowed.

Long term, I may have a better-looking, more symmetrical nose than I did before.  See, back in high school, I took a hockey puck off the upper right side of the nose, causing my nose to bend a little to the left.  It's also always been pretty wide, from top to bottom.  Nothing pretty about it, really.

The elbow I took on Friday was smack on the left side of my nose.  My new nose dent has taken some getting used to, but as Beth and I were looking at it, we both agreed that the blow may very well have straightened things out for me.  It is now more feng sui, with a streamlined visual flow from top to bottom.

In high school, I went to a doctor a couple of days after the street hockey game, and he told me, "Yeah, it's broken.  We could re-break it and straighten it, but you're young--you'll probably just break it again."  Full-time doctor, part-time prophet, I suppose.  I don't remember if he added "...on Thanksgiving weekend, 2011..." but how much detail do you want from the guy?

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of "Thanksgiving Themes": Shopping Edition.


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