To my daughter, I am sorry I was not there when you entered this world. I have to imagine, you were the most beautiful baby girl to have ever been born. I am sorry I was not there to see your first steps, to hear your first word, or see you eat that cake at your first birthday.
I wish I could have been there for your first Christmas and Easter. I bet you were a beautiful little princess for Halloween. I would have given anything to be the Dad who got to take you to your first day of preschool and again for your first day of kindergarten. I would have kissed your boo boos and bandaged your cuts and scrapes. I wish I could have been the Dad you needed, the Father you deserved.
Thankfully, I was there for your sixth birthday. You were the cutest little clown for Halloween. We got to spend our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together, and after your Mom and I married, I adopted you as my very own.
I was there for your first game of catch in the backyard, and to see you play your first softball game. I helped you roll your first bowling ball down the lane, and to see you throw your first strike. I cheered you on when you made your first basket, I was so proud!
I have been there for everything from “the talk” to talking about evil girls and those dang boys. I’ve been there to see you get angry with me, many many times. I understand you may not have wanted my coaching advice. I know you hate it when I check in on your devices and social media apps. I’m sure you dislike getting fashion advice from an old man, and I know we will have our disagreements in the future.
My beautiful, smart, talented daughter, I am so thankful you have accepted me as your Dad. I can’t tell you how much it means to me, that you trust me enough to be open and honest with me. I hope that will never change.
I’m sorry you spent the first five years of your life without a father, but I promise to make up for that, by being the very best Dad to you, for the rest of my life.
It has been a while since I last blogged about some of my Uber experiences. I was down for a while with a broken leg, and having had spinal nerve damage in my legs previously, has made the recovery slow. I’m just now back to walking with a cane again.
So last night, my first Uber request brought me to a home where I picked up a couple. The woman got in first and we sat and waited for her significant other. She notice on the app., that I was a St Louis Cardinals fan. She explained to me that she was “the biggest Cardinals fan”, and how much she loved Molina. Having had just watched the Cardinals game which was now over, I said, “Goldschmidt hit 3 homers tonight.” She replied, “Who is that?”. I thought to myself, ok, not “THE Biggest Cardinals fan”, but still a fan. I explained who he was, then she said, “oh yeah, today was opening day.” “No, that was yesterday.”, I replied. She asked if Carlos Martinez (currently on the disabled list) pitched for the Cardinals. I let her know, that he was hurt and wouldn’t be pitching for a while. I’m pretty sure this lady misrepresented herself. I’m not sure she knew anything more than the names of Molina and Martinez.
Her boyfriend got in, exclaiming he was the “biggest Dallas Cowboys fan”. I asked, “What do you think about the return of Witten?”. “Who”, he asked? “So anyone know what the weather is supposed to be like for the rest of the evening?” I wasn’t about to spend the trip giving the guy lessons about his team.
My final ride request of the night, was one of which I had not experienced before. I arrived at a local drinking establishment, and a man came to my door. I rolled down the window, and he began to explain his buddy was extremely intoxicated, as two men loaded the guy into the back seat. He said I would need to drive him home and get him in the front door. Just as I began to explain, I walk with a cane and may not be able to assist this man from the car and into his home, the guy hands me a $100 bill. “Yes, no problem! I’ll get him in his home safely.” Wait.....
What? Did I really just say that? The guy gives me his cell phone number in case there is an issue. My passenger is laying in the backseat snoring, and I have no idea how this is going to go.
The destination given was about a ten minute drive. My plastered passenger snored the entire trip. We arrived, I got out and opened the back door. I began asking him to sit up so he could get out. After several attempts, he finally sat up. He mumbled a few things, then I put my hand out, to help him to his feet. Rather than come up, he slid down into the floorboard of my SUV.
Again, I gave him my hand. This time was more successful. I said, “is this your home?” I got no response. He was extremely wobbly and began swaying. I leaned up against my vehicle and tried to hold on to him, to keep him from falling. My tipsy traveler took two steps toward the house, turned around, and began stumbling my way. He did not stop, until he crashed into to me. I’m now pinned against my car, front parts to front parts! This man....Michael, is a few inches shorter than I, and well put together. I wrap my arms around him, to keep him from falling. At that moment, someone came out of the home of which I was asked to deliver Michael. A man, yelled, “What the hell are you doing?” I’m almost positive the visual this stranger was getting of Michael and I, was one of pure homosexual lust, in his driveway. I began to explain the situation, and how I was given this address to drop off my buzzed buddy.
I quickly put Michael back into the back seat, then sent a text message to the guy who had paid me $100 to deliver this debauched dude to an incorrect address. The man quickly responded, and said he would try to find out a correct destination. After several minutes, I was given a new location.
I began to get nervous, as this gassed guy started sneezing uncontrollably. I was fearful this would lead to vomiting.
I pulled up to the second home. The first thing I noticed, were the 5 large steps leading to the front door, with no railing. There would be no way for me to get up those steps, let alone “Frank the Tank” who is now laying in the back floorboards.
I also noticed that there was a tv on inside. I sent a new text message to find out if there would be a roommate, spouse or girlfriend inside the home. The guy replied that there shouldn’t be. I walked to the front of the home and also notice the windows were open. I yelled out, “hello, hello?”. I saw a young man pop up from a couch. I asked if this was the address which was given to me, and the boy said yes. I explained to him that I was an uber driver with a guy passed out in my backseat, and I was supposed to deliver him here. The kid says, “you have to wrong address, no man lives here.” Then he asks, “what is the guys name.” “Michael”, I reply. He tells me his Dad’s name is Michael, but doesn’t live there. The kid, who is probably 17 or 18, follows me to the car. I open the door and get a positive ID. “Yep, that’s my dad” he says. We begin trying to wake him up. The kid starts smacking his Dad’s legs, but no response. We pull him up to a seated position, and the son yanks him out of the vehicle. Michael falls straight to the ground, on his knees. The kid tells me he will take care of him, and proceeds to drag him to the front of the house, up the steps, and into the house.
