Sunday, February 27, 2011

Check this out

If you read a book or article about OCD, you'll no doubt run into mentions of checking. People checking five times to make sure they locked the eoor. People checking six times to ascertain that their car is not in the handicapped space and is parked legally. People checking seven times to assure that they turned off the faucet.

I've become a checker recently.

At night I keep my sunglasses on my bed as I type at my computer. When I go to bed, I take the sunglasses off and put them on my dresser before getting into bed.

Now I'll put my sunglasses on my dresser then check. The other night I put my sunglasses on my dresser before I finished with the computer. Then I turned the lights out and turned my computer off.

Next, I turned the lights back on to make sure that my sunglasses were on the dresser and not on the bed. Then I turned the lights back out. I thought I'd take my shoes off and get into bed.

But after I took my shoes off, I thought, What if I didn't really take my sunglasses off my bed? What if I was remembering a different night? I thought of the heartbreak there would be if I didn't remember to remove my sunglasses from my bed, and I sat on them and broke them.

So I turned the lights on again and checked a third time. After seeing my sunglasses were nicely on their dresser, I turned out the lights and popped into bed.

I already have washing and thoughts of hurting somebody. I don't need to become a checker too. But here I am, living out the classic OCD experience.

Dr. Luburic says a word

After I was taken to program Thorsday instead of going to Dr. Luburic's office, I thought that either the appointment was some other day or Stan and Pia had forgotten to take me. But then I was driven to Dr. Luburic at 3:00.

Pia was there to take me in. She asked me how my day was.

"It had its ups and downs", I said.

"What were the ups?", she asked.

"Eating my burrito", I said.

"And what were the downs?"

"Seeing Mandy carry her plate out with plastic silverware at the office."

"Ohhh . . . I'm sorry to hear that."

As soon as we walked into the waiting room, I heard a man say "Pxrdon?" to a woman, and the woman repeat whatever she had said.

"RRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"What's wrong?", asked Pia.

"Didn't you hear that?"

"No."

"Someone said the word that rhymes with 'garden'."

"What word would that be? Lots of words rhyme with 'garden'."

"It begins with P . . . and it means 'I didn't hear what you said'."

"Oh . . . that word. I didn't hear that."

We waited until Dr. Luburic came and get us.

I told Dr. Luburic that I had been having nightmares, and had been asking for my one-milligram Risperdal pill most days. He agreed to up my dosage to 5 milligrams in the a.m., 4 milligrams in the p.m.

I also told him that La Netta had recommended something to make me sleep. For that, he said the Benadryl would work, and asked me whether I had been taking the Benadryl. I told him that the only time I had taken Benadryl was when a staff who was confused and thought she was always supposed to give me Benadryl gave it to me.

After Dr. Luburic wrote the prescription, Pia asked him if there was a scale on which I could be weighed. Dr. Luburic walked out and directed us to an office scale.

As I walked towards the scale I stumbled. I stepped on the scale, then fell back off and made impact against the scale. The scale shook.

"Whxxps!", said Dr. Luburic. I felt the word splintering into six smaller pieces and the "whxxps" itself as he said it.

"D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! D'OH!" I banged into my forehead each time, finally getting it right the fifth time.

"What's wrong?", asked Pia.

"Did Dr. Luburic say the WH-word?"

"I may have", said Dr. Luburic.

"Do you know what it is?"

"I think I do know what it is."

"Did you say it?"

"I don't remember if I said it."

"Or did you say the OO-form of the word?"

"I don't know. Possibly."

"Pia, what did you hear?"

"I heard what you heard", Pia said.

"The WH-word?"

"Yes."

I stepped on the scale a second time, and came out to 127. Subtracting five pounds for my clothes, that came out to 122. I was just below the lowest normal range for a 5'8" male.

It was 3:34 when we left the appointment. When I got home, I purged, and I didn't finish purging until 5:30.

Carl's story

It was a minimum day Thursday. La Netta took us all to the office to spend most of this short CIWP day.

Carl had the story of his life to tell, and wanted to use the computer to write it down. Being a slow typist, he decided that he would dictate it to me and I would take dictation.

I got on the computer once we settled in the office. "Chapter 1", he dictated, "Foster care".

It turned out Carl had been placed in foster care at age 13. He was once taken to the water park, where he almost drowned. When he ran away and came back, his family hadn't even noticed that he'd been missing.

Carl took a break, then dictated Chapter 2, "Group homes".

Carl was placed in a teen group home where he got grounded and made to do others' chores. This continued until the early 2000's.

Carl took a longer break, and I chilled.

I saw Mandy Bouttie carrying a plate. Mandy walked away from me, then walked by with the plate again.

"La Netta", I asked, "Do they have plastic silverware here?"

"They do", La Netta said.

"Does Mandy have some plastic silverware on her plate?"

La Netta looked. "She does."

"I'll be in the restroom."

I rustled into the restroom, then purged off that plastic frok. I didn't see it clearly, so it was hard to get the hang of it. But I finaly managed to get it all out of me.

I came back out and Carl dictated Chapter 3, "Medications". That boy had gone through hell with medications to make him focus, medications to make him tame, and yet more medications. "Way to go, Uncle Sam!", dictated Carl. He then told me to put that sentence in parentheses.

We saved our file and exited the word processing program, then Carl told me to open the program again to make sure the file was still there. I checked and it was.

I then opened a webpage with a survey by my friend John Hensle, for a study in sociology he's doing. He's trying to figure out how the media affects people's perceptions of teens. I left it open for Lita and others to take.

I discovered Lita was in the office with another client. Then La Netta told me we were about to leave.

She took me into the copier room, where I saw a clock that said 9:11. I stared through 9:12, and 9:13, until we were ready to leave.

When I came out, I saw La Netta talking with Billie Jean. Then we left for real.

I got a burrito at the burrito truck -- vegetarian.

La Netta took Carl and the rest of the group to an early lunch, where they ate their burritos at 11:00. Then we embarked on drops.

La Netta hugged me for my shower, and then we hugged an end-of-the-week hug. "La Netta!", I said.

La Netta said good-bye to me as I took my burrito to the door.

Check out John's survey (he needs 100 respondents):

http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0wAwiyAVZBoJ0j2

Jamming with the Beatles

When I got into the van this morning, La Netta gave Carl my pill and said, "Give this to James".

"Thank you, Carl", I said. "Assuming I don't hear any purge words, I'll be able to take it at 11:00."

