Life in hyperbole. HYPERBOLE, I said!

Also this tooth fairy left me a bill

On Friday they tore out my teeth. It really hurt. Still does. My wisdom teeth had held their ground for twenty-odd years and they did not go easily. "Real sweethearts" said the doc. "See those roots? Like corkscrews. We're going to have to slice them up." Uh, my teeth you mean? "Yep, we'll saw them in half." Oh. Right.

After the procedure they gave me Percocet. The doc sang its praises: "Hoo-ee, you're going to love this drug," he said. The rest of the office staff delighted in describing how stoned I was going to be. It was like a freshman dorm party. I got home, popped a Percocet, and waited to kiss the sky. Oh, and oops, splashed some water onto my puffy lips at the bathroom sink.

Blood started pouring out my mouth. Bright, red, arterial blood, like I'm pretty sure the good doctor nicked the carotid artery while gouging out my ivories. Blood down my chin, down my neck, soaking into tea towels. Back to the car, and back to the surgeon's office.

The Percocet started kicking in while I sat in the passenger seat. It coiled around me like a great hairy boa constrictor and began to squeeze. I started to drown in fuzz. My vision splintered and each shard was a knife soaked in nausea. I struggled but soon I couldn't see anything but a saturated blur, hear anything but a rushing cacophony, say anything that wasn't a spluttering gurgle. Then I passed out for a while.

Rachelle and a very kind stranger, who I think had red hair and a blue military uniform, dragged me into the doctor's office. I only barfed once in the lobby, and I'm almost sure I didn't gak on the nice man's shoes. The staff gauzed me back up, but didn't take me seriously on the having-a-bad-trip front. I'm not surprised since I wasn't at my most persuasive.

On the way back home, we stopped to admire the view of the water at Gorge and Parkview while I decorated the pavement there with copious amounts of vomit and dark clotted blood. The stains were still there this morning! I checked!

The rest of the day was a dull iron ache and not worth describing, except to say that every bowl I heaved up over the course of the day boasted some new and exciting colour from Satan's Fall fashion collection.

It turns out I don't react well to Percocet.

And earlier today I found a piece of tooth in my mouth. This is NOT adding up to a positive experience.

New wax for the 'board


I have acquired a new keyboard: It is sensuous, sleek and dangerously thin - like an anorexic supermodel. And whisper quiet, like an anorexic supermodel sitting a physics exam.

It's built by Apple, which will make my Macophile father cackle with triumphant glee, but the plain fact is: Apple has mastered the human-to-computer experience, and this is the tool I spend the majority of my day with. There is just that extra sparkle of pleasure with every keystroke, and it was a small $50 investment.

Some reviewers complained that it did not provide enough help getting to home row, but I think those reviewers must be hamfisted trolls: "URRRRHH! ME BASH KEYS GOOD." What do they want, an usher with a flashlight? If you know how to type, this keyboard is for you.

I considered an ergonomic option with the split keyboard, but I can't stand keyboards that take up desk space as measured in acreage. Look at this thing: it's a keyboard wrapped in an armchair:


One thing I did have to do, since I am using an Apple keyboard with a Windows machine, is re-map some keys. I switched the last four Function keys (not used in Windows) to a Num- Lock and some volume control with SharpKeys. (Kinda something you'd think would be built into the OS, wouldn't you?)

The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is high because Rachelle can sleep free from the sound of a squirrel tap-dancing into the wee hours, which is how she described the tappa-tappa-tappa from my old keyboard. The squirrel now wears fuzzy buskins.

Warning: libraries peddle electronic smut

If you thought libraries were bad before, just wait. Now they lend video games: Greater Victoria Public Library is guilty guilty guilty.

That's right. You walk in looking to expand your horizons, self-educate, steep yourself in the accumulated lore of centuries, and you end up walking out with Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga.

The leering gargoyle pushers librarians at the desk don't help.

Is that a book cart full of Wii games? I innocently ask.

Yes, but they're not cataloged yet, responds the bespectacled book pimp, hoping to lure me into sin by not quite hiding the shameless display of naked neatly stacked video game boxes.

Oh, I nonchalantly drool. I walk around the corner and lean my head against the dependable very non-sexy Encyclopaedia Britannica M-P, breathing hard for a while. I am a weak vessel, Lord.