I text the guy, to inform him my passenger was in the house, and my job was done. The entire trip took about 45 minutes, and outside of the awkwardly perceived, dude on dude action in a strangers driveway, it was worth the $120 to deal with mashed Mike.
There are 206 bones in the adult body. I have probably broken a quarter of them, and have literally broken bones from my head to my toes. I am currently healing from a cracked femur, and have had six weeks to think back on all those prior injuries. This blog post will be the tale of the 207th bone!
In past blogs, I have written about my temporary paralysis from the waist down. Not being able to move my legs, was the most terrifying feeling ever, and not just because my legs would not do what I was asking of them, but also the fear that “Private Cody” might not ever be able to report for duty again. Fortunately, the outcome was a positive one. Years later, Herbert Cody the 6th would be produced and born.
The one thing Emily and I never had a lack of, was passion. She was in her mid twenties, while I was in my mid thirties, when we were married. Almost four years into our marriage, I was forced to send Em to a rehab facility for her alcohol addiction. This is something I’ve blogged about in the past. Emily would spend a month away from the kids and I. On the weekends, I was able to make the 6 hour, round trip drive, to visit and be with her. The facility would allow married couples to stay in a private room when a spouse came to visit, otherwise they each stayed in a room with a roommate.
Emily checked in to the facility two days after Christmas, on Friday, December 27, 2013. One week seemed like an eternity to be without her. Friday, January 3rd, 2014 had arrived, and I could hardly contain my excitement. Emily had spent the first week detoxing, so when I arrived, she looked fantastic. She was just as happy to see me, as I was to see her. We were allowed to leave the premises, and go to dinner. Once we were finished eating, we went back to the facility, where she introduced me to many of the people she had gotten to know there. We sat in a commons area, watched some tv and I talked football with several of the guys. This included a former professional baseball player, whose name I won’t reveal.
By 9pm, I was ready to go to our tiny room with a double sized bed, where we could have some time to ourselves. These rooms reminded me of something from a childhood Summer camp. It had gotten very cold and the snow began to fall, as we made the slow walk to our cement hut. All I could think about, was how HOT things were about to get. Little did I know, exactly 6 years and 6 months to the day, in which I had suffered so many near fatal injuries from a car accident, that I would endure the most gruesome and horrifying injury of them all!
With all that had been going on, it had probably been a couple of weeks since we had been intimate. Our emotions were all out of whack. As I had expected, we barely got the door shut, before all clothing was on the floor. I was thrown to the bed, and without going into great detail, my wife was aggressively prepared to “save a horse, ride a cowboy”.
As it turns out, while the penis can’t be considered the 207th bone, it sure can be fractured!!! Here is the Wikipedia definition, “Penile fracture is a rupture of one or both of the tunica albuginea, the fibrous coverings that envelop the penis's corpora cavernosa. It is caused by rapid blunt force to an erect penis, usually during vaginal intercourse.” My definition of “blunt force to an erect penis”..... “having one’s spouse or partner bounce up and down with great vigor, as if to be using a trampoline.”
The first several minutes of our conjugal encounter were amazing. We were like a couple of 18 year old newlyweds, devouring each other with immense passion. Suddenly, there was a loud, startling, POP!!! Something didn’t feel right....I looked directly at Emily, and was stunned to see the splatter of blood on her face, her chin, chest and arms. What had just happened? I was initially quite shocked and confused! Emily looked down, then screamed and jumped up. “Herb, you are bleeding”, she yelled! I looked down and saw my still, somewhat erect unit, pumping out blood with every beat of my heart. I quickly grabbed and squeezed it. I had to close the “head wound”. Emily frantically called to the front desk and told them there was an accident and she needed help. She threw on some clothes, face still covered in blood, as I lay naked on my back, trying not to bleed out, through my member. Suddenly a nurse burst through the door. I could instantly see the apprehension in her eyes. She had just walked into what appeared to be, a crime scene. Em began to explain the circumstances which led to the walls, ceiling and bed, being covered in blood. In the middle of the explanation, a night manager and another employee showed up. Next, a janitor, then a team of firemen, and finally the paramedics.
As I lay there naked and afraid, holding my bloody and wounded soldier, there are now, no less than 10 people hovering over me. Each of them seem more confused than the next, as I try to explain what had occurred. It was as if they were looking for the knife or the smoking gun, that had been involved in this crime of passion.
Once I had convinced them that my wife had not tried to murder me, they put some blankets on me and put me on a stretcher. Because our room was off the beaten path, they couldn’t get the ambulance very close. They had to carry me outside through the snowy cold conditions. Not only that, but every person in the facility was eagerly awaiting to see who or what would exit our room. I felt like a bull being paraded throughout the village before being sacrificed.
I made it into the ambulance, without being thrown into a pit of fire. My hand began to cramp during the 20 minute ride to the University of Missouri medical center. The paramedic explained that he had never seen this type of injury in his ten years on the job. I listened as he tried to explain my injury to the ER. Once we arrived, they wheeled me into a room and in a bed. At this point, Captain Cody, is far from attentive. The two female nurses, ask me to remove my hand so they may examine. One says, “I’ve never seen an injury like this.”, “Where did the blood come from?”, the other asks me. The hours of tests that followed, would include dyes, MRI’s and an inflated prod down the hole.
My fractured penis would just need time to heal. I would find out very quickly, it is impossible to control what’s going on down there, in the dead of sleep. Nocturnal penile erections occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (the phase during which we dream). The first morning, I woke up in a pool of my own blood. The next night, I put down pee pads and towels. Again, I woke up in a puddle of blood, though much less. After about a week, the morning puddles had become drops of blood in my shorts.
For any men that might be reading this, I’ll just leave some info I found, from Medical News Today........
The injury usually happens when a man is thrusting against the pubic bone or the perineum, which can cause the corpus cavernosum to snap or break.
Men are not necessarily having rough sex when a fracture occurs, but may be in a position where the penis is more likely to hit against a bone.
