Back From the ER

I’m back from the ER, and I have some good news- no broken bones this time. Both shoulders, however, are shot, and I am going to have MRI’s done on them on Monday. They shot me full of dilaudid and gave me some vicodin and I am breaking out my old Bledsoe cold therapy device and am going to have a chairbound Ray Donovan marathon after the Steelers.

This injury today has nothing to do with clumsiness or balance issues, but was just a freak accident. I was at Joyce’s barber shop to get a trim, and I took my glasses off and went to sit in the chair, and as I stepped towards it she swung it around to help me but accidentally tripped me on the foot rest of the barber chair. I shot forward head first to the wall, instinctively tucked my right (bad) shoulder and stuck out my left to protect my head. Dislocated my shoulder and landed on the already sore right shoulder and just sort of lay on the ground for a minute and tried to figure out my next step while Joyce was screaming. She was making a helluva racket and riddling me with questions (“are you ok should I call 911 do you need an ambulance are you hurt did you hit your head should I call the EMT”) until I finally just shushed her so I could think and pull my shit together. I didn’t want to move until I took inventory of what was messed up and where. Finally got myself up and once again used a doorknob to pop my shoulder back in place. It immediately felt better back in the socket, but I felt the familiar dull throbbing ache and knew I had done a lot of damage to the soft tissue. Tucked my hand in between the buttons of my shirt to make a sort of brace so my shoulder wouldn’t move much, called Shawn and told him I was coming in hot and we had to hit the ER. Halfway home I hit a pothole that made my shoulder hurt so bad that I pulled over and threw up. I’d say it was about a 7-8 on the pain scale, because my eyes almost watered and I had to sit there for a couple of minutes and do breathing exercises. Right now I’m about a 2-3 if I don’t move, but one wrong twitch and I get a shooting pain in that is at least a 5.

Drove home, picked Shawn up, and he took me to the ER. Had X-rays on both shoulders which turned out to show no bone damage, took a shot of dilaudid to the arse, and went to the grocery store to pick some stuff up. We then drove around looking for a medical supply store to see if they had cold therapy braces for the left shoulder, but everything was closed. We did stop at the At&T store to pick up a phone charger for the car, and I was feeling kinda goofy at that point, and blurted out “You’re adorable” to this teeny tiny little 20 something. Shawn said “Don’t mind him, he’s on drugs,” and she kind of glared at him until he realized it sounded as if he was implying the only way I would think she was adorable was if I was on drugs. He then told her what happened, and she looked at me and asked me my phone number. I was taken aback and blurted out “Really? That’s all I had to do was say you were cute and you want my phone number?” She laughed and said “I need it to look up your account.” So much fail in such a short period.

I decided I didn’t want to cook, so we went to Figaretti’s to pick up some Italian, and got home and the bastards forgot my meatballs and the marinara for the calamari. So that kind of sucked.

For those of you advancing the “birds shitting on you is good luck” theory, unless I win the powerball tonight, you are completely and totally full of shit. I’m thinking I may unleash Steve in the yard to exact some revenge.

Still booze free, though, and I figure if I can make it through all this bullshit without so much as an urge, I’m feeling pretty solid about my chances for long-term sobriety. This does really suck, though. I live a really whacky life.

*** Update ***

Oh, and my Hitachi weed-eater died today while I was weed-eating knee-high grass down the block at a house that was abandoned by the owners, who made no plans to take care of the yard in their absence. It makes the whole neighborhood look like shit and pisses me off every time I walk by with the dogs, so I went to take care of it and over-heated my weed-eater, but not before burning myself on the exhaust and melting a hole in my shorts. Maybe I should just stop leaving the damned house.

200 replies
  1. 1
    sharl says:

    Aww man. Heal up soon.

  2. 2
    Dave says:

    Not knowing what happened, but having read your last post, I momentarily thought, “Oh my god, he cut off his foot.”

    Glad to hear you’ll be alright.

  3. 3
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Shit dude! Hope your shoulders turn out to be okay (or not as bad as it could be).

    I will admit that the incident at the supply store made me laugh…some things never change, Cole.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    I take back the good luck thing.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Glad it’s not as bad as it could have been. I hope there are no mops in your house. Shawn! Get the mops out of the house now!

  6. 6
    scav says:

    Just don’t change in essentials JC, cuss us out thoroughly regularly and save the 7-8s for special occasions. I’m sure there will also be demand for some pet photos and, I don’t know, an unexpectedly involved discussion of bio-dynamic neti pots in pain management [eta. will burst out of it’s own volition, to be clear].

  7. 7
    Origuy says:

    Steve only likely to go for songbirds. What you need to exact revenge is a hawk. Know any falconers?

    Glad you’ll be ok.

  8. 8
    jayboat says:

    At least you are consistent, dude. Quick healing to ya.

  9. 9
    Pogonip says:

    Have you ordered your suit of armor yet?

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry Cole.

    Glad you have no broken bones.

    Take care of yourself.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    That’s it, I’m starting a kickstarter to buy John a Zorb.

    The universe has it in for you John.

  12. 12
    El Caganer says:

    If you hadn’t left the Republicans, you could probably land a 747 on your shoulders…..

  13. 13
    gogol's wife says:

    You tell the story very well. I wish I had a video of the barber shop incident (just for documentation, not laughs). I wish you a speedy recovery.

  14. 14
    chopper says:


    See, it could be worse. You still have your arms and legs, john.

  15. 15
    Whatsleft says:

    Here’s hoping that the marinara n meatball loss is the third of the bad things happen in threes standard. Please feel better sooner, JC!

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    John is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I was feeling kinda goofy at that point, and blurted out “You’re adorable” to this teeny tiny little 20 something.

    No, John. You’re adorable.

