Monday, December 8, 2008

This Post Has Strong Language (sort of)

Given the picture I use as my blogworld identity, it's no secret that I love to fish. I have called myself an angler for as long as I can recall and I have many fond memories of fishing as a boy mostly with my grandfather. One particular thing I always enjoyed was stopping at the bait shop.

Sure the places smelled, but my fascination with the tanks, the racks of lures, and the old men who ran the joints could not be deterred. Slimy waterdogs with their gaping mouth and long tails. Big fat Canadian nightcrawlers squirming in their boxes. The teaming mass of minnows flashing back and forth in their watery holding tanks. I checked them all out but my favorite was when the man in charge would grab his net and catch the minnows.

In one dip he might catch a dozen or more. Their little silver bodies would glisten as they flapped around desperate to escape and get back in the refreshing water where they could breathe.

This weekend, while sitting waiting at the local emergency room with my mom I thought about those minnows when I realized the ER was the human equivalent.

Captured by illness or injury, the mass of people sat in their chairs squirming, eyeing both the freedom beyond the plate glass windows and the hope of relief behind the double swinging doors.

Okay maybe the whole minnow thing is a stretch, but the place smelled like fish, there were plenty of interesting old men, a few individual with more dirt on them than a worm, and I saw kids slink around like waterdogs on the nasty floor.

The writer in me took plenty of notes for future fodder, but my favorite was the man the police brought in. We'd already been there a good four hours and therefore had landed in a room in the back. I room right next to the security room where the Amarillo Police bring their sick or injured.

The man they brought in was a very short, maybe 5 foot four Hispanic fellow in hi mid to late thirties. He had on a plush Mr. Rogers type of sweater and had a short almost wavy hair style. He also screamed nonstop for three hours beginning from the moment he arrived. No, not screams of pain, but rather screams of agitation. he started in Spanish and about every third word I recognized because it was a curse word. Then he would alternate from what sounded like an African chant to cursing in English. The funny thing was he has a heavy accent except when he screamed the F word or a few other selected curses. GD rang loud, clear and well articulated but when describing a feline the man would say POOH (as in Winnie) and SAY for that last syllable.

When calling the policeman the ugly equivalent of a roosterfish, (For those of you who need help with this game roosters are sometimes called cocks and suckers are a kind of fish) he pronunciated very well, but others epitaphs came out wrong. Sook, Deak, Beesh. And I'm still unsure waht Moombaba Bogga was suppsoed to be.

After three hours of this I couldn't help but laugh and now I have this strange desire to see that old movie, Johnny Dangerously.

For the record my mom is scheduled to have gallbladder surgery later today, but she already has gained some relief from a stint they put in due to a large stone. I don't know what happened to the screaming man, but I assume he went to jail once the doctors checked him out.


Junosmom said...

That's hilarious, Travis, although I am thinking what would I have done if I had my child in there?

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL, never a dull moment in ER...and how did Mom do??? (You've got an award nom up at my blog, so drop by if you get a chance.)

debra said...

In one of my former lives, I worked in a hospital. A place full of stories. I hope your mom is on the mend.

Chris said...

Hope your mom is all right. Sounds like that guy could possibly be my neighbor.

Anonymous said...

LOL - What a character! Great descriptions. I can really imagine him very clearly.

Hope your Mom feels better soon.

Lana Gramlich said...

Too much. I was once assigned a security job at a hospital. Knowing what those are like, I turned it down immediately.
Keeping you mom in my thoughts today. I'm sure she'll be fine (I had a friend go through the surgery years ago,) & she's going to feel a WHOLE lot better!

Annie said...

You gotta love the ER for it's colorful array of stories.

Hope your mom pulled through okay.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Good luck to your mom.

I choked on my breakfast at your description of a roosterfish. Good thing yogurt goes down easy.

Melissa Amateis said...

Glad your mom is ok - I hate ER rooms.

And I do believe you have another character to put in your future stories!

Clare2e said...

Glad your mom's improving. Nothing like a long stretch in the ER to remind you how much you want to be well!

Patti said...

wishing a speedy recovery for mom...

Joshua said... fun fun. Great movie btw, Keaton at his funniest.

Stacy said...

Wow, was he from the prison or the local mental institution? Yikes!

Hope your mother's surgery goes well.

Monnik said...

Ha! That's funny. I love your explanation of the words. Roosterfish. HA!

I'm glad your mom has had some relief with the stint.

SQT said...

I agree with Melissa, that man has a future as a character in a book. I love how the curse words are particularly clear. When I went to school in Japan I noticed that is was the cuss words the students worked the hardest on mastering.

Lyzzydee said...

Travis, I hope your mum feels better soon, I am very disappointed to hear that your ER is nothing like its namesake on the TV!!!!

March2theSea said...

a johnny dangerously nod..well played.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very interesting. That really helps characterize the fellow, how some curses were specifically pronounced clearly and others not. Language is a strange thing.

Spy Scribbler said...

Wow, that is the funniest. Hah! Travis, you are so good at observation.

Barbara Martin said...

Best wishes for your mother.

Loved your take on ERs, though they can be boring for hour on hour waiting to see a doctor.

the walking man said...

Hope your mom is helped tremendously by the surgery T.

What your fish are so snooty they need imported worms?

And the little man making big talk...well that is pretty par for the course in my world.

Terri Tiffany said...

I loved your analogy and descriptive verbs and all about the fish to the ER!!! Great writing!

Unknown said...

Okay, maybe this isn't appropriate, considering the circumstance, but holy Crap you had me freaking laughing! I love how you write, and I love how you write with humor. And Roosterfish??? I never would have guess that one if you hadn't explained it. Now I can call my husband a roosterfish and he will never be the wiser! Thank you!!! LOL

And that last one??? The moomonealkjwe whatever? I have no freaking clue. I bet he was putting a curse on someone.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

I'm sorry your mom had to go to the emergency room and I am saying a prayer for her speedy recovery.

But I am selfishly glad that you went with her because this column is wonderful!


Unknown said...

"Moombaba Bogga"...could be Female Parent Intercourser?

I know - I'm from New York.

Hope your mom is recuperating well.


Sepiru Chris said...


I loved the description of your town in a three hour slice seen through the lens of your local ER room.

I thought this could be seen as an MTM post, I hope you didn't mind.

Its taken me a while to get back to easier internet access; I enjoyed reading this post. I will join the chorus and wish your mom the best.

Get rested this month as you prepare for 2009.


Bubblewench said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your mom, but I was cracking up over this post, especially the Johnny Dangerously reference, I thought I was the only person in the world who has seen that movie!!

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