Friday, February 29, 2008

Ewwwwww!

On Wednesday night I took a shower. The floor got wet, so I couldn't go back in there after I had put my shoes on. Didn't want to get my shoes muddy. One more inconvenience with showers.

Then, shortly after 11:00, I felt something bursting inside of me. My anus popped open and some feces popped out in an act of flatulence. It was like breaking wind and having diarrhea at the same time. I would have to go to the bathroom in order to check both my underwear and pants. I hoped that my underwear had caught the feces and that it did not get into my pants.

Not being able to use my own bathroom, I knocked on Jason's door and he let me in. While in there, I walked towards Jason's bathroom. He had his television on. As I was making my way to the bathroom, I heard someone on the TV show, in a sort of Dracula voice, say, "I'll keep my exe out for it."

"Ewwwwwww!", I said. I could just feel the slimy exeball dangling inside me. I did my checking in the bathroom and wiped a bit, then went to my room. I told Tiffany what had happened.

Tiffany knocked soon, to give me my codeine. She had a measuring cup of codeine in her hand. I told her I wasn't ready. She closed the door, and I resumed my purging. I aimed for a jelly bean feel as I pushed my nails up against my groin.

Later she knocked again. "I'm coming", I said. I purged off the "I" from "I'm coming" and then tried to do a perfect finale that would get the "keep an exe out" out of me. Tiffany knocked a third time.

"Coming, Tiffany, coming!", I said. With that, I made a thrust with an "adoleye" that popped that exe right out of me and into the air. I zipped up my pants and opened the door. Tiffany gave me the codeine and then the pill.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Q-word?

We went into the Dollar Tree with Brenda. While we were in there, she said they had stuff "axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"Ewwww!", I responded.

"Did I say something?", asked Brenda.

"You said the A, O and P words."

"All over."

"And the P-word."

"Place."

"Those words. Yes." I asked her where a restroom was. She asked a staff where the restroom was. The staff showed her, and I went along, holding onto Brenda's arm. They saw Lita along the way. I finally went in the restroom, and purged off the "all"s and then the whole phrase. But I did not know what was yet to come.

When I came back out, we were browsing for soda and candy in the Dollar Tree. Then, all of a sudden, Brenda ran into a friend. I heard her say, "Hi, cutxe".

I instantly gagged. Brenda asked me why.

"You said the C-word", I told her.

"You mean the Q-word?", she asked.

"It really begins with C."

I stood by as Brenda continued to talk with her female friend. They chatted, then said good-bye. We selected some chocolate-covered cookie dough from the candy section and some peaches in a jar, then left.

When we got back in the van, Brenda asked if I was ready for my pill.

"No," I said. "You said the C-word, remember?"

"Oh, you mean the Q-word?"

"Well, it really begins with C."

"When I said it, it began with Q."

"You were saying the letter Q, and then the letter T?"

"Yes. Her name is QT."

QT as a name may sound strange, but I've heard of the orangutan in Dumbo's Circus being named QT, and there was the QT in 2-gether. It sort of reminds me of KT Tunstall, who spells her name KT rather than Katie. OK name, but if I had a kid (which of course I wouldn't) I wouldn't name the kid QT.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jolene the feisty woman

I got yelled at by Jolene today.

We were at Lisa's house and Brenda wanted me to help her get Lisa's walker out of the van so Lisa could take it home.

I walked out back, and while we were figuring out what to do to get out the walker, I heard someone several yards behind me say, "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!" I slapped myself on the forehead. "D'OH!"

"What's wrong?", asked Brenda.

"I heard someone say the WH-word. Didn't you hear the WH-word, La Netta?"

"No. They said, 'Oh!'", said La Netta.

"Oh. Brenda, did you hear them say, 'Oh'?"

"Yes, I did," said Brenda.

Just then Jolene yelled, "They didn't SAY that! They didn't SAY that!"

I held Brenda's folder for her and somehow she foond a way to free the walker from the trunk of the van. She thanked me for my help and took the folder back. Just then as I walked to the right side of the van I heard a teen-age boy say, "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!", again.

Jolene resumed with the yelling. "They didn't say that! They didn't say that!"

"Did you hear that?", I asked La Netta.

"What?", asked La Netta.

"The WH-word."

"That boy said, 'What?'", said La Netta.

"Oh."

Jolene kept on yelling. Then she said, "Sit down! Sit down! N-napnin, napnin! N-napnin, napnin!"

"I've never heard Jolene yelling at you before," said La Netta.

"I haven't either," said Brenda. "This is a feisty woman!"

I thought I was going to hear Jolene's wet, baby-like voice yell at me for the rest of the duration of the ride home. Luckily, I didn't. But this was this a bolt from someone whose comments usually consist of complaining about her leg hurting or talking about a food being her favorite.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The exe on the pyramid

Brenda and I went to get Chinese food today. While I was getting my money out, I pulled out a ten-dollar bill amongst several one-dollar bills. The dollar bills were so crumpled up that I saw the exe on the pyramid on the back of it.

I gave the woman the ten-dollar bill and she gave me three ones in change. I covered my eyes and looked at the sides, the edges. Two were on the pyramid side, so I turned those over. Then I put all the bills together, folding them top-side-out, and put them in my sandwich bag. I felt around for the plastic silverware in my bag with my eyes closed, and took it out.

While we were in the van, the radio was playing songs. Now, Brenda likes the gospel station, so today the station was playing a song in which I thought I heard the words "I've got my exe". I listened more closely, and it said "I've got my eyes (I've got my eyes), Eyes on the prize (Eyes on the prize)". Being typical for a gospel song, it repeated those words again and again.

All this saying "eyes" would make it more difficult to purge off the exe on the dollar bill. I would have to purge for each time they said "eyes". I'd also have to purge off the "eyes" in "prize", and also the "eye" sound in "I've" and "my".

"I don't like this song", I told Brenda.

Brenda turned it down. "You didn't turn it off all the way -- it's still on", I said.

Brenda finally turned it off. I had about twenty iterations of "I
ve got my eyes (I've got my eyes), Eyes on the prize (Eyes on the prize)" to purge off.

Brenda ate her Chinese food, then said, "That wasn't txsty at all."

"Blechhh! You said the T-word!", I said.

"I said, 'txsty'."

"Blechhh! Stop saying that!"

"Oh, the T-word. I thought you said the P-word. Now I have another one to learn."

"You said that one once before."

"But you didn't respond to it."

"Yes, I did. It was after you bought something at Ikea -- no, wait, it was Chinese food."

I purged off a few /ai/ sounds as we made our way to Miller's Knots. Brenda said "nice" and I had to purge off the "ice" in "nice", because purging off "txsty" includes purging off "ice xxxxx". I finally succeeded in purging off two "txsty"s. Then Brenda wanted my help in getting Jolene's wheelchair out.

After I got the wheelchair out, I got back in and Brenda closed the door. I cleared the rest of the "eye"s. Every /ai/ sound I heard. Then I tackled the exe on the pyramid.

A few "adoleye" thrusts in the middle of my groin. Four "adoleye"s on the left, and four "adoleye"s on the right. Then a big, lip-biting "adoleye" right in the middle. I tried to do one to capture the median nature of the pyramid exe, like a piece of hot dog, then I didn't feel that it had swept it all away so I tried again, and again. I repeated the procedure until I had scratched along the sides of my groin and gone up over my abdomen with them. Then I did one right above my penis and scooped it up along the sides inside my legs. I repeated the same action, with just the right feeling, and I had purged off the exe. My groin was bleeding when I was done with it.