However, a penile fracture has also been known to occur in the following circumstances:
• rolling over in bed onto an erect penis
• hitting an erect penis on something, such as a door frame or furniture
• falling onto an erect penis
There was a time in my life, where I was concerned about what others thought of me. I think that is a pretty natural feeling for most of us. Fortunately, I’ve reached the point, where I realize, the only opinions about me that matter, are those of my wife and kids. I’m 42 and walk with a cane. I have an 8 inch scar across my back from open heart surgery. My “Dad-Bod” torso now sits upon two twigs for legs, as result of the spinal nerve damage I suffered from the same car accident. I no longer fear people may stare at me in public, I know they do. I see them, out of the corner of my eye, as I walk into a gymnasium or through a grocery store. There was a time when this too used to bother me, but no more. As long as I have the full love and support of my wife and especially my children, nothing else really matters.
Because of my new outlook on life, I feel pretty secure and am willing to share all the crazy stories from my past. My erstwhile pain, will now be your reading pleasure. I previously blogged about one of my NPS (near pant shitting) experiences, in “Hash House I’ve Gotta Go Go”. If you were amused with that story, then I’m sure you will love my new SMP (shit my pants) chronicles!
As I’ve explained in past stories, I now take many medications for different issues such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It took me quite a while to figure out what I could eat without upsetting my stomach. Seven years ago, I was still in that learning process. Emily and I had been married about a year. Herbie was a few months old and she was still on maternity leave. I was just coming off the Atkins diet, which I was forced to be a part of, as Em tried to lose her post-baby weight. This reminds me.....up until that time, I had no idea there was such a thing as sugar free ketchup. I remember, I was overjoyed to put a condiment on my daily slab of meat. That excitement, however, was lost after my first bite. I would have sworn someone had covered my unseasoned piece of beef, with fermented bandages and pickled farts! My stomach was definitely pissed off at me.
Emily had lost the weight she wanted, which meant I could eat like a human again. She came up with the great idea of trying something new to eat for lunch. Knowing that this was a recipe for disaster, I went along with it anyway. Em decided on a new Korean restaurant in town. This would be my first and last experience with a Bento Box. Before we ordered, I popped an Imodium capsule. I didn’t wanna risk a premature evacuation.
Lunch went well, everything tasted delicious. Once we were finished, we hung out for a few minutes to make sure my stomach didn’t have any issues. I finally felt like it was safe to leave, so we went on our way. For some reason, Emily wanted to go by the now closed, Dillons supermarket, to pick up something specific. I was driving, Em in the passenger seat, and baby Herbie in his car seat behind me. The distance between the restaurant we had just eaten at, and our next destination, was maybe 2 miles. A huge crampy pain hit me half way into the drive. I told myself, “you can make it, it’s only about a mile”.
The problem with driving through Springfield, is there may be 24 stop lights within that mile. The pressure was building and the pain was intensifying, as I began to sweat. I was now in Poop Drive......where you drive your car like an idiot, as you fear you will crap your pants. Emily looked over and could tell something was not right. “Are you ok?” She asked. I began to explain the situation and came up with a game plan. I would pull up as close as possible to the entrance, get out and go find the bathroom, while she parked the vehicle.
By the time I pulled up to the grocery store doors, the situation was nuclear. I was experiencing stomach jihad and in a state of poop paralysis. I felt as if I were to try to stand up, there would be no way for me to keep from ripping a grumpy in the parking lot. To make matters worse, I’m wearing loose fitting boxers and khaki shorts. I decided to make a run for it, or in my case, a slow cane wielding walk. I slid out of my seat and into a standing position. I remember thinking, at that moment, “I’m good, I’m gonna make it.” With every slow, butt cheek puckering step I took, my optimism quickly diminished. I made it through the doors and headed for the men’s room, when I felt a warm, hearty sludge drip down my leg. Yep, it was happening. My emergency walk, was now a walk of shame as I slowly left a trail of shit stew in my wake. Once I made it to the bathroom stall, I dropped my pants and delivered a Hungarian Air Raid, as I hovered over the toilet from about 4 feet out.
I called Emily from inside my new home, because I could see no way in which I would ever be able to show myself in public again. She went and found a manager, explained the situation, and they closed off the men’s room, so that she could come help me clean up. I was lucky that we had some extra clothes of mine in the truck. The attire I did have on, went directly to the trash. The management and staff at that Dillons store were absolutely amazing, and well trained in disaster relief after the massive Poonami brought on by Hurricane Herb.
This would be my first “SMP” experience, but certainly not my last.
After Emily and I were married in 2010, we took a weeklong honeymoon in Las Vegas. A few days ago, I tried to have a conversation with Em about our wedding, and our Vegas trip. She still has no memory of this time period, since suffering her traumatic brain injury two years ago. This obviously got me to thinking about the experiences & incidents from our newlywed trip.......
I had booked a beautiful, 1200 sq ft, Penthouse suite, at Bellagio for a week. We got car service and a VIP lounge included in the nightly rate. I had taken many trips to Vegas before, but had obviously never stayed in anything quite like this. Upon arrival, we were taken to a private entrance, where we would check-in. As we entered, I noticed a big group of very large men. I recognized a much smaller man in the party. It was Champ Bailey, of the Denver Broncos. The rest of the guys had to be teammates or former teammates. As a football geek, I wanted to find a pen and request autographs, though instead, I decided to just introduced myself. I walked up to Champ, and said, “Hello Mr Bailey, my name is Herb, and this is my wife Emily, I’m a big fan of yours.” (I really was not). Champ Bailey turned to his entourage and said, “Hey, this is Herb....and THAT is Herb’s wife....Emily.” One of the extremely large men instantly yelled out, “Herb out kicked his coverage.”, which was followed by laughter, cheers and a few fist pumps. Once Emily and I got into the elevator, she asked me, “What did the guy mean, out kicked his coverage?” I explained that the group of NFL players thought she was HOT, and that they did not feel as though I was up to par with her beauty. I became less of a fan of Champ Bailey and the Broncos that day.
