Having survived 18 hours of college (US History, Conversational Spanish, Philosophy, Humanities and two Algebra classes) in the last year while holding down a day job--in addition to writing and painting), I decided to take the summer off from college. I only need 6 hours to get my bachelors now. I'm driven to do it.
I had also been active in leadership of three non-profs and I needed a break before tackling that last 6 hours of school. It was to be the summer of George for Kari. I had concluded in the spring that some things were not adding to, they were taking from. These included the non-profs. I announced I was retiring from these orgs. This epiphany had given me an additional 24 weekends per year to enjoy my art which included a committment to myself to get back into standup. All that other stuff had left me exhausted. I wasn't sleeping well and a friend suggested one of those sleep apnea evaluation clinics.
The adventure began in June. I went to the Pulmonologist for the exam prior to the two night study of sleep. They found I was in full blown atrial fib. and recommended I get in to see my cardio guy stat. The following Monday I saw him. He said, "Well, wear this monitor for 24 hours so I can find out why you're doing this to me." (It's all about him
). I dropped off the monitor the next day and he called the following day, "Your pulse is averaging 42 beats per minute and this is not good. Because you could pass out while driving and Kari this is very difficult for the other drivers. So, I'm going to put in a pacemaker." "When?" "Next Tuesday." Shocking news. Another revolting development. "How am I gonna pay for this? The hospital said "Charge it." Meanwhile, the sleep disorder clinic had determined that I stopped breathing about 24 times per minute and recommended a sexy c-pap machine. I'm still waiting for the results of my c-pap smear.
I told my friend Molliver that I needed a pacemaker. She said, "Why? Are you out of Picante?"
When I went in for the surgery I told my doctor I had figured out what had put the extra stress on my heart. "It's from the gravitational pull of my boobs. So, while you're in there, if you could just tie them up back where they belong.." He said, "Well...we'll see." No such luck. I'm still a 38 long. Hey it was worth a try.
My son and his family came to help me at home for a few days. It was healing just to see the grandkids and make art with them. We also took a field trip to Pauls Valley OK to see the Action Figure Toy Museum. A friend of mine founded it and it is now one of the top 50 museums in the country. He gave us a VIP tour. If you want to have a day of fun, go check it out.
I returned to the day job the following Tuesday. It would have been that monday but there was a mote around my house. It rained 11.5 inches in 14 hours, so I couldn't drive 1-handed in that soup. I stayed home another day and worked on my pacemaker bit, adding:
I started off hooking jumper cables to the mic stand handing the other end of it to a cooperating comic and cautioning, "Don't let those two ends touch!!" Then set up an orange extension cord making sure it would still reach my chest when plugged in. And set a package of AA batteries, a can of W-D 40, my pill caddy and my cell phone charger on a table next to me and told the audience, "This is all just back up...just in case....see, I had a pacemaker put in last week....(audience laughs) Thank you for laughing at my heart disease..."
"Did you all get any rain? (groans) Any hail? (Hands go up) What did it damage?"
Audience replied "Roof....roof....car....roof."
"Who let the dogs in?"....
"I got some hail damage too but most of mine was limited to my upper thighs."
"I'm kinda glad to see the rain. I was tired of hearing Gary England forecasting "CLEAR" ...made me jumpy."
"Got me a pacemaker. Well, I couldn't afford the real one so I got the 'Pacemaker Wii.' I wanted to get the kind with the remote police scanner but I couldn't afford it. In fact, mine may have a defect. Every time I hiccough, the guy across the street's garage door opens and closes."...
Well all this was quite fun when I performed it two days later at 51st Street Speakeasy. They booked me for July 15th. Timing is everything in comedy. So my jokes should keep improving. Love you FOD family.--KariGrant