"We're going to run by Williams' before we go on with our day", said La Netta. "James, if you want to replace your juice that broke, we can do it here. Does that sound good to you?"

"Stupid stoplight!", I said.

As soon as the van began moving again . . . "I don't want to, La Netta. Stan's going to buy it for me."

"All right, but we're still going in."

We walked in and La Netta looked at dietary supplements.

"James," she said, "I know you don't want to replace it, but maybe you can find some other item you like?"

So I looked at the agave sticks. Then I went over to the juices. I finally settled on a bottle of coconut juice.

After buying everything we had gotten, we drove over to the mall and waited in front of JC Penney's. La Netta told us it opened at 10:00.

Carl told me he knew 80's and 90's songs, and didn't know music from before that.

"Do you know this?", I asked. "I am the eggman . . . they are the eggmen . . . I am the Walrus, goo-goo-goo-joob!"

"Don't know that", said Carl.

"That was the Beatles!"

"Oh."

"How many Beatles songs do you know?", I asked.

"'A Hard Day's Night' . . . 'Imagine There's No Heaven' . . . 'Yellow Submarine' . . . " He listed a few more.

"How about 'Let It Be'?"

"I didn't know that one was the Beatles."

We went inside JC Penney for thirty minutes or so. Then we came out and drove over to Wal-mart.

I thought we were through with the clothes for the day, but La Netta, Ken and Carl spent most of the time looking at clothes.

"I don't think they have any character shoes", said La Netta.

Carl picked up some pants. "Are those big on you?"

"Quite snxg", said Carl.

"Rrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry", said Carl, "I didn't know."

"My first purge word of the day, right?", I said.

"Right", said La Netta.

"La Netta, may I make another stop at the restroom before we leave? There will be children at the parks."

"All right."

We passed through the juice aisle. "Carl", said La Netta. "Dod you know it's one of your goals to buy a fruit juice?"

"Yes", said Carl.

"Was that your idea or someone else's?"

"Not mine."

I picked out a ruby grapefruit pomegranate drink and bought it.

We left then went to Wienerschnitzel's. I walked inside the restroom, hit a switch, and turned on the fan. It was still dark inside the restroom.

I couldn't find the light, so I locked the door and purged in the dark. Then I washed my hands and left.

"What radio station would you like to listen to?", asked La Netta.

"97.3", said Carl.

La Netta switched to Alice and it played for many songs.

Then La Netta asked, "Can we have a different station now?"

"Sure", said Carl.

I heard "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift playing. I soon discovered that the radio was on Star 101.3.

When our staff arrived at our group home, Carl picked up my coconut juice from Williams' while I got my ruby pomegranate grapefruit from Wal-mart and red bag. I hugged La Netta an end-of-the-week hug and a shower hug, since I had missed out on two hugs. Then we entered the house.

Meet LaTanya

When I got back to program after Presidents' Day on Tuesday, La Netta told me, "We have someone new here."

"My name is LaTanya", said the woman.

"My name is James Landau", I said.

"Hi, James."

I waved at LaTanya.

LaTanya talked with La Netta as we drove to Berkeley Marina. Once we arrived there, Ken said, "He had his bxke stolen".

"I'll be in the restroom", I told La Netta.

"OK, James", said La Netta.

"Darren had his bxke stolen", said Ken.

I picked my navel in the restroom, then came out.

La Netta walked into the van. She said, "There you are! I thought you were still in the restroom!"

We were ready to go, so we drove off to the dollar store.

I had to plug my ears for several commercials. I told La Netta I needed to buy a big pair of scissors because my pair had disappeared.

"I hope you're not going to stab one of your housemates with them", said La Netta.

We walked by the scissors, and La Netta said, "You'll need to ask Stan first if you can buy the scissors, because I don't want to have you attacking someone with them, and then have Stan blaming me for letting you buy them."

How depressing. Another day without being able to use big scissors to fix some zippers up on my pants.

I put my basket down, now that I knew I would not be buying anything. I walked unhappily the rest of the trip until we left.

Next came Target. I bought two Market Pantry apple juices, and made it through the store without hearing any purge words.

LaTanya wanted Chinese food at Lee's Donuts, and I said that sounded good.

But when we actually went out to lunch, La Netta said she'd be able to take us to Chef's. LaTanya agreed that she'd come in with me.

"LaTanya, will you be able to listen out for words for me?", I asked.

"Sure", said LaTanya.

"Thanks, LaTanya."

I went in and ordered chow mein, special taste chicken and mushroom chicken. Then LaTanya said she'd walk in the Mexican restaurant next door.

As LaTanya oreered her Mexican food, I walked back into the van. After picking up food at a few more places, we drove off to Vincent Park.

It was Ski Week at elementary schools in this district, and dozens of children were playing at the park. "There are kids here, Ken", said La Netta. "Let's not eat at the playground. We'll have to go over there."

I came along with La Netta. I wouldn't be able to stay in the van when the rest of the group was going so far from the van.

La Netta, LaTanya, Carl and I talked. We talked about the ships in the harbor at Vincent Park.

" . . . would have never guessed that they would make it into a shxpping yard", said Carl.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I said.

"Sorry, James!"

"James", said La Netta, "There are kids here, so can you wait until you get home? You make noise when you're in the restroom."

La Netta yakked on with LaTanya some more, then, when I got an opening, I told her, "I chant very quietly."

"It wouldn't be appropriate for you to do that in this restroom, especially with all the kids around."

"What would they hear exactly?", I asked.

La Netta started talking with LaTanya again.

Another opening. "La Netta, what's the answer to my question?". I asked.

"I said, 'It wouldn't be appropriate for you to do that in this restroom, especially with all the kids around'," said La Netta.

"No, my question was, 'What would they hear exactly?'," I told her.

"They'd hear you talking, walking around, slamming your forehead, hopping on one foot . . . you make a lot of noise when you're in there. They'd call the police, and I wouldn't be able to do anything to help you. Look -- the police are right there. There's one walking by."

La Netta decided she'd take a walk with Carl. LaTanya said she'd go back to the van. This was my perfect opportunity to get away from La Netta and pick my navel in the van. I turned down a walk with La Netta and went with LaTanya.

"LaTanya, will you listen out for words for me?", I asked.

"I will", said LaTanya.

"Thanks, LaTanya."

I climbed into the van and picked my navel with in the back row.