I had not told Emily what kind of room I had booked, or shown her any photos of the suite. I was pretty excited to see her reaction upon entering. It was everything I had hoped for. The suite was amazing and Emily loved it. For the next 30 minutes we just explored like a couple of kids left alone in a toy store. There was a large closet in the marble floored bathroom. I thought this would be a good place to hang some of our clothing. Upon opening the closet door, I saw a piece of material draped off the corner of the top shelf. I was curious as to what it could be, so I reached up and pulled it down. Imagine my utter shock, when I realized that piece of fabric happened to be a stained pair of tighty whities. When I say stained, I’m not talking about a little pee spot in the crotch of these Trump trousers. Apparently, Mount DoodyCaCa had erupted in some dude’s shorts, and he tried to simultaneously spray the brown burn with his own hose. I’m not sure how these Grampy pants made it past the cleaning crew, but I had to decide rather to tell Emily and hope it didn’t ruin the experience, or hide them and deal with it on my own. My first thought was, “I just got married, and I’m already thinking about keeping secrets?” I went ahead and showed her the treasure I had discovered. She was less than amused. I called the front desk and explained the situation. They sent someone up to get rid of the mess and gave us a $100 food credit for each day of our trip. We felt that finding a pair of disgusting underwear was definitely worth $700 worth of food.
We proceeded to explore the suite, and in the second of three bathrooms, we found a beautiful tub which overlooked the Vegas strip. There was also a fancy looking toilet with several different handles on it. We were intrigued! At that point and time in my life, my legs were still weak, as I continued to recover from my auto accident from a few years prior. It was much easier for me to sit on the throne when I had to pee.....so I did. I guess Emily felt this was a good time to start pulling levers. I would be the guinea pig. As I began to relieve myself of what I had been holding in, since before our flight, I received the second shock of our trip. I was full on, mid-stream, when a burning sensation smacked me square in my tainted region. I was relaxed, legs spread, the moment the scalding hot water, which my wife had turned on, came spewing from my undercarriage. The beautiful marble flooring was drenched with bidet water, and I had to quickly decide my exit strategy, or risk spending my honeymoon in a hospital burn unit. Rather than try to stand up with the possibility of a slip and fall, I rolled off to the right as I screamed in agony. Emily, laughing hysterically, turned the water off. She helped me off the floor and we got things cleaned up. Needless to say, neither one of us got back on that particular potty again. That was my first and only experience with the European way of ass cleansing. I’ll stick with the Angel Soft.
In 2010, one of our favorite shows to watch on television was “Pawn Stars”. I enjoyed going to auctions and yard sales to look for sports memorabilia, autographs, cards etc. sometimes I would run across items that would interest me, though I didn’t know a whole lot about them. If the price was right, I’d take a chance on it. I had once found a Mikimoto Japanese Pearl necklace at an auction, with original box and paperwork. I purchased it for $50 and sold it for $500. I had also come across some Steve Kaufman paintings at an estate auction. I only knew him as an apprentice to Andy Warhol, but not much else. The paintings were signed by Kaufman with his traditional “SAK” initials. The paintings were in rough shape, but I saw where some of his signed artwork were selling for thousands. I would end up purchasing two paintings for around $400. When I planned this trip to Las Vegas, I emailed the “Pawn Stars” show, to see if they would be interested in me bringing a painting for them to look at. They were, so I had one shipped to Bellagio with the intent to sell it and not have to send it back to Missouri.
Our appointment to go to the pawn shop was mid-morning on like a Wednesday. When we arrived, the line to get in was long. People were glaring at us as we walked on by and went inside with no problem. We had to sign a bunch of paperwork, and they had to clear the store before we could begin. I was wearing a St Louis Cardinals pullover with an old sleeveless t-shirt on underneath. The crew asked if I would remove the pullover for filming. I told them I couldn’t, so they allowed me to keep it on. I had to exit the building and walk in as if I were just arriving with the artwork. We did this 3 or 4 times. Five hours later, we were done filming, I sold the painting for $100 to Rick & Corey, and I’ve never had the desire to watch the show again. We were told if I was going to appear on a show, someone would get in touch with me. A few months later, while laying in bed, my phone began blowing up with texts, emails, FB messages and calls. I was never informed my 5 hours of filming would be condensed into 3 minutes of footage and aired on this particular night. It was quite the experience, but if I had it to do all over, I would have waited in line for half an hour and just visited like everyone else.
Overall, we had a terrific honeymoon in Las Vegas. I took Emily to the Vegas speedway where she rode in a NASCAR vehicle, as part of the Richard Petty experience. We played lots of Pai Gow Poker and were comped a lot of meals from the Asian restaurant next to our table. That was of course on top of the $100 per day in which we ate for free. We relaxed by the beautiful Bellagio pools and took in a lot of the Vegas sights. These are all fantastic memories for me, however, memories Emily no longer has.
Be grateful for and cherish each and every memory made. You never know when those memories could be lost.
With November 24th, quickly approaching, I've been thinking a lot lately, about the past two years since my wife's car accident in 2015. In the weeks that followed, I spent so much time learning about traumatic brain injuries and what I should prepare for. I also wanted to read stories and get tips on how to be a good caregiver for her, as she began her recovery.
One article that really stood out to me, talked about how a caregiver must learn to rely and lean on others for help as well. This is something I was also told while attending support groups. As a caregiver, you have to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy, in order to properly care for the person who is in need of care. Because all my family and friends knew about Emily's accident, it was never hard to get help when I needed it. People were great about constantly offering. I had an amazing support system and still do.
I began to realize I should have reached out for help way before Emily's accident. For years, I quietly and silently became depressed, I began to pull away and alienate myself from those I cared about. At the time, I did not know or understand it, but I was the most thankless caregiver imaginable. I was the spouse of an alcoholic! Whew......that was hard to write.