Even though it was Monday, I didn't have an appointment with John when I got home. I ate my Chinese food instead.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I got to be a praying mantis!

It was a Fun Friday on Friday, which means Stan collected Emanuel and Ken and Charles and Aaron and took them all over to my house where everyone ate Chinese food. When everyone else was done, Stan brought the carton of broccoli and shrimp to me, where I finished it off with my chopsticks. Then we had to make a long ride in a van.

As everyone else was getting in, I stooe outside with my ears plugged so I wouldn't hear them telling one another to scxxt over. It wasn't long until I got in myself and the group drove off.

"At my program", said Charles, "There's a girl named Alicia Romero, and I'm having problems with her. She always takes up the seat. I tell her to scxxt over, but she takes up the seat. I keep telling her to scxxt over . . ." Charles went on, saying the SC-word four times in total.

"Why don't you just tell her to move over?", I said.

"I don't want to be mean to her, I don't want to disrespect her, I just want to get her to scxxt over."

"OK," said Stan, "Let's talk about something else." Stan could detect my aversion to the SC-word.

"Now, I've got a Selebi", said Bernard.

"A centipede?", asked Charles.

"No, not a centipede, a Selebi."

"What do you call that green Pokémon . . . the one Misty was afraid of"?, asked Aaron.

"No, not a Caterpie, a Selebi", Bernard said.

They continued to talk about Pokémon while Stan began to talk on the cellphone. Then Aaron called my name, at the same time as the other two conversations.

"My head is going to explode!", I exclaimed.

"Guys, can we have some quiet time?", asked Stan.

Everyone quieted down until Stan finished his cellphone conversation.

Pretty soon the conversations about Pokémon from the three Poké-nuts resumed. Stan tried to get some quiet time for the van several more times.

Then, he came up with an idea. "First one to talk is a dodo bird", he said.

Charles laughed a little while later. "Charles loses," said Stan.

Then, Stan decided to start another round. "First one to talk is a snail", he said. "No wait, that's not funny. What can we do that's funny?"

"How about a praying mantis?", I suggested.

"What's that?", asked Stan.

"It's one of those green insects you find in your garden. They stand on four legs, and then they have two of their legs up in the air, held together like they're praying, so they can catch an insect."

"Now, that's funny", said Stan.

Everything was quiet until I began coughing. "James loses", said Stan.

So I got to be a praying mantis!

Stan ran another round. "What can we do that's funny?", he asked.

"How about a slug?", asked Aaron.

"OK". A little while later, Stan asked Aaron, "Now Aaron, what did you do at program today?" Oh that's right, you can't talk, we're being silent."

"You talked," said Aaron, "That means you lose".

Stan stopped the game, and the conversations about Pokémon resumed.

"I know you'd rather be in your room", Stan said to me, "But this is therapeutic for you. You're interacting with your brothers, and your brothers are all you have."

"Now, Bernard
", Charles said to his (biological) brother, "Blastoise is the hardest of the three starter Pokémon to raise. It's very important that you have a good Blastoise." Charles continued to lecture, repeating himself, on Blastoise. "Now --" he started again. Charles' voice has all the didactic self-certainty of a schoolmarm, the way he talks. I could just see him holding up a McGuffey primer as he speaks.

Stan cut Charles off and asked for some more quiet time. We then picked up Jason. "Scxxt over", said Charles, as Jason was getting in.

"Rrrrrrrrrr!"

And we continued on the drive. Stan had forgotten food and had to go back to my house to bring it to Aaron's house.

Stan asked me, "Are you going to have to purge?"

"Yes", I replied.

"I know why. But you didn't growl, you handled it very well."

"I asked Charles why he doesn't ask Alicia to move over."

"You did," said Stan. "Don't worry, we'll be getting you home real soon."

Stan dropped Charles and Aaron off, in addition to dropping off Ken. Then he headed to Wendy's to pick up his own dinner.

I heard one more word as we were driving home. Stan was in his phone call and said, "We've got a hot mxss . . ."

"Ewwwwwww!", I responded, with my mouth filling up with saliva.

"I'm sorry, James", said Stan.

When Stan finished the cellphone call, he spoke to me. "I want to apologize for saying that word. I had to say that word, because I was really angry. Will you forgive me, James?"

"Yes, Stan," I said.

Stan then drove home and let me in my room. I purged off five SC-words. I could feel carrot soup inside of me, as if I were eating minestrone with the carrots in it. Then I did the M-word. After several minutes in my room, I sat down and surfed the Net until Stan came in, bringing me my pill and some codeine for my cough.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Everything about CIWP

The other day I posted about how the urgent care clinic is not good for people with OCD. Well, it seems that CIWP was not made for people with OCD either.

When I first joined, I was the only client at this program to have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eventually, we got some client named Sean Groom who has OCD too, but the program still seems more suited for other people, such as all the mentally retarded people here.

For starters, the program is all about going places. Walking into stores. Being at CIWP exposes me to places where I hear words. There is the frequent "Whxxps" in public places. Then there's the talking about "ice xxxxx". When I first joined, I would hear the /ai/ sound without being able to hear the context everywhere I went. It sounded as if people were saying "keep an exe on". I could have sworn I heard "exe on" a lot. Eventually the "exe on" thing subsided, but I still have to ask whether I heard the WH-word sometimes. I also have to hold on to La Netta and not look at the shelves when we go these places, so I don't see their Dipser-man and Winnxe the Pooh stuff, in addition to the ice xxxxx and plastic silverware that some places have.

Then you have riding in the vans. There's the classic problem of the coaches telling clients to scxxt over when they're sitting in the wrong seat, and there's the endless conversation between coaches. Sometimes logaesthetes are exposed to two conversations going on: one between two coaches (or a coach and a client), and one between a client and another client. You have to listen out to both conversations for the words.

Thirdly, there's the cellphone use by coaches at CIWP so even when the client and a coach are alone the client may still be exposed to conversation. You can never truly be alone because there's always the possibility that you'll hear that ringtone and soon your coach will be chatting away. The coaches often get so engrossed in their cellphone conversations that they forget to watch what they say, and they'll slip up and say one of those words. Once Darnell used the M-word three times in a cellphone conversation before he realized he better terminate the conversation because he was going to keep saying it.

And let's not forget the road trips and driving around the area. You have to look down when you're driving unless you want to see the Frosty Freeze sign or the ice xxxxx cones on other ice xxxxx places.

And there are also all the clients and coaches alike who want to listen to the radio. Many clients like stations where they play rap -- stations like KMEL and Wild Ninety-whatever-it-is. Since I don't know the rap songs, I have to listen to every word of every song. Just let me chill! Coaches try to give every client a chance to listen to the radio station she or he likes, so if one client likes the rap station and another client has logaesthesia, guess who's going to be left purging for long hours. Some of the coaches even like KBLX, which is a disaster because of the risk of hearing the M-word on a traffic report at any time of day. When I was first assigned to Wanda's group, Wanda would listen to KBLX even though I hated the station.

And I gotta mention restrooms. At the office there is a male restroom that has no stalls and only one toilet, with no urinals. I find the higher-functioning Gen-X male clients don't want to share a restroom with me, even though we're both guys. (The males in my generation don't mind.) Even when I find a client who's willing to share a restroom with me, the staff won't let two people in the men's room at the same time. As a result, I don't iave unlimited time to stand in there purging. Sometimes I'll be purging, and then Lita or Maria will knock and tell me someone else needs to use the restroom. The women's restroom, on the other hand, is big enough for several clients. There is blatant gender discrimination at CIWP. And when we're on the road, CIWP moves so fast that there isn't enough time to spend all the time you need at the restrooms in McDonald's or Ross.

