We live in northeast Baltimore County, which has nothing to do jurisdictionally with Baltimore City. In fact, I go to Baltimore City about as often as I attend NRA meetings, and always with the same amount of dread. More and more, we find ourselves in Harford County, a few miles up the road. It would remind you a lot of the way Baltimore County used to be, back in the day.
The main town in Harford County is Bel Air. The two main roads to get up there from our "neck of the woods" are Harford Road and Bel Air Road. (It's often amusing to newcomers, the way we say to "take 'Blair' Rd to Bel Air," but that's Balamerese for ya, hon).
This geography will come in handy in a bit, should you choose to keep reading. As an enticement, I shall soon mention underwear. As a caveat, I should add that it's my underwear.
The other day, I went for the spinal injections that might just help my back situation. Peggy went with me both as helpful companion and driver-back-home, as the doctor had promised that I would be too hazy to do so. I picked up Peggy from work, we drove to the beautiful new hospital in Bel Air, and we waited in the waiting room.
Also in the waiting room was a guy who was either in such severe pain that he should have reported immediately to the ER, or else he deserves to be an actor and play the part of a patient on the ER tv show, if there still were one. He was a strapping meatloaf of a guy whose walk and facial features showed no pain or impediment, but Lord, did he moan and groan and grumble. He told the receptionist, "I'm not a religious guy, but I've been praying to God for some relief for the past two weeks." His driver was his father, who was paying neither him nor his keening any mind at all. I really thought the guy might throw himself on the floor and start thrashing like who knows what. Peggy decided to talk to the guy and asked him if he had tried those mentholated pain patches which have brought so much relief to so many, primarily the manufactures of mentholated pain patches. I mean, they do some good, but you're only supposed to wear one at a time. I have occasionally violated this rule and worn 1/2 of one on my knee and the other 1/2 on my back, but the guy said to Peggy,"Oh, I've worn as many as 14 of them at one time."
Oh well now, I mean really.
Leaving him and his sighing sobs, I went and had a procedure done that involves sticking needles into my spine. I saw the needles out of the corner of my eye and I wish I hadn't. All I know is, they were so long, the doctor had to be in the next room to push the plunger in. And I got a good laugh by telling the tech, as I lay prone on the operating table, that I was glad I wore my best boxer shorts instead of my leopard-skin thong. She thought that was funny, as she swabbed my dorsal region with antiseptic.
Thanks, I'm here all week, try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waiter: they do work hard for you.
I had noticed a screw sticking out of Peggy's left front tire when we got to the hospital, and since we were right up there near the fabulous Jones Junction Toyota where we bought the car and the tires, we headed down there to have the tire fixed. Just like one of those good news-bad news jokes, they told us that the screw was too close to the sidewall for the tire to be patched.
So they were going to replace the tire for free, since it was covered under road hazard warranty. But they didn't have to, because it was only a tiny bit of the screw that was stuck in the tire and it did not cause a hole. I once committed the grave error of pulling a nail out of a tire to see how long it was. "Hiss!" said the tire, deflating rapidly. "Day-um!" said Mark, doing the same.
Let me stop for a moment to tell you about Jones Junction and why I hope they stay in business way past the day that the only thing I'm riding in is a hearse. I will not buy a vehicle anyplace else. When you deal there, they are honest and forthright with the purchase, the trade-in, all that. When you need service, they will come and pick up your car or lend you a loaner on Saturday. If you choose to wait around, they have popcorn, drinks hot and cold, hot dogs - all free. Saturday, they wheel out a giant grill and do burgers and dogs and it's all free. Women (and I guess men) can have a free manicure while waiting. You might even see the general manager of the whole shebang, Steve Smeltzer, walking around, and you can ask him a question if you need to. I tell you, it's an old-fashioned dealership with modern ways, but they are my dealership for life and always will be. And they sell just about every type of car or truck out there - all the good ones, in any case.
And they wash the car after service - free - even when there's no charge!
On the way home in a freshly-washed Camry, we were coming down the aforementioned Harford Rd when we came upon a volunteer firefighter directing traffic to turn left; there was a wreck just about literally on the county line. We took Reckord Rd over to Belair Rd and were proceeding south as I told Peggy to stay on Belair, avoiding the turn onto New Cut Rd., until we could turn right onto Mt Vista, where it would be easier to hit Harford Rd. "You'd play hell turning left onto Harford off New Cut," I pointed out, and somewhere up above a rumbly voice chuckled.
Approximately 1.3 seconds later, we came upon County police directing traffic at an accident on Belair Rd. The only option was for every single vehicle to hang a U-turn and go back to ..New Cut Rd, where we found ourselves in a traffic jam that immediately put me in mind of the crowd approaching Woodstock in 1969. A short 40 minutes later, a guy appeared out of nowhere, and just before it was our turn to try and play hell with that left turn, this self-appointed traffic cop bravely stood out on Harford Rd and stopped cars both ways. Peggy scooted on toward home, but first we had to stop and drop off my prescription at Walgreens. They prescribed real heavy-duty narcotics for my pain, with a muscle relaxer and even a golden drop of Retsyn in it! You know this is the real stuff - the medicine bottle has a picture of Keith Richards on it. But my Walgreens didn't have it in stock. So, what did the young lady working the drive-thru window say?
a) "Sorry, sir, we don't have that in stock. Let me check and see when it will be available here, or call another store to see where you can have this prescription filled."
b) "We don't have this."
Me -"Where could I go to get it, or when will you have it?"
"I don't know where you can go; we won't have another delivery until a week from tomorrow"
Me again - "But I need this medicine; what can I do?"
" I don't know."
So after this interesting colloquy, I asked if a pharmacist could step to the window, and he did, and he called and found the drug available for me at the Walgreens in Rosedale. He had no way of knowing that the three main roads in Rosedale - Philadelphia Rd, Pulaski Highway, and I-95 would all be the scenes of accidents the very next day, when I went to get the pills, but did you hear that rumbly laugh from above?
Don't tell me that God doesn't have the greatest sense of humor! He certainly should - he invented it and saw to it that Milton Berle was born.