Monday, October 15, 2012

Suburbs of Our Discontent

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages...

The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. 

                                         (As You Like It)

Last year around this time, I got a call from my husband that went something like this:

"Hey, hon, the good news is I landed at Logan. The bad news is, I'm in an ambulance."

God love the guy. He's always looking for the up-side. I, however, am a born worst-case-scenarian. My private response wasn't "Oh my God! He's in an ambulance!" but, rather, "Of course he's in an ambulance. It was only a matter of time."

The short version of this story is that he ruptured some vertebral discs and wasn't able to shuffle from his Frequent Traveler Gold Elite Status Row 1 of the airplane to the gangway and, so, had to be manhandled by two of Boston's finest onto a gurney and through the airport, in front of everyone. It's every middle-aged guy's worst nightmare— that tell-tale sign that you're on the backside of the fifth age of man, sliding inevitably into that shrunken sixth.

One year later, and three steroid shots to the spine later, he is now back to normal. And he still has his big manly voice.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. At least, if you think like I do, you can. "Hmmm," you're probably thinking. "Hasn't there been a story in the news lately about tainted spinal steroid shots and— now let me see if I can remember this correctly— oh, yes, DEATH? "  Well, you would be correct. In fact, those tainted shots were created right here in Framingham.

Now, I know that it is highly unlikely, given the timing of things, that he will develop fungal meningitis and die. But it's moments like this one that are like crack cocaine to people who think like me.

Even though we'll both probably make it to the sixth and even the seventh age "sans teeth, sans everything,"  I did just hear that Toyota is recalling a bunch of its cars because the windows are catching on fire. So it is possible that one of us will die by Prius before then.

I'll keep you posted. Or, at least, Michelle will.

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