CIWP is difficult for people who have to wash their hands. I might discover a speck of bug on my hand, or sometimes my sleeve will slip while handling my seatbelt and I'll get something that looks like cobwxb on my hand, and I'll tell the staff that I need to go to the restroom. Sometimes we're miles away from the nearest place that has a restroom with soap. Often the coach will need to get to the next person's house to do pick-ups or drops and I'll sit for about an hour with something on my hand, the ostracized hand held away from the rest of my body in exile. We could be at our lunch site when I have to wash my hands, and the coach will be so inflexible in pursoit of staying on schedule that she or he will make me stand at the site for a long time with no soap around.

At the CIWP office, if you spend your time in one room (other than the restroom), you're going to hear conversation from the adjacent room or from the hall. If you don't want to hear any words, the only place you can hang out is the lobby, and Lita won't let me sleep on the lobby bench.

CIWP has sundry and happy clients who have mental retardation, schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, Down's syndrome and pica. I'm sure they're all learning and growing from being at this program. But for me, being exposed to CIWP is only making my symptoms worse. I'd like to get out of program and just lie down in a house for a few weeks. I really need a break in a day program that was made for every disability but mine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So you're not the same guy I was talking to?

Don't you hate it when you have a conversation in a vehicle, and someone on a cellphone, and the radio playing all at the same time? What, you don't? Well, I do.

Stan decided to take me, along with Aaron and Charles, to John. Bernard and Jason were also in the van. On the way there, Aaron joined a conversation with Charles and Bernard about Pokémon. Aaron was complaining that he had spent hundreds of coins on a TM to teach Thunderbolt to his Gligar, only to discover that Gligar couldn't learn Thunderbolt.

Stan had the radio on to KMEL, a rap station, as he drove. And to top it all off, he started a conversation on his cellphone.

The conversations alternated between Stan's cellphone and the boys talking about Pokémon. All the while, I stayed silent and listened to them. Then, in the middle of the song, I thought I heard the word "whxxps".

If I could find out what song this was, I could look the lyrics up on the Internet to verify whether they really did say the WH-word. I asked Stan whether he knew what song this was, and got no reply.

Then I spoke to Aaron. "Aaron, do you know this song?"

"I can't really hear it," said Aaron.

"Stan, can you turn the song up?"

"I'm on the phone", said Stan.

I already knew that. "Can you turn the song up?"

"I can't,
because I'm on the phone."

Oh. So that's what he meant.

"Charles, do you know this song?", I asked.

"No, James, I don't." Bernard didn't know either.

Finally I got to John's office. I could have asked him to purge, but I decided not too take that time out. Instead I talked with John about Lamesha, and about the time my radio disappeared. He had read my blog entry "28 going on 29".

I talked about the conversations I had had with Lamesha via Instant Message. We had IM'ed each other, and I had learned that Lamesha was very sick on the Sunday she didn't come. She had taken several trips to the hospital, and when I told her about being in the urgent care clinic, she wanted me to tell her I was all right. Lamesha also shared photos of her wedding.

When I got back into the van, I was subjected to some more rap. One of the songs sang about "a dress with the little bxtty waist", and I would have to purge that off when I got home.

We went to the pet store together, and Stan decided to take me to look at the fish. Two employees were working with the fish. They had a sieve full of dead fish with them. It sounded as if one of them said, "Looks here", and then he began talking about how the fish was swimming into another tank.

Did he say "Whxxps here?" There was only one way to make sure he said "Looks".

"Sir"?, I asked. I finally got his attention. "Did you say, 'Looks here'?"

He told me to repeat.

"Did you say 'Looks', L-O-O-K-S?"

Then Stan came over. "This is my client. He does that." Then he asked me what I was up too.

I told Stan that I was asking him whether he said "looks", to make sure he didn't say the WH-word.

"They're not thinking about the WH-word," said Stan.

"So, did he say 'looks'?"

"Mhm."

A little later the male employee talked to me. I talked to him, then I asked him whether he was the employee I had asked if he said "looks". He sad I hadn't asked him that.

"So you're not the same guy I was talking to?"

"Oh, you mean earlier? Yes, I am that guy."

"Oh, did you say, 'Looks here?' L-O-O-K-S?"

"No, I didn't." Maybe he did say "Whxxps" then.

When I got home I googled on the words "getting jiggy with it" and "two-step". It turned out it was the song "Two-step" by DJ Unk. The song had "whips" in it, but no "whxxps".

I purged off the "bxtty", and then purged off the WH-word. After that, I was free to eat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Everything about the urgent care clinic

Stan took me to the urgent care clinic in the hospital because of my cough. After we gave the woman at the desk my name, they had me sit down next to several other people in the waiting room.

This was a WAITING ROOM! With a TELEVISION SET playing! I sat and listened to the television, hoping it would be my turn soon so I could see the eoctor before they said any words.

They had a talk about nutrition. They kept saying something that sounded sort of like "ice xxxxx", even though it didn't really fit in the context. Then I heard something that sounded like "tastic", "fantastic" maybe? Did they say "txsty"? I had to go to the restroom.

I asked a lady where the restroom was and she showed me. Then I purged off "txsty", and did the "ice xxxxx" ritual several times. When I finished, I told Stan that I didn't want to wait in the waiting room.

Stan took me to a place outside the waiting room. "People are talking there", he said. He said I might hear a word, so he took me outside. Then he saw people talking outside. He took me back in and had me sit down by the people who were having a conversation in the second place he showed me.

Everything went fine in my seat for a few minutes, then I heard something that sounded like "ice xxxxx". Then I heard the person say it again. Then, a third time, I heard, "He wants us to take him out for ice xxxxx".

"Blechhh!", I said audibly. Then I asked the other people, "Where did Stan go?"

"He went to the left", one of them said and pointed. I walked left until Stan saw me and I told him I had heard a word and needed to go to the restroom.

I got back in that men's room and purged off those three I-words. It took a long time. Shortly after I finished, someone called my name.

A male doctor took my blood pressure and temperature. He told me to go back in the waiting room.

I waited until I got really uncomfortable with all the conversation, then I went back to the restroom. Just after I entered, Stan called me and told me it was my turn to see a woman.

The woman asked me my name, my birthdate, my Social Security number, what medications I had taken and whether I had been to this office before. She kept asking Stan and me for my Social Security number, but we kept explaining that I didn't have it memorized.

She then told me a doctor would see me when it was my turn.

"How long until the doctor sees me?"

"I don't know. There's no way of telling."

Just great. I walked around the edges, looking for the restroom so I could get back in and save myself from all this conversation and television. I kept walking around the edges of the room, with my eyes largely covered, but I didn't see
the restroom door -- just a few doors that were for employees only or that didn't open. I found an employee's desk with a screen in front of it, where someone might be there to help me. "Hello?" I asked. "Hello? Hello?" I must have said "Hello?" nine times. No one responded to me. There was a sign in front of the desk saying that if you are a pregnant woman, you should ask them for special assistance.

I walked to another desk, and no one was there. Then as I walked around, I walked right past Stan. "What's wrong?", Stan asked.

"I can't find the restroom."

"It's right next to you?"

"To my left?"

"To your right."

I found it on my left and walked in.

I purged off what sounded like the WH-word, then stayed in there some longer.

Then Stan knocked at the door, and said, "There are some people who would like to use the restroom. If you could come out to let them use it, that would be courteous of you."

"All right, Stan." I walked out, and looked around, but no one was in line. I asked Stan where they were, and he said they had left.

