But, wait! There’s more to the story than that

By Don Rush

Hit a milestone last Friday. It’s a day, let’s be honest-ish, that brought a tear to my eye. It was emotional, at least for me. It was the day I was able to again wear pants to work – and my co-workers in the office were more than thankful. It was the first time in 84 days (not that I was counting) that I could put pants over my bum leg.

The morning before, at around 7 in the morning, Dr. Shivajee Nallamothu, took my leg immobilizer in his well manicured hands and tossed it in the garbage. “You’ve been wearing this like an ankle bracelet anyways,” then he said. “Don, you’re healing well,” he said, marveling at the surgery to reconnect a ruptured patellar tendon he had completed on May 25. I tore it on May 13. “You’re making me look good. Any pain?”

Nope.”

Lift up your leg. Hold it. Good.” He said, adding, “Work on building up strength and don’t do anything stupid.”

And, like that I was ushered out of his Clarkston office to be on my own without the support of the leg-keeper-straighter-immobilizer-thing-a-ma-bob. My right leg felt naked, vulnerable to the world. Driving to work, I pondered Doc’s parting commentary. “Don’t do anything stupid.”

This might be a toughy. I’ve made a life of doing stupid things and it’s only recently that I don’t bounce as good as I used to (Guess I ain’t 50 anymore). So, now I am thinking, “Don’t be stupid, Don.” I can no longer sumo wrestle? No karate kicks and jiu jitsu? I can’t squat down, cross my arms across my chest and do Russian dancing? Cross off doing the high-kicking, Irish Riverdance thing? No hanging upside down from a stripper pole? What the heck?!

Where’s the fun in life if I can’t do all those things?

Wait. Damn. Rats.

Now, I feel – well – rather shallow and unfulfilled because I’ve never been able to do, nor have attempted any of those things to begin with.

At least I don’t have to wear shorts to work (and everywhere) anymore. Pants are a good thing. So, I got that goin’ for me.

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If you missed it, last week I confessed my love affair with hotdogs. I like them grilled, boiled, raw, with ketchup, or mustard or basically any other condiment I already like on them – including macaroni salad, coleslaw and baked beans. I love hotdogs! So, after that column hit the streets, I was walking with a bit of a gimp in downtown Oxford. Some dude in dark clothing and darker fedora walked by me going in the opposite direction and simply said, “Upton Sinclair” and then turned into a building. Gone. Disappeared. Was he really even there?

Upton Sinclair, thought I.

Oh. No.

Snippets of memories danced back from the recesses of my brain to the forefront. Upton Sinclair. Muckraker. Book. The Jungle. And, then images of a giant vat of mystery meats flashed behind my eyes. Oh boy. I think I read that book in junior or high school. I am not sure, if I had read it, I must have flushed it from my brain, erased it from my memory so as to not destroy my relationship with hotdogs (and for that matter bologna). I think it’s time to do something stupid to stuff these memories back where they belong and quickly!

Speaking of my abusive relationship with hotdogs, here are some of your comments on the aforementioned column, headlined, “Oh I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Wiener . . .”

Hi Don — I, too, enjoy hotdogs! Even the ones Home Depot used to sell. One of my favorite toppings is a mustard, Mayo, onion and sugar mixture. Try it, I bet you’ll like it. I enjoy reading your page every week, and I hope you are getting around better these days. Yes, sugar is the secret ingredient. You have to mix it in as you taste it, I never do any measuring…. crazy, I know. It’s an old family recipe that my dad used to make for us as kids. Good luck! Let me know how you like it. Or if you need any help.  Write on, Mr. Rush, write on! Lol Ruthanne F., Oxford

Thanks, Ruthanne. I may just give that recipe a whirl. But, first I think I want to buy some sauerkraut and mustard for the hotdog delight this weekend.

* * *

Yup, that’s me, your hero throwing down a dog after a canoe trip sometime back in the late 1980s

Dear dr dog,
I read (with relish) your column expressing your love of dogs … cooked or otherwise. It caused me to think of an old high school friend that, for some reason known only to him, could only eat a foot-long coney dog by turning it upside down thereby spilling the chili into his lap. I wonder if he’s figured it out yet?
Also wanted to express my appreciation for the tip of putting the condiments in the bun first with the wienie on top. Have a family reunion coming up and was considering taking my shirt off at mealtime to make the clean-up easier. Your solution is much better and will save my long suffering spouse some embarrassment!
The Chicago dog with tomatoes and pickles gets my vote! Please reconsider your endorsement of ketchup! It’s only acceptable use is as cheap makeup as blood for a high school production of Macbeth!
Steve S.

Thanks, but no thanks, Steve. I shan’t reconsider ketchup for my dogs!

* * *

I love this column! Thanks for making me laugh out loud. I like a hot dog once in a blue moon, but music I cannot live without! — Kelly S.

Well, thank you, Kelly. I write ‘em to elicit an emotion. Unfortunately, last week’s column was to make you feel sad and angry. So, I messed up again. Keep reading, one day I will get it right!

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Got a comment for Rush, email him. Send them to DontRushDon@gmail.com

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