I am a pack rat and part of this Independence Day (after the bike ride on the local trail) is being spent cleaning, removing, (and yes in some cases rearranging) things that have accumulated. I am tired, hot, and ready for a hot dog, apple pie and slice of watermelon before watching the fireworks (on tv since local town cancelled their show due to extended drought). During cleaning up I found some bills from a decade ago and one was from the time I had upper GI test. At least I recall that being the one when I had to swallow some awful concoction. First the nurse came in, gave me something that was the same diameter as quarter and instructed me to swallow it. I asked what this was testing and she said the width of my esophagus to which I replied "so if choke to death we'll know it wasn't wider than a quarter". She was not amused. Then it got bizarre. In stumbled, literally, a pot bellied man who hadn't shaved in a few days, wearing a Superman "S" T shirt, with either remains of his breakfast or some red kryptonite on it. "May I introduce Dr. B" the nurse said, actually bowing a bit and swinging her arms toward him as if he was the doctor behind door #2 and this was "Let's Make a Deal". Actually, I strongly suspected she was saying it for his benefit as much as for mine because he seemed to nod, as if "Oh, yeah, that's me." He mumbled something and stood beside her. "Dr B will now ask you to lie on the table and drink a portion of the solution." Again she turned to him and nodded before he took the prompt and repeated, word for word, what she had said. This echo method of medicine continued throught the testing procedure. The only other memory that I have of the experience was being instructed to stand in some pretty ridiculous poses which I was pretty sure was a joke they were playing on me. (Let's see if he'll really do this one) The final result was that everything looked good, or so they said. I'm still certain that he was the janitor or another patient that they paid to stand in for the real Dr. B. Although they did make a pretty impressive team.
Changing gears, it still feels strange to be celebrating the 4th without being on the lake. I haven't had my feet stapped into the skurfer in three years now and I miss the sensation of being lifted out of the water, cutting across the wake, bumping, flying, crashing, having Larry throw the (small) football from the boat and actually catching it. Boating out to the dam to listen to the local volunteer band play and watch the fireworks.