OK… think about this for a minute. What two-word combinations conjure up images that simply cannot be explained? I don't mean you can't explain them -- I mean you don't have to. Either you get them or you don't -- no amount of explanation will get you much farther down the road than you were when you first heard them: "home run", "happy hour", "dip stick", "fat chance", "sponge bath"… like that. And, I don't know about you, but my experience has been that "dip stick", "fat chance" and "sponge bath" all seem to happen in the same sentence, in relative close proximity.
So when Nurse Discharge was going over the instructions it was kinda like: "… schedule her meds, elevate the legs, ice for twenty minutes -- sound fades out… droning sounds fade in… Charlie Brown sentence compression kicks in… blah blah blah… sponge bath… blah blah blah… WHOA, HIT REWIND!"
Of course you can't actually say, "Hit rewind" because then everyone knows you'd dropped off around page 9, so you go back in with the "Really, I was paying attention but your instructions weren't clear" clarifier: "Now, just to be clear, with the sponge bath it doesn't have to be done with an actual sponge" was all I could come up with before we moved on to page 10. Lame, I admit… but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
Nurse D. pauses like maybe she's clarified this before with some other husband and then "No if you want to soap up your tongue and use that, you can" is what I thought she said -- woulda bet money on it -- but then Ann pipes up and says, "We've got plenty of washcloths, it won't be a problem." Washcloths? How'd we jump the track and start plowing up the siding?
Anyway, you say "sponge bath" to a guy and he -- which is to say, "me" -- goes right to the soft music, low lights, some kind of French washy thingie they don't sell here because it's illegal in all Southern States, maybe a grape or two rolling around… you know, a HOLLYWOOD sponge bath. One that does NOT include any help from your adult daughter the elementary school teacher who has no shortage of helpful lesson plans already mapped out in her head and delivers them like you're sitting in the time-out corner, or the cat whose sole job is, apparently, to provide down-field blocking so you can trip over him while you're running down the hallway with a soapy washcloth in one hand and a rinser cloth in the other as your wife calls out, "Don't forget the other towel". And not one damn grape anywhere in sight.
Icing, on the other hand, is an entirely different nuance. Here, everyone's an expert and everyone knows how you should do it and is willing to give you legion of advice, which is very handy because none of them are ever around when you need them. And let's be clear -- there's really not that much advice to give me about ice -- you wanna be helpful, start filling up them ice bladders and shut up the hell up about how it's easier with an ice machine (I ain't got one, ain't gonna get one, thanks for the helpful tip), how the gel-packs are better because they're re-freezable so I'm reducing my carbon footprint by not using energy to make ice (a: I have two words for you and one of them IS "you" and 2: it only takes the gel-packs around 9 days to refreeze, so that's pretty handy), and finally -- and most importantly (I know this is a run-on sentence, Mrs. Waldrop didn't like them, either), I got six ice bladders, each of which take 22 ice cubes from our refrigerator's ice maker, so do the math and tell me how much ice I'll have left over after each knee icing to make myself a 20oz rum and coke and keep it at a constant temperature of around 47 degrees for no less than 20 minutes. Myers, if it matters.
In case you want to be especially helpful, Ann has her meds at 2:30am and so far I've been setting the alarm clock on my iPhone, but if you're going to be up, you can call me and make sure I didn't sleep through it -- like I did Saturday morning, which got me kicked off the Christmas list. Again, Myer's if you're fronting for Santa, Captain Morgan's if you're not.