Not only is November 24th, 2017, the two year anniversary of my Emily's car accident, it also marks two years of sobriety for her. This will come as a huge shock to most everyone I know who might be reading this. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem in our Country, which is made worse by the fact that those who suffer from it can't admit it, and those closest to these people, are too embarrassed to talk about it. Alcoholism and drug addiction is hard for the average person to understand. A lot of people look down on addicts, because they feel it's a choice that has been made.
Statistically, 87% of Americans over the age of 18, have consumed alcohol, while 12% get alcohol use disorder (AUD). Those who become addicted are said to have a disease of the brain, where the brain has been physically altered by extended exposure to alcohol, causing it to function differently and therefore creating addictive behavior. One out of eight people who drink, are likely to become an alcoholic, because their brains were not designed for it. While it is a choice for each individual to drink, it is not a choice as to how our brains react to it.
Once a person becomes addicted, it consumes them. It is all they can think about. How and when can I get my next drink? How and where can I hide it? How can I conceal it from everyone? When Emily and I were first married, we would go out and drink on different occasions. I noticed early on, when Em would start drinking, she would tend to drink excessively. She was also an angry drunk. It brought out the worst in her. I found myself wanting to steer clear of events or outings where she might drink, because I didn't want to deal with that side of her. Emily was able to obstain from alcohol when she became pregnant with our youngest son. After she had him, she had the opportunity to work from home and loved it. She was home with both my son and I throughout the day. When her employer announced they would require all employees to return to the office, she became depressed. She would come home and consume glasses of wine each night. Soon, glasses turned in to bottles. Our son was born in 2011, and by 2012, I noticed her consumption had begun to get out of hand.
The year of 2013 was a rough one for us. Multiple wrecked and damaged vehicles, a DUI, and a lost job because of alcohol, forced me to send her to Rehab just days after Christmas. The stress of dealing with her, while also trying to shelter our children from her alcoholism, began to take a huge toll on me. During this same period, my Grandmother, who was like a second Mother to me, passed away on Christmas morning. On the day of her visitation, I was checking Emily into a rehabilitation facility.
When my wife came home January of 2014, I expected to get back the woman I fell in love with, and had married 4 years earlier. Instead, Emily came back worse off. Every day was a fight and a challenge. I would get one or two days a week with the woman I loved, while the rest of the time, it was like living with the devil. Em became abusive towards me both physically & verbally, and refused to go to AA or talk to a professional.
There were many times when the thought of leaving her, had crossed my mind. I mean, how could it not? This wasn't what I had signed up for. I remember thinking, what if she were diagnosed with cancer or was in an auto accident and became paralyzed?....would I leave her then? No, no I wouldn't! The woman I married and loved, was in there, and I made the decision to stick by her side. I wanted to do all I could, to help her battle this vicious disease.
Looking back, I wish I would have opened up to friends and family about what was going on. There was nothing anyone could have done for Emily, but talking to someone, certainly would have helped me and my mental health. There is no doubt I was depressed, and the only thing that got me through those times, were the 3 sweet, beautiful faces of our children.
Since her car accident, Emily is a different person. I'm guessing something in her brain chemistry was changed with the TBI. She no longer has any desire to drink. Emily is truly an amazingly strong woman, who was overcome by an even stronger disease. I watched as she fought withdraw symptoms while also fighting to stay alive in those days following her auto accident.
Emily knows what alcoholism almost cost her. She can't remember much from those days, months and years of drinking, but she is well aware that she is a recovering alcoholic. She is remorseful and apologetic. I have to tell her almost weekly, the past is the past. We have 3 beautiful children to raise, and we should only focus on the present and the future.
Please, if anyone out there is reading this, and is in the same type of situation.....don't be ashamed to talk to someone. Trust me, I know that living with an alcoholic isn't as sweet or as beautiful as portrayed in the hit tv series, "This is Us". If anyone has ever watched the movie, "When a Man loves a Woman", then you've gotten a glimpse of the chaos alcoholism can create. The film also shows how an addict can put not only themselves, but their loved ones in harms way.
Growing up as a kid, I was a bit of a goof ball. One might say I was the class clown, in fact, I may have been voted "class clown" in our Senior superlatives. Life has a funny way of making you get real serious real fast. I'm sure there are many people whom I've met over the past couple years, who'd be shocked to know I do have a sense of humor and can be funny on the occasion.
It's always nice to catch up with old friends, whether it be former classmates or co-workers. I had the opportunity to go to lunch with a group of people I worked with for many years, last weekend. I worked with them from the age of 20, until just after my near fatal car accident, ten years ago. I was just a kid back then, and after listening to them reminisce, I realize I was probably the office clown as well.
I was reminded of how my sinful rendition of Madonna's "Like a Virgin", actually helped conceive a child one night. Again, you are welcome Renee! There had been some video and audio evidence of many of those Karaoke performances, though thankfully, they have been lost. Back in the old days of the collections industry, we were able to use an alias name to protect our identity. I chose the name of former KC Royal and St Louis Cardinals pitcher, "Danny Jackson", as my alias name at work. I was Mr. Jackson by day, Rod Lovejoy by night.
Once I turned 21, I don't think I paid for a single drink over the next several years. My co-workers were so entertained by my drunken shenanigans, that they would buy me all the adult beverages I could handle. To this day, I can no longer stand peaches or peach anything because of the schnapps in the "Sex on the beach" drinks. I ended that particular evening, wedged in my co-workers bathtub, naked and afraid. The following Monday was not awkward at all, after having had your work pal, peel your nude drunken ass out of the tub. He would later become my boss.
One of the memories which came to me, was how frustrated I would get, when it seemed as though I was pitching in money for something on a weekly basis. "Oh, Mary had a baby, let's send her flowers!" "What? Tom broke his arm, falling off his horse? Here's money for a basket of meat and cheese." "Sally is getting married, let's pitch in for wedding gifts." "Shane's wife is pregnant, lets throw in for an office baby shower!" "Oh Dear, Sandy moved here as a result of hurricane Katrina, let's donate half a paycheck because she has nothing." (Two months later, Sandy has new breasts) The problem, in my mind, was this. I was single, with no prospects of marriage or children anytime soon, so nobody would be pitching in for my wedding gifts, baby showers etc. My extended family and I were all healthy, so nobody was donating money for flowers & baskets for me. I would continue to pitch in week after week over the course of about 11 years. Little did I know, it would all come back to me and then some. After my car accident, these wonderful people, my work family, surprised me with over $3000 they had raised to help me out while I was down.