  18. 18
    BD of MN says:

    I’m putting new valve cover gaskets on my wife’s fourteen year old Caravan, and as I’m trying to clean up the top of the engine, I sliced right into my the tip of my pointer finger on my left hand (and I’m a lefty)… Then I switched to using my right hand to continue to clean all the old gasket gunk off the engine, and I slip and slice my thumb open on my RIGHT hand…

    Not anywhere near as bad as your day, John, but I’m feeling a teeny tiny bit of your pain… (and the van ain’t goin’ nowhere until tomorrow…)

    BD +1 Summit Union Series Southern Cape Sparkling Ale

  19. 19
    M31 says:

    Holy crap, can you imagine what would have happened if that bird hadn’t taken a dump on you?

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    I’m starting to think you’ve offended some ancient deity. Have you tried painting yourself blue and getting tied to a tree?

  21. 21

    Ouch. Get better soon.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @gogol’s wife: I wish I had a video of the barber shop incident (just for documentation, not laughs).

    I don’t believe you. I know I’d want it for laughs.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    Hey, John, been saving this for you since you called her your new hero:

    New folk hero @MariaChappelleN stands for reelection in November & would be happy to take your campaign contribution.— Chris King (@chriskingstl) August 16, 2014

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I wish I had a video of the barber shop incident (just for documentation, not laughs).

    As rikyrah would say:

    Uh huh.
    Uh huh.

  25. 25
    mikefromArlington says:

    Vicodin + whiskey = healed

  26. 26
    SuperHrefna says:

    Shoulder pain is some of the worst pain there is – you have my sympathy. I hope the doctors can do something to fix them up! Stay strong, and away from the bottle and you will find this whole mess helps cement you in your sobriety as you find new coping mechanisms from necessity.

    And this all kind of reinforces my belief that likert scales for pain are worse than useless, because everyone gives different weight to the numbers. Stoic that you are, you’ve rated eye watering pain a 7 or an 8 where other people would have put themselves at 10 early on in this mess and stayed there.

    I’m not going to give you a hard time about being a klutz, because I’m one too. But then I’m here nursing fresh nerve damage in an already knackered knee following a brunch injury ( whacked it on a table leg, now I’m waiting to see if I need to see a neurologist again….). From one klutz to another: stay safe!!

  27. 27
    Dee Loralei says:

    Heal quickly, John. Sheesh man, you are a bigger klutz than my father.

  28. 28
    jeffreyw says:

    Good that you’re not all fucked up. Mrs J heard you were in the ER and baked you a cake.

  29. 29
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    Don’t ever mow the lawn again please! Or get a hair cut.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Anyway, I have black 3M 5200 marine adhesive all over my hands. That stuff is *black*. As in wash off what you can with acetone and your skin is still black.

    Yes, rubber gloves next time, I know. This was just a quick job. Ha ha.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @jeffreyw: I hate you for that. I’ve had some stomach virus or whatever all week. No way I could eat that. Looks delicious.

  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:


    Suit of armor? He should be in one of those “boy in the bubble” plastic pod things. Padded.

    And I have to say, when you’re that fucked up you let the EMTs come and haul your ass to the hospital in an ambulance. You’re impaired, and if you cause a car accident while you’re driving with a dislocated, or recently dislocated, shoulder, that’s completely indefensible. Or if you contribute to one because of diminished control of your car, impaired reaction time, distraction due to pain, etc. Jesus, Cole, you’re not Grizzly Adams crawling 10 miles through the forest to civilization after catching your foot in one of your own bear traps. (Although that would be a totally Cole thing to happen.)

  33. 33
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Ouch! :-(

    I hope the pain goes away quickly. Best of luck with the repairs / recuperation / regeneration / enforced gentle recreation.

    Get well soon!


  34. 34
    raven says:

    This is a website for Rotator Cuff, SLAP tear, Frozen Shoulder, Dislocations, Deltoid Strain, AC Joint Strains and I found the discussions very helpful in my decision not to have surgery on my torn labrum.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Oh, and my Hitachi weed-eater died today

    because of course it did.

    I went to take care of it and over-heated my weed-eater, but not before burning myself on the exhaust and melting a hole in my shorts.

    because of course it did.

  36. 36
    StringOnAStick says:

    I can easily guess that you are in a ton of pain, but you’ll know that once the shot wears off, so be prepared (meaning call your primary care doc and get some pain meds prescribed). My husband gave himself a grade 2 shoulder separation 1.5 weeks ago, which is nothing compared to what happened to you, and he’s still in a lot of pain. It’s a long, long time until Monday, and that shot isn’t going to last until then….

  37. 37
    shelley says:

    Thanks for letting us know, John. I assumed we’d have to wait till tomorrow morning for the grisly details.

  38. 38
    HRA says:

    Well John I can certainly sympathize. I chalked up accident #3 during my 28 years working at the U. Right shoulder, right knee and left forearm. Who would have thought a metal boot tray would send me airborne. I am working since this past Monday and having PT twice a week. I cannot tell you about PT for I would use the worst gutter language available to give it any justice.

    You get well soon.


  39. 39
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We went to a “Celebration of Life” for a colleague of my wife today. It was in Snellville so I figured it was near you.

  40. 40
    Jacks mom says:

    Like I said……just sit some place.

    Hope you are better soon without too much pain and expense.

  41. 41
    daveX99 says:

    sorry i called you a clumsy oaf on the twitters. what an ordeal. also glad to hear you’re still off the sauce, with the exception of marinara (lol).

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The best weed-eaters are made by Shindaiwa. I’ve got a local guy with a small independent shop for lawn mowers, chain saws, etc. He knows what brands are best and will sell only those. So, for instance, only Husqvarna chain saws, only Toro lawn mowers, only Shindaiwa weed-wackers, etc.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:


    Total non sequitur, but El Jinete is an awesome Mexican restaurant in Centerville, a few miles south of Snellville on Highway 124.

  44. 44
    Emma says:

    don’t laugh, don’t laugh, don’t…

    Hang in there, John. This too shall pass.