I spent hours in that small square room that leads into both the restrooms and a third room. Then Stan came in. He said it could be "a couple more hours" before a doctor sees me. "Do you still want to wait or do you want to leave?"

"Well, if we leave now, all this time we've spent waiting will go to waste. And if we come back, we'll have to go through this whole thing again."

"That's true. But you do really want to wait two more hours?"

"Yes, Stan. I'll just stay here for two more hours."

I entered the men's room. I took my sunglasses off and sat down on the toilet seat with my head resting in my knees.

About twenty minutes later, I heard Stan say they had called my name.

I walked out, then walked back in for my sunglasses. I followed Stan into a room where I lay back in a seat. A male doctor with a shirt with dragon print and tattoos of dragons on his arms talked to me. Then a little while later a female doctor came in.

She asked me questions about my cough. I told her that my throat hurt when I coughed or swallowed, and that I was producing a lot of saliva. She asked me whether it was worse at night, and I said yes. She told me that what I had was nothing but the common cold. She did prescribe some Benadryl. (Stan's not allowed to administer medicine unless a doctor prescribes it for me. Yes, living in a group home sucks.)

Everything about the urgent care clinic provided pangs of discomfort to me. The place was not set up for people with logaesthesia. The building is wheelchair-accessible, and they provide special accommodations for pregnant women, but what about us? Clients sit in waiting rooms where other clients are speaking. They have a television in the waiting room, which blurts out words all day long, sometimes at the same time patients are speaking. Only one person can
be in each restroom at a time, which makes it difficult for people who want to stay in the restroom all the time, or who just need to get in there to purge right now. And to top it all off, clients are forced to endure this for several hours. Can't we all have a no-talking room just for us?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lamenting over Lamesha

On Sunday, February 3, I called Lamesha. She said she was still ill with vertigo, but that she would come over to visit me one week later. She said to call during the week.

On Wednesday, February 6, I called her again, and she said her husband would drive her over Sunday -- "for sure".

Then Sunday came. That morning I wanted to call Lamesha to make sure she remembered to come over at 11:00. At 8:00 I called her, but no one was there. I called her at 9:00, and at 10:00.

Tiffany saw me. She said, "This isn't the first time Lamesha hasn't come over when she said she would". She said that even though Lamesha "may say that she's sick", Tiffany thought Lamesha was "playing games". Tiffany said Lamesha should just tell me outright that she wasn't interested in me anymore. She also said to "find another woman". She made it sound as if Lamesha were my girlfriend.

11:00 came and Lamesha did not come. I grew saeder and sadder as the hours passed. By the time the sky got dark I lost all hope of Lamesha coming over that week-end. I tried to call her to find out why she didn't come, but I didn't get any answers. No one answered the telephone.

That night I told Stan about how Lamesha didn't come over today. Stan said, "Maybe you should move on. She's very busy and she's got five kids." He said I should stop calling her all the time. He also said that there were people like him, like Pia and like Tiffany who were there for me. Stan also said it was rude to call without leaving a message on her answering machine, even though since I hang up before the beep Lamesha wouldn't even know I called.

The next morning, Monday, I tried to reach Lamesha in the morning but no one was there. Stan caught me with the portable phone and asked, "Still calling Lamesha?"

"Yes", I admitted.

"Are you going to think about what I told you last night?"

I said yes just to get him off of my back.

Later that day, I had an appointment with John. As usual, when I sat down on his couch that day he asked what I wanted to talk about.

I said I wanted to talk about you-know-whom. John asked me how it felt that she wasn't coming, and I told him how it saddened me.

I discussed the two theories -- Tiffany's "playing games" theory and the hypothesis that Lamesha was ill. I told him that it was possible Lamesha didn't come or call on Sunday because she was in the hospital, as she had been the first time she had this illness.

There were pieces of evidence against Lamesha trying to avoid me. For one thing, she really did come over in December. And for another thing, when she came over in December, she told me about her vertigo. This was before she started missing her dates with me, so she couldn't be making it up.

"So, it seems it's the one of the two possibilities that you her hoping for", said John.

"Yes", I said.

John said that if she were sick, then hearing the sound of my voice might help her get better. He suggested I leave a message on Lamesha's answering machine.

After the appointment ended and we walked out the door, John said he had gotten an answering machine message from Stan. "Stan said to tell you that as much as you love Lamesha, he and Pia and your family all love you too."

Stan picked me up just about four or five minutes later, and I entered the van as Aaron left to enter John's office. He asked me how the meeting went and I said it was great.

"Did you talk about perseverating over Lamesha?", Stan asked.

"I did."

"That's super!" Stan told me Lamesha would like a message.

So today I called Lamesha to leave a message on her answering machine. Her hosband was home and said she'd be back in about thirty minutes. Thirty minutes later I called and heard only silence. Then the next time I called, the phone rang with no one answering.

Then, while I was in the bathroom, Tiffany handed me the portable. She said it was Lamesha.

Lamesha's son identified himself and spoke to me, asking me for my email. Lamesha had gone off to a visit with her doctor and wanted to write to me. So I told him my email address.

Now Lamesha can write me without having to be on at home the same time I call. She said I'd be the first person she visited when she got better. Now, we can correspond over the Internet to hasten that day.

This post is dedicated to Lamesha, and made in hopes that she gets well again. You can share your wishes here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Enzingiyi vs. the kingdom Plantae

On Wednesday, Brenda was driving alone. She had Jolene, Ken and me. We made our trip to Lucky's and she parked right next to a wooden area filled with tanbark and plants. The plants resembled Watsonia or Phormium -- definitely something from the order Liliales.

Brenda got out and began to lift Jolene's wheelchair. Then she told me she needed help with the wheelchair. I opened the side door, and walked to the edge of the car. As soon as I got to the edge I felt something touching my hair. I looked down among the plants of Liliales and sure enough in their middle there was a tree trunk. I followed the tree up to the top and I saw the tips of branches reaching the top of my car. I rolled up my sleeves and inspected these branches for cobwxbs.

That was when Brenda said that Jolene's wheelchair wouldn't fit there and we had to move the car so we'd have room for her wheelchair. She told me to get into the van, but I said no, I had to finish looking at these leaves. I scrutinized every leaf of every branch that could possibly have touched my head. Finally, I got back in.

"I was looking for cobvebs", I told Brenda.

"There were no cobwxbs in those trees", Brenda said.

"How do you know? Did you look at them?"

"Yes! When you were looking at the tree, I was checking it out to find out what you could possibly be looking for."

My trip out to get leaves touching my hair all went to waste, as we had to move to another spot to get out and get the wheelchair out of the van. We then went into Lucky's, where I got a seafood salad and a bottle with a handle of fruit punch.

Later that same day, Brenda announced that we were going to Fernandez Park to practice our street-crossing skills.

"Where are we?", I asked Brenda.

"Pinole", she said.

"What street?", I asked.

"Pinole?", she said.

"Yes, I know, but what street in Pinole?"

"San Pablo."

San Pablo in Pinole. That's the site of a Frosty Freeze, an ice xxxxx fast food restaurant. I can't look when we pass by Frosty Freeze because the anthropomorphic cone is too much for me. If I saw that cone I would be purging all day and all night.

Where she landed wasn't the place I usually think of when we think of Fernandez Park; it was some place with stores. We would have to cross the street to get to the park site.

I got out Jolene's wheelchair, then held onto Brenda's arm. I decided to keep my exes closed for the whole walk.

Brenda walked with Ken and me, pushing the wheelchair. My
right arm was interlocked with Brenda's left one, as I walked to Brenda's left. I really didn't want to walk by Frosty Freeze, or see any Frosty Freeze bags littered on the ground. We got to the end of a sidewalk.