I met so many amazing people through my former employer, including my wife, Emily. It's a shame when you spend each and every day with people for years and years, but when you leave, you don't see them again for years and years.
Russ, Glenda, Sheila, Alisa, Mindy, Lori, Jean, Dianne, Renee, Lori & Roberta, it was great catching up. Kay, I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You look great, and I'm looking forward to lunch again next year.
The great solar eclipse of 2017 has come and gone. I have yet to hear of anyone losing their vision, or dogs and cats starring at the Sun without special glasses. I am however, a bit irritated that nobody warned me of the chaos that follows, as a result of an eclipse.
Monday evening, following the eclipse, Emily had baked a chocolate cake and placed it on the kitchen counter next to the sink. Unfortunately, this area is easily accessible to our four legged friend, via the sofa. Our dog, Katy, waited for me to leave the house to pick up my daughter from practice, before she struck. She devoured almost half the cake, before my youngest walked in on her. When I returned, I cut off the portion of the cake where she had been snacking. I got her all cleaned up and the kids finished off what was left.
Tuesday, while watching television with Emily in our bedroom, I heard a loud pop, then the tv shut off. I would attempt to turn the tv back on several times, with no luck. I then called Best Buy to find out if I had a warranty or a protection plan. I did have one, but of course, it expired 6 months ago.
That same evening, I had to go register my 6 year old for Mighty Mites football. This will be his first season, so I'm hoping it goes well. I thought if I were to show up later in the evening, the registration lines would be shorter. I was wrong. I'm pretty sure everyone had the same idea. We waited in line for 30 minutes or so, only to find out they accept cash or check only. All I had was a debit card. I would have to go through the whole process again, the next night.
Wednesday evening, after getting my daughter picked up from practice, making dinner and registering my youngest for football, I received an Uber ride request while sitting at home. This ride would be fine, however it would lead me to my next request, which was not. I showed up at a house in a nice little neighborhood in SW Springfield. The request came from a man, but a woman came walking out. She immediately apologized.....never a good sign! She tells me her husband's buddy fell in the shower and may have broken his arm, but he is high on something. She tells me I need to take him to an apartment complex. They load a skate board and a trash can full of stuff into the back of my car. Out stumbles this 6'6" white dude, who has on a t-shirt and cargo shorts which are falling off his ass. He has tattoos everywhere and a baseball cap which is turned to the side. The guy looks like Vanilla Ice on crack. They opened the door to my back seat, and he falls in. I have no exact address, just the complex to which they tell me he needs to go. "Ice Ice Baby" passes out during our 10 minute drive, which wasn't a bad thing. Upon arrival, I wake him up and explain to him where we are. He says, "I don't know anyone here...I don't live here." He tells me, he needs to go to a convenience store, so off we go. Keep in mind, his buddy is paying for this ride.
I pull into a Kum-N-Go, he gets out, feels around in his pockets, then says, "We need to go back to my friend's house." He begins talking to his cell phone, "Google, call Alan", he says. His phone does not respond, so he repeats himself several times, before finally dialing the number on his own. We arrive back to the house where I originally picked "Van Winkle" up from. He and his buddy talk for about 10 minutes, then he gets back in and says, "take me to Nichols and Kansas." Once I arrive at the requested intersection, I ask for an address, to which he replies, "just let me out here." I pulled to the side of the road, open his door and grab his stuff from the back. He gets out, and promptly falls into the ditch. There was no way I could help him up, though I asked if he needed a hand. He said, "I'm good, just put my stuff down." Honestly, in the shape he was in, he was probably better off sleeping in the ditch for a while, rather than stumbling into traffic. Because the song, "Ice Ice Baby" is playing in my head, and I really enjoy amusing myself, I say, "Yo man, I gotta get outa here, Word to your Mother!" I doubt he was able to comprehend what I was saying, but I was amused. I spent a total of 41 minutes with that guy, and his buddy ended up paying $35 to get rid of him.
Thursday evening, I picked up 4 young female college students from a bar. One of them asked to go through McDonalds because she was hungry. She first had to check her account balance to see what she could afford. She began telling her friends of her difficult life and all she has endured. She tells us that yes, her family is wealthy, but she is forced to work during the Summer and her parents only send her money once a month. In my head, I'm completely rolling my eyes. She then begins to cry, as she tells us her favorite pet had died a week ago, and her sister was in an accident. I was waiting to hear the details of how her sister had passed away.....but no, she had just broken her arm. Another girl says, "oh my gosh, I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of that." She responds with, "Even though I'm 20, I feel like I've dealt with a lifetime of struggle and heart ache." I instantly began looking around. There have got to be some cameras set up somewhere. I'm on a hidden tv show right? After I was unable to locate those hidden cameras, with all the sympathy I could muster, I tell her, "Life can be difficult, but that which does not kill you, can only make you stronger." Oh to be young again!!!
Saturday evening after the big fight, I got out and about, to pick up a few passengers. My first ride request was from a local bar where 2 older men awaited. I could instantly tell they were intoxicated and their relationship was a sexual one. They were whispering and giggling in my backseat. At one point, I heard the distinct sound of a zipper being opened, followed by more laughter. I wasn't exactly sure what was happening, but I was positive I did not want anyone unsheathing the sword in my backseat. That fencing duel would need to take place later. I quickly began asking them questions so as to take their minds off each other and get their attention towards me. Thankfully it worked.