  45. 45
    Pogonip says:

    @Steeplejack: Just be glad he’s not Jane Cole. He’d have blinded himself with a mascara wand, crippled himself trying to walk in high heels, had a life-threatening allergic reaction to tampons, and probably severely injured himself trying to fasten his bra.

  46. 46
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: I’ll mark that down!

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    Well, that really does shave the cat’s ass. On this date, Elvis died and then my dad died, and it also happens to be my 0.5 bday, so I’m very superstitious about August 16.

    But enough of that–just get fvcking healthy so you can see what it feels like.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They oughta be at those prices.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    I’m really surprised your balls are still attached to your body, John.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    @trollhattan: I was in Negril when Elvis died.

  51. 51
    John Cole +0 says:

    @Emma: Go ahead and laugh. The whole thing is kind of funny.

    I am going to get my hearing checked, though. That seemed like sound advice, but I don’t ever just fall over because I have lost my balance. I fall because I am inside my head thinking about things and don’t notice stuff and trip.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    You win, I was in Stockton.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @trollhattan: So solly GI.

  54. 54
    Pogonip says:

    @Baud: Maybe he WILL be Jane Col, one day.

    If I may touch on a touchy issue, I have never been impressed withany of the arguments for atheism: to me, they all come down to “God doesn’t seem to think the way I do, or do things as I would, therefore he doesn’t exist.”. However, I can see why John would not want to believe that the universe that’s out to get him has intelligence behind it.

  55. 55
    Cermet says:

    Sorry you are hurt – maybe just bad luck but boy, do you have a lot! Still, good your back from treatment and not feeling the need for alcohol. Hang in there and best of luck in the future.

  56. 56
    BGinCHI says:

    Jesus, Cole, what more could happen to you? I hope it’s not a bad dislocation. Me and the Mrs. have both had them (from cycling) in the last few years and they sucked. Good news is it hurts by far the worst at the beginning and then subsides dramatically.

    When I first read your post I thought you were parodying yourself.

    Now I am pretty sure you cannot be parodied.

  57. 57
    jeffreyw says:

    @raven: Sounds like any old excuse for a party will do!

    “Is ol’ Marty still with us?”
    “Well he hasn’t died yet…”
    “Party time!”

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    as I stepped towards it she swung it around to help me but accidentally tripped me on the foot rest of the barber chair.

    I had something kind of similar about 18 months ago. I thought I was having a heart attack (I wasn’t), went to the ER, they put me in a wheelchair but the right-hand foot rest collapsed just as they were hurriedly shoving me forward. So my right foot fell to the floor but since I was in a speedy forward motion, basically my foot curled all the way under, twisted and sprained, and from then on I was way more concerned about my ankle than my heart.

    It swelled up to about twice its normal size and was excruciatingly painful. I finally bullied the hospital into taking X-rays (nothing broken, thank FSM). Then when the bills started coming in the hospital wanted to charge me/my insurance company for all the foot X-rays, pain meds for the ankle, ACE bandage, etc. I finally got Cigna to bill it all to the hospital since it was completely their fault for having a defective wheelchair, but it took months.

    And to this day, since it’s part of my chart, every time I see my cardiologist, he asks me how my ankle is :-)

  59. 59
    Cermet says:

    @Pogonip:That isn’t the point nor an argument 99+% of intelligent people make about that silly superstition you apparently follow – maybe you are joking with that stupid line of thought; atheism doesn’t need to prove anything since the whole concept of god is both absurd and not needed except for children and fools. Grow up, leave the dark ages and come into the light of reason.

  60. 60
    Emma says:

    @John Cole +0: Hey, I do that all the time. I go into my head and crash into open filing cabinets (that’s how I screwed up my knee), or forget to open doors (mild concussion), miss corridor turns (bruised ribs). I’m a walking, talking disaster waiting for a place to happen.

  61. 61
    Redshift says:

    I knew you were tempting fate with that crack about cutting off your foot! Hope the shoulder turns out not to be too bad and you recover quickly.

  62. 62
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Pogonip: Hehe, that reminds me of a character in a Terry Pratchett book. Small Gods, I think. It’s a world with very very active gods, and there is one atheist. All the gods send freak weather to follow him around, and he keeps saying, “It’s perfectly natural! Any number of reasons for this!”

    Feel better soon, John. At least rest easy knowing you make me feel almost graceful.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I was in Central Park at a concert (I want to say Mel Tormé).

  64. 64
    Cap'n Phealy says:

    Get well soon, dude.

    (Additional comment from a lurker, opening me up to some flak, I’m sure:

    Have you ever tried acupuncture?

    I know a lot of people rag on it, but I swear to FSM, when I f’d my shoulder up (I had little range of motion, and the slightest tap on it could produce unbearable pain), I tried PT, exercises, everything Kaiser threw at me, until, finally, my doc asked if I’d be willing to try it. I did, and after about two months of bi-weekly visits, the pain was gone and my range of motion increased quite a bit. While I had the OK to see the acupuncturist, I also had him work on my knees, ankles, and some other pesky pains – all of them improved.

    Obvs, not a replacement for things requiring surgery. But in terms of pain management, I will always swear by it.)

  65. 65
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    Cole – you dispute the bird-shit-good-luck theory, but you have no idea how bad your day would have been without it. My old Sears Premonition 3000 shows that without the bird-shit-luck, you would have suffered a tongue avulsion. And the pain-vomit would have coincided with a sneeze and the inability to get the car door open in time.

    Your life is perpetually “interesting” – I think the resulting boredom if that ceased might be a bigger threat to your sobriety than the parade of injuries etc.

  66. 66
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Cermet: Oh, oh, a religion trolling thread! It’s been too long. //popcorn

  67. 67
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: This woman worked in the WIC program in Georgia and the turnout was really impressive. It was an African-American church and the service was incredibly moving. I did not know the woman but she had worked with my wife for years and the respect for her was incredible.

  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:


    Sorry about your accident, and I hope the pain is manageable and passes quickly.

