Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Fire Ant wants my Blooooood....

It's great, it's amazing, it's fantastic. Once the work is over and there is free time, up jump a load of boring things to do, packages to forward, oil filters and other unmentionables to replace on the car, a pile of socks that have lain their a century or so, now begging to be washed, etc.

Amazing sunshine and the jumble of signs out towards Covington Pike. There's the Sunshine building, the ugliest building on the Pike, supposedly, and I think it's just fine, huge spherical suns wearing shades. Hannah thinks the Honda dealership is cooool, because it has a wavy frontage set against the core of the building, a sombre grey cube. Hard to think that's inspiring... but we're not out in the noonday heat to be inspired. We are guided by higher forces and today that higher force is guiding us to the Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic. Why???

Why??? Because Hannah has revealed that she has had a lump on the roof of her mouth for a few months and this has freaked me out. I've demanded that it is sorted immediately, so here we are (maybe I'm the higher force!)... after a night of no sleep, but not sleepless, lots of trying, the occasional tiny success, but mostly rolling around, mumbling to each other, tensed up.

The conclusion of the doctor's examination is that there's nothing to worry about. Hannah has the romantic sounding phenomenon of a torus palatini, in plainspeak that's an uncalled-for excess of bone stationed on the roof of the mouth. There's no need for any further action. You have to understand this is a huge relief. Hannah spent the last 24 hours staring at tumours and researching her chances of survival. I spent the last 24 hours saying, "Hannah! Cut that out! Don't stare at that stuff, it's not the right attitude..."

We head out to celebrate and get some oil for the car. Two things, we don't celebrate with oil changes I am becoming mixed up. We celebrate with a handsome piglet-feeding session at Bahama Breeze, supertasty. And then to Valveline, where the friendly people fix up the car and I am attacked by a fire ant.

Damn that fire ant. If there are any fire ants reading this, Shame On You!

I thought at first it was nothing, some sharp little pain on my shin. And then! Hello! Something sinking its tiny teeth into my knee. I ran into the rest room, pulled down my pants, tried swatting the fire ant off my kneecap, then grabbed it and slung it to the floor. To put the pain in perspective, this whole operation took approximately 0.111293933 seconds, I haven't moved so fast in my life!

There were ceramic squirrels and toads, a metal butterfly on a stick, red wood chippings in a man-made island, ringed by green plastic, the trucks and cars zipping past, suburban hothead boys zipping past in silver machines, a blue sky, and out there, in both directions, a jumble of cables, turn-offs, signage, and businesses huddled together in strip malls. That's the scene from Valveline. It was time to get away and come home and relax. TV, TV, Johnny Cash at Tennessee State Prison, with Linda Ronstadt wearing a skirt so short, have you ever seen the like? 500 of the worst prisoners, fixating on her shapely legs with their own legs firmly crossed. And then, a show on The Carter Family, the great great recording artists who laid the ground for commercial country music...



Blogger phoenix said...

Ah! He writes about being attacked by the one bug I am badly allergic to! Those things make me cringe at just the thought of a bite from one. I was attacked in my grandmothers yard as a teenager in Florida and I still have the scars from those three bites.

*shivers* ;)

11:00 PM  
Blogger L said...

I loathe fire ants! And I'm glad to hear that the tumor wasn't really a tumor!

7:10 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

no bad dreams of the fire ant, guess there's been no lasting psychological damage!

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very similar to the Valvoline in Bartlett, Tennessee. Lots of kids in shiny silver cars.

Glad you aren't bitten horribly.. bad when you wake up to find a Fire Ant slowly chewing your leg off all by himself.

2:59 PM  

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