"Is it safe to cross now?", Brenda asked.

I looked around with my exes closed. "Don't see any cars on the left . . . don't see any cars on the right." Of course it was safe . . . otherwise Brenda wouldn't have let us cross after I told her I didn't see any cars, even if I said I saw none.

We crossed the road, then we all walked (or wheeled) farther down. A little farther, and I felt something to my left rubbing up against me.

I opened my exes. Oh no! It was a bush! Not the kind that chokes on pretzels and fries innocent Texans. A leafy bush with a stem going into the dirt. I screamed.

"Don't worry", said Brenda. But I looked. "Don't look at it. L
et's keep moving", she said.

"I'm looking for cobvebs", I said.

"Don't look for them; you don't like to see them. If you look for them you're going to dinf them."

"I see some!"

"There are no cobwxbs in that bush."

"I see one right here. See this glimmering line?"

"I don't see any."

I pointed as close to the glimmering line as I could without touching it. "See this glimmering line? It's right here."

That was when Brenda felt around in the bush. She stuck her hand exactly where I had pointed. "I don't feel anything."

At the end of our trip, we got back into the van. "Brenda, why didn't you tell me about the bush?"

"Because it was clean.
I looked at it."

"Well, you didn't see the cobvebs. Why did we have to do street-crossing on San Pablo in Pinole?"

"Well, if I skipped it, and one of you said that we didn't go there, I would get written up."

"Couldn't we cross the street somewhere else?"

"Where would you like to go?"

"Somewhere far away from Pinole."

"Berkeley?"

"As long as it's not on University." University Ave. in Berkeley has another Frosty Freeze.

When I got home, I told Stan I needed my hair washed. He said Tiffany would do it when she got here at 4:00. At 4:00 Tiffany finally came, and I asked her to wash my hair. She said she needed to prepare food for the other clients eirst. All that time I could not touch my hair or scratch it. Then she said she needed to put on gloves to wash my hair, and had to wait for Stan to get back home so he could give her the gloves. Finally came the moment I had been anticipating all day: Tieeany poured shampoo in my hair while washing it over the bathroom sink. All the cobwxbs would come out. And Tiffany wouldn't get any on her hands. Then I dried off with Daffy Duck.

It was finally 5:20 when I could eat my In-N-out Burger without having to worry about cobwxbs falling into my hamburgers.

The next day, I related the whole story to La Netta. "Why did you have to schedule it in Pinole?"

"Well, that's a pretty safe place to cross the street", she said. "And you won't see Frosty Freeze if you cross the street there."

'Well, it's so close to the place that I'm worried about seeing a Frosty Freeze bag."

"Just the words 'Fr
osty Freeze' bother you?"

"It's that anthropomorphic cone mascot," I explained.

"Oh, I understand," said La Netta.

"Do they actually have the anthropomorphic cone on their bags?"

"I think it's just a brown paper bag."

"Oh, good."

We'll have to do something about these ridiculous "street-crossing" practices on our schedule. Especially the ones on San Pablo in Pinole. Because looking across the street with my exes closed does not teach us how to cross the street.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Aaaaaaaaaargh!

I'm in the search for lyrics for an old school song, just to know whether they say the C-word.

You see, back on Friday the day started out well, with only one coach (La Netta). But after we went to the office, Shirley was added to the group and she brought Rodney with her. As she tried to get on Jolene's seatbelt, she said, "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!", I responded immediately. I told La Netta to forget about giving me my pill.

As we made our drive, Shirley talked about Hometown Buffet. She said, "I had ice xxxxx . . ."

"Blechhh!" I told La Netta I would need to go somewhere to purge -- fast. Shirley then started on the cake she had.

The conversation continued, and I asked La Netta where our next stop was.

"Davis Park", she said. Ah! A place with a restroom where I could purge to my heart's content.

Then a song came on KISS-FM 98.1, the old school station.

The first line, I heard the singer say "cutxe" as about the second word. It sounded as if he was addressing his loved one as cutxe.

"La Netta, did they say the C-word?", I asked.

"They didn't say the C-word", said La Netta.

"What did they say then?"

"I don't know, but it wasn't the C-word." La Netta said she had heard this song before.

I asked Brenda whether she knew this song, and she said no.

I asked Edward whether he knew this song, and he said no.

I asked Lisa whether she knew this song.

"If it's not 98.1, I won't know it."

"This is 98.1, Lisa."

"Well, I still don't know it. Sorry."

Eventually we got to Davis Park. I asked La Netta to get out a piece of paper and a pen. I read to her two phrases I had heard from that song. When I got home I was going to google it, to see whether that song had the C-word in it.

When I stepped out of the van I saw a lid to my left.

"Cookies & Cream", it read. "Made with real ice xxxxx."

Gross! I would purge that off first.

I went in the restroom and purged off the word "cream": "Cradoleam, adolice cradoleam". Then I tried purging off the I-word on the lid, but did not meet with success. So I worked on purging off all the times I can heard /ais/ in conversation: nice, myself, I said, etc. Then I tried purging off the I-word itself, but I just couldn't get the dairy flavor to come up, which would indicate that the word was being purged out of me.

I heard a radio. They said "KBLX"! Someone must have parked right in front of me! I walked outside and someone was carrying a radio with her. She was walking by. I walked up to La Netta with my ears plugged and asked whether the radio was still around. She said no. So I walked back into the restroom.

La Netta soon came and asked me if I was ready. I said no. She came in a second time, while I purged and purged. I tried to get the I-word to come up. Finally, I felt a cold, iced feeling as I said "adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam" on the lid and "adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam" for Shirley. I purged away at a quick "whxxps" ritual and then I was done.

I hopped back in the van, and we dropped Edward and Lisa off. Rodney wanted McDonald's.

We then went to McDonald's for Rodney. I had brought along a coupon gift certificate and given it to La Netta that morning. I was worried about dipsers and cobwxbs, since it had been on my dresser for over a year and I already saw four dead ants in it. La Netta said she'd give it to me, but I told them I wanted her to hand it to them.

Finally La Netta agreed to hand it to them as I paid for my twenty-piece McNuggets meal. The certificate was worth $4, so I handed them $3 in dollar bills for my $6.something purchase and got a few coins back. La Netta ordered a hazelnut iced coffee. I told La Netta my plan was to check the song lyrics on the Internet, then eat my McNuggets.

With my McNuggets in hand, I went back to my van. Shirley saw La Netta's coffee and asked her about her "milkshxke".

La Netta told her that it wasn't a milkshxke, it was "coffee".

"Got ice xxxxx in it?", asked Shirley.

"Blechhh!", I said loudly. Shirley apologized.

I began purging, before I told La Netta I needed to use the McDonald's restroom.

"We're driving home right now", she said.

"But I can't hold it in!", I exclaimed.

"You'll be home very shortly."

I was clearly angry with Shirley for saying the I-word for the second time today. We talked about getting her used to not saying the words.

"I'm just glad I live in America", said Shirley.

We got home and I still wasn't done purging off the I-word. As I took my McNuggets, I asked La Netta for the paper with the song lyrics on it.

"Oh shoots!", said La Netta.

"What?"

"Lisa then took that paper into her house."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

I told La Netta to call Lisa's home and ask her what the paper said. La Netta said she didn't know the phone number. I suggested she could call the office and ask them her number, but La Netta said, "Everyone's in the field today."

"Then how am I going to know if I need to purge?"