  69. 69
    Jane Cole says:

    @Pogonip: That was supposed to be a secret.

  70. 70
    SarahT says:

    So sorry, John Cole, but it could be worse:

  71. 71
    Cermet says:

    @BethanyAnne: Religion has been society’s troll for ages – hardly new for a thread.

  72. 72
    raven says:

    @Cermet: Among other things it has been.

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: Mine always runs, starts on the first pull. I’m not complaining.

  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    I take solace in that I was dating a phenomenally beautiful girl at the time. Possible I was batting out of my league; for certain was performing without a net.

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    Maybe I should just stop leaving the damned house.

    No, but maybe now is not the time to do things like mow the empty lot. Maybe pay the frat boys to do it using your lawnmower and weed eater–the new one you have to get of course. Two good results–you don’t endanger yourself and the guys make a few bucks.

  76. 76
    RSA says:

    Cole, you are awesome. That is all.

  77. 77
    Mike J says:

    Took dad out to crew for me on Lake WA today. My right elbow is sunburned and peeling, no other sun damage. Also, my knees feel as if I was crouching in a dinghy for 3 hours because I was.

  78. 78
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Noisy night here, between the owls and the coyotes.

  79. 79
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: My Ryobi electric has been doing the same for years.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Snellville is, I guess, about 15-16 miles from me. I’m in Duluth, near the intersection of Pleasant Hill and Peachtree Industrial.

    Sorry about your wife’s friend. “Celebrations of life” are still memorial services, no matter how much happy talk there is.

  81. 81
    Cain says:

    Cole, whatever the fuck happens, you still got us. :) But damn dude, you are a disaster magnet. You seriously need a woman, and so does Shawn.

  82. 82
    MattF says:

    @SarahT: “Driving with no insurance.” Well, of course not.

  83. 83
    LAC says:

    @John Cole +0: there are times when you make it impossible not to want to hug you. Take care of yourself.

  84. 84
    p.a. says:

    If John got a suit of armor he’d accidentally lock himself out of the house and cook in the sun. If he went into a bubble he’d mistakenly reverse the air supply and vacuum-seal himself.

  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: I’ve got too much property for an electric.

  86. 86
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Emma: Yeah, me too. It’s how I fell down the stairs and broke seven ribs. (That, and thinking I could walk down stairs with no light on in a neighborhood with no street lights.) Also learned the pain that comes with shoulder injury, since I had a shoulder separation. But it was nothing compared to the pain of the broken ribs. Holy shit. I’d never known anything like it, even after going through two looong labors and deliveries. Two years later, I’m still dealing with the pain. So wish you didn’t have to go through this, John.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    You do tell a hell of a story, Cole! I laughed out loud reading about the phone number incident. I’m really glad nothing is broken and I seriously hope good things lie ahead for your shoulder. About that butt wiping thing, seriously, what do you do?

    On the positive side, free hair cuts for life!!!

  88. 88
    Glocksman says:


    IMHO, John feels the way I did in that I realized I was an old man when I’d see some teenage or early 20’s hottie and think to myself ‘I wonder if her mother is single?’.

    Though part if of it may be that lusting after her mother didn’t leave me thinking of myself as a dirty old man for ogling a girl young enough to be my daughter.

  89. 89
    SarahT says:

    @MattF: I know, right ? Not to mention that it’s so much more considerate to shave one’s pubes on Greyhound.

  90. 90
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    John Hiatt, “Master of Disaster.”

    The title is probably more applicable to Cole than most of the lyrics, but a pretty good song nonetheless. If you like that kind of thing.

  91. 91
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Forgot to mention – in total sympathy with the mowing of the lot. Our neighbors had their half-million dollar house foreclosed on, and it’s been completely abandoned for a year now. The banks (two own mortgages on it) refuse to do any any kind of care or upkeep, and we finally couldn’t stand any ore of the jungle that grew up around it. We’ve spent the last week cutting, trimming, raking, etc. And discovered the lower lever is covered with mold. So, so depressing.

  92. 92
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @BD of MN:

    BD +1 Summit Union Series Southern Cape Sparkling Ale

    What’s that like?

  93. 93
    chopper says:

    Cole is like that dude who’s been struck by lightning 8 times.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Maybe I should just stop leaving the damned house.

    What I want to know is how the hell you came back from Kuwait NOT in a body bag, with all the various predicaments you find yourself in.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    The human mind is a curious and wondrous thing.

  96. 96
    Josie says:

    @John Cole +0: That is exactly why you fall and/or get injured. I know because I am the same way. But this time it wasn’t you, so don’t put this one on your list. I am sorry that you are having all this pain, and I hope it eases soon, although I’m afraid that is not the way this works. Please be patient, and don’t let anyone cut on you unless it is absolutely necessary.

  97. 97
    Karen in GA says:

    Jesus Christ, John, this is why you can’t have nice things.

    I’m glad it’s not worse. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  98. 98
    Diana says:

    @Dave: same!!!

  99. 99
    normal liberal says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Does he have a recommended make of snowblowers?

    Screw the grass. Winter is coming.

    John Cole, sit still and heal. Summon minions and have them wait on you.

  100. 100
    trnc says:

    Aw, man, that sucks. Heal up soon.

    By the way, the hole in the shorts is directly related to the exhaust, right? If not, I probably don’t want to know, but hey, my fault for asking.

  101. 101
    Citizen_X says:

    All right, maybe you do have bad karma, what with having to fend off deadly ninja barbers and all (KIDDING).

    Keep safe…er, I guess.

  102. 102
    Dog On Porch says:

    Cole: That bird that nailed you did not shit in vain. Could even be you’ve been hit dozens of time without knowing it (much less reflecting on the portent). You are that guy Bruce Willis played in the movie where nothing could kill him. That’s damn near every movie he’s ever appeared in, I know, but I refer to the film (co-starring Samuel Jackson) that begins with Willis as the sole survivor of an horrific train accident. Could well be you’re the luckiest bastard on the planet.