After dropping off the Brokeback Mountain duo, I picked up a young man and woman. They were both in their mid 20's. The female was more intoxicated than the male, and she was very chatty. She began telling me about a book she was writing, which was based on her Tinder experiences. She sat directly behind me, and as she told her stories, she kept grabbing my arm and shoulder. Mid story, I felt her hand on the side of my face, then her pointer finger slip into my right ear.....she then asks, "Doesn't this feel great?", as she plunged her frisky phalange in and out of my ear canal. I responded, "no, it really doesn't do anything for me." She responded by saying, "what a jerk!" I kept waiting for the man to speak up and say something, but he remained silent. I'm pretty sure this poor guy had just finished up with a reverse 50 shades of gray experience with Christina Gray back there. After I dropped them off, I received a rating of 1. Apparently, refusing to have my ear hole finger banged, is unacceptable.
Sunday turned out to be a quiet and enjoyable day, however Monday was a different story. I just started volunteering at a shelter for victims of abuse. From 9am to 1pm, I accept and sort through donations. This was my second day of volunteering, and it was just me and one other lady there that morning. The first couple hours were pretty quiet. Around 11am, a rush of people hit, and by 12:30, we had 60 trash bags full of stuff. There was no way we would be able to get through it all. I ended up staying until it was time for me to go pick up my kids from school. We managed to get through about half of it.
Later that evening I picked up a couple of regulars and dropped them off at City Butcher. When they were done, I picked them up to take them back to their hotel. They handed me a brown package and told me they had gotten me some ribs. How sweet! When I got home, I put the package on the counter, yes the same counter space where our Katy had munched on our cake. The kids were playing and Em was watching tv. I decided to mow the yard. It wasn't long before my youngest was chasing me down, interrupting my "me time". Katy had gotten the package open and destroyed those ribs, bones and all. She would spend another evening in the laundry room.
Around 5am, my youngest woke me up. He had an accident in bed, which rarely happens anymore. I got up, and ripped off all of his bedding so I could get it into the washer. I was still half asleep as I opened the laundry room door. The dog bolted out of the room as I continued on. I took one step, a second step and a third step, which ended with a thick warm doggie tootsie roll between my toes. "Son of a bitch", I shouted! My son, had already changed clothes and was laying on the couch with the dog. I threw the dirty bedding to the floor and began cleaning the other morning mess that had been left for me.
In seven years, when the solar eclipse returns, I'm booking a vacation for the following week.
As an Uber driver for the local bar crowds, I've come to expect things to get crazy occasionally. In this third installment of "The Uber Life", I'll let you know about all the recent wackiness I've gotten to experience.
One Saturday morning, around 2am, I received a call to a local bar, where I picked up an older Caucasian gentleman and his younger African American, male friend. I would guess their ages to have been around 65 & 30ish. As I drove them to their destination, we made small talk. Once we were close to the drop off location, there was a bit of silence, then out of nowhere, the older man says, "Ok, who's f*#^ing who first tonight?" I sat there in a bit of shock and disbelief. I quickly tried to process the proposition I had received. I needed to answer quickly, so as not to give them the impression I was contemplating acceptance of their menajahcal offer. I replied, "I'm gonna make this easy for you guys, I'm gonna drop you off and head home to my wife." Dirty Grandpa responded by saying, "Well, I guess we'll have fun without you." I dropped them off and called it a night.
There are times when I'm out driving, when I get hungry around midnight or after. I was in line at McDonald's around 12:30am when I received a ride request. I accepted and sent a text to my rider, asking if they wanted food. They responded that they did not. When I arrived, there were 3 guys and a girl. After entering my vehicle, the girl said, "now I wish we would have gotten food." I offered her some of what I had ordered, and she accepted the french fries. I dropped them off and she gave me a nice tip and a great rating with feedback.
The next night, around 1:00 am, I received a request as I was nearing a Taco Bell. I decided to text the riders and ask if they wanted anything, even though I wasn't planning to eat. The guy replied via text, "Hell Yeah!!!" He requested a chicken quesadilla. I picked up the food, then picked up two men. They had both had their fill of adult beverages for the evening. The guy that ordered the ride, jumped in the front seat. He said, "The food is for fatty in the back." I handed the second man his chicken quesadilla. He was so excited. You would have thought I'd just given him a bag full of gifts on Christmas morning. I dropped them off and the kid handed me a $20 bill for picking up his $4 quesadilla.
Last weekend, one of the kids left a bottle of silly string in my car. I put the bottle in a storage compartment on top of my dash and forgot about it. I decided to sweep out our garage, so I pulled my car out into the drive. After I was done, I left the car to bake under the sun. Later that evening, I told everyone to load up into the car, so we could go out to eat. My son came running back into the house. "Dad, someone dropped cupcakes all over the backseat.", He says. I had no clue what he was talking about, so I went to investigate. The front windshield was plastered with a pink substance. I instantly realized, the can of silly string must have exploded, and it had. It completely blew the compartment door off and silly string was everywhere. It took us about an hour to clean it out. The car had a weird chemical smell.
Later that night, as I was Ubering, I picked up and dropped off two young guys. As I waited for my next request, I saw they had left negative feedback. They gave me a 1 star rating and stated that my car stunk and I had bad hygiene! Anyone who knows me, can testify, I would never have hygiene issues, so I was pretty pissed off about it. I went back in on the Uber app, and changed the 5-star rating I had given to a 1 star rating. The rest of the night, I had to explain to my passengers, the silly string mishap and what was said about my hygiene. I received all 5-star ratings and several tips the rest of the night.
There is a new bar in town called "Club Rodeo". It's owned by the same people that ran "Cowboys 2000" back in my day. It's located in a building in the middle of nowhere, which used to be a Bingo hall. The place is packed Wednesday through Saturday, and has become a regular destination for pick ups and drop offs. One Thursday evening while waiting for a request, I decided I'd walk in and check it out. It's a huge place with a large dance floor, loud music and a great outdoor patio.
On this particular evening, they were featuring a "Boots and Boxers" dance contest for any male who wanted to jump on stage and break it down. I didn't know any of the details beyond that, but I stood from a distance and watched as people gathered around the stage to watch these guys do their thing. I was intrigued. It gave me a flashback to 1999, when my roommate and I were at a bar called Midnight Rodeo, which is still operating today. On that night, they requested guys compete for $50 in a beer belly dance off. For whatever reason, vodka probably being the main one, I got on stage and decided to bust a move. I don't remember a lot of what happened, other than leaving $50 richer.
