Monday, December 30, 2013

When you come to the end of a perfect year

...let me know, will ya? Because it will definitely be a first.

This year was definitely less than perfect from my own personal perspective, dealing as I did with (among other things) a seven-month-long bout with shingles; its evil twin, post-herpetic neuralgia; the death of a dog; a week-long hospital stay that included an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, two blood transfusions, and the medical team of Thelma and Louise; and finally, in December, an out-patient procedure that involved my swallowing a camera and walking around all day wearing a monitor that continuously blinked yellow, green, and blue, which prevented me from entering a grocery store or a schoolyard or a commercial establishment of any kind for fear that I would be mistaken for someone with a bomb and tackled to the ground. As Jack Paar used to say, I kid you not.

Other than that, Ma, 2013 was a year like all other years, except (as Walter Cronkite said on many occasions) “YOU ARE THERE.”

But the world is bigger than my own personal interaction with it. Our own national treasure, humorist Dave Barry, has captured the year 2013, at least from an American perspective, in his own inimitable style in this column, which I heartily recommend to you. It is impossible in some places to discern Mr. Barry’s words from events that actually occurred.

I am facing yet another medical procedure on January 10th, after the completion of which it would be just fine with me if I never had to visit a gastroenterologist ever again.

Interesting fact #17,643: MoviPrep has absolutely nothing to do with attending the cinema, unless you are a gastroenterologist, and then in only the most tangential way.

You are now ready for 2014.

Interesting fact #17,644: If you lived in the American South, you would need to have ham hocks, hog jowl, blackeyed peas, and some form of greens (turnip or collard preferred) at the ready for your New Year’s Day dining pleasure. Don’t ask why. Some things are just self-evident.


  1. I must say, Mr RWP, that you have made my own health...shall we call them 'glitches'...seem rather mundane in comparison ;-) I consider myself cheered. Was Mrs. RWP directly responsible for the assignment of those particular nurses? You might want to check that out before your next adventure.
    Dave Barry is a hoot.
    Never been to the South, but I'd be willing to try the menu. We're gonna stay home (always) and make our version of Chinese food - egg rolls, stir-fry etc. Won't stay up til midnight, the new year will no doubt start right up without us.

  2. I agree, the idea of a perfect year is just a figment of our imagination. But as you document, this year has been a rather testing one for you and your health. I am sure I am not alone in wishing you the very best for your tests on the 10th January, and hope that 2014 sees your health stabilise, Sir Robert.

  3. May 2014 bring us only good things!

  4. i would actually have to say now that i am in the lds temple every week as an ordinance worker, my days in this year of 2013 have been perfect><<>our play was insightful but i did have a bad bad surgery

  5. Thank you for introducing me to Dave Barry. Big, big smiles.
    On a much more serious note - here is to the end of medical mayhem. For you, for us, for everyone (which naturally includes Snowbrush and All Consuming).
    Best wishes to you and Mrs RWP for a much less challenging year.

  6. Thank you, Hilltop in WA, Carol in FNQ, Pat in AR, Putz in UT, and Pachyderm's Progeny in Canberra, I think) for your end-of-year-post comments.

    And thank you, too, Pudding of Yorkshire, for your comment, which, out of respect for the ladies in the audience, I have chosen not to publish. As Belle Watling said to Melanie Wilkes in Gone With the Wind, "it wouldn't be fittin'." I'm sure if you think about it long enough you will agree.

  7. Having thought about it long enough, I disagree with the censorship but accept that as the owner of Rhymes With Plague you have the right to assert your personal judgement in such matters.

  8. Y.P., I prefer to think of it not as censorship but as editorial discretion. Although one can hope, not everyone who writes a letter to The Times will see it in print.