  103. 103
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Feel better Cole. Try to keep on top of the pain, but don’t use Tylenol – too narrow a threshold between therapeutic and toxic.

    @raven: How’s your friend with the brain mets? I saw you and your bride went to visit the other day, but hadn’t crossed a thread with you since.

  104. 104
    Soonergrunt says:

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with all of that, and I hope you get better. I’m sure that the ER has a trauma bay with a cabinet or drawer with your name it.

    For a weed eater, and I know it will be a while yet while you heal up, I suggest you get the Ryobi 40v Expand-IT string trimmer. It runs on 40v batteries, so it’s got more power than an 18-20V without a lot of weight, and it’s a hell of a lot quieter than a gas unit, and you’re not dragging a cord behind you. Also, the Expand-IT system uses universal interchangeable heads. I have a blower, edger, and brush cutter. Each of them would work as well on a gas trimmer as on this one.
    You can get them at Home Depot, along with a 16-inch or 20-inch mower that uses the same batteries. I have the 20-inch, which comes with two batteries and a charger, and it’s very quiet and it works very well. One battery is more than enough to mow my full yard, and one battery is more than enough to trim, edge, blow clear the yard as well. This system is cheaper and quieter than gasoline powered units, and a lot more user friendly than corded electric.

  105. 105
    Mike J says:


    I was working my overnight shift at the radio station.

    I was in elementary school in Memphis. Hanging out at home after school when they interrupted Gilligan’s Island or whatever uplifting entertainment I was watching. Think I called my mom at work and told her, since she worked at the law firm that did his will.

  106. 106
    Pogonip says:

    @Cermet: Your elegantly reasoned argument has made me see the error of my ways. Thank God you came along–oops.

  107. 107
    Glocksman says:

    OT,but for those among us who like grilled cheese sandwiches, I have a protip.

    If you don’t care to spend time waiting for your butter or margarine to soften enough to spread, simply spray the bread with a can of vegetable oil.

  108. 108
    Violet says:

    @Glocksman: I thought butter was half the reason to have a grilled cheese sandwich.

  109. 109
    Pogonip says:

    @MattF: He’d just get hit by light ing at least 8 times.

    I remember the poor human lightning rod. He was a forest ranger, I believe.

  110. 110
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Easy answer: he never needed a haircut there.

  111. 111
    WaterGirl says:

    @Karen in GA: Karen, why/how did Iggy’s treatments get postponed? I would be embarrassed to say how many times I thought about Iggy on Thursday and Friday.

  112. 112
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Glocksman: Spread the bread with mayonnaise, not butter! :)

  113. 113
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @normal liberal: Yes, but I don’t know what it is. Have yet to buy one.

  114. 114
    Pogonip says:

    @BethanyAnne: Sounds like a funny book! I’ll put it on my list.

  115. 115
    WaterGirl says:

    @Glocksman: No, no, no. You put a little butter in the frying pan, let it melt, spread it around, and then wipe the frying pan with the two pieces of bread. Then you add the cheese and put the bread pieces together.

    @BethanyAnne: Eeeww. That’s just wrong.

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Karen in GA:

    John Cole: Ow! I’ve fucking dislocated my fucking shoulder!

    Iggy: I feel ya. I have heartworm. It’s a very mild case, though.

    JC: Yeah, but that’s a disease, not a fucking injury. It’s not actually painful, right?

    I: Not really, but silly Karen wants me to be careful and quiet. As. If.

    JC: Well, my fucking shoulder hurts like fucking hell.

    I: Would you like me to lick it for you?

    JC: FUCK NO! …. Well, okay, if you want.

    I: I will be gentle. (Licks). (Licks some more). It would be better if you epoxied a squeaky hedgehog to your shoulder. I could lick it ever so much better. Also chew.

    JC: “Also too” what? You sound like Sarah Fucking Palin.

    I: Not “too.” Chew. Chew.

    JC: Now you sound like a fucking train.

    I: I give up. I’m gonna go snarl at the cat for a while.

  117. 117
    MattF says:

    @WaterGirl: Now, this is something I didn’t know people argued about. Live and learn.

  118. 118
    Pogonip says:

    @Jane Cole: Oops.

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: Owls are hard to see. Couple of weeks ago, three were in some trees across the street, making a hell of a racket, but it was dark and I couldn’t see them, even though I knew exactly where they were. I’ve never seen a fisher, although I know they’re around. I’ve seen an otter in a pond nearby. Some nights we’ve got what seems like a dozen coyotes howling.

  120. 120
    Glocksman says:


    Perhaps the gourmets among us can tell the difference, but this gourmand can’t.
    That said, in my 10 years working as a short order/buffet cook I never had anyone comment about the difference between our regular grilled cheeses and the ones I’d use the spray can on because I forgot about dumping butter in the heated roller before opening.

  121. 121
    Ann Marie says:

    John, how awful. I hope you heal quickly. Instead of avenging you on the birds, Steve’s job should be to sit in your lap and keep you from going anywhere for a while.

  122. 122
    Drunken hausfrau says:

    Does anyone here know a voodoo priestess to help Cole out?

  123. 123
    Elizabelle says:

    Well, you still got all your fingers and toes.

    A barber shop injury? That does not involve a razor or shears?

    You are one talented dude, John G. Cole.

    Heal up.

  124. 124
    Jay C says:

    Wow, bummer, John: let me add my quote to the general well-wishing for a speedy recovery.

    PS: I realize it may have occurred to you already (I hope), but in the absence of a regular – or specialty – “cold pack”, you can jerry-rig a perfectly serviceable one by filling a gallon Ziploc full of ice, pressing out the air, and wrapping it in a napkin or light towel to (minimally) insulate it: with a little fiddling, it can conform to most body parts.

    PS: How is Steve dealing?

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @MattF: See, that’s why we all come to balloon juice. :-)

  126. 126
    khead says:

    Damn dude. I’d like to say that I’ll never bitch again but I know that’s a lie.

