Let me say first of all that I prescribe to the American Male standards for medical treatment. We start off with the presumption that everything is fine. Sure, the knee may feel sore, or the neck is stiff, or I have a cold, or my vision seems to be a bit blurred, but by and large, everything seems to be in pretty good shape. That status remains pretty much in force unless something is broken badly (not just a toe or something -- the bone should actually be visible), or there is a large amount of bleeding, like the time I split my scalp open while running away from my son who was trying to stick me in the bottom with a plastic sword, or it appears that an appendage could be in danger of falling off. Otherwise, as the males in my home learned from an early age, “Just walk it off – and rub some dirt in it. You will be fine…”
It’s a very workable triage for most males in this world of ours. Sure, it may reduce our life expectancy by a little bit, and a good deal of our posture and walking as we get older always has a story behind it (“Oh, I really cracked my knee up playing football/riding a minibike/falling down stairs…”) but by and large, we believe in the healing power of a good night’s sleep and in more severe instances, the application of ice.
Here’s the problem: we male humans by and large spend most of our lives chasing after, or learning to live with female humans, who have a completely different way of approaching body health. My wife is a nurse practitioner in women’s health, and not a work day goes by that her schedule is not filled with 18-20 appointments of women coming to see her because, well they haven’t seen her in about six months and they need to get reacquainted, I guess. If you were to ask most men about the value of a “wellness exam,” they would probably reply, “I’m feeling fine, except for the strained neck and my shoulder is out of joint a little, so why would I need to have someone tell me I’m fairly well?” Not so for women – it’s almost as if they love to go to the doctor, where as I’ve never – never – heard a real American male say how much they enjoy having a medical appointment. But you see, those men are connected with the women in their lives, which means the women have the ability to make outrageous comments like, “Maybe you should go in and see a doctor…”
Over the last three years or so, a huge game changer has come into play. As the CoVid-19 pandemic swept across the world, you could almost hear the fiendish brutes who invented the disease muttering to each other, “Now THIS will certainly force men to go to the doctor!” First off, the disease threw most of the normal ways of living clean off the rails, as restaurants, concerts, games, and who knows what else just got shut down, and people had to learn how to stay home and actually interact with their families. Next, scientists lured us into a new status – if we only would agree to come in to a clinic and get a shot – or two – then we would be like Superman without having any danger of green kryptonite. Great. We stayed home, we got the shots, we washed our hands, and eventually it seemed to get to the point that we no longer were having to wear those stupid, horrible masks that made us all look like bank robbers, or part of a leper colony in “Ben Hur.”
Then it happened. When we finally capitulated and did all that medical stuff, which was particularly disheartening for adult males, the powers that be decided to change the game. Where once, you could leap tall buildings with two shots of Pfizer wonder drug, NOW all of sudden, that wasn’t enough! Now apparently your two shots only protected you for about the span of a noon hour, and that you needed a THIRD shot… and you still have to wear a mask, and burn crosses by your front door to ward off the pandemic demons. So, getting a shot, or two shots, or three shots doesn’t quite make you invulnerable. At most, WHEN the CoVid gets you, you may have the chance to stay out of the hospital. To all of that, I ask the simple question: why are we doing all this mess?
So, you know it had to happen: with nothing falling off, not exposed bones, and no profuse blood leaving my body, one day, I started not to feel so good. My voice was kind of raspy, I felt like I had a sinus drip, and I was just tired. It was the perfect opening. My beloved offered up the possibility of, “I wonder if you have CoVid?” and then “I’ll bet you have CoVid!” and then “I really wish you would go get tested to see if you have CoVid…” I love the sound of Cheri’s voice, but frankly, not when it formed those particular sounds.
Because you see – I didn’t have CoVid. Yes, it was possible that I had some kind of infection, but not that. But Cheri had me on the ropes: “Would you please go get tested…. For me?”
So – fine. I drove over to the testing place, and there in a huge banner, it read “Testing by appointment only. Call the number and speak to a nurse.” Absolutely no one was in line. No body, so I sat there and called the number, and they said that a nurse would get back to me sometime soon. Not, “No problem – just drive right in and we’ll stick of swab up your nose…” No – I had to drive home and wait. A little after 9:30 that night, a nurse called, an after I passed the lie detector test (because every man in America really wants to have another medical test), I was scheduled for 12:35 then next day. So much for emergency.
Well, I drove back over, and fortunately, they just used a small swab, and not a brain jammer, and said it would be back in about 4-8 hours. Again – no emergency, I guess. I drove back home and waited.
After an hour, I thought I would check the on-line results, and sure enough, it must have been slow, because the test was in… Would you be shocked to find out that the test came back negative? Sure enough – nothing at all wrong. Not a drop of the pandemic in my system.
I announced it to Cheri, waiting to receive an “I’m sorry for putting you through all this – I should have maybe just listened to you in the first place.” Oh no – as is typical for the female of the species, she went back to what she was doing, and just threw out the comment, “Well, it was good that you got tested, anyway…”
So, today, I am going to eat some red meat, take a good nap, and refuse to wear a mask. After, what can green kryptonite do to me this week?
Word for the day: hoosegow. Pronounced HOOS-gow. Once again, we are offered a word that is ours today through a horrible mangling process. The American West in the late 1800s was pretty wild, and not what you might call the most proper and literate culture on the planet. The fact is, many words used by the cowboys were messy derivatives of older Spanish words, including the one for today. The Spanish had the word, juzgado, which meant (and means) the court system, or the place where justice was carried out. Apparently, cowboys must have gone around with a lot of wax in their ears because all they heard was bits and pieces, which morphed into “hoosegow.” Actually, it all originally came from the Latin, iudicare, which meant “to judge.”
Anyway, the “hoosegow” became the popular term for an American West jail cell, as in “he ended drunk in the saloon, and caused such a ruckus that they chucked him in the hoosegow.” In our language today, that term seems a bit trite or quaint, when we can use “incarceration,” or “jail cell,” or any number of other terms to describe the place where hooligans would find themselves.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.