Tales from the Sideboard

First off, I apologize to people who stopped by the Broken Coffee Cafe these past few days and found that there’s no freshly brewed anything on the menu.

Passe and limpid as it may sound, I’ve been truly busy.

First, the operation.

Which, for the curious, went out fine. The doctor did a good job of it, slitting my knee open just a teensy bit and extracting the lump from it within the hour. Then the good doctor stiched up the wound, and, until now, I barely feel the excision point, which is now healing nicely. I had grossly imagined that I’d end up with a gaping hole smack in the middle of my knee. So I’m really glad that it’s a pretty neat work. The only drawback during my operation was the assisting nurse who made me feel nervous. She was an intern, poor girl. I was conscious the whole time, and when the doc asked the nurse to hand him the scissors, she did so with trembling hands. Only, she handed him a pair of excising forceps or something. The doc had to stand up and rootle amongst the surgical instruments himself to get what he wanted. I wanted to joke about the situation, but the nurse was so tense from failing in her first practical test that I felt she could inject me with pentobarbital and I’d wake up with my kidneys missing if I did.

Thank you, one and all, for the prayers and well wishes. I made it through. The stitches will be taken out next week, and even now, the wound is healing nicely. There’d be a teensy scar there, but that’s all.

Second, the time.

Oh well, as I am back in the Shoe Factory and was, last week, in the second shift, I can’t just ride off to some Internet cafe (will someone sell me a laptop at a bargain) with a just-operated-on knee and pour out my heart and soul onto the keypad of a PC. I was under the “recuperating” mode, mind. I saturated my brain with primetime goulash from the sole channel that our television antenna could catch in the tropical jungle. I had tone-deaf singers; a stuffed toy posing as a viscious wolf-human and over-emotic real human characters with computer-generated blood-red eyes that were so unconvincing; a crazy spin-off of a Korean teleseries that actually made me laugh; a reality show where everyone cries for one reason or another, or even for no reason at all; and the culmination of a Korean telenovela that featured characters with lousy martial arts skill and appearances as common as my next-door neighbors’ (where’s the thrill in that?) eating my hours away every night that I did not choose to be asleep by seven.

Well, this time, shifts have changed in the shoe factory, and it’s waking up in the middle of the night again for me for the next few weeks so I could get down from my tropical jungle home and fall in with the other elves hammering soles and insteps for the day. (An aside: The Unimaginative Shoemakers have taken to posting parchments of their announcements, thoughts, and rants rather than communicate with us directly. Shoe production has taken a nose dive to one shoe per day, at least in our team, mostly because of this.)


Third, and finally, all the other miscellany.

First day of the dawn shift, my alarm sounded. As I was reaching for the mobile-slash-alarm phone, I felt a sharp burning pain on my wrist, then an angry buzzing sounded near where my head was on the pillow.

It was a hornet! And an angry one. And it stung me!

It may have gotten in from the latticed bamboo slats, probably to take shelter from the rains of the previous night.

But my goodness! Talk about being an ungrateful guest!

Bless genetics because I’m lucky enough to be immune to hornet and bee’s stings and had been known to only suffer minor itching and slight swelling. The sting was sharp, though, and I woke up Ta when I yelped in pain. We had a bit of a battle of wills and wonts when he wanted me to down copius amounts of honey, as in the mountains, the home remedy for stings was honey. It was four in the morning and honey wasn’t exactly my idea of a breakfast for champions. But in the end, a compromise was reached. A teaspoon of honey was the only casualty.

So, Monday morning dawned bright and cheery, and a woman, all wrapped up in scarves and a jacket, with a hornet’s sting throbbing in her right wrist, shattered the morning calm as she drove down on her motorcycle from her tropical jungle home to morph into an elf and enter the gates of the Shoe Factory. After all, what would the world be without shoes?



P.S. For those who tagged me for memes, particularly Lurchie and Gracey, I’ll answer them soon, promise!