    So, from now on I will just think of you when I think that shit could not possibly get worse in my life.

  127. 127
    CaseyL says:

    I love that story, John. Go in for a haircut; wind up in the ER. It’s so you.

    What’s with the MRI? I hope you won’t need more surgery… OTOH, if they can really and truly fix the shoulders, that would be good.

    Here’s hoping you heal fast, find a good weed whacker, and that the bubble wrap suit fits nicely.

  128. 128
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I have some photos (not taken by me) of owls sitting in plain sight in trees — plain sight if you know you’re looking for them, but incredible camouflage. There’s one kind of owl whose plumage looks identical to the bark of the tree it favors. You could walk by it a dozen times without noticing that an owl was there.

  129. 129
    RSA says:


    On this date, Elvis died…

    On this date, my wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. The 29th this year. Bittersweet.

  130. 130
    satby says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: agree John, you are adorable.

    And I want you to know my 28 year old son has decided to get sober, and what you said the other night (in your bad day thread) about it still being 100% better than going through all that drunk may have given him some of the encouragement he needed. So thank you.

  131. 131
    Glocksman says:


    If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that if we do things one way locally, other areas of the country have another way.

    Having said that, my last protip for the evening is that if you like to fry chicken at home is invest in a good electric skillet that has a consistent temp reading WRT what you dial in.

    When I worked as a cook, it wasn’t my skill that made our fried chicken good, instead it was the commercial grade electric skillet that held 70 pieces at one time.

    IMHO, frying each side for 12-13 minutes (depending upon weight) will give you thoroughly cooked chicken without it being dried out.

  132. 132
    Svensker says:


    What you said.

    Jeez, Cole. Jeez. How many hours a week did your mom spend in the E.R. with you when you were a kid? Poor woman.

    Get a bubble suit.

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Happy anniversary!

  134. 134
    Glocksman says:


    Forgot to add that 350°F is the temp needed to cook fried chicken consistently.

  135. 135
    satby says:

    @Glocksman: @BethanyAnne: triple Ewww!
    Jayzus, just melt a pat of butter in the pan, plop the sandwich on it, pick it up when it’s time to flip it over, and before you do plop another pat of better on the pan to melt and cook the other side. How hard is that?

  136. 136
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Well, they have discontinued chemo and doing steroids so she’s pretty puffy. She can barely talk but does know what is going on and can eat.

    The service today was for a woman who died of breast cancer at 48 so that sucked.

  137. 137
    SuperHrefna says:

    @satby: So happy to hear about your son’s decision, all power to him!

  138. 138
  139. 139
    Glocksman says:

    Forgot to add that John needs to keep in mind that an alcoholic’s peak ‘need’ tends to occur within a couple of weeks after swearing off the sauce.

    I know this through experience because I am an alcoholic and my worst need for it was the first few weeks when I had to deal with life’s bullshit without an alcohol filter.

    That said, if his experience is anything like mine, John will literally have his sense of taste change over the ordeal of weaning himself off the booze.

  140. 140
    SuperHrefna says:

    @John Cole +0: Sounds like you need to hit Amazon and get yourself a Badonkadonk tank:

    And then live in it.

  141. 141
    moderateindy says:

    Cole with your apparent lack of graceful movement, and coordination, and your penchant for falling down, and injuring yourself, how the hell were you able to play lacrosse?

  142. 142
    Svensker says:

    @John Cole +0:

    After your barbershop story, being in a tank with you sounds incredible dangerous. Plus, you can’t even imagine what could go wrong and protect yourself because it will be something totally one-off, weird and unpredictable.

  143. 143
    Suzanne says:

    Holy fucking shit. Is it horrible that I read this and laughed until I cried?! Seriously, all the best, Cole, but this is an absolute comedy of errors if ever I heard one.

  144. 144
    John Cole +0 says:

    @Jay C: I have this

    @satby: If he would like to talk, email me and i will give you my phone number.

  145. 145
    Valdivia says:

    You are adorable John! :)
    Feel better and man I guess that bird this morning was more a warning. Glad you’re ok.

  146. 146
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I swear I didn’t even read the thread when I posted the exact same thing you did! :)

    Good to see you btw. I lurk too much.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    Jay C says:

    @John Cole +0:

    Cool. (Literally). My wife got one of those after knee surgery – though hers looked mostly like a beer cooler with piping – as long as you keep the ice/water balance up they work like dammit. Thought the fact that you already have one leads me to believe my advice is unnecessary…. ;)

  149. 149
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    LOL. I know. When I do see you, it’s usually somewhere deep inside a long-defunct thread. Hope we can get our commenting schedules a little more in sync.

    And as always, GMTA.

  150. 150
    Karen in GA says:

    @WaterGirl: Aw, thanks! The vet did another heartworm test before giving him his first injection, and the test came back negative. Weird, right? So he sent Iggy home. But before doing that, he drew more blood to send off to a lab to confirm; that test came back the next day, positive. So Iggy’s got a very mild case of heartworm, which means his injections can wait until the end of September, after I get back from London. So he’ll be confined for pretty much all of October.

    And that gives me time to get him used to a Gentle Leader head collar, which should stop him from trying to run after everything he sees every time I walk him — which, in turn, will keep his heart rate down while he’s recovering. (If you haven’t read it, the most recent Iggy Dialogue will tell you his opinion of it so far.) Iggy freaking out on walks was my biggest fear, and the head collar idea only occurred to me the night before he was dropped off at the vet, so there wouldn’t have been enough time to get him used to it. So I’m very grateful to the FSM for the delay.

    @SiubhanDuinne: Okay, that was hilarious.

  151. 151
    duck-billed placelot says:

    John, not trying to be funny, but after this story, I hope that you’re getting set up for a serious run of therapy and a shit ton of meditation/journaling/some other form of introspection and mindfulness. Issues with alcohol and ‘being in your head to the extent of nearly killing your damn self every other month’ might come from similar places.