Two good books and the invisible snot sandwich

Peter's summer reading club recommends:

P.D. James - The Children of Men

The last human being is born in 1995, Year Omega; mass infertility has doomed the human race to extinction. By 2021 the slowly dying citizenry of England have given themselves over to a dictator who promises comfort, peace, and freedom from boredom until the end of their numbered days. Peace and order are a strictly enforced illusion, but what do quiet atrocities matter in the last days of a dying species?

Everyone has seen the movie version but me. I didn't even know it existed.

David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

Not actually an atlas of cloud formations, but a set of stories that contain each other like Russian dolls. Never really got the title, as a matter of fact. Each story makes it about halfway before being interrupted by the next, only to appear within it. The first story is a series of journal entries discovered on a dusty bookshelf in the second, for example. Once you finish out the final story embedded in the middle of the book, you come back to all the stories you left behind. The second half of the journal entries is found propping up the bedstead, in case you were wondering.

David Mitchell's spectacular prose is nothing short of jaw-dropping. If I could write like that, I would call myself a writer. Each novella is written in a different genre, and he masters them all. I have to single out The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish because it had me laughing like a hyena clown.

Scott Smith - The Ruins

An awfully stupid book. Clumsy writing. Moron characters. My desire for revenge on the author grew as I flipped the pages, sublimating into a murderous hatred for those one-dimensional idiot boobs he limply positioned as main characters. I couldn't wait for them all to succumb to the horrors of the (eye-roll) killer vines. Like eating a snot sandwich: I gagged all the way through.

3 things my wife thinks she knows about me

Like a pudding from the sky, the meme struck: ask your significant other to tell you three things about yourself. And then some "rules" about launching the pudding at someone else. 

"You are not a morning person."

Did you know we spend a third of our lives asleep? What a disgraceful waste. I am doing my level best to push the envelope past 33%. Mornings are a, if not the significant hurdle in my commitment to this lifetime goal. The discipline required to lie in while the rest of the world gets up yawning and scratching its bum is staggering. When I am forced by circumstance to arise, losing time that can never be added to that precious Grand Total of Hours Asleep, I get (understandably, I think) grouchy as I ponder the sobering possibility I may never be a Van Winkle world champion.

"You need to feed your imagination constantly."

In fact the reverse is true. My imagination needs to feed me. Books, movies, art, humour, games, puzzles, conversations, dreams (cf. you are not a morning person), stray thoughts - all are grist for the mill. Without these places to explore, life would be as dust in my mouth.

I sometimes complain about having to live in Mundania, a place name invented by Piers Anthony to describe our ordinary world in relation to his invented world of Xanth. At least I'm not alone; my favourite people in the world are the ones who have an intuitive imaginative faculty and the skill to wield it. Right, and the patience to interact with me. I married one.

"You can live on blackberries, cherries, and peas to the exclusion of other foodstuffs."

Three good things you can only get in Mundania, I grudgingly admit.

A quack ducks the issue

We spent yesterday evening in Emergency because a clinic doctor couldn't decide if Evvy had an ear infection or not. After three and a half fretful hours a very nice emerg doc said she was just fine, no evidence of ear infection. What was the name of that clinic doctor? asked emerg doc. He said her eardrums were red? They're completely normal. He shook his head. Evvy smiled and squeaked at him.

I'm going back to the clinic today to shove the hallucinating clinic doctor's ophthalmoscope up his rectum to see if I can't detect some redness.

Jingle Bells

By my count, I have sung "Jingle Bells" about one million times now, over the course of my life. This qualifies me as an expert, as I'm sure you will agree.

Shortly after my vocal cords ceased to vibrate with the millionth rendition of the popular carol, it occurred to me I have never set foot in a one-horse open sleigh. Or any other kind of sleigh: horsed, open or otherwise. And yet I can belt out

dashing through the snoooooow, in a one-horse open sleeeeeeeigh

with all the breathless gusto of an applecheeked farm lad fumbling to hold the reins in hand-me-down mittens on a frosty midwinter afternoon with the runners swishing swiftly over hills and hummocks of freshly fallen snow.

And no doubt you do it, too. Isn't it strange that "Jingle Bells" is so popular when it has such little relevance to modern life? It's quite magical that we continue, without prompting, to keep ritual and song that go back beyond living memory, connecting us to people and days long gone. 

Christmas above all other holidays has the power to freeze the rushing river of time into the glacier of tradition. It gets one all contemplative. It is for me the True Meaning of Christmas, or TMC. Others have their own TMCs, I know, but this is mine.

Happy Holidays!