I was interested to see what these young bucks had in them. They all seemed like good looking guys, and were all in shape, but their moves were disappointing. They all pretty much went on stage, took off their shirts, dropped their pants and flexed. I'm now in my 40's, my legs really don't work, I'm out of shape, and walk with a cane, but I'm pretty sure I could have gotten up there and won whatever the prize was that night. Once the contest ended after midnight, I began to receive a lot of ride requests. My first riders were a couple of young ladies who said the top prize was $150. I thought to myself, if I would have known that, I may have walked my handicapped ass on stage to collect that money. I mean, if you've read any of my other blog posts, you already know I put on my own "Boots and Boxers" show, in a convenience store, in broad daylight, for those who had not been drinking.
Several weeks later, I returned to the same establishment. I sat in my car for a while, waiting for a ride request. I finally got out and started talking to some of the bouncers/staff outside. They mentioned again, it was "Boots and Boxers" night. I started thinking back to what I had seen the last time I was there. What a great blog story I'd have if I actually got up on that stage.......
This time I went on in, found a comfortable couch and sat down. I figured I'd watch these guys robotically move around the stage, then turn my app back on and take people home. I cringedly watched 6 or 7 dudes do their thing. I'd had enough!!! This crowd needed an experienced former champion, with all the right moves. There were 6 female judges who would each choose a finalist, sitting in front of the stage. I could have been the father of each and every one of them. The emcee of this contest looked at me and said, "Do you want in? What's your name?" I said, "just tell them it's their Uber driver." He looked at me with a huge grin while shaking his head up and down in acceptance.
Dear Lord, what did I just do? There is no turning back now. "And our next contestant.....here is your friendly local Uber driver!!!" I slowly began to climb the steps on to the stage. I knew once I got to the top, I'd be met with awkward silence, boos or cheers. To my relief, I heard a huge roar of cheers. Things are off to a good start. The DJ quickly changes the music to "Pony" by Genuine. Oh no he didn't......they should have just handed me the cash right then! I walk towards a large wooden pole at center stage. I'll need this for stability once I rid myself of my cane. I throw my hands up in the air, as a signal to the crowd, that it's about to go down! Again, I get a huge roar from the crowd. I know from watching the other contestants, that my time is limited, so I must take advantage of every precious second. My body begins to move with the beat as I begin to unbutton my collared shirt. I know removing my shirt to unveil this Dad-Bod is a risk, but it's one I've gotta take. I get halfway down, then rip it off! Buttons go flying into the crowd of mostly 20 somethings. They absolutely erupt!!! Next I unbuckle the belt, rip it off and slap the stage floor with it, as my shorts fall to my ankles. This brings an explosion of cheers, then the music volume goes down. That's my cue that my time has come to an end. I felt as though I had just got started, but I was positive I had done enough to make an impression, and would be chosen to move on to round two. Each of the 6 judges were drawn before the contest and had to pick one man to move on. It was clear each judge knew at least one of the contestants, and had chosen their buddy to move on. Not only was I a bit disappointed when I was not chosen, but so were the swarm of people that had been cheering me on. They began chanting "Uber, Uber, Uber". I gave them a wave, dressed myself and headed outside to wait for my next ride request. I was greeted with lots of handshakes and pats on the back as I made my way out. They even asked if I'd come back again.
It was a lot of fun and a fantastic story, but I politely declined. I'm officially retiring the "Dad-Bod" from all future contests.
Last Sunday afternoon, while sitting at home, I received a ride request from a male, a few miles from me, through the Uber app. I threw on some shoes and went to pick him up.
As I arrived at the pick up location, I noticed it was a couple blocks from my son's school. I pulled into the drive and notified the rider I was there and ready. I watched and waited for someone to come out of the house, but was startled when someone opened the backseat door. It was a young man and a female, both in their 20's. I had no idea where they appeared from, but it wasn't from the address entered as the pickup destination. The young lady told the man to get in the back, and she would get in the front.
The guy seemed nice and was chatty. The woman however, was under the influence of something. I quickly realized that "something" was much more than weed or alcohol. Normally once I pick folks up, they have their drop off point entered in, but these two did not. The woman mumbled to me that I needed to go towards "65 & Sunshine", so off we went.
As the young man tried to converse with me about sports and the weather, the girl began moaning as she sunk deeper and deeper into the front seat. Ten minutes into the drive and this chic is laying on her back with her legs flailing through the air, as she "rides the magic dragon". I'm trying not to look in her direction as I talk to the kid in the back. I know, he knows, that I know, this girl is suffering from hypercrackemia. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch her spanking her own ass, then "BANG", her left foot crashed into my rear view mirror. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", she says. The young man yells out, "Hey now!" She tried to corral her legs which were clearly spasmodic from all the "Rock climbing". It wasn't more than a few minutes later, and "BOOM!!!", this "Compton Donkey", kicked my radio. I saw something fly off, but was trying to concentrate on driving more than what damage "Captain Crack" may have caused.
As we approached the area they had directed me to, "Crack bunny" said, "this is fine". I pulled over, as "Charlie Sheen" hopped out and started walking down the street. The young man, asked me to drop him off at a gas station down the road, which I did. He was apologizing the rest of the way, explaining that he didn't really know the girl that well, and that she had "issues".
Once I ditched the two of them, I realized one of the knobs had broken off the stereo. I couldn't find it anywhere. I sent in a report to Uber with photos. They responded by asking me to get an estimate for repairs. I took it to Creative Car Audio to see if they could help. They wrote up an estimate for a new stereo & installation, which I forwarded on to Uber. Two days later, I received $140 for the broken knob, Raspberry, the Rockette had kicked off.
I feel a bit sorry for the young man who had to cough up the $140, but hopefully that will be a great lesson for him. Stay away from the buzzed bunnies