After the "shxpping" was out of me, La Netta got back. We drove off.

"LaTanya," I asked, "Do you spell your name with an A or an O?"

"With an A", said LaTanya.

"Wanting it for your blog?", asked La Netta.

"Yeah", I said.

When I got home, I said good-bye to La Netta and LaTanya, and walked back in my house. I wondered when I would see LaTanya next.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trying a new way of bowling

On Wednesday morning, Ken said "axx oxxx the pxxxx", and I growled.

La Netta then took us into our first site for the day, Ross.

"How long are we going to spend here?", I asked.

"About an hour; what did you want to look at?", she replied and asked me.

"I was wondering if we'd have time to go to the restroom."

"Sure. What's wrong?"

"Ken said the A, O the P words, remember?"

"I'll take you to the restroom to use it, not to purge!"

While we were in Ross, I heard a mother calling her son sweetxe, and I growled.

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"You didn't hear her?", I asked.

"I didn't."

"That woman called her son the SW-word!"

Eventually we left Ross and headed down towards the bowling alley.

I paid for one game, just for me.

"You want to open your eyes to find your lane?", asked La Netta.

"I can't", I said. "I might see the vending machines."

Eventually we found our lane.

"Are the guardrails up?", I asked.

"I forgot to ask them", said La Netta. "You want to ask?"

"I don't want to go through all the trouble of finding my way there and back after all the trouble I went through to get here."

"Then you don't want the guardrails?"

"I do, but . . ."

"I'm going to show you how to punch in your name. Oh! It's already in there! Did you tell him your name?"

"Maybe he already knows us", I said.

"I told him", said Carl.

"That was great, Carl!", said La Netta. "Did you ask for the guardrails?"

"I did."

"Because they're not up yet!"

The guardrails soon went up and I was ready to bowl.

I tried putting my finges in the holes and swinging the way La Netta showed me, but I wasn't bowling very impressively.

After a game with only one spare and no strikes, I got my other shoe back and we left for the van.

A commercial came on the radio. It was a smoothie commercial.

". . . .free shxpping", it said.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

A few seconds later . . . ". . . and free shxpping!"

"RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

Ken turned it off for me.

"Thanks, Ken!", I said.

We stopped by a burrito truck, where I got a vegetarian super burrito.

"Well, La Netta", said Carl, "James didn't get one of his strange body parts this time."

"What did you say?", asked La Netta.

"James didn't get one of his strange body parts this time."

"What did he get?"

"He got what I got."

Then it was off to Davis Park.

I took a long time purging off all those "all"s and "over"s and "place"s before getting to "axx oxxx the pxxxx". Then I did "sweetxe" quickly and spent the rest of my time in the restroom picking the two "shxpping"s out of my navel.

I came back out and ate my burrito in the van.

Just as I finished, Ken said, "Oh, James".

"Yeah, Ken?", I asked.

Ken said something about "stealing their bxkes".

"I'm so glad I finished my burrito in time", I said.

"Stealing their bxkes", repeated Ken.

"Uh, Ken, said Carl. "You said the B-word."

"Sorry, James!", said Ken.

"Actually, Carl", I said, "The B-word is the word that rhymes with 'city'."

"Oh, really?", said Carl.

I walked to the restroom and picked both "bxkes"es out of my navel.

Finally, we did drops and the day ended. I went to my room, picked up my new $20, and went to sleep.

My bottle breaks

Tuesday morning La Netta drove up to the dollar store and told me we were here. As Carl got out, I stayed in the van.

"Aren't you going to get out?", asked La Netta.

"I didn't really want to go", I said.

"We don't have to go to Williams'," said La Netta. "We can just go to parks all day. Would you like that?"

"I want to go to Williams'," I said. "I just didn't want to go here."

"Well, would you rather go to parks?"

"So we have to either go both to here and to Williams', or go neither here nor Williams'?"

"Yes."

So I got out.

I walked around the dollar store without buying anything, while Carl and La Netta had a great time.

Then it came time for Williams' Natural Foods. The first section we went was to the juices. I chose a Morning Blend and a hibiscus cooler. Then La Netta walked around to look at vitamins. As the song "Back to Life" by Soul II Soul played on the Intercom, Carl danced by moving his body back and forth along with the words "Better than a woman, better in the evening".

La Netta got a call stating we needed to pick up Ken. We paid for our stuff ane were back to the van. I set my bag with the two Williams' bottles in it to the right of me.

As we took our ride, the bag fell off the seat. I heard the sound of glass shattering.

"It's broken", said Carl. "When you got these, you need to hold them with you."

"My juice!", I said.

"Learn from it", said Carl.

Once we reached the office, La Netta had me run to the restroom to gather some paper towels. I came back with six paper towels for La Netta to wipe the spill op and gather the glass.

"It's going to take more than these", said La Netta.

I went in for several more, but by the time I came out, La Netta was walking into the office. Carl and Ken were with her. "What took so you long?", she asked.

"I was feeling squirmy", I said.

We drove over to Vincent Park. The others ate their lunches there.

After an hour or so at Vincent Park, I heard a man saying something that sounded like "cutxe".

"Did that man say the C-word?", I asked.

"I couldn't make out what he was saying", said La Netta.

"Was it in English?"

"Yes."

"So it was in English but you couldn't make out what he was saying?"

"Yes."

"Then how do you know which language it was?"

Carl tried to explain how he could know.

"Now I'm going to have to purge!", I said.

"The restroom is here", La Netta said.

"What time is it?", I asked.

"The clock's not even on", said La Netta.

"Does your cellphone give the time?"

"Why do you need to know? The clock's not even on."

"I want to know when I'll be able to swallow again."

"What does the time have to do with you being able to swallow? I'm not getting it."

"I can't swallow until I've purged off all my purges."

"So you're going to purge at home?"

"Yes."

"You are, that's wonderful! It's 12:30."

"Thanks, La Netta."

As we drove home, I heard a song singing "cutxe pie, you and I".

"Echhhh!", I gagged.

"What?", asked La Netta.

"The song sang, 'C-word pie, you and I'."

"It did not sing the C-word!", said La Netta.

"I think it was just, 'You and I, you and I'," said Carl.

Then came a song called "It Never Rains in Southern California". I had to ask La Netta whether they said "exe on the road".

"Next time", said Carl, "Don't buy any juices in glass bottles. Buy plastic."

"There won't be a next time", I said.

