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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seeing the Lower Keys on My Hands and Knees...

It goes without saying that there is indeed a certain amount of risk involved in sailing and that one's safety is always on one's mind while underway... or at least some of the time as it is in my case.

All kinds of bad things can happen while on a boat whether it be weather related or otherwise.

Incessant lightning strikes can make a non-believer into a believer in but an instant...

Slipping and impaling one's heal onto a rusted keel bolt can leave one hobbling about for a week or more...

An errant boom crashing onto the side of one's head can leave permanent visions of Mike Tyson relentlessly pursuing after you...

... and so on.

So it was a bit of a surprise to me when I genuinely feared meeting an untimely demise the other day while off my boat no less.

For while seated at a local sports bar and while sipping on a few cold ones, I placed an order for some tortilla chips and salsa.

Well of course I ain'ts in Texas no more and that bland salsa needed a tad bit of heat and flavor so I reached over for a brand of hot sauce that I hadn't tasted before and then proceeded to stir some in.

I then sprinkled a few drops of that 357 Hot Sauce along with some salt upon my chips as well. Soon enough I'm chomping down on those chips and salsa when I'm suddenly feeling a bit of discomfort.

My mouth is suddenly aflame and my taste buds are screaming in pain. I'm now doing my best to neutralize that gawd-awful pain by chewing on a few dry chips.

Unfortunately my attempt to remove the hot sauce off of the remaining chips was not completely successful for some of that sauce had already soaked on through.

The result was even more intense pain only this time I'm feeling that pain all throughout my stomach.

I then call out to the ding-a-ling bartender and request some water and tell her that I'm in some serious pain while also emphatically telling her that serving that hot sauce at the bar was a reckless and stupid prank.

The water only exacerbates the intense stomach pain. Drinking that water has the effect of spreading that hot sauce all throughout my stomach and I'm now writhing in pain as I make my way to the men's room.

I see the manager while on my way to the men's room and utter to him that I'm not feeling well hoping that he takes a hint and follows me on in. He does not.

I feel no relief while in the stall. I'm now writhing in pain feeling as if my stomach is going to burst at any moment and no one would know otherwise. I'm wanting to collapse upon the floor and pass-out but instead laborously gather myself and stagger on back to the bar.

I feebly call out to the ding-a-ling bartender and mouth the words, "Call an ambulance" while leaning and supporting myself on a counter with a cash register.

The manager is upon me in but an instant. "Sir! I can not have you leaning up next to the cash register! ... You need to take a chair"! ...

He emphatically repeats himself. I peel myself away from the cash register and immediately collapse to my knees. I start crawling away from that register.

"Sir! Grab my arm! I cannot have you crawling around the bar!

"I can't I desperately reply".

I do somehow later manage after a few minutes to help myself to my feet and stagger to the bar.

I've got the manager in my face now and he's cutting loose with a barrage of questions...

"Where is the pain"? ... In my stomach I reply.

"Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions"? ... No I answer while writhing.

"Have you eaten any breakfast this morning"? ... Yes! I respond.

"Have you been drinking today?" ... Yes!, it's all on my bar tab... (All three draft beers with the third almost completely full.)

"When did you last have a bowel-movement"? (only that he used the S-word) ... This morning I reply.

"Have you ingested any illicit drugs today" ... No! I don't do drugs, I'm too old for that crap. It was the hot sauce I'm telling you!

"Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions"? ... I already told you no! It's the hot sauce that did me in!

I'm now being informed that an ambulance will soon be on its way but that I'd be incurring a $500 charge for the service. I'm asked but yet again whether or not I still wanted the ambulance service.

Thirty minutes or so have now transpired since eating those chips and the intense writhing pain has started to subside. I inform the manager to go ahead and cancel the requested service... and it wasn't because of the prospect of incurring a $500 ambulance charge either.

Soon thereafter while still seated on that barstool, I'm perspiring like never before. My face feels flushed and I'm constantly wiping off huge droplets of perspiration with paper napkins.

The bar owner now sets upon me and he too starts asking the same questions I'd already previously responded to. Once again I'm having to respond no as to whether or not I had any pre-existing medical conditions.

For the umpteenth time you little prick, I think to myself... "No. It was the fricking hot sauce that did me in. That crap doesn't belong on a bar counter."

I finally tell him... "I'm a solid citizen and I don't do drugs" and with that he turned and strode away without so much as uttering a kind word of sympathy for my discomfort.

Hey Ass-h*le... I was on the floor and writhing in pain for a compelling reason. Perhaps I ought to sue your scrawny-happy-ass.

So that dear readers is how I spent an hour or so of my time "Seeing the Lower Keys on My Hands and Knees".

I suppose that it could have been worse had I'd "Seen the Lower Keys while on my hands and knees" after consuming too much alcohol. But over-indulging simply isn't my thing since for one, it's too expensive, two- I'm too old for that crap and three- it's just not any fun to get stupid and then sick.

So I'll just leave it up to all the young, senseless tourists to over-indulge in any shot-drinking while I sip on a few cold beers.

Those tourists are free to do the Duval-Crawl as often as they like and "See the Lower Keys on their hands and knees" while puking their guts out for all I care.

Yep, The Sports Page... this be the place where I almost met my untimely demise.

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