Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, October 24, 2003

I guess a breakdown was imminent eventually...

This morning I went to pay the second rent installment and told them I was borrowing the last bit and would have that tomorrow. The secretary checks her records and then informs me that it isn't $60 I owe--it's $172! That's because since they filed for the eviction, I have to pay the court costs. I asked her when that would have to be paid, and she said the day before court--Monday. Mind you...I get paid on Thursday.

It was too much. Just when I thought I'd had things worked out, this was a curve ball that hit me square in the face. Granted, I'd figured I would have to pay that amount--but I thought I could pay by the 30th and all would be well. I started to break down in the office, then signed the paper I needed to for them to take a partial payment and headed to work. By the time I got to Richmond Road, I was bawling uncontrollably. So much for stiff upper lip and not reacting like the world was going to end.

Halfway to work, I saw a white car pull around in a U-turn and come up. I knew it was Dwana. I got in without even easing up on the bawling. Dwana was on her phone, said she had to go, that she'd picked me up and I was crying. She asked me what was wrong and I told her. We headed back towards work. She was the comforting presence I needed. Unfortunately, she was on a rollercoaster emotionally, too, running on almost no sleep, because her sister-in-law had gone into labour, shot into pre-eclempsia, and she'd just gotten word that her blood pressure was sky-high and they were trying to slow down the labour so she wouldn't stroke out. Her family was in an uproar with the general chaos of birth plus this latest development. They were also trying to cancel a birthday party for the pregnant woman's mother on short notice and Dwana's poor husband, who's worked something like 20-30 hours in the last couple of days, had to be on hand for a haunted house at the nursing home where he works. So, chaos.

That helped put things into perspective for me. I went in, washed my face, and tried not to fall apart again. I had a message on my voice mail. It was Bobbie from the rental office. She'd talked to the manager and they'd agreed they'd go to court since they'd started the process and get the judgement, but that as long as I paid the full amount by the 30th, I wouldn't have to move out. Meanwhile, Dwana found out that her sister-in-law's blood pressure was coming down.

So, the day was improving. I also sent in a remibursement request for $65 and withdrew all $850 or so from my retirement due to economic hardship. The financial advisor was very supportive and reassured me that I'm at the age most people are starting their retirement anyway, so my lack of ability to contribute and now the withdrawal probably will not hurt me so long as I can find a job where I have the stability to start anew. That was helpful.

Then there was a reception at work and Dwana and I both won prizes. She got a gift basket that was nifty, and I got a bizarre but perfect prize...a pen that vibrates. It had the hospital's name on it. It's supposed to be a little mini-massager to relieve stress or be used on pressure points. One of the guys I can clown around with suggested it. I got out the pen and started reading the insert and started laughing so hard that the next few winners grabbed up the remaining pens. I haven't had so much fun with an insert since we read the Reality (TM) female condom one where they said 'if Reality slips, remove Reality and insert another Reality'.

Here's the text (verbatim...complete with errors...I guess it's of foreign manufacture):

Healing with your pen pal J-Mo.
J-Mo is user-friendly, you can have its companionship any time, any place.
J-Mo helps you to get rid of your headaches, sinus problems, ,backaches, nect pain etc and also relieves eyestrain tension due to stress.
J-Mo is your Buddy!

Important Notes

  • Continuous usage for more than 15 minutes is not advisable. Do not message the same area for more than 5 minutes.
  • Men with any abnormalities and women in pregnancy should consult doctor and seek approval on the usage.
  • Stop use immediately if you feel ill, itch and reddinging or bruising of the skin or any abnormal conditions arise.
  • Do not use the massage pen around the skin of the eyes or any other delicate areas.
  • After use be sure the top of the massage pen do not touch any object so as not to waste power.
  • Do not use or store the massage pen in the bathroom or any camp damp place.
  • The battery can last for 4 hours.
  • Draw the battery out if you have no intention to use the massage pen for a long while.

Mind you...this means I have a miniature vibrator on a pen inscribed with a children's hospital phone number, complete with a chart of pressure points. I have to admit, my neck has been very tense (for obvious reasons) and it does help. It was just such an odd contraption. And I'm still trying to figure out what abnormalities in men preclude its use. Freckles? Two heads? What?

It really helped me recover from this morning. :)

Dwana later got a message that the baby was starting to go into distress and that if they couldn't finish labour soon naturally, they'd do an emergency Caesarian section. She dropped me off and went on to the hospital. I checked my messages later and apparently little Madeline was born, safely, around 7 tonight. Yay! The couple had specifically chosen not to know the gender beforehand, so it was a nice surprise, and Dwana's thrilled at being an aunt.

So, all's well that end's well, I guess. Crazy day (and it gets weirder...check the next post). But I'm glad, for now, it's over.

red ball:6

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