Friday, May 29, 2009

Packin’ Iron

I went to the Infusion center today and had a wave of nostalgia overwhelm me, and this time it was not the brandishing of needles that sent me back into my childhood. Nurse Chappell was limping about the establishment, carrying her odds and ends here and there. I became a little concerned because she usually is so spry. I thought that if she was hobbling about, bringing all of the paraphernalia associated with my phlebotomy, who was going to bring the Barq’s Root Beer and my package of Lorna Doones? My prospects even seemed more grim when the staff sat me down in a dark cubicle and did not turn the light on. From the corner a chorus of dwarvish voices softly chanted “We like the dark… dark for dark business”. Grim, but familiar.

Being in a reflective mood there in the twilight, I tried to imagine what I might do with the gimpy nurse in my next blog entry. My mind immediately went to the George Garabedian Players and their parody of “Gunsmoke”. In the television series which ran for twenty years, Matt Dillon was played by James Arness, Miss Kitty by Amanda Blake, and Chester Goode by Dennis Weaver. What is germane here is that Chester in “Gunsmoke” had a game leg, just like Nurse Chappell at the Infusion Center did today.

Mr. Grillon

[Kissing sounds, female giggles, male says, "mmm".]

[Fester, getting louder and louder:] Mr. Grillon, Mr. Grillon, Mr. Grillon, Mr. GRILLON!

[Kitty and Grillon continue laughing, smooching, billing and cooing and not paying attention throughout.]

[Grillon:] Hunh?

[Fester:] Mr. Grillon, it's Doc.

[Grillon:] Not now, doc, come back later.

[Fester:] No, I'm not doc, I'm Fester. Doc, he's lyin' in the street with an arrah' clean through his neck.

[Grillon:] Not now, Fester, come back later.

[Fester:] No, Mr. Grillon, now it's Doc, and he's hurt real bad there in the street. That's what he's doing.

[Grillon:] Who's there?

[Fester:] Oh, Mr. Grillon, now you just gotta come, now Doc, he's your friend.

[Grillon:] Hunh? Oh, yes, Doc. Uh, get Doc to take out your adenoids and see if that helps.

[Fester, under his breath:] I don't know about that.

[Fester:] You need some hot coffee. Now this thing is serious. Now Doc, he's been hit. He needs your help. Now what'dya figure on doin', Mr. Grillon?

[Grillon:] Oh, Fester, it is you. Can't-cha come back later? An', ah, get the Doc to look at that leg or something .

[Kitty, whispering:] Get rid of him.

[Fester:] The Doc has looked at my leg, Mr. Grillon, and there's nothin' he can do.

[Grillon:] Well, then show him the other one -- try to get a matching set.

[Fester, sighing:] Mr. Grillon, now, now, Doc, he's not gonna make it. Now, that arrah's clean through his neck and he's just lyin' there, right smack in the middle of the street, like. You're the Marshal and I've always looked up to you.

[Grillon:] Fester, you go back out there and make sure it's really Doc, an', ah, check him over real carefully, then let me know.

[Fester:] Well, yes sir. I'll do that checkin'.

[Sound of limping footsteps out, and then back in.]

[Fester:] It's Doc alright, with an arrah right through his neck.

[Grillon:] Which side?

[Fester:] Oh, I didn't check.

[Sound of limping footsteps out, and then back in.]

[Fester:] It's both sides, clear through.

[Grillon:] Through what?

[Sound of limping footsteps out.]

[Fester:] Through what!!

[Sound of limping footsteps back in.]

[Fester:] Wha... throug... ooo, Mist... Do... It's DOC!

[Grillon:] Oh, Doc, of course. Wait there a minute, Doc, I'll be right with you.

[Festus, speaking softly:] Oh, wait there a minute... Obvious... an arrah right through... on there... I do my best. I go back and forth... oh, oh...

[Festus breaks down mumbling and crying.]