We parked in front of our house. Carl and I got out while La Netta drove up next to the fence with the plants.

La Netta chatted with another van that had come to pick up Rodney. Meanwhile, I listened to our neighbors.

"Did our neigibors say the P & O words?", I asked La Netta.

"Actually, they did", said La Netta.

"Eeewwwww!", I said.

Hindering James' growth

It was Friday, February 11, the end of the program week. I had $11 left in my pocket.

La Netta suggested we go to Trader Joe's at the beginning of the day, since we were early.

I decided not to bring along a basket, as I thought I wasn't going to buy anything -- I was saving my money for See's and lunch.

La Netta looked at the salads, then asked me if I wanted to grow to the frozen food section. I said yes.

After hanging around the frozen foods, La Netta pointed out a lasagna. This was a Trader Giotto's meat lasagna, different from the vegetable lasagna they already had. It cost $5.something, too expensive for my budget.

Then La Netta showed me a salted, crunchy seaweed snack. "Sierra loves these", she said. She put three in the cart and said it was only 99 cents.

I picked one up and carried it with me. Finally, La Netta finished her shopping and we bought our goodies.

We then went to Barnes & Noble. "Where do you want to go?", La Netta asked Carl.

"I don't really know", said Carl.

"James, where do you want to go?"

"I want to go look at some CD's", I replied.

"Oh, you mean in here", Carl said.

"Yes."

La Netta took us in and she looked at magazines.

"Jamse, I think you'd like this", said Carl. "It's a Skin and Ink."

"I don't want to see it", I said.

Carl picked up a Harley-Davidson calendar. "This is what I want", he said.

"Snodgrass would love that!", I said.

"I think so", said La Netta. "He could."

La Netta then took me into the CD section. I looked and looked, but I just saw DVD's. Finally, I found a shelf with some CD's. There was some Eminem and there was some other rap, but I also found Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and Lady Gaga's Fame Monster. I listened to both.

La Netta asked if I was ready to go, and I replied in the affirmative. She took us back by the magazines.

"Turn around", she said.

I turned around. I didn't see anyone.

I turned back around. By now, La Netta was out of my field of vision.

"La Netta?", I asked. "La Netta?"

"I'll help you", said Carl. Carl held my arm and led me out of the store.

"Carl, James doesn't need you", La Netta said.

Carl soon had helped me all the way out.

"Carl, when you do that, you're hindering James' growth", said La Netta.

La Netta then took us all into Ross. A mother called her daughter "sweetxe" twice, and I growled both times.

"Why don't you like that word?", asked La Netta.

"I didn't like to be called it growing up", I said.

"Did your mom call you that?"

"Yes."

"Did you tell her not to call her that, and she still kept on calling you that?"

"I told her, but sometimes she slipped up."

"Oh."

La Netta then discussed See's with me. "You want to get something for Jolene?", she asked.

"Yes", I replied.

La Netta said, "You go in -- Carl and I will wait outside".

"I'm going to need you to listen out for words."

"I'll go in", said Carl.

"Thanks, Carl", I said. "You're a lifesaver."

Before long, La Netta was in there too. "Want to get in line?", asked La Netta.

"Is she in line?", I asked. I pointed to a woman. I looked up at her and saw that she was carrying a little girl wearing footies with hearts on them.

"She isn't", La Netta said.

I stood in line. Shortly afterwards, La Netta left. "I need to talk to Carl outside", she said.

Did I hear "ice xxxxx"? I seemed to hear "ice xxxxx" again. Unfortunately, there was no La Netta to ask.

I heard the employee address a patron as "sweetxe". I growled.

When it was my turn, I ordered a quarter-poond of Peanut Crunch for Jolene. I paid for it with a $5 bill.

It was then when I thought I heard a "whxxps". Shortly afterwards, I heard one senior citizen say to another, "It slipped".

I figured that it really was the WH-word and went, "D'OH!", slamming my forehead.

I told La Netta about the WH-word and SW-word when I came out. I slammed my forehead some more.

"Well, at least you got what you wanted", she said.

We loaded into the van.

"Carl", La Netta said to Carl, "James wanted to go into See's. It was the Friday before Valentine's Day, so the store was full of people. There were words, and there were people in their nightclothes."

"I saw a little girl wearing footies", I said.

"There were two people in their nightclothes."

"The only -- oh! Stupid stoplight!"

The light turned green. But by now La Netta was speaking again. "But James went in to get what he needed to get for Jolene."

"La Netta", I said. "The only person I saw wearing nightclothes was the little girl in footies with hearts on them."

"Oh, that's good."

We were soon at the office, so La Netta could use the restroom. "I'm going to use the restroom here", she said. "I'll knock on the men's room when I'm done. If you stay in there too long, we may not have time to stop by the burrito truck."

I got in and purged off two "ice xxxxx"s. Then I purged off all three "sweetxe"s. Next I did the "whxxps".

La Netta knocked.

I came right out, and walked out the door. When I didn't see La Netta at the van, I walked back in.

La Netta and Carl were in the main room. Maria was there too. Carl told La Netta he'd use the men's room.

While someone was talking to Maria, Maria said, "Pxrdon?"

"RRRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"Ohwww . . . sorry, James."

"I can't take my pill now because of Maria", I said.

"Do you want to go to the restroom after Carl's done?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I said.

"We'll be in the van."

Carl soon came out of the men's room, and I walked in. I unbuttoned my pants and purged off the pajamdras I had seen. Then I purged off Maria's "pardon".

I tried several time to button my pants, but I couldn't pull the ends together. I washed my hands and tried again. After several minutes, my pants buttoned.

"What took you so long?", asked La Netta once I got back to the van.

I explained to her about the button.

We drove over to the burrito truck, and I bought a tongue super burrito for $4.

We broke with our tradition of Kennedy Grove on Fridays and went to Point Pinole instead. Miraculously, no one else was there, so I ate my burrito while Star 101.3 played.

Then Rosa and Wanda's group came.

"Is Emonte there?", I asked.

"Who?", asked Carl.

"Emonte."

"What's his first name?"

"Emonte is his first name."

"What does he look like?"

"You know. Dr. Giggles."

"Oh, him. No, I don't see him."

"But I know Snodgrass is there."

"Yeah, there's Shawn. And Robin."

La Netta found out where La Loma was -- on the intersection of Rumrail and Road 20. Now she could put it on the schedule.

