After my daily walk I sit on a bench beneath the shade of a tree by the lake. And every day I carry a bag full of bird seed and peanuts for the squirrels. It is good for the soul to feed the wildlife and I believe I attain more joy than the fauna. This was especially true a few weeks ago.
I named one of the squirrels `Double-Nut’ because he always waits for two peanuts before stuffing them in his mouth and bolting away. On this particular day Double-Nut came bounding across the vista and stood on his hind legs to ensure it was truly me.
I held the peanut as if to throw it to him and he quickly ran towards me. Double-Nut stopped and once again waited on his haunches. I tossed the peanut but it bounced in front of him and over his head. Double-Nut quickly pivoted to retrieve his treat when suddenly a crow flew down and pecked Double-Nut in his most private of parts.
Incredibly, Double-Nut somersaulted several times in the air as the thieving bird escaped with the peanut. The look upon Double-Nut’s face was the same expression I probably make after a prostate exam.
The site of Double-Nut confounded by the attack caused me to roar with delight. He seemed to be staring at me with a quizzical look upon his face as if to say, “What in the hell was that? Where’s my peanut? Did you get the plate number?”
I gave Double-Nut as many peanuts as I had out of sympathy and meandered back to my condominium. The remainder of the day saw me chuckling away for I couldn’t get the visual of Double-Nut’s aerial assault out of my mind.
I decided to do the laundry and was making the bed while still chortling at Double-Nut’s misfortune when I walked square into the bedpost with my right knee. Do you know that odd sensation when you know you’ve injured yourself but the pain has not yet traversed your body to inform your brain?
The excruciating pang of discomfort rang in my head like the bell of Big Ben but this Big Ben felt the pain even in his own bells. My eyes were as wide as dinner plates and my mouth was open but no sound emitted.
One must remember that I had fractured the knee twenty-five years earlier and any good shot to the same area is an adventure in expletives and hyperventilation.
I stood there for what seemed an eternity until the throbbing knee relented but I knew I had done damage. I hobbled around for the rest of the evening and went to bed with a pillow under my leg.
The following morning my knee was grotesquely swollen. It was as stiff as Double-Nut must have been after his unscheduled gymnastics display. I limped around and applied ice and took inflammatory medications but the knee would not mend.
Like any man, the last thing I want to do is go see a doctor but common sense finally prevailed and I made the appointment with my physician. Post-examination and a myriad of X-Rays later the official verdict was effusion, or for a layman such as I, water on the knee. I was told to continue icing the joint, take a break from my walks for a few days and was prescribed a stronger inflammatory.
However, life must go on and lying in bed with my leg elevated with a bag of frozen peas on my knee is terribly boring not to mention humiliating as the radiating cold travelled to the nether regions and shrank everything in its path. Besides, I had to go outside for some fresh air and feed the animals.
I used a cane but I live in a building where ninety percent of the population is senior citizens and I’ve witnessed a few walkers and canes pile-ups in the elevator and had no desire to become ensnared in the wreckage of the golden years.
Therefore, I used the stairs as I always do to go down to the lobby where I was met with geriatric jeers and shouts of, “Welcome to the club!” I was asked again and again what happened and in hindsight I should have explained it was an accident while making love in the boudoir but being the fool that I am, I told the truth.
Finally, I made it to the bench and Double-Nut was waiting. I fed him his peanuts and could swear I heard him laughing as he gave me a long look and scampered away with his bounty. Schadenfreude indeed.
Written by: Ben Guyatt
Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author. Visit his website at www.benguyatt.com and follow him on Facebook. He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.