    Hope you’re doing well.

    Also, don’t be a hero: when your doctors tell you to stay ahead of the pain with your pills, they mean it.

  152. 152
    satby says:

    @SuperHrefna: Yeah, thanks. Here’s hoping. He’s a sensitive guy, the world really gets to him.

  153. 153
    satby says:

    @John Cole +0: thanks John! I’ll let him know. He’s in CA so we tend to have time sync issues. That’s really kind of you.

  154. 154
    different-church-lady says:

    Have you considered never moving again?

  155. 155
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I know I feel I’m always late commenting and participating so I end up lurking. But I always knew we were twins! ;)

    I was sorry to hear about your injury with the wheelchair and hope things are good with you. Always love reading your comments even if days later.

  156. 156
    BD of MN says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): Nice, kinda light (4.4%abv), a bit hoppy. Not really what I was expecting, but I completely missed the Union series #1 which apparently was an awesome stout, so I grabbed a sixer on a whim…

    (I saw the “Sparkling Ale” and hoped for a moment that it would be like Bell’s Sparkling Ale, their occasionally released version of a Belgian Tripel which is one of my all time favorites…)

    @raven Yep, 3.3L V6. turns out they don’t really machine the outer edges of the aluminum block, leaving a really nice, sharp edge, which I found, twice, trying to clean…

  157. 157
    SatanicPanic says:

    Aw that sucks John, hope it heals

  158. 158
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @John Cole +0:

    If he would like to talk, email me and i will give you my phone number.

    Jeez, you are a for-real fucking mensch.

  159. 159
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Soonergrunt: I can second the Ryobi multitool thing (though I think we have the 20V for working our postage stamp). I have a separate Earthwise18V battery string trimmer, with 3 batteries, and I can do the whole yard with them and not break out the mower for the back..

    The Ryobi is actually really light; my husband was going, “are you sure this will work? It’s half the weight of the old one.” And then went and cut down the dead juniper branches in like 10 minutes.

    However, please call minions for the time being and let yourself heal.


    This may not be doable in WV, but some years back when the house behind us was foreclosed and empty for a year, the first month of weeds-to-my-knees we called town hall (health dept), and our town’s in-house counsel (read, lawyer) summonsed Wells Fargo’s foreclosure lawyer and cited them for neglect. Afterwards, every two weeks a company came out and mowed and trimmed (and trespassed, but I dealt with them), and someone came in the winter weekly to empty the mailbox and some firm came and shoveled their front steps after each snow.

  160. 160
    Anne Laurie says:

    @John Cole +0:

    I fall because I am inside my head thinking about things and don’t notice stuff and trip.

    Poor John!

    Once you’ve got the other stuff patched, you should really get tested for ADD, too.

    Driven to Distraction has been helpful to many people I know — both those of us with ADD and those who have to live with us. The Amazon preview lets you read the “Suggested Diagnostic Criteria” checklist (Page 73)… see how many of them sound familiar to you (I’m guessing at minimum #1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 20… and that’s just from reading this blog!)

  161. 161
    RSA says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thanks! We visited a favorite Greek restaurant, had our usuals, and it was almost like old times.

  162. 162
    gogol's wife says:

    @Dog On Porch:

    It was a terrible M. Night Shamalan (wrong sp, I know) movie, the title of which has escaped me.

  163. 163
    Anne Laurie says:


    No, but maybe now is not the time to do things like mow the empty lot. Maybe pay the frat boys to do it using your lawnmower and weed eater–the new one you have to get of course. Two good results–you don’t endanger yourself and the guys make a few bucks.


  164. 164
    chopper says:


    You have any tips for cutting hotdogs into cereal? I can never get the chunks the right size.

  165. 165
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Oh, yes, thanks, it was a long time ago. No lingering issues, at least not from that.

    Remind me, please, where you live. I’m doing a semi-major driving tour in a few weeks, and if you are anywhere close to my (fairly fluid) route I would love to meet you if possible.

  166. 166
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dog On Porch: Unbreakable. Shyamalan’s best movie, IMO (of course, he only made two good films!)

  167. 167
  168. 168
    cckids says:


    If you don’t care to spend time waiting for your butter or margarine to soften enough to spread

    For why do you have a microwave, if not to soften the butter?

  169. 169
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m in the good ole Washington DC. I’ll be gone from the 21-25 but here the rest of the summer and fall. I’d love love to meet you and show you around town or just a drink whatever you want!

  170. 170
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: and ps the trip sounds like so much fun, you must be do excited to be doing it.

  171. 171
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Drunken hausfrau:

    Does anyone here know a voodoo priestess to help Cole out?

    One has to offer the gods a sacrifice equivalent to the favor one asks. I’m not sure even a pedigreed, prize-winning goat would be enough to ransom Cole’s luck… you’d have to find something like a winning racehorse or one of the minor cast members from a top-rated reality show. Just so’s you’re prepared for the trouble & expense in advance!

  172. 172
    BethanyAnne says:

    @WaterGirl: It works better than it has any right to.

  173. 173
    everbluegreen says:

    Good heavens, Cole. Pull yourself together!

  174. 174
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well, I will be near WDC. Hadn’t thought of actually going into the District this trip, but I might now. It would be about two weeks from now, Labor Day weekend. No promises, but I’ll have a look at the itinerary.

    If you want email me so we can exchange phone #s etc. and go into more detail, my email is SiubhanDuinne (at) gmail (dot) com.

  175. 175
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    So much of it will be new, so yes, it’s getting exciting!

  176. 176
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: will email you right now :)

  177. 177
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  178. 178
    Glocksman says:


    Other than using a sharp knife, no.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Glocksman says:


    The smartass in me wants to reply ‘because I’m in a hurry’.
    That said, it works in a pinch and 99% of the people in my experience wouldn’t notice the difference unless you told them.

  181. 181
    dww44 says:

    @jeffreyw: Can you link to the recipe for that? It really looks delicious and looks like something my family would enjoy.