I laughed myself silly the first time I heard this bit. I think that I have it on a 45 record somewhere in my collection. The other noteworthy quote from the “Gunsmoke” era is something that Trillium brought to my attention many years ago. During the opening credits of the show, the voice-over says of Matt Dillon’s role as Marshall of Dodge City, “It’s a lonely job, and a chancy!” That’s is exactly how I felt when I went to the Infusion Center alone today, without Trillium, for the first time in ten months.

After having “Gunsmoke” float through my mind, I conjured up another old western that I used to listen to on the radio and then later watched on our 9-inch television: “The Cisco Kid”. Duncan Renaldo played the Cisco Kid, an outlaw that was always in the market to help anyone in trouble, and never ever killed anyone. His side-kick, Pancho, was played by Leo Carrillo, one of my favorite actors of all time. One of the best lines ever attributed to “Pancho” has him saying in dire circumstances, “Let’s went, before we are dancing at the end of a rope,…. without music.” At the end of every episode, “Pancho” would make some sort of bad joke to which his partner would say “Oh! Pancho!", and Leo Carrillo would say, “Oh! Cisco!” and they would ride off into the sunset together. Now this afternoon, after I became a pound or two lighter, I was ready to crack a bad joke and have Trillium cry out, “Oh! Pancho” (I am still getting tubby) and I would then sweetly reply “Oh! Kisyou!” She, however, as I mentioned before, was unavailable for this exchange and I was not about to kiss myself.

I was reminded of my third television western after I got home. About the same time that “Gunsmoke” and the “Cisco Kid” were airing, I also listened to,

Out of the night, when the full moon is bright,
Comes the swordsman known as ‘Zorro’.
This bold renegade carves a ‘Z’ with his blade,
A “Z” that stands for ‘Zorro’

Guy Williams played the lead in “Zorro”. Guy Williams also was the actor who played John Robinson in “Lost in Space”. He would later grow up to look just like Anthony Hopkins. This whole series came to mind as I took the wrapping off my right arm where “Chester” had inserted the needle for my phlebotomy. There, over the hole where the needle had been, was a perfect little “Z” etched into my skin (Trillium will verify that fact). I think that someone has been taking liberties with my elbow when I was not looking. Now if Trillium had been with me, I am certain that the staff would not have been able to play their little joke on me. I can hear her now as they whip out their little tiny swords to do me in and as she pulls out her Colt 45, “Now, you are going to have to ask yourselves, ‘Do you feel lucky?’ Do you?” I pack iron simply because I am genetically predisposed to do so; Trillium packs iron because she has her own little mark on me and doesn’t allow anyone to mess with her man.


Katscratchme said...

Though I enjoyed this blog, it seemed rather wandersome to me... or maybe I'm just tired.

Trillium said...

A long way to the Zorro punch line. Of course, I saw it coming...having seen the little Z with a puncture hole in it. Fancy. LOL

Zaphod said...

And you don't think that any of the other postings didn't wander? I am the master of wanderlust. My stuff such makes Mark Twain's "My Grandfather's Goat" seem like a pithy one-liner.

Judie said...

You are truly getting desperate when you have to write about Gunsmoke, Zorro and the Cisco Kid. I remember I had to fight you for the 9" TV on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm so I could watch Liberace and George. But since Mother decided I needed the culture, you would have to wait.
When do you go to have your ferritin checked, now that they have some more of your blood.

Rebecca said...

i had a hard time following this blog too...

Zaphod said...

Judie: I have to wait two weeks for the ferritin check. I did not sense any more desperation than usual when I sat down at the computer to write this thing.

Rebecca: You have been distracted by your own medical experiences with the Big Guy. This blog entry was one of the most carefully crafted pieces I have ever written, with a lovely tenuous tread (the lovely Trillium, your mother) interlacing every nuance into a wonderful hole.... uh.... whole.

If you read the entry again and again, like I have, something is bound to hook you, pulling you in beyond the rhetorical event horizon and into the white light of comprehension which is the neutron star of my mind.

(Deep, Zaphod, knee deep)

shydandelion said...

I can totally see mom coming up on horseback, giant gun in tow, threatening your would-be villans! That would be so cool! I think you should get her a cowboy hat.