Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Grey Hair and Other Fun Stuff
This is my friend Jack Annis. I'm not sure he would approve of my writing about him- he's a fairly private person, but then again, he might not mind. He's incredibly generous with his time and talents and even his possessions. When he moved away last year he went out of his way to make sure that everything in our house was up to par- the electrical, hot water heater and plumbing. He had worked as the maintenence supervisor at the school and there wasn't a whole lot that he couldn't do. Actually this blog isn't about Jack, he's just the only person I have a picture of who is getting grey, so he fits the bill for what I wanted to write about. I do have a rather funny story involving Jack, two Sitka Blacktail bucks and a rubber life raft that I would like to share some day, but that will probably wait until another time.
I was in Juneau awhile back to take care of some overdue maintenence on my body. I went to the dentist and had two teeth filled and one root canal. I probably could have spent the whole day there getting things fixed up, but the human body can only stand so much. I managed to open my mouth wide enough for the dentist to shove some lighted, vinyl, contraption inside, a hose for water, another to suck it out, some metal clips, a drill, a pick of some sort and the Baja Marimba band. All that and he still managed to manuver around in there. I probably should have sold him a road map so he didn't get lost in the maze. To complicate matters I was just getting over a cold so my nose wasn't all that clear. I don't know that it would have made much difference one way or another, it seemed like it was being used as an armrest at least part of the time, so I had to breath whenever the opportunity presented itself. He's really a great dentist though and I like his staff. His assistant is really nice looking too. If you have to be in the chair it's nice to look at something pleasant through your tears.
Trips to Juneau usually require a fair amount of planning. It costs too much to go over for just one thing like shopping or a doctors appointment so you want to try to combine things and get the most bang for your buck. That's what I did. After I left the dentist office I ran over to the Village Barber shop for a long over due haircut. A friend of mine, Pete Whitehead works there. He used to fish the Janie C years ago when Buffalo Bob had the Talatche. I'm not sure why he quit fishing- he probably actually wanted to make a living at something that paid. I waltzed in and said hi out of the side of my mouth that wasn't numb. My appearance probably terrified some of the other patrons there. My hair, which hadn't been cut for four months or so was curling out from under my hat giving me a kind of Bozo-like appearance, which wouldn't have been so bad, but I kept having to drag out my hankerchief and alternately blow my nose and wipe the drool that was sneaking out the side of my mouth. When I finally got a chance at the barber chair I was amazed at the mound of hair that was collecting on the floor underneath. There must have been a half a pound, and that was just from my ears and eyebrows. While I was sitting there, I had a rather pleasant conversation with another grey haired patron about the unwanted hair that seems to sprout everywhere but your head. He told me a story about his granddaughter being able to identify him when he went to pick her up at school because of the massive amounts of nose hair he had. We both agreed that ear hair on men should serve some good purpose like collecting sound waves and directing them into the inner canals. Barber shops are great places to fellowship with other aging guys. If you still have enough hair to warrant a full priced hair cut, it can be good for your self-esteem too.
I left there and went to my doctor's office for my annual physical. They wisely threaten to withold my medicine if I don't come in yearly for an exam. Doctors know men well enough to know that the vast majority of us would rather sit through a rendition of the Nut Cracker Suite than subject ourselves to a prostate exam. There is something rather alarming when your doctor don's a miner's cap complete with a headlamp and tells you to bend over. Just kidding. I have one of the coolest doctors in Southeast Alaska. We have an understanding about probing around in unchartered territory. I do have to say though, it was somewhat uncomfortable sitting around on the bench in my underwear while he listenened to blood flow and heart beats and whatnot. The last time I was that uncomfortable (aside from my last physical) was when my next door neighbor, a big Russian guy named Alexis brought over a massage table that he had built and wanted to give me a massage. He had borrowed my tools to make the table and wanted to pay me back somehow. I tried my hardest to convey to him that I didn't want a massage, but Russian guys are hard to convince, so against my will, I was getting one. It wouldn't have been so awful except for the fact that he wanted me to take off my pants. Here I was in my own living room disrobing for a massage that I didn't want while Jan was in the bedroom trying unsuccessfully to stifle her laughter. It wasn't fun. In fact I hurt for three days afterwards. Why anyone would willingly subject themselves to the pain and humiliation I have no idea.
Let it suffice to say that it's not easy being me. It's a full time job and the pay isn't that great.