"I'll tell you what. When I get to the office today, I'll call Lisa and ask her. Then you can call me and I'll tell you."

La Netta and I agreed that I should call her at 2:45 on the dot.

We got home and I purged and purged off the I-word. This was a particularly milky one, a gloppy I-word. When I got done I looked at the clock. 2:30. I had spent thirty minutes purging off that word
(or that two-word phrase).

I looked at the clock through 2:43, 2:44 and 2:45, then when it said 2:46 I called the CIWP office. It was Maria. La Netta wasn't there. Maria agreed to have La Netta call me.

A little later, someone knocked at my door and told me I had a phone call.

I spoke and at first I thought it was Kulwinder's voice. "Kulwinder?"

"This is La Netta."

"Oh! La Netta!"

"Get a load of this. I was unable to reach Lisa, so why don't you just purge and then eat your Nuggets?"

"Ask the people in the office if they know the song." I told her the two words I remembered from the song: "I'm addicted". I told her it was an old school song, which she already knew. She asked if there was a beat or anything else I remembered, and I said no. La Netta spoke to the people in the office, and none of them knew a song like that. I told her I'd just google it.

I said good-bye to La Netta and typed this query in on Google:

"i'm addicted" cutxe lyrics

I actually typed in "cutxe" with an I instead of an X. I was carfeul not to look at the text window on the Google page. I looked at the results, which it was safe to look at because of Tasslehoff_B's Greasemonkey filter. No matching songs.

I then searched http://www.lyrics.ch -- a site that used to be good for finding songs by words in the lyrics before the intellectual property police took it down. The new version was entirely in German, and I had to sign up, but I tried it anyway. I searched addicted in the "Songtexte" field, but got no songs with "addicted" in them.

Then I gave up and purged off the C-word. It was long.

That week-end I hoped for a call from La Netta, or maybe even Lisa. No one called.

On Monday I got Tiffany and Rosa. No La Netta.

Then came today. I asked La Netta to make sure Lisa brought the paper in when she came out of her house. La Netta told me that Maria that called Lisa and Lisa said she didn't have a paper with lyrics on them. La Netta had only assumed Lisa took the paper because it wasn't in the van.

When Lisa came, she said herself that she didn't have the paper.

So I need your help in finding this old school song. It has what sounds like "cutxe" in the first line, but it could be another word beginning with C or K. It's the second word of that line. It has the words "I'm addicted". The song is not "Addicted to Love", "Hooked on a Feeling" or "Her Eyes". Some mention of love. Any ideas?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Situation normal all fouled up

On Thursday, Kay picked me up along with Jolene and Edward. She only had three, so there was no other staff for her to have conversations with. La Netta was with Wanda's group that day instead of with her osoal group. We had on out schedule Barnes and Noble, PetSmart, Target and then Lucky's for lunch, although she said we could get lunch at the Chinese restaurant right nearby Lucky's instead of actually going into the Lucky's deli. It was shaping up to be a great day.

Just one problem . . .

When Kay had taken the van that morning, there was no medical supplies box in the van. She complained to the people at the office about how it was missing, but they had told her to just pick up the clients since she was already running late. Now she was going back to the office to get it.

Edward left the van once they got to the office. He headed into the office for the box. I asked whether I should get out Jolene's wheelchair to make it quicker getting into and out of the office.

"No, because Edward already went to the office, and I can't lift it."

"I meant for me to lift her wheelchair. I'm the one who gets her wheelchair when we're driving with La Netta."

"Oh, then very good. Well, go ahead."

I got Jolene's wheelchair out and soon Jolene, Kay and I were in front of the office. There was Lita.

Lita told Kay that the latter had had several opportunities to get the box at the office. The two got into an argument. Lita said that Kay took ten minutes just washing the car when he could have been doing other things, and accused Kay of wasting time.

At the end of the argument, Kay quit and went home early. She would not drive her clients around today.

Lita told me what had happened. "But what about her clients?", I asked.

"That's exactly what I said", said Lita. "I said, 'You're not being fair to your clients', and she said I wasn't being fair to her."

Donna came for Edward. Then I started worrying about how I would get to Target that day.

I was told that La Netta and Wanda were coming to get me (and Jolene). Unfortunately, they already had four clients. SC-word, anyone? And that didn't answer my question as to how we would go to Target.

Lita said that La Netta and Wanda would take me to Target. The people in the office called La Netta and let her know about Target.

Eventually the van arrived. I stepped out of the office and towards La Netta and Wanda's van. As I was walking the way, I heard Wanda calling, "Scxxt over, Rodney!"

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

I immediately ran back into the office to use the restroom. Then La Netta called me and said that we had to go now if I wanted to go to Target. We were short on time. I asked La Netta to ask Wanda to change the radio station from KBLX to Alice. She told me to ask Wanda herself, so I did. With Alice playing, the whole van was on its way to Target.

At Target, only La Netta and I got out. First we visited the clothing section, my arm interlocking with La Netta's, so La Netta would have something short-sleeved and light to wear in this hot weather. When we made it to the juice aisle and I picked out two ponderous Market Pantry apple juice bottles.

At Target, I told La Netta about our group's plans to get Chinese food today. I told her I wanted Chinese food.

We soon finished our shopping at Target and were out the door.

"You're going to need to compromise with the group", said La Netta. "They're already doing you a favor by not listening to a radio station they're used to listening to. If you can't get Chinese food today, you're going to have to get your lunch somewhere else in this area."

La Netta told Wanda I wanted Chinese food, and Wanda and I got some. La Netta started to go in and order too, but changed her mind.

While we were listening to Alice, a commercial came on. "Commercial break," I said.

A little later, when Wanda hadn't turned the commercials off, I said, "Psst -- Wanda -- commercial break!"

"I didn't hear", said Wanda.

The time passed and Wanda still did not turn off the commercial. "Why hasn't she turned the commercials off?", I asked La Netta.

"Just listen to the commercials, and I'll listen out for you and make sure they don't do traffic", said La Netta.

"Alice doesn't do traffic between 9 and 5", I said.

The third commercial during the break was one for shows on CBS. I heard "exe", and wondered whether it was "Exe on the Bay".

"Did they say 'E-word on the Bay', La Netta?", I asked.

"No, it was 'Eating Out on the Bay'."

It torned out La Netta wasn't even familiar with the Liam Mayclem show called "Exe on the Bay". I have to turn Alice off around 11:00 every day, because they feature Liam Mayclem and say the name of his show.

I plugged my ears but still heard a long I sound. Then I unplugged my ears and heard them say, "On the Bay".

As we were nearing Kennedy Grove, the point where we would eat lunch, I started groaning.

"James, what's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"My stomach!"

At first it was just intestinal pains. But as we spent our time at Kennedy Grove, it became worse. I was treading over the leafy ground when I heard my intestines rumble. Climbing over the grass, I made it into the men's restroom. I began purging off the SC-word. "Scadoloot over, scaeoloot over, scadoloot over. But as I purged, I found it increasingly hard to concentrate. There was feces inside of me -- possibly diarrhea -- that wanted to come out. I spent most of my energy holding it in and couldn't keep the carroty taste coming up as I did my "scadoloot over"s.

I zipped up my pants and walked out to where La Netta & Co. were hanging. I explained that my intestines were in pain and I couldn't hold it in, yet I didn't feel safe using the Kennedy Grove restroom. I asked La Netta to take me somewhere else before we did drops.

"We can't go somewhere else, since this is our last program site, and then we're doing drops," La Netta said.

I explained that I couldn't hold it in that long.

"Then why can't you use the restroom?"

