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Hey starting here with Pt. 4 is cool.   Really, we take what we can get.
But Parts 1 and 2 were quite literally sidesplitting.  So if you are inclined, you can begin with those and just keep going.  Same title under Alleged Humor:  [Friday Pt. 1]  [Sat. Pt. 2]  [Sun. Pt. 3].    LINKS  AT END BELOW
      After surviving and just about recovering from the trip and fall over the cat (previously related in the Yellow Sofa-Bed Incident, yesterday), knowing my luck, I started waiting for the other shoe to drop.strong>Ironically, had I been wearing shoes, my left foot probably would have dropped without incident.   The next accidental spill, only several months later, involved what turned out to have been a rather unfortunate time management decision.
In typical comedic fashion, TOSSED BY THE FLOSS, and
 I wasn't even clowning around.
           
                                                   I am sitting in the spa tub, still soothing the occasional slight residual rib pain, and remember there’s an upcoming dental checkup in two days.  It hits me, “Why waste this spa time simply “healing,” when I can truly optimize the experience by simultaneously using the 10 minutes to floss the hell out of myself right there in the tub?”  Almost a literal Archimedes eureka moment.

     As we’ve already established in Part 1, ADD combined with the reflexes of a bust of Beethoven are incompatible partners  in the facilitation of multi-tasking. Throw in the challenged proprioception, also referenced in that same portion of this diary, and you have a rather volatile combination.

Tub accident re-enactment.  Not an actual photo.
     Straddling the side of the still bubbling tub, intending to emerge quickly and only momentarily, I allow the right foot to slip, producing – again with the recent Olympics figure skating in mind – what can only be described as an almost category defining klutz lutz.

     This propels me forward so as to forcefully strike the tub spout dead center with the bridge of my nose, and visa versa. Almost as if taking aim.  

     You of course may be somewhat familiar with that slow motion feeling, when you know there is absolutely nothing to stay the impending demonstration of the law of inertia?  This may also be what inevitably prompted  the virtually obligatory Nancy Kerrigan, “Why, why, why?”  And also, “Why does this stuff always happen when nobody else is home?”

     After the initial shock and awe, concern soon transfers over to, “OMG, the crowns," from the previous dental appointment!  However, despite the now familiar blood spurting from the bridge of my nose like a Barnett Shale fracking experiment gone terribly awry, a quick self-diagnostic overview in the mirror assures, nope, it’s only the nose, to paraphrase Woody Allen, now no longer my fourth favorite organ.  Yet, at that moment being unable to determine if just nasaly bruised or broken, I somehow consider myself the luckiest man on the cranioface of the earth. However one eventually would like to  know.

     In preparation for keeping the  dental appointment the next day, I once again plunge into the now dicey area of both time and financial management.  I describe the relatively confined area of damage to the appointment scheduler, ans inquireif there would be any possibility that the dental x-ray machine could be pressed into nontraditional service -- since I was dropping by anyway.  With the bone scan recommended as the result of the recent rib injury, I was pretty sure I had already surpassed my minimum daily tolerance for gamma rays.

Having broken, my head's most  forward
 protrusion,  I finally look like I really am
ready for some football.
Also avail. In waterproof wallet
Size for swimming or new, more
rigid, voter ID confirmation.
    Sadly, the dental equipment and tiny film proved unadaptable to any broader implementation.  The negative of the eventual x-ray the following day at my plan participating group practice, however, did confirm what two blackend eyes had augurred -- that bump at the top of the bridge, if fact,  actually was a fracture.  Once again, no splint, no cast, no popping anything back into place -- another all-you-can-do-is-live-with-it situation.
           
                                                                  With that  bump, the simple act of balancing my reading glasses has now developed into the equivalent of a plate-spinning act.  Come over some time, for an annotated tour of the wide assortment of broken eyeglasses that were a natural byproduct of the recurrent pattern.                                                                                                                                 Have you got time for just one more, before we end this marathon with a sidebar that is actually about Key West, not just me? What a concept.  There are so many to choose from, you are making this extremely difficult.  Let's save for another time the brown recluse bite, the ankle swollen to double its normal size after falling into the post hole I happened to be digging, or the film shoot where I'd thought I'd swallowed some road sand after landing on my chin in the middle of the two-lane, when all it turned out to be was shattered fragments of teeth.