Finally, we left for drops. I was so excited about being home for the week-end I forgot to ask La Netta for an end-of-the-week hug.

Do I really cut it up?

On Thursday, February 10, La Netta took me, along with Ken and Carl, to GNC. La Netta spoke with the cashier for about half an hour on lean shxkes. When La Netta asked me if I wanted a power bar, I told her I just wanted an Ostrim (a kind of ostrich jerky). I bought my Ostrim and hung around the store with La Netta and the gang for several minutes longer. All the while, Carl was sitting in the exercise chair. He wanted to show me the exercises he did in it. A street musician played outside.

Then we walked over to Chef's. I ordered chow mein, hot braised chicken and pot stickers, then felt around with my eyes closed and took out the frok. I walked out with La Netta while Ken and Carl had still not ordered their lunches.

Carl said he wanted to go to Burger King, so La Netta took us there. La Netta had driven there so Ken and Carl would have something to eat.

I went to the restroom until La Netta knocked, whereupon I came out. I talked to La Netta and Carl a little, then they began picking up orders.

I heard a man speaking. Did he say "Pxking out me"?

"La Netta, did that man say the P & O words?", I asked.

No response.

"La Netta?", I repeated.

"La Netta?", I tried a third time.

I walked over and found La Netta. "La Netta, did that man say the P & O words?"

"I didn't hear it."

"What did he say?"

"I don't know, because I was over here", said La Netta.

"Do you know which man I'm talking about?"

"Yes. I couldn't see him because I was over here."

La Netta gathered her food.

"Carl, what did you hear?", I asked.

"I wasn't listening", said Carl.

"AAAAAAARRRRRGGHH!"

The rest of them walked out.

"James, we're leaving", said La Netta.

"I know", I said. I stayed in my place by those men.

"That man already walked out", said La Netta.

"How do you know which man I'm talking about?"

"There were three men eating together and talking and one man on his cellphone."

"So you saw him but you didn't hear him?"

"I heard the men talking. The man did not say that word." By now we were outside.

When we got into the van, La Netta said, "You think you can do this after you get what you want."

"What do you mean by that?", I asked.

"You always start to do too much after you've bought everything you wanted to purchase."

"If you act like this, you'll never get a wife and kids", said Carl.

"That's good, because I don't want a wife and kids", I said.

La Netta turned the radio on to a rap station and I put my headphones on. When a gap came, Carl was now talking to La Netta and La Netta was saying, "Just let me talk to James."

Then we made it to the Pinole Valley Park.

We walked over to where a woman from another disabled program was standing. I heard her talking to La Netta.

"It's just a mxss", the woman said.

"Eewwwww!", I said.

"I said it's just a mxss!"

"Eeeeeewwwwwwww!"

"James, you can go to the bathroom", said La Netta.

When I came back, a short guy named Jeffrey wanted to shake hands. I shook his hand, and we introduced ourselves. He said hi and I waved.

"Jeffrey!", his coach said.

La Netta told this woman about her program. Eventually the woman's day program group left and La Netta was left with me.

"Why are you sad?", La Netta asked me.

"Because of the incident in Burger King."

"Because you thought you heard a word? That man didn't say a word."

"No. Because of the way you said I always cut it up after I've bought everything I want."

"I've noticed that you do that a lot. Do you want me to point it out to you the next time you do that?"

"Yes", I replied.

"You like nice in that turtleneck."

"You really think so?"

"You do."

"Awwwwwww. It's brand-new, La Netta."

"It looks nice on you. You look so clean. How much do you weigh now?"

"120."

"How do you feel?"

"I feel bad."

"Why do you feel bad?"

"I just don't feel healthy."

"Do you want to start walking?"

"OK."

Eventually we started heading towards the van. Just as we were leaving, a child and mother were talking near us. The child said "ice xxxxx".

"Blechhh!", I said. "I'll be in the restroom."

This "ice xxxxx" tasted rather sherbety and juicy, like a juice popsicle. Eventually I got it right and it came out.

We headed to the van and La Netta turned to Star 101.3. After a song, a commercial came on.

"Free shxpping!", the commercial said.

"RRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"A commercial's on", Carl said.

La Netta turned the commercial off. When I got home, I picked my navel and ate my Chinese food.

I'll be able to take my pill at 11!

On Wednesday, February 9, we started the day out with a trip to the dollar store. I took La Netta all I wanted was some lunch meat.

When we got to the lunch meat section, I picked out some Butterball bologna and carried it with me. I needed to ask about a few words, but I made it out safely.

"We made it through!", said La Netta.

"I made it!", I told her.

Next came Wal-mart. We went to the restrooms together, and when I came out, I told La Netta, "I think I'm going to be able to take my pill at 11:00 today."

"I think you will", said La Netta.

We spent a long time looking at movies. When I asked La Netta about a purge word, she asked, "Do we need to leave?"

"I'm burning to go get some juices", I told La Netta. "I'm worried that if Carl spends too long looking at movies, it will jinx my chances of being able to take a pill at 11:00."

"We didn't just come here for the juices", said La Netta.

We then walked over to the juice section, where I put two Hawaiian punches in the cart. I bought them and used up my last currency.

After we left, I said, "Whew!"

La Netta passed me back my pill. However, it was only 10:09. La Netta took us into JC Penney's. La Netta said we'd be there until 10:30.

Shortly after I came in, the Intercom said, "Why pay for shxpping when . . .?"

"RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"What happened?", asked La Netta.

The commercial said "shxpping" again, and I growled again. Then they said "shxp", and I growled a third time. After that, I began singing "Alouette".

When the commercial was over, I asked La Netta, "Why didn't you hear it the first time the commercial said it?"

"Probably because Carl was talking", said La Netta.

After we were done shopping at JC Penney, La Netta showed me the way to the restroom.

I picked my navel multiple times, then washed my hands and came out. I was on the track to being able to take my pill at 11:00 again.

We got back into the van. La Netta said we were now stopped at Macy's.

"Do we have to get out here?", I asked.

"Yes", said La Netta. "Carl wanted to go here."

We spent what seemed like an eternity at Macy's looking at men's shirts and pants. Meanwhile, a male employee was helping out an elderly female customer.

"Look under Boys 13-20", the employee said.

"Pxrdon?", the customer asked.

"Look under Boys 13-20."

"RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

About five minutes later, I told La Netta, "La Netta, I'm afraid I won't be able to take my pill at 11:00 after all."

"I understand", said my coach.

La Netta bought a shirt for Ken. When we finally got back in the van, it was 11:41.

After a stop at the burrito truck, our group hit Davis Park.

I purged off "pardon" in the restroom, came out, and took my pill.

After a few hours at the park, we were ready for drops. La Netta looked at Ken's T-shirt more closely and saw the sexy messages on it. She realized she'd have to return it.

When we got to my house, I asked La Netta for a hug. La Netta said my hand was still bad. I explained to her that Stan Man had looked at it and said I didn't need to see a doctor. La Netta was still afraid to hug me.

When will we hug again?

Skipping Berkeley

After I got into the van the morning of Tuesday, February 8, I took a trip into Safeway with my fellow CIWPers. La Netta and Carl pointed out some sushi, and I told them I didn't have the money for it. I had only $7 left, my money for this month not having come in yet. Earlier I had refused a burrito from the burrito truck.

I then put my headphones on as rap played on the radio. When we got to a stop I sat in a really comfortable position, where my CD player didn't play as loud.

Then La Netta turned the van back on. I heard something on the radio under my CD music, and took my headphones off to make sure it wasn't traffic. What I heard was a rap song -- did they say "jxggle"?

"Did they sing the J-word?", I asked La Netta.

"I didn't hear that", said La Netta.

I was trying to figure out whether this was "How Low Can You Go?" by Ludacris. I asked La Netta, and she said no. The song seemed so fast.

We then stopped at the Berkeley Marina. I got out and purged off the word "jxggle" -- the song was so fast La Netta could have missed it.

We were supposed to go to the smoke shop in Berkeley that day -- Carl had really wanted to go there. We also had Pegasus Books on our schedule. But La Netta was keeping Berkeley stores off our schedule, as there was awful traffic in Berkeley. Luckily she didn't say the M-word. Also, La Netta's brother had been rushed into the hospital this morning, and all throughout the day she made calls to her family on her cellphone.

"James!", said Ken. "People riding their bxkes."

"Now I'm going to have to pick my navel!", I said.

"It was an accident, right Ken?", asked La Netta.

"It was", said Ken.

We stopped at the CIWP office. La Netta went in and used the restroom while I picked my navel.

We finally left to get lunch. La Netta remembered at the last moment that there was a Jack-in-the-box nearby and told Carl about it. Carl agreed to go there.

Carl and I went in without La Netta. Carl ordered, then I ordered four tacos for $2.

"Meet me in the van", said Carl after he got his order.

"Wait!", I said. "Stay in here. I'll need you to listen out for words for me."

Carl stayed, and I eventually got my four tacos. We left together. As soon as we left, I saw La Netta walking in with Ken.

As I turned around, I saw a baby carriage. I checked the blanket, and there was Winnxe the Pooi!

"Eeewwwwww!", I shouted.

"Well, James, you're the one who had to look at it", she said.

"I didn't know that there was a baby carriage over there!", I told her.

"Oh", La Netta said.

I got to Vincent Park and purged off Winnxe the Pooh. Once I was out, I got into the van. It was 12:07, and what appeared to be a KBLX song was playing.

I told La Netta that if she switched the radio station to Star 101.3, I could eat my tacos. At 12:09, she switched, and I ate all four of my Jack-in-the-box tacos, to the tune of such songs as "This Love" by Maroon 5 and "Raise Your Glass" by Pink.

Carl told me about making chocolate Academy Award statues to sell at the Academy Awards. For every $100 we spent, he said, we would make $1,000. We would rent machines to keep liquid chocolate hot.

Then La Netta did some drops and got Ken home, before getting Carl and me home.

Once Carl opened my door for me, I walked inside my room and heard what sounded like "pxke around" three times outside. It sounded like rap from a passing car.

"Carl", I said, "Did they say the P&A words?"

"I wouldn't be the one to ask", said Carl.

I walked outside to see where the music was coming from. I discovered that La Netta was still outside, talking to other coaches outside their van.

"What's up, James?", asked La Netta.

"Oh, La Netta!", I said. "Did I hear the P&A words from the car radio?"

"Not at all", said La Netta.

"Thanks, La Netta."

My right hand

On Monday, February 7, we started our week out with a trip to Target. I explained to La Netta that I didn't want anything there and would buy starfruit juice at the Pacific East Ranch Market later that day instead of apple juice from Target. I was saving my money, having only $15 left. I told La Netta that John Hensle had written music to and recorded the Angst song "Students of the World, Unite!" and it was up on YouTube.

When we made it to the check-out, I thought I had made it through Target without hearing or seeing anything bad. But then I looked to my right, and saw what looked like balloons. I looked closer and saw it was . . . Dipser-man!

"Eeewwwwwwww!", I said.

"What?", La Netta asked.

I pointed to it.

We then traveled to the Pacific East Ranch Market, where I had wanted to go. La Netta had put it on the schedule especially for me. It started out with a restroom trip.

In the restroom, I purged off Dipser-man. Meanwhile, I softly heard the commercials on KOIT. It sounded as if they may have said "txsty". But I could ask La Netta about that one when I finished purging.

I washed my hands and came out. I asked La Netta if the KOIT commercial had said "txsty".

"I don't know", she said. "I didn't hear it."

"You did hear the commercials on KOIT, though, right?", I asked.

"No. I couldn't hear them in the restroom."

"You could hear them in the men's restroom."

I began scratching my right hand as we waited for Carl outside the restrooms.

"Let me see that hand," said La Netta.

I showed her my left hand, where an abscess had recently burst.

"No, I mean the other hand", she said.

I showed her my right hand.

"You ought to show that to Stan. That hand looks infected."

I told La Netta I wanted to go into TW Bestway to buy some dried fruit, then go into the main store for starfruit juice.

La Netta told me to look around for TW Bestway. I looked at the tops of stores so I wouldn't see the vending machine with Dipser-man stickers. I saw signs in Chinese characters. Not it. I saw a sign that said Double Rainbow, so I turned my head a distance from that.

"It'd be over on this side", said La Netta.

I looked some more. Still didn't find it.

"There'd be only two stores that sell dried fruit, and they're right next to each other", said La Netta.

La Netta showed me two herbal stores, neither of which had the dried fruit I wanted.

Then she took me into another store. "We're in the store now", she said.

I looked, and we were in TW Bestway! I looked at their arbutus, guava, mango and myriad varieties of plum, before I selected some dried kumquat.

La Netta told me she'd scoop it in and weigh it, as she didn't want the flakes from my hand getting in my food. She scooped in a quarter of a pound, and then I paid $4 for it.

Next we visited the main store. I located the juice aisle without La Netta's help, but couldn't find any starfruit juice.

"They must be out of it", La Netta said. "Select something else you'd like."

I picked a bottle of aloe juice and carried it to the check-out with me.

I got out my $5 bill and paid for the $2.13 aloe juice. When I got two dollar bills back, I checked the corners to make sure they were pyramid-side-down, then folded them up.

I put them in my plastic bag . . . "Ewwwwwww!", I shouted.

After I collected my starfruit juice, bagged up, I walked over to La Netta and walked out of the store.

"What was the 'ewwwwww' about?", asked La Netta.

"When I folded my dollar bills up and put them in my bag, they popped back open", I said.

"Oh."

After the others got lunch, we visited Miller's Knots, where we would eat lunch.

I went to the restroom and purged off all the /ai/s sounds I had heard and eyes I had seen since seeing that pyramid. Then I got the exe on the dollar bill out of me. As always, I was bleeding afterwards.

Next came the rubble-clearing for "txsty". I purged off all the occurrences I had seen of the word "ice" in the word "juice": "adolice, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam, adolice, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam . . ." then I did all the other "ice"s. I did all the "txsty"s I had thought to myself, then did "txsty" itself.

"James!", I heard Aaron Moody calling when I left the restroom.

I walked over. "Aaron!"

"Guess what?", he said.

"You did the Macarena yesterday?"

"No."

"You have an apple in your lunch."

"Nope."

I saw an electronic device in his hand. "You got a new iPod."

"Cellphone."

"Oh."

"Well, they're calling me. I'll see ya. Have a nice day."

I walked over and told La Netta I couldn't get my pill open. I also told her I needed some hand sanitizer.

She said Ken could try to open it.

As I went back to get my pill, I heard Aaron speaking Spanish.

After I took my pill, I stayed in the van.

A couple was talking about their dog named Champ. I heard what may have been "ice xxxxx". Then in the next sentence I heard what may have been "cutxe".

I walked over to La Netta. "You know that couple with the dog named Champ?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes?", she said.

"Did they say the I-word or the C-word?"

"They did."

"BOTH of them?"

"Yep."

"I'll be in the restroom."

I walked over and heard Aaron telling me "I'll give you a ring tonight". Then we asked, "You know what I mean by 'ring', right?"

"A phone call", I replied.

I walked in the restroom to purge off "ice xxxxx" and "cutxe". While I was in there, I heard a little girl riding by the restroom outside on what sounded like a small child's bicycle. Did she say "whxxps"? I also heard her mother say something that sounded like "bxke". As she was on a bicycle, I figured that it was "bxke".

Ice xxxxx, whxxps and bxke, I thought to myself. Ice xxxxx, whxxps and bxke. This made purging hard.

I thought "whxxps cream" to myself and had to think mearc spoowh, mearc cie, mearc cie.

I finally finished off the "adolice cradoleam" portion of it and then had to pick my navel. I started picking "bxke" out of my navel.

When I had finished with "badolike", and "kyadolutadolie", I walked over to La Netta.

"Did you wash your hands?", La Netta asked me.

"I asked you for some hand sanitizer," I said.

"They have a faucet over there."

"I hate to use this one. It's much easier to put on hand sanitizer."

"Oh."

"Before I put it on, I need to know something."

"OK."

"You know that little girl who sounded like she was riding by the restroom on a small child's bicycle?"

"Yes."

"Did she say the WH-word?"

"She did."

"Thanks for telling me. I'll go back to the restroom and purge that off, then you can give me some hand sanitizer."

"OK."

I purged off "whadoluups, whadoluups, whadoloops, adoloops, whadoluups, adoluups, adoloops . . ." in the sliding-door restroom. When I finished with that, I came out, and La Netta gave me some hand sanitizer. I left off and was ready for drops.

"Are you all better now?", I asked La Netta as we got to my house.

"I am, but I can't hug you when your hand is like that. Ask Stan about it. You need to see a doctor."

"It's no fair", I said. "First my hand was fine, but you were unwell. Now you're better, but you can't hug me because of my hand."

Skipping Hometown

It was Friday, February 4. It was the day we were scheduled to go to Hometown Buffet. I had $5 saved up in my pocket.

"So do you still want to go to Hometown?", La Netta asked Ken.

"No," said Ken.

"You just don't feel like it?"

"I don't."

"You got money to go to Hometown?"

"I don't", said Carl.

"I have $5", I said.

"You'll need more than that", said Carl.

"That's OK," said La Netta, "We'll find somewhere else to go."

So we went to the dollar store next to Hometown.

Once we got out of the dollar store, Ken said "axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"Eeeewwwwwww!", I said. I managed to purge that one of in the back of the van.

"I have to make a call to my bank", I said.

"Your bank is evil!", said Carl.

"You don't like my bank?"

"I also don't like C-tibank!"

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"James doesn't like that word", said La Netta.

"Really?", said Carl. "Sorry!"

"I don't like that bank", I said.

"I don't like that bank either."

"I don't like them because of their name."

"I don't like them because they cheat you."

We stopped at Taco Bell, where we all bought some Mexican food, then we were off to Kennedy Grove.

I got out and used the portable on Kennedy Grove on that rainy day because the regular restrooms were closed once again. The peanut butter all came out and I felt empty enough to eat my quesadilla.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Character backpacks

La Netta had the gospel station on as we began our Wednesday. She knows that the gospel station, 1190 AM, The Light, is one of the least stress-inducing stations on the radio for me, because the songs don't normally contain purge words.

They were doing Black history month, and that day they mentioned the African-American who invented the ice xxxxx scoop.

"Blechhh!", I said.

La Netta turned the radio off.

As we pulled up at Miller's Knots, La Netta told Ken he could go to the restroom. I told La Netta I'd let Ken go first.

After a while, Carl said, "Ken's back!"

"But now you'll have to wait to use the restroom", La Netta said, "Because they're cleaning the restrooms."

"Both of them?", I asked.

"Yes", said La Netta.

"Owuh-oh!", I whined.

I spelled "ice xxxxx" in my head (I-C-E-C-R. . .) as I sat in the van. It was no fun.

I kept thinking about ice xxxxx. Because people wanted to make the restroom's floors a little shinier, I would be sitting outside with nowhere to purge.

Finally La Netta told me they were out. I went in and unzipped my pants. I began chanting, "adolye, sadolee, adolee, sadolee, adolar, adolee, adolay, adolem, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam, adolicee, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam".

I finally came out, and it came time to go to a place Carl had requested for this week's schedule, Down Home Music.

When we got there, La Netta saw the sign and realized they didn't open until 11. She told Carl we could try to go there next week.

Then came Thrift Town -- somewhere else Carl had wanted to go. La Netta looked for turtlenecks for me. Carl looked for the clothes he wanted to buy there when La Netta was done. La Netta asked Carl whether he was ready to leave. Carl said no, but he just kept looking. Finally Carl said he was ready to leave, and we left for real.

La Netta drove over to Lee's Garden. When it came my turn, I asked for chow mein. Then I walked to the other section of the food bar to see what else they had, and I saw a girl (in her teens or twenties, not a little girl) wearing a backpack with Tigger, Piglet and Winnxe the Pooh. "Eeewwwwww!", I shouted.

I had to say "Hunan chicken" about seven times before the lady scooping out my food understood me. Then I ordered Mongolian beef, and was ready to pay for it.

Carl said he didn't want Lee's Garden, so La Netta took him to Subway.

When we got to Davis Park, Carl wasn't even satisfied with his Subway. He said he had really wanted Mexican food. La Netta said there was no Mexican food in the area.

"Tiffany always took me to get what I wanted", said Carl.

"Well, I'm not Tiffany", said La Netta. "We do things differently here." La Netta explained that they had to stick to the schedule.

I was in the restroom, purging off Winnxe the Pooh and Tigger.

When I came out, La Netta and Carl talked. La Netta said the word "shxpped".

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

La Netta apologized. "Why is it that that word bothers you?", she asks.

"I explained that to you before. Remember -- with Monstro?"

"Who's Monstro?", asked La Netta.

"Wasn't he the whale who swallowed Jonah?", asked Carl.

"The whale who swallowed Pinocchio."

"And Gepetto too, right?"

"Right."

"So you don't like Pinocchio, or you don't like the whale?", asked La Netta.

"I don't dislike Pinocchio", I said. "And I don't dislike whales. I explained it to you already."

I went and picked "shxpped" out of my navel. Then I came back and La Netta did drops.

"Are you still ill?", I asked La Netta as we were parked in front of my house.

"What did you say?", asked La Netta.

"I said, 'Are you still ill?'"

"I'm getting better. But I'm not quite there yet."

"I love you, La Netta", I said as she walked Carl and me to our house.

"I love you too, James", said La Netta.

Bringing out the clumsy ox in people

On Tuesday we made it to Albany Bowl. I was the only one bowling in the group.

"Did I hear the WH-word with IE at the end?", I asked La Netta.

"No", she said.

"That was an 'Oopsie'?"

"Yes."

Then, shortly after my first frame, I heard someone from the group to our left say "Whxxpsie!"

"D'OH!", I shouted, panning my forehead. "D'OH! D'OH!"

"James?", asked La Netta. "Do we have to leave?"

"No, La Netta", I said. "I think I'll just purge after Target."

Shortly thereafter, I heard an "oopsie". I would have to rubble-clear that before doing the "whxxpsie".

I asked La Netta whether the guy collecting my ball said "whxxpsie", and she said no.

Then I heard another "oopsie". "Did they say the WH-word with an IE at the end?", I asked La Netta."

"No", La Netta said.

"When they said . . . it sounded like it. What did they say that sounded like it?"

"They didn't say that."

"They just said two OO-words in a row?"

"Yes."

"Oh, OK."

I heard one more "oopsie" before I finished my game. I did get a spare and a strike to impress my audience during the game.

"Why is it that this alley brings out the clumsy ox in people?", I asked La Netta.

"I don't know", La Netta said.

Next La Netta took me to Target. She said we would me getting lunch here.

"Do you want to carry a basket?", asked La Netta.

"I'll just put my things in your cart", I told her.

"Then you'll have to walk around without cupping your hands over your eyes."

"I won't be able to do that. I guess I'll carry a basket then."

"The baskets are over there."

I found a Don Miguel burrito and put that in my basket.

"Do you still want to look at lasagna?", La Netta asked.

"I do", I said.

La Netta took me to the frozen foods, where I picked out a Market Pantry lasagna.

Then came the juices. I asked La Netta to look at both their cider and spiced cider, but both of them had recipes with the word "ice xxxxx" on their bottles. So I settled for my usual Market Pantry apple juices.

My basket was now heavy with two market pantry apple juices, a burrito and a lasagna. I put it down every time we stopped.

I overheard a woman asking a friend if she knew Hebrew.

"I know Hebrew!", I said. "I know Hebrew?"

"You do?", the woman said.

"Yes. 'I' is 'anee'. 'You, male' is 'atah'. 'You, female' is 'at'."

"Eyfo", she said.

"'She' is 'hee' . . . 'he' is 'hoo'."

I paid for my food and drinks, and it came out to $15.something. I gave the cashier a twenty and a one, so I could get a $5 bill back.

"May I get a five back?", I asked.

"Sure", she said. "She handed me a receipt and some coins."

After she talked with La Netta a little, I asked her, "Ma'am? Could I have a five? All you gave me is a receipt and some coins."

"I thought I gave you a five", she said.

"It's not in my bag. It's not here." I showed her.

"I could have sworn I handed you a five."

Finally, she agreed to page the fellow who ran the videocamera. After a while, he came over and the cashier explained the situation to him.

The whole group waited there several more minutes while this fellow was reiewing the camera.

Finally, the guy walked over to the girl and verified that she had indeed failed to give me a five back.

The cashier apologized and gave me a five. I then left with La Netta, Carl and Ken to go to Vincent Park.

I purged off several "oopsie"s and "uupsie"s, in addition to the "oops"es I may have heard at Target. Then I chomped into the entrée: "Whxxpsie!"

The vowel was pronounced as in "Froot Loops", so I just had to do 12 "whadoloopsie"s, 12 "adoloopsie"s, 12 more "whadoloopsie"s, a "whadoloopsie" going up, 12 more "adoloopsie"s and an "adoloopsie" going up to finish it.

When I was done, I washed my hands with my soap. Then we left Vincent Park early and started drops.