"The place is full of cobvebs. I'm afraid I'm going to get some cobvebs on my hand if I use their toilet paper."

"In the women's restroom, it's clean and there are no cobwxbs on the toilet paper. I only see cobwxbs when I look up at the ceiling. I wouldn't let Jolene use the restroom if the place weren't suitable for it."

"I can't hold it in, La Netta."

"Then use the restroom here."

"Then how will I wipe?"

"Use the toilet paper they have there."

I explained that there was an octagonal orb dipser's wxb in front of the metal dispenser that had toilet paper in it. There were more cobwxbs right around the lock for the stall, so I couldn't lock the stall if I went inside.

"Is there only one stall in the men's restroom?"

"Yes."

"Do you want to use the women's?"

So I went inside the women's restroom. I found the second stall and selected that one, going in and locking. Jolene, meanwhile, changed herself nearby.

I unzipped my pants and pulled my khakis and underwear down. I sat on the seat and oatmeal-like brown feces poured right out of me. I hoped people wouldn't be piqued at seeing a boy in there.

"Flush that down", said La Netta.

"I'm not done yet," I said.

"Flush it now to get rid of the smell, then when more comes out you can flush again."

Jolene changed her diaper with La Netta supervising. I had never been in a restroom with Jolene before.

I felt it all coming out. Then I didn't feel as if I had to go.

"That's all", I said. "Now I just need to wipe."

I wiped with several wads of cobwxb-free toilet paper. La Netta told me to flush so I didn't clog up the toilet. I flushed, then finished wiping and flushed again.

All I had to do now was wash my hands. I put the soap on, then rubbed back and forth, ten times for each finge. I washed with their unheated water, then I zipped up and was done.

I came out and finally got to Stan's house at 3:13. Rodney hopped right out of the van, then I followed him carrying the juices and Chinese food La Netta had stored in the trunk (were were eight people, after all).

I checked the Internet and . . . there was no "Eating Out on the Bay"! In this CBS commercial, they must have said "Exe on the Bay". I purged furiously and didn't eat my Chinese food until 8:00.

I could have had a great day with Kay. But because Lita had to confront her and bring up the topic of wasting time at the office, I got stuck with someone who uses the SC-word.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mysophobia? I think not.

I had a dream that I was in the backyard of my parents' house. I saw their jungle gym and put one hand down on it and one hand down on my shoe. I noticed that the jungle gym at the bottom, on the ground, had a cobwxb string on it. I had touched it with my hand! That would mean I would have to wash off cobwxbs.

I went inside my parents' house through the back door. I saw some stuff from my high school. A Campolindo champion or prom king was featured, and he had a clearly Japanese name. A first name, a hyphenated middle name and a last name, all made out of clearly Japanese syllables. It was something like Hirezagi Mutsushima-Sekitaneshi Omuwabe. I went over the name in my head, trying to convert each syllable to hiragana. While I went over it, the characters looked more Greek or Cyrillic and the name I realized was more Indian. Something with Rajethi in there. The last name was Sao.

I made it into the bathroom and started washing my hands. I got soap on both hands and rubbed them against each other. I saw this Sao boy as he came in and started talking about hand-washing with me. We talked about the name Sao versus another surname. I finally woke up in the middle of washing my hands.

Some experts in OCD talk about mysophobia -- the fear of dirt and germs. I could care less about whether I get dirt on my skin. For me, it's arachnotelophobia -- the fear of cobwxbs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two radio stations

On Monday, I ran into two problems caused by the radio.

The first was when we were parked in front of Burger King in the morning. Shirley turned the radio on, and the people on the radio were talking; the station was not playing music. When they continued talking, I said, "Ken, can you turn the radio off for me?" No one turned it off. "Ken? Ken?" No one responded.

So I just sat there and listened to the radio. Then, all of a sudden, I heard a man talking about women and their "ice xxxxx nuggets".

"Blechh!"

Then they said it again. "Ice xxxxx nuggets."

"Blechh!"

Shirley said, "I forgot about the words". She turned the radio station dial.

"Turn it off," I said.

She switched to two more stations and landed on one with music. Switching these radio stations was risky business, due to my kappabetalambdaxiphobia -- fear of KBLX.

"Just turn it off. Please."

"You can't get what you want all the time. I want to listen to music."

But if the station played, I'd keep hearing words with "ice" or "cream" in them, which would hold me up when trying to purge the I-word off. "I need to go to the restroom!"

I ran into Burger King, where I saw La Netta and Ken. Yes, Ken was in there. That solved the mystery of why we didn't hear Ken turn off the radio. I ran into the restroom and found a stall.

I began purging, but the constant talking in a radio-host voice wouldn't go away. I went outside and a radio station was playing in Burger King. "Did they do traffic?", I asked La Netta.

"No", she said.

Thank God. Now I know I wouldn't have to worry about the M-word in a traffic report. I could go back in and finish my purging.

I did some "adolice, adolice cradoleam, adolice, adolice cradoleam" thrusts, and then I managed to get a big "adolice cradoleam" to come up like chunks of tofutti. I got back in the van, but those were two I-words that could easily have been avoided.

When La Netta got in, I told the story to La Netta. I asked Shirley why she didn't tell me that Ken wasn't in the van when I was calling Ken's name.

"I didn't know what that meant."

She didn't know what I meant? "Well, when I say, 'Ken, Ken', that means I want to speak to Ken. When I say, 'La Netta', that means I want to speak to La Netta."

The second problem began when Emanuel listened to his portable radio. I heard that he was listening to Movin' 99.7.

Some songs played. Then, I heard the word "mxss" in a spoken, not sung voice.

Was this traffic? The word "mxss" used in connection with traffic has a much more severe purging ritual than other contexts of the M-word, so I was hoping it wasn't traffic. I asked Emanuel what it was right now.

"I don't know," he said. Emanuel listened. I figured that if it were traffic, he would immediately be able to identify it as traffic, but just in case . . .

"Is it traffic?", I asked.

"Yeah." Did he say "yeah"?

"So it's traffic."

"Yeah."

Just to make sure he's telling the truth . . . "May I listen to it?" A few seconds later:
"May I listen to it?" A few seconds later: "May I listen to it?"

Emanuel finally gave me an earbud. I placed it in my left ear and heard music. This wasn't traffic!

But it had been several seconds since I first asked him whether traffic was playing. They could have been doing traffic, and then finished by the time Emanuel finally gave me the earbud. "So they weren't doing traffic?", I asked.

"They were doing traffic when you asked, but they're not now", said Shirley. Of course Shirley couldn't hear any of what was playing on the radio -- she couldn't even hear them saying "99.7" -- so she wouldn't know.

"Emanuel?", I asked. "Emanuel?" Then a little later, "Emanuel?" Shirley jolted him out of his hypnosis.

"Yeah?", asked Emanuel.

"Does 99.7 do traffic all day long, or do they not do it between 9 and 5?"

"All day long", said Emanuel.

There was only one way to find out whether 99.7 could possibly have done traffic. When we got to a stop and La Netta went into Marshall's with Rodney, I asked Shirley to turn the radio dial to 99.7 so I could listen and see if they did traffic in between 9 and 5.

Shirley flipped through stations by pressing buttons. She got to 98.1 KISS-FM. I told her she could just go up on the dial and she'd get to 99.7.

She flipped twice after reaching 98.1. Was this it? I listened to what they were playing.

La Netta got in the van and I told her we were listening to 99.7. She flipped through stations. Apparently Shirley hadn't landed us at 99.7 after all.

"So that's how you do it?", Shirley asked her. Shirley didn't know how to go through the frequencies, as it turns out.

