Archive for December, 2009

Arrive 6-8 hours before your scheduled flight for new underwear check. Please bring clean undies.

In response to the recent attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up an aircraft with explosives he had concealed in his underwear, the TSA has announced new security regulations that include the removal of underwear and shoes before going through airport X-ray machines.

“We know it won’t be convenient,” said Chester Wilchoy, Sr. Officer of Being More Safer, “but it’s what we’ve got to go to nip this problem in the ol’ budderooski.”

In response to an attempted shoe bombing of an aircraft on December 22, 2001, TSA enacted regulations for all passengers to remove their shoes to be X-rayed. While passengers griped at first, they quickly became compliant sheep. The TSA expects similar response to the new underwear regulation.

“Yes, people will bellyache at first,” said Mr. Wilchoy, “and some folks will be embarrassed to strip down and place their undergarments in the plastic tray, but they’ll get used to it by and by. I mean, come on, let’s be mature about this. The Lord gave us birthday suits and we shouldn’t feel shame to wear them or pose for pictures in them.”

When asked how the TSA officials will handle those people who go ‘commando’, Mr. Wilchoy dropped to one knee, removed his gun from his holster and pointed it at the frightened reporter. “Commando sounds like terrorist trouble to me,” he said. He then demanded the scared journalist slip into something a bit more naked.

Cheer up, Gloomy Gus-- Homeland Security's your pal!

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year old Nigerian man who attempted to bomb an American plane on Christmas day, was very lonely according to recently discovered online postings he made between 2005 -2007. Speculation is that the young man’s loneliness may have made him vulnerable and susceptible to following Al Qaeda orders to blow up an American jumbo jet. But Homeland Security officials have lept into action to curb the threat of future lonely bombers.

Effectively immediately, all TSA employees will engage passengers in conversation and offer to give them a back rub to ease pre-flight tensions. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to engage every passenger and make them feel like they have a friend and life is worth living and they shouldn’t blow up aircraft,” said an unnamed source in the Homeland Security Department. “If that means taking them to a nearby carnival and buying them some cotton candy, caramel apples or a pony ride, we’ll do it. We want to make sure everyone feels loved and accepted for who they are and that they have a friend in the TSA. Oh, it may take a little longer to get through airport security, but in times like these we all need to be willing to make sacrifices.”

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is the youngest of 16 children, may have felt unloved and misunderstood by his parents. “It’s quite common for the 16th child to have loneliness issues,” said noted child psychologist Dr. Raymond G. Lillymutton, “they do not get the love and devotion that the first 15 children receive, so they naturally crave attention. The kind of attention terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda are so good at providing– what with their secret handshakes, explosive yet surprisingly comfortable undergarments and easy martyrdom program. It’s the kind of package designed to appeal to someone with 16th child loneliness issues.”

While I thought I had pulled the plug on my total hip replacement series, some people have asked for an update. They are either curious, or taking some sick pleasure in my pain. Either way, I’m happy to oblige.

In week #5 post-surgery, the doc gave me approval to drive. I eased back into work, limping about on a cane and toting a throw pillow to place on seats. Sporting a scruffy beard, I looked like a demented interior designer walking the halls of Ames Scullin O’Haire in search of the perfect place to accessorize with my throw pillow.

The physical therapy regimen continues...

In week #6, I began my out-of-home, in-office physical therapy. Aaron, my therapist who re-built me from my first hip replacement, was ready to begin the process all over again on the left side.

Physical therapy is a lot like torture, except giving vital information will not save you from further pain. But physical therapy and natural muscle healing is all I have to do to get better and be human again. It hurts, but I do as I am told. I’ve heard horror stories of people who went through hip or knee replacement surgery, but didn’t do the necessary therapy and consequently have pain and a store-bought joint because they didn’t heal correctly. No thank you. Bring on the pain, Aaron. He does, he most certainly does.

It hurts, but I don’t resort to popping muscle relaxers. I’ve eased myself off the goof, cold turkey-ish. If I need pain relief, I pop a couple Aleve and the little blue pills take the edge off in their powerful yet street legal over the counter way.

... and I am feeling whole again.

I don’t do sleeping pills either. I now sleep the rest of the exhausted. But, to quote comedy guru Chris Elliott, I “have a bladder like a little girl.” I awake a couple times a night to totter my way to the bathroom, relieve myself and return to bed. I must keep two pillows between my legs to keep the new hip in check and out of harm’s way crossing the evil hip precaution zone (NEVER cross legs in the first three months post-surgery).

My two pillows are like a fluffy chastity belt.

My wife begins to ask me how much longer I am going to keep the beard. “It’s prickly,” she says. “Kissing hurts. Besides, it makes you look older.” When you are getting into the region of old fartdom, looking older is not a good thing.

Ancient bearded me.

I had never grown a beard before I had had my first hip replacement. I liked the change of pace, the lazy maintenance of it. But, she didn’t much care for it back then and it eventually found its way to the barber’s floor. It was time to begin thinking of a similar fate for this beard. It would be gone very soon.

Youthful clean-shaven me.

Week #7, I feel like I have my full energy back and I walk without a cane. Yes, I’m wobbly. Yes, I look like a mad sidewinder. Yes, it hurts somewhat. But I’m walking, dammit–– on two fake hips and a couple weak arthritic knees. It’s not pretty, but it is forward locomotion. I CAN WALK! I’m also climbing stairs with both legs alternately bearing load, like we all learned in step climbing school. No more slowly shuffling up steps on the good leg, descending on the weak one.

I also leave my pillow behind. I jack up the height of my office chair as high as it’ll go, and I’m extra careful to hoist myself out of chairs with both arms so as not to put undue pressure on my new hip. I don’t tempt fate by sitting in low rider chairs or couches. That’s a fool’s play, one that could send you back under the surgeon’s blade for some hip re-setting. That fear make me obey my hip precautions slavishly.

I'm ready for my TSA inspection.

Week #8, I take my hip on a test drive to the airport. I can walk, and now I will fly.

I make my way through my pals at TSA, I set off their security alarms and indicate I have TWO artificial hips. I get my “male assist” to wand me down. I beep on the left hip, I beep on the right. I’m patted down and deemed safe to pass. I gather my belongings and ask a nearby son to do me a solid and tie my shoes. I can’t do impossible tasks like that yet.

Life’s getting better all the time. I’m walking stronger on the road to recovery, eventually without a limp.

For 25 years, I’ve given Hallmark the Heisman and created our very own Christmas cards. It’s a creative challenge and undeniable proof that I care enough to lick an envelope.

Now that our sons are older, they alternate year to year on writing the back of the card– the shameless plea for money, a Scullin family tradition. Matt did the honors this year. Feel free to send donations, they like money (the gift that never needs returning).

Here’s digital wishes for a merry happy to you and yours from us and ours. Simply click to view this year’s model of our card, O.K.? Scullin Christmas Card 09

My hands with be in a flurry to describe how manipulated I feel watching this spot.
Can you say heavy handed?

Not long ago I wrote on this site about the dangers of smoking monkeys and chimps. I offered to collect funds and buy addicted primates some nicotine patches and gum to get them off the goof.

Unfortunately, none of you responded with financial aid. Well, I hope you cheap, heartless bastards are happy– look what animal kingdom peer pressure hath wrought!

Yes, he's man's best friend-- but only if you fill his bowl!

Please send money quickly to me c/o The Lint Screen on the innerwebs. Thanks.