     No, let’s go with the Courthouse Laceration – which is not, as you might have suspected a Robert Ludlum or John Grisham novel.

     Picture me rushing to me the 5:30 deadline for filing some legal documents with the Dallas County District Court. I park several blocks away and make a dash for it.  Why?  As it might be described in a lawsuit, another Time v. Economy trade off, to bypass the ten-minutes-for-a dollar meters closer in -- obviously there to assure space for the courier services.  Not to worry, the real lawyers would be passing that cost on with the billable hours.

     As usual, thinking ahead, rather than in the moment like a normal person, I step off the curb, and as far as I know, for the first time, come face-to-street with my proprioception problem  Or as was pointed out, maybe 20 years is too long between eye exams.  

     A before-its-time selfie-of-sorts in the vehicle’s side mirror reveals a gushing head wound, the result of my glasses being pressed into it by the Griffin Street macadam, before they went flying into traffic.  No longer having spectacles to make of myself, I do not look forward in the court clerk bearing witness to the blood-soaked wretch I was on the way to becoming, while many of those around me in the courthouse would be passing by in $500 suits.

     I therefore found it expedient to freshen up a bit with a cold water compress in the first available public washroom I was fortunate enough to encounter en route.  That just happened to be the restroom facility located in the Lamar Street Dallas Greyhound Bus Station.   Surprisingly, this proved the ideal location. It was quite apparent  the regular appearance there of various individuals also sporting gushing craniofacial wounds was apparently common enough that the other patrons of afforded my own no notice whatsoever.

L.  Dallas Greyhound Station triage pit stop.        R. George Allen Dallas District Civil Court
    Nevertheless, in the clerk’s office itself, I found it incumbent to shield my face as much as possible from onlookers with the documents to be filed, a credible impression of the many before me who had no doubt been paraded through the same area on one of those equally embarrassing perp walks.

    Now, you feel free to be the judge.  Were the previously related odd circumstance traumas worth it, if only for the story material?  Hey, we write about what we know.

                                          WELCOME TO KEY WEST

But first, we break in here for a short travelogue, not merely to share some of the major Key West attractions, but more to the point,  demonstrate how amazingly far one can walk blissfully unaware of a broken rib.

     Wife, daughter and I are now off on our own quite inclusive walking and narrated trolley tour of the island.   The Key West Bight, about four blocks from  Albury Court, where we boarded the trolley, turned out not to be the fast food eatery we had imagined.  It was the island’s north shore seaport.                                                    

"Telegram for Raul Castro...."
    In addition to the people in the open air eateries finishing their own breakfasts – which, among Key Westerners, can involve beer - the dock featured the schooner Western Union. This was Florida’s last working tall ship, that had been responsible for tending the undersea telegraph cable between our island and Cuba, 90 miles away.
                                                                The museum 180 degrees in the other direction boast quite possibly the most un-lifelike effigy conceivable of one     Dr. Samuel Mudd, posed in conversation with a Civil War era union soldier.  Doc Mudd had been shipped off to Florida following his conviction as a Lincoln assassination accomplice.  
    The man was imprisoned for a number of years at Fort Jefferson, nearby in the Dry Tortugas – possibly the “Wet Tortuga”s during the Prohibition whiskey smuggling era depicted on “Boardwalk Empire.” Freedom was  later granted in appreciation for having saved the lives of many of his jailors and fellow prisoners during a major Yellow Fever epidemic -- quite possibly by successfully moisturizing the squad’s dry “tortugas” with a key lime poultice.

     The delightful Key West Butterfly Conservatory, with its 50 or 60 species fluttering among us, felt as if we had been transported into a scene from "Avatar; although director James Cameron’s, passenger ship had gone down with Leonardo DeCaprio in the North Atlantic, no where near the treacherous Key reefs.