  182. 182
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    Oh my! As some one else said above, comedy of errors. Please take care John.

    I too have shoulder pain, but from nerves in the neck, along with upper back pain. My surgery on the lower back has been a great success. I was able to sweep the hall and kitchen today, no pain. Nine weeks tomorrow, so still recovering, but is wonderful. Standing tall and straight and going for kilometre and a half long walks.

  183. 183

    Poor bastard. Positive thoughts headed your way for what it’s worth.

  184. 184
    Fred Fnord says:

    You are adorable. On or off drugs. Don’t even change, except for the part where you keep hurting yourself, you can change that part.

  185. 185
    Howard Beale IV says:

    John needs a first class Japanese Toto bidet – stat.

  186. 186
    Gretchen says:

    @satby: how did your son decide it’s time? My 30 year old son is having alcohol-fueled problems, and always says he’s quitting (tomorrow), but never gets around to quitting, finding a therapist, going to AA, or taking other steps. I don’t know how to help. He’s too old for me to do it for him. I can’t make an appointment, strap him in the carseat, and go.

  187. 187
    Gretchen says:

    Feel better, John. I’d definitely look into the bubble suit idea if I were you.

  188. 188
    Gretchen says:

    Also, if your pain causes you to stop and throw up, I’d call that a 10. And I say that as someone who birthed a 9’8″ baby without pain meds.

  189. 189
    opiejeanne says:

    Aw, man! I thought at first this was a really old post being revisited, and I wish it had been.

    So sorry you’re hurting. The phone number story is adorable, and so are you.

  190. 190
    Ruckus says:

    Using the worst gutter language is how the PT folks know they are going far enough with me. After one particular nasty bout the fireman that walked by the table took one look at me and asked the torture applier what the hell she had done to get me to have tears streaming down my cheeks. BTW this was working on my shoulder. My good one. Finally had to have surgery on it, which along with that PT was a lot of fun as well, but it did pretty much fix it. That was 20 yrs ago. Now back to nearly constant pain, not that bad but it never really goes away. Getting old can sure suck.

  191. 191
    jayackroyd says:

    I’m thinking whoever John’s insurer is, they should just hire him an escort. Prolly be cheaper…

  192. 192
    satby says:

    @Gretchen: Gretchen, last spring he had upended his life to move to CA to be with the love of his (so far) life. They have a somewhat tempestuous relationship and his drinking doesn’t help. He has been a pretty functional alcoholic so he always discounted my worry as well, but the potential loss of this girl after having other relationships fail for the same reason may have tipped the balance. Along with a frustrated comment from me about how he’s been telling me for 10 years that he needed to change that when he said it again. And since he was open to the idea, I forwarded him the link to John’s post that I mentioned thread, just to see someone else who recently made the decision and that it was a positive one (my son had mentioned he didn’t know how he would cope without alcohol). I think it was just time, but alcoholism runs in my family, so I know this is a struggle that takes a while. And I feel for you, because mine also was too old for me to make him get help, but the reality is we can’t make someone (adult) change anyway, they have to decide to.

  193. 193
    Delk says:

    @John Cole +0

    It took me a good four to five months of sobriety to regain my balance. Took about the same time to control my attention.

    However, it did pass, and the moments of clarity are priceless and getting longer and longer.

  194. 194
    c u n d gulag says:

    It sounds like if you leave the house, you need a Kevlar knight’s suit and surround your body with bubble-wrap!

    Best of luck.

    I also have two bad shoulders (also, a right ankle that looks like it belongs in a horror movie, a bad left hip which keeps me from sleeping well, and a bad lower back – so I can’t sit or sleep comfortably because of that, either!) so I understand how you feel!

    This “aging” stuff is grossly over-rated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My late father used to laugh, and say in his thick Ukrainian accent:
    “Yes, our ‘GOLDEN’ years – every body make ‘gold’ off our years, but us!”

  195. 195

    Random recovery thought: if you’re at all concerned about the pain meds, create a schedule, post it on the fridge, and have Shawn dole them out to you on schedule. From what I’ve been told, having a specific schedule greatly reduces the temptation to play around with the pain meds and also reduces the stress of having to take them while staying sober.

  196. 196
    WereBear says:

    So sorry to hear! What helped me (my sarcastic nickname around the house is “Grace,”) was practicing Mindfulness.

    When I remember.

  197. 197
    InternetDragons says:


    Gretchen, if you see this: There’s not much you can do, but there are two things that you might consider: One is to go to an Al-Anon meeting for yourself. There can be a lot of wisdom in those rooms, and Al-Anon is specifically for family members.

    Secondly, if your son is talking about quitting, you can consider calling AA and asking if they’ll send a couple of folks out to speak with him. That’s something AA has done forever, and it can be helpful if the person is on the edge of finally admitting they have to make a change for real. Sometimes talking to other people who have been through the same struggle and decision process is helpful.

  198. 198
    Applejinx says:

    Hey man, your chances are this: you never have to drink (/use) again. Pain meds under the instructions of a doctor who knows you’re an addict/alky and lets you return them early if you want, are not using drugs, they’re interacting with doctors in the event of serious injury. I had those when I had my appendix out, they didn’t count against my clean time, and I still resisted them so hard I got complications from being unable to move as much as I was supposed to.

    You GET to never drink again. (this is really what lies behind the 12 step groups: the service aspect aside, you get to hang out with other people who understand what it means to never HAVE to drink again.)

  199. 199
    Glocksman says:


    Yeah, recovery is a bitch when you have to accept narcotic painkillers while going though alcohol withdrawal.
    Narcotics and alcohol act on the same centers in the brain, so even medically prescribed painkillers can set you back.

    It can and did in my case set recovery back, though support of friends and family helped and got me back on track.

  200. 200
    Gretchen says:

    Satby, Internet Dragon, thanks for the advice. I will look into Al Anon.

Comments are closed.