Mayhem…. he’s a friend of mine

Things have been quiet at my house.

I mentioned a few weeks back a yard sale was in the works … but there was some question if it would happen.

It hasn’t.  It isn’t….not even a remote possibility.

While I was out-of-town last month, Doug hurt his knee.  We wait for a surgery date.

Each evening as he hobbles to his easy chair, puts his leg up and packs it in for the day, I can’t help but reflect on how “normal” this looks.  The man is a walking billboard for mayhem.

I could go on for days about the various physical disasters Doug has stepped, fallen and crashed into, but that would make for an overly long, rambling post.  So here’s just one ………

My in-laws made a decision to provide a major travel experience for each of their grandchildren.  They took a cruise, loved it, so planned another for several family members including our two oldest sons, Doug and I.

Not long before our cruise date, Doug was stricken with appendicitis and had surgery.  We sweated it down to the wire, but he was able to get his stitches out and travel approved by the doc just days before our departure.  He was still weak on our flight to Florida.

The cruise was spectacular….something I could go on about for days.  But this post is about Mr. Mayhem.  He’d already scared everyone with his last-minute appendicitis…. it was just the beginning.

On our first full day at sea he thought sunning himself by the pool would be the thing to do.  As we were glaringly, pasty white Oregonians, I urged him to be careful.  “No big deal” he assured me.

Ian and David checked on him a couple of times suggesting he might be getting a little red.  “I can take care of myself” he declared.

Later in the afternoon I was shocked (no, not really) to see Doug.  He’d fallen asleep by the pool.  The sun had done its job.  He was well cooked.

In excruciating pain all thru dinner, one of the “formal” dining nights, the weight of dress slacks on his legs was more than he could bear.  He spent a miserable, sleepless night………which he felt compelled to share with me.


Next day we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

He thought he should protect his legs by not wearing shorts.  He wore white pants.  Specifically, white jeans…heavy, thick white jeans.  Not a brilliant choice, but what do I know??  I tried to warn him.  Not to mention it was a terrible fashion choice, even back then.

In spite of the unfamiliar heat and humidity, the boys and I were excited.  Doug, on the other hand, struggled to walk…slightly bow-legged, constantly pulling pants away from skin.  His goal was to find the nearest pharmacy.

And find one we did.  Doug struggled to communicate, but eventually purchased several items he hoped would end his suffering.

Mickey D’s and the Cops

Next, we needed a place where he could apply his bag full of ointments.  A familiar golden arches came into view….McDonald’s.  Hallelujah!!  (I think Doug actually said that.)

It didn’t smell so good in there.  Nevertheless, we all bought soft drinks and took a seat while Doug went into the men’s room.

Once inside he realized there was a huge plumbing problem… also the source of the bad smell.  There was a couple of inches of standing water covering the entire floor along with other “stuff” that would normally be inside a toilet bowl.

Doug was not deterred.  Doug was determined to keep his white jeans clean and dry.  Doug is a resourceful man.  He carefully stepped up onto the toilet seat.  He dropped his pants.  He ripped open the first container he could get his hands on and liberally slathered a thick, white ointment all over his legs.  He was giddy with relief.  He stood there, rolling his head around soaking in his first pain free moment in 24 hours…………when a police officer stepped into the room to see a scarlet red, crazed looking man standing on a toilet seat, pants around his ankles rubbing white gooey stuff all over his legs.  He (the cop) made a hasty exit.

Doug also made a hasty exit.  He was fearful the guy might come back with reinforcements.  We grabbed our drinks and left.

Moral of the story….when Doug says something, anything is “no big deal” you cannot believe him.  I’ve got the emergency room receipts to prove it.

Here we are post-burn at dinner………notice Doug’s plastic smile.  Eyes glazed and dialated.

Dinner aboard Sovereign of the Seas

Here we are pre-burn……….we happy travelers, we happy few.

Cliff, Ian, David, Brooke and Doug

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