L. Southernmost Line to the Southernmost Point in the US.
R. About the best shot you can get, if you're in a hurry.
      Nearby “The Southernmost Point” in the U.S., adjacent to the “Southernmost House” and “Southernmost Hotel”  is identified by a rather unremarkable, red, white, and black buoy-like monument, hauled up onto the sidewalk.                                                  If you go – as we say in travel circles, you too may realize that the half hour line of visitors, waiting for a dissatisfying cell phone photo remembrance, would be virtuallynonexistant, if at least a few could grasp the concept of posing in the foreground, rather than waiting to sequentially plaster themselves right up against it. However it was at least of some consolation to know, at that very moment, we had found ourselves in the presence of arguably the southernmost assemblage of photographically inept tourists in America.
Six-toed cat Harry Truman at the Hemingway House.
Named after the 5-toed mid-century president, who
made 11 visits to what became known as the Harry S.
Truman Little White House – in con- contrast I guess,
 to the G.W. Bush Little House on the Prairie.
(bricksandmortarpreservation.wordpress.com  via NPR)
     A few blocks to the Hemingway House, where the author wrote many pioneering, adjective-sparce classics we read in school, with surprisingly limited residual misogyny. The 40 descendants of Hemingway’s six-toed cats are maintained by four caretakers. Our tour docent wouldn't confirm my theory that, in addition to a disproportionately large number of Hemingways, the leopard whose carcass froze on Mt. Kilimanjaro, may also have committed suicide upon realization it was also consigned to a life with a maximum of only five digits per limb.

     After changing back at the hotel toward evening  (even in mid-winter and at night, the tropical humidity did not permit a single one of the long sleeve shirts taken along as backup to leave the suitcase), it was ten blocks in the other direction to the Mallory Square waterfront, cruise ship dock. Hundreds gather there each evening, on land and by sail, to take in the spectacular Key West sunset. Until that moment, we had been of the belief the sun had set all over the entire world.  

MALLORY SQUARE SUNSET MASTERPIECE
Be sure to point your lens directly into the sun.
OK,everybody smile.
    On close inspection you might notice a delegation of those same Southernmost Point amateur photographers silhouetting their subjects in each shot, due to the unavoidable over-lit background, as if photobombed  by a giant fiery ball of gas.  At least there was no line to press up against it.

     On the way back, even approaching midnight, one wends his way back  through good sized merry crowds, past blocks and blocks of storefronts and tent canopies displaying Key West souvenir garments along with almost unanimous T-shirt fails in their intended ironic or witty messaging.  You can find some pretty good art, thematically unconnected to the island, frequently sold by stores actually named something like “Pretty Good Art.”  Industrious yet personable vendors still out hawking  beachwear and beach paraphernalia, seashell and coconut arts and crafts, inexpensive Asian scarves and casual clothing that really weren’t half bad,.  Something to bring home for everyone, along handbags from Honduras and endless varieties of salsas, mustards, sausage pretzels, key lime or mango everything, and other consumables said to be endemic to the island specialties.  Really not a bad experience, although one is prompted to suggest they consider changing the island’s name to “Tchotch Key.”

                                                      SURVEY

   There is no reason to believe the pattern of injury in this series won’t continue on schedule beyond the latest Key West incident.  We are creatures of habit.  Fortunately, nothing so far has required any kind of hospitalization or operation.  I’d prefer to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch.

    There is one current concern, in the event of some brief period of semi-consciousness – or even the full monte -- after a tumble. Medical personnel called to the scene may be unfamiliar with this history of self-injury, followed by recovery requiring no extraordinary measures.  I would hate to be prematurely wheeled into surgery without my consent.

     A “medic alert” tags or bracelet has been suggested, such as those warning one may be subject to anaphylactic shock, epileptic seizure—or more seriously, some peanut allergy.   (A college running companion earned a number of cross country event medals, but I noticed there was only one small one he favored around his neck in competition.  On closer inspection, the inscription read, “I am allergic to tetanus.”)

     My own would attest to the fact that “doing nothing” has proven to be the customary and so far successful ameliorative procedure. But could this jewelry easily slip off  -- I’m thinking, say, while swimming?

     Key West’s seafaring history suggests the obvious solution –  a tattoo.  Yet, one can’t go around like a walking Hallmark with an “expression for every occasion.” So, as we say, in order to serve you better, I have designed three entries into the competition, from which you should feel free help me select in the poll below.

 Participation is optional; if you’ve read this far, you’ve already contributed more than enough.
                           THE FULL SERIES (all same title)
Part 1  (the hotel breakfast tumble/proprioception part)  Fri. 2/28
Part 2 (the snorkel part)  Sat. 3/1
Part 3 (sofa relocation/Arthur Loew/Oscar Levant part) Sun. 3/2
Part 4 (floss toss, district court, KW travel) Mon. 3/3.                                  
Poll

Of the “medic alert” tattoos in contention, I’m kind of partial to:

0%0 votes
50%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
50%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 2 votes | Vote | Results

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