Big giant head

In Other News

I know I said Loonette the Clown from the Big Comfy Counch was a hottie, but, man, I had no idea! BMIM (Big Man In Murfreesboro) Mike Reed, a fellow Loonette fan, turned me on to this link, where we get to see the cutie behind the clown. In the immortal words of Bozo: "Hubba, hubba!" (Bozo never said that on the air, btw.)

Steve's and my (is that proper grammar?) photo safari to Newport Beach went ... (shall I say it?) ... swimmingly. I ended up shooting six rolls of film and some of it actually wasn't half bad. I've printed up some of the better shots and I'm thinking of setting up a page featuring a photoessay of the day.

First, though, I'm going to have to win the battle with my scanner, which for some reason doesn't want to scan B/W. It'll do color all day long, but it freezes on B/W. Typical...

I've got the poop on props now, thanks to Kim, Em, Amanda and Indiana Kim.

"Props" seems to be short for proper respect and "mad" doesn't mean angry at all, but rather crazy wild or multitudinous or extravagant. So to offer someone mad props is to give them their proper praise in a generous fashion.

Shout outs to all y'all who wrote to me about the props! And what the hell is a "shout out"?


Monday -- August 23, 1999
The Gimp

Get me, I'm a character from a Tarantino film. And not just any character, mind you, but The Gimp, the coolest character from Pulp Fiction.

Hey, wait a second... Wasn't he the guy who lived in a box in Zed's buddy's pawnship's basement? Didn't he wear leather from head to toe with a zipper over his mouth so he could talk, only he didn't because he never said a single word? And didn't Bruce Willis knock him out with one punch and leave him dangling from his leash? And wasn't he a ridiculously unrealistic character, given that we're supposed to believe he lived in that box and only came out to stand guard and giggle when Zed and his buddy were up to mischief?

Yes to all of the above. Then why was he such a cool character? Because he never said a word. He was the only character in that whole movie who didn't spout lame dialogue over which you could practically hear Tarantino chortling "Man, that's a cool fucking line!" or "Cool, man, I just fucking worked 'nigger' in again." or "Maybe nobody will notice this whole fucking Big Mac conversation is really pretty fucking stupid." or "Fuck! That is so cool, man! Fuck!" or "Man, this movie's kind of lame, I hope I can fucking coast on fucking Reservoir Dogs. Uh oh, I'm stuck. I'd better write 'fuck' again." Guess who's not a Pulp Fiction fan?

But I digress. A lot. My point is that I'm The Gimp. Not because I don't spout lame dialogue and not because I wear leather and live in a box, but because I'm literally a gimp: I'm limping. I had a tad of foot surgery done today and now I can't walk.

Stand by for Too Much Information...

I have ingrown toenails. The big toes on both feet. It's not that bad, really, it's more an annoyance than anything else. Sometimes my toes hurt from my shoes pressing down on them, and sometimes I jump through the ceiling when Zoe steps on my foot, but usually it's a low-grade, "remember us toes is here," liveable kind of pain. I've dealt with it for a couple of years now without giving it much thought.

But last night I kicked things up a notch. Last night I got it into my head that maybe I should do something about them so they'd stop hurting all the time, so I started surfing the Internet looking for stuff about ingrown toenails. And of course, since I was actively thinking about them and taking action in the least action-taking manner possible, I stubbed my left big toe and woke a sleeping giant.

It hurt all night. It hurt to walk when I got up this morning. Putting shoes on was a goal for a far-off time, not something that was going to happen today. Clearly, I had to do something about them NOW.

There's a podiatrist's office right around the corner from our house, sharing a corner mall with a cigarette store and a Tae Kwan Do studio. He's got his name and his game plastered banner-like in each window facing the street. Strip mall. Window advertising. Clearly this guy isn't exactly providing world-class care. But it's friggin' toenails, not a coronary bypass. And besides, he was close. And my feet hurt. So I gave him a call and got an appointment -- for today, shockingly.

I'll cut to the chase and simply admit that his office scared me. I've worked off and on in the periphery of the medical industry for more than 15 years and in that time the least thing I've learned is that sterility is important. Hell, if you've seen ER you know that. Autoclave the instruments, wash your hands between patients, wear gloves -- especially if there's going to be blood, basic stuff like that. Well, someone needs to have a talk with this doctor. And his wife the nurse. And his 7th grade kids.

The wife/nurse donned gloves to Betadine the toe he'd be working on, then never took them off or changed them. She rummaged through files and records at the front desk in these Betadine-stained gloves, used the phone, opened and closed supposedly sterile instrument cases, and may well have picked her nose. The two kids were in and out of my exam room the whole time I was there; looking for bandaids or playing with the sterile pads or leaning on Mom's shoulder while she talked to me. And the doc himself... Oy. He put gloves on to inject my toe with the anesthesia, then went to work on another patient -- in the same gloves. Ten minutes later he came back -- in the same gloves -- and started to work on me.

I stopped him right there.

"Aren't those the gloves you wore with the other patient?"

"Oh, right, sorry. I'll change them right now."

I think I did more than most people would have in asking him to change gloves -- people tend to be intimidated by doctors -- but I really should have just left. I watched him like a hawk as soon as my blood started flowing to make sure he didn't do anything unsanitary, but I never should have let it go that far if I had to watch him like that. But my feet hurt and I was watching him and they're only toes fer chrissakes... And I went ahead with the procedure.

What he basically did was cut the sides off my left big toenail, leaving just the middle part on top so it will, in theory, grow back unimpacted. There was a lot of blood and not much finesse to it, and I was appalled at how cavalier he was about where my blood went, thinking that if he cared that little about blood -- blood in the 90's, fer chrissakes! -- how much less did he care about keeping the field clean?

So the whole time he was doing it I was thinking of India and other such 3rd World nations, where washing instruments with ox urine or something is considered sterile, trying to convince myself that I'd be fine, that just because everything wasn't white and sparkling clean didn't mean I was going to contract a bone-eating bacteria.

And when I got home I took off the dressing his nurse/wife had put on and put my own dressing on. I used plenty of hydrogen peroxide and neosporin ointment and sterile gauze and sterile tape, and I washed my hands first and followed sterile procedures. I feel a little better about it now, but I'll be taking the antibiotic prescription he gave me religiously.

He wants me to come back on Wednesday so he can re-dress the wound. I don't think so, Doc. I'd rather it doesn't get infected.


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins