Monday, February 18, 2013

Dinosaurs in the front yard ~ My Column from Sunday's Paper

Brian Kennedy was the managing editor at the Daily Mountain Eagle who gave me my first shot at writing a weekly column. 

I was ecstatic, but he tempered my enthusiasm when he said, “Deadlines come at you fast, and we need a writer who doesn’t miss them.” What he failed to say was that they come at you like white lines on the highway when you’re driving 80 miles an hour.

When I have ideas, approaching deadlines don’t bug me, but when I draw a blank, I hear them approaching like a runaway train.

The weeks when Jilda and I go somewhere or do something interesting, story ideas spring at me like bread from a good toaster, but some weeks that just doesn’t happen. This week, for example, ideas have been as scarce as Democrats in the Old South.

I don't want to use the dreaded term "writer's block," but I've used all the normal "Block Busters" without success. 

Of course it might have had something to do with the fact that I haven’t felt good this week. I’ve had a raging upper respiratory infection and doctors shot Decadron in my rump with a needle as big as a kindergarten pencil.

Next they pumped me full of antibiotics and cough medicine. I think it’s the latter that made me do funny. 

My lovely spouse says that I act funny all the time and that most folks wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. But I know.

For example, last night just before I sat down to write, I had what my mother would have called a “coughing fit.” I thought I was about to cough up a lung so I took some of the cough stuff my doctor prescribed, and a few minutes later I was drooling on the keyboard, and typing things like “I wush thiz dur !w934 4$$%8(.”  

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a Stegosaurus munching on our water oak and drinking water from the birdbath, but when I snapped my head around to get a better look at the beast, he’d scurried out of sight. 

All I got from my effort was a crick in my neck. I've been unable to verify the sighting.

I've been a little groggy all day. I decided to look up the side effects of the medications I’m taking. 

Common adverse effects of the cough medicine according to Wikipedia includes drowsiness, constipation, euphoria, itching, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, orthostatic hypotension, urinary retention and paradoxically coughing. 

Some of the more rare side effects included: boils, pimples, flatulence, growing a third ear out of the center of your forehead, pestilence, and in some rare cases, spontaneous combustion. 

Nowhere did I find references to anyone seeing giant prehistoric animals munching on the flora and fauna.

At any rate, I'm laying off the sauce. 

It’s like the old saying, the cure is worse than the ailment.

I’m glad the editor who hired me has since moved on to do other things because I’d hate to hear him say, “I told you about those deadlines.”


  1. Ha! You lied about that third ear thing, didn't you? Hope you feel better soon. I had a cold this winter for the first time in over 10 years and it hung on for days/weeks/ever. I am glad you were smart enough to get antibiotics and a shot.

    Just imagine if one suffered ALL those side effects at the same time!;>) Diana

  2. Sure hope you're feeling better although the "funny" you is very entertaining! By the way, coughing can cure urinary retention and flatulence...or so I've been told.

  3. Sounds like me and codeine; little green men with fangs were hiding in the walls.

    Mix some honey and lemon juice with some warm water the next time you go off on a coughing jag, you won't see any prehistoric creatures.

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  5. Those days were you hallucinate because of all the medications you're on... funny... lol

    I do hope you are feeling much better soon... thanks for the chuckle:)

  6. Side effects can scare the living shit out of you! I try not to check but just follow the instructions!

    I contend with lot of 'coughie' mornings from the guys at home! Nightmares!

  7. Hi rick, sorry I haven't been making my usual rounds. I've been busy and down in the dump or vice versa. You are still seeing dinosaurs so I think that you should change meds. lol.

    I agree with Yaya about what coughing can cure. lol...
    Hang in there spring is right around the corner.


  8. Next, you'll see cough syrup being sold at the liquor store.


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