It was 11:00 when we finally got to 99.7. We listened to songs, then we listened to commercials. I explained to Shirley that this time I wanted to hear the commercials. I wanted it on for every second so I could find out whether they did traffic.

Robin was acting up and the coaches could sense that he was missing his window seat (I was sitting in the left seat of the back row), so they had all three of us in the back row get out. Then Robin got back in.

Unfortunately, Robin got in the middle seat of the back row. "Scxxt over!", said Shirley to Robin.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry! Move to that left seat! Robin! Scxxt over!"

"Rrrrrrrrrr!"

Finally Robin moved to the left. I sat in the middle, while Rodney got back in on the right.

We rested our van at a park for a while. La Netta asked if I wanted to get out to purge off the SC-words, but I said no. I had to stay in the van so I could listen for traffic.

We got to KFC and the radio still hadn't played traffic yet. This was looking better by the minute. While La Netta made her phone call, I asked her to listen for traffic. She turned the radio off, but said she'd turn it back on when I got out of the van and listen.

I ordered one original leg and two original thighs at KFC. I walked back out and entered the van once again. The radio appeared to be off!

"La Netta? Is the radio on?"

"It was on," she replied. "I'll turn it up so you can hear it." Still no traffic.

We drove to Kennedy Grove, where we were going to eat lunch. As we stopped there, La Netta pulled the key out and the radio stopped playing. Everyone else got out.

"La Netta, I need the radio on so I can listen to 99.7"
, I said.

"We're all getting out for lunch here," said La Netta.

"But I need to find out whether they do traffic."

"They didn't do traffic."

"Whether they do traffic. Present tense."

"We're not going to be near you -- we're eating lunch all the way over there, so we need you to get out."

"But how am I going to be able to listen for traffic if I'm not in the van?"

"Well, we're not going to be listening to the radio at lunch, so you won't have to worry about hearing it, will you?", asked La Netta, cellphone still in ear.

It struck me. Was La Netta not clear on why I needed to listen for traffic on that radio station? "La Netta, do you not understand why I have to listen for traffic? Did you hear my conversation with Emanuel?"

"No, I didn't hear your conversation with Emanuel. Well, here's what I'll do. What's that radio station? Ninety-eight point seven?"

"Ninety-nine point seven."

"I've asked my friend to listen to that radio station for us, and she'll tell me whether they play traffic." Her friend, of course, being her interlocutor in the cellphone conversation. Godsend!

La Netta handed me my pill, and I went to the restroom to purge off the two SC-words. I would soon find out whether I had an M-word to purge off too.

Jolene changed herself some time after I finished with the "scxxt"s. La Netta said she was ready to take us home.

It was 1:00 when we got back in the van. La Netta's friend said 99.7 had done no traffic all the time we were at lunch. Then La Netta hung up.

11:00 to 1:00 with no traffic. That means 99.7 must not do traffic during the workday.

I asked La Netta whether she knew why I needed to listen to ascertain if 99.7 does traffic.

"Because you want to listen to it all day?", she asked.

I explained to La Netta the real reason I needed to listen.

"I didn't hear you and Emanuel", said La Netta. "Emanuel just talks so fast, I can't keep up with him."

"Emanuel said they were doing traffic, but I guess Emanuel is kind of unreliable."

"You're right."

Now I would not have to purge. Thank goodness.

I swallowed my pill, and everything was fine until I heard Shirley say "scxxt up".

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I went.

"I didn't say it", said Ken.

"I know it wasn't you, Ken", I said. "It was Shirley."

"What did I say?", asked Shirley.

"You said the SC-word."

Shirley didn't know what the SC-word was.

But I could purge that off anyway -- after I got into John's office.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Worse than half-a-lumps and woozles

Worse than half-a-lumps and woozles, it's Dipser-man and Winnxe the Pooh!

A while ago, I posted an entry about how difficult it is to escape Dipser-man these days. But when we went into the Dollar Tree I realized that escaping Dipser-man is even harder than I thought. When I was a child, and even during my teen-age years, I could go to a candy aisle without worrying about seeing Dipser-man. But the last few times I've been to the Dollar Tree, either the Cutting Dollar Tree or the other one, the arachnid-based superhero has lurked.

I was discussing Adam and Eve with Brenda the other day, and I said that Adam realized all the other animals had their mates but he didn't have one, and asked God to make a woman for him. Brenda said I had it wrong, and that it was God's idea to make Eve.

When we went into the book section of the Dollar Tree, they were selling copies of the Bible and La Netta suggested we buy one so I could go over Genesis with Brenda. As I looked on the shelf, I accidentally opened my eyes wide enough to see both the middle shelf and the bottom shelf. I checked to make sure I didn't see anything bad on the bottom shelf, and there on the bottom shelf was a Winnxe the Pooh book. I'd gotten hit by Winnxe the Pooh at bad times during the Dollar Tree before, but this would really make this a bad day, for reasons you will later see.

La Netta, Ken and I decided to go to the candy section together. When we got to the first candy aisle, I asked La Netta to look for Dipser-man. She
said the aisle was safe after a look, and I looked around at the stuff with La Netta. I selected a box of chocolate-covered cookie dough. La Netta and I looked at the candy and she told me about her daughter Sierra's school project wherein Sierra has to bring 100 of something to school. We talked about things like 100 red hots or 100 Boston baked beans (peanuts coated in candy, of which I bought a box). La Netta says she wants something creative. She considered getting some candy rats. There were six to a one-dollar bag. Then La Netta decided it would be too expensive. I suggested 100 dead cockroaches. La Netta said that was gross, but I countered that it would certainly be creative. I saw a Pez-like dispenser with Dipser-man's face to the left. Something La Netta had missed. Then La Netta was looking in another part of the aisle and she said, "Close your eyes". I closed my eyes and La Netta suggested it would be safest to "leave this aisle".

We went into another aisle, where La Netta looked for Dipser-man and didn't find any. That was when I got my Boston baked beans. We saw candy necklaces that came with candy lipstick and were packaged as a "Candy Dress-up Kit". We remarked that it appeared to be marketed to little girls. Then, all of a sudden, I went "Ewwww!".

I pointed to the Dipser-man I had seen, which was in a candy bag labeled something "Toons". "I didn't see that", said La Netta.

We left, and I wanted to stay to listen to "December" by Collective Soul, which was playing on the Dollar Tree radio. La Netta said we wouldn't be able to stay to listen to the whole song. I stayed a little while longer, and just before I walked out I turned around and saw a ball with a picture of Winnxe the Pooh on it. I had gotten kicked on my way out the door.

We got back in the van (a different van from our usual one), and drove to the Chinese food place. On our way there, Ken was talking about the door and he said, "I'm glad this one doesn't jxggle like the other one does". Now I would have to purge off his "jxggle".

I found myself purging extensively all the way home. When I got home I was still purging. It wasn't until 8:00 that night that I ate my Chinese food (which I had kept impeccably sealed up in my Ziploc bag). It got me to wondering when this Dipser-man fad is going to start to recede. It's just getting too hard for me to go anywhere and look around. I wonder if I'll ever be able to live independently without someone there to be my eyes for me and tell me when Dipser-man is around. And Winnxe the Pooh for that matter. Far too much junk of that Disney-animated bear is sold to family-scrabble Wal-mart families whose little girls just adore the ugly Di$ney rendition of this ursine honeypot. The solution would be to go to Ikea, with its European cleanness, more often, but that would get boring after a while.

I wonder if the people who stock these retail stores and dollar stores ever pause to think about how people with OCD react to the items they carry and have trouble finding their way around the stores.