Saturday, April 23, 2011

Buddy's Story Part 2: Buddy's Side

Hey, I'm Buddy.  My Mama exaggerates.  Just wanted to tell you that.

So the other day I was out hanging with my pal slash nemesis Sugar and we went next door to the weeds.  Sometimes there's bunnies in the weeds and I'm the best derned bunny chaser ever, yessirree, that's me. One time I even bit the tail fluff right off this white tail rabbit and it was the funniest thing I ever did see. He was so mad...well anyway, I'm getting away from my story.

So me and Sugar Booger (I love calling her that cuz she hates it) were sniffing around in the weeds, talking and laughing about how we knocked over the trash in the barn and ripped it all up and Mama didn't even knowed it yet, when I saw this movement in the bush in front of me.  First, I thought it was a rope but it moved and I was like, "Whoooaaaa, dude!  Check it out!"  I jumped at the moving rope and moved even faster.  Scared me so bad that I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but, well, I may have tinkled a little, but you would have too! 

Sugar laughed at me and called me a sissy.  I ain't no sissy!  No one calls me a sissy.  I went back after that rope and jumped right on it's tail.  The front of whipped around at me and hissed something awful.  But I wasn't letting go, no I wasn't.  I'm not a sissy. I'm a guard dog, and no little moving rope is gonna scare me! 

Well, I'm fixing to tell you something that is gonna shock your shoes right off'n your feet.  That rope can talk.  I ain't lying to ya.  Just ask Sugar.  She'll tell you.  The rope, it's sez, "Get off my tail, you dumb mutt, or I'll bite you so hard your mama'll feel it!" 

"Ha!  Shows what you know, you dumb rope.  I'm adopted!  'sides, ropes can't talk!"  So there.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  No one messes with the Budster and walks away unscathed and.....OW!!!  OW OW OW!  What the...!

"I tried to tell you. Now get off my tail." 

"That hurt!  Why'd you go and do that?  I never did anything to you.  I was just talking nice like and you went and -....OW!  You did it again!  Why'd you bite me again?!  That's not nice!"  I was still standing on the mean rope's tail and it was rearing back for another lick at me, and I knew I was done for, good as gone, but that ol' Sugar's good for something 'sides knocking over trash cans and digging holes in the front yard and bossing me around.  She ran slap into me and knocked me over just as the rope tried to strike.  It missed this time, thank the Good Lord, as my mama calls him.  The rope hissed at me as it slithered down to the creek that next time it wouldn't be so nice.  Nice?!  I'd hate to see mean, for gracious sakes.

"Come on, Dummy.  Let's get you home."  Sugar almost sounded nice, and she saved my life too.  Maybe she's not all about eating, sleeping, and getting me in trouble for her intestinal issues.  Most likely she wants me to live so she can have someone to blame, but whatever.  I start home.

The pain!  Oh my word, the P.A.I.N!!!  The neighbor dog Bella said labor is the worst possible pain but I'll trade her birthing 10 puppies and give her this rope burn any day.  I laid down, right there with my home in sight, and told Sugar to go on without me.  I'll just die in agony and no one will care if I'm gone. She can have my dogbone and my chew toy. 

"I don't want your nasty Dollar Tree toy with your nasty boy slobber on it.  Get your scrawny, sissy butt up and walk three legged like a man. Go on, get up!  March!"

Did she just call me a sissy?  After what I went through? The nerve!  I'm telling my mama.  Well, I tell you what, I marched my yellow and white self all the way across the field, through the horse pasture, even offering a greeting to the grazing beasts (although I didn't snap at their heels as usual), climbed the porch steps, and barked to be let in.  I'm so glad I have my human children trained.  They always jump up and let me in right away, probably because if they don't I scratch at the door until I tear the paint off. I couldn't have scratched today, but they didn't know that. 

Next thing you know, I hear Ainie screeching in that window shattering voice of hers, "Mamaaaa, Buddy's bleeding!"  It was the sweetest sound I could have heard right then.  Sugar went past me to "her" couch (she has her own couch, which I think is totally unfair) laid down, and told me I'd been very brave.

I knew everything would be all right. 

Buddy's Story Part 1

As we all know, Buddy the Beagle-ish was bitten by a snake on Thursday, the 21st of April, 2011.  Since this snake bite caused quite a bit of commotion in his human's house, not to mention a huge hit to the already stressed wallet, his human mama has finally gotten the whole kit and caboodle story from him and is sharing it with everyone.  It's not quite worth the $157 vet bill, but it's something entertaining, at least. Stupid dog.

A little background on the Bud, to begin.  Buddy was found nearly 2 years ago sitting all sad and pitiful on the Beal's doorstep.  He was just a little guy, apparrantly abandoned by stupid humans that don't recognize the sweetest dog on the face of the earth.  He's a lemon and white mostly Beagle and something else, hence: Beagle-ish.  My son Chad (this is his human mama telling this story) called me up and said, "Mama, can I have a puppy?" 

No. No no no nononononono.  He says he just wants to show him to me.  And maybe we could just watch him for the weekend, because the Beals will keep him, but they have to go camping that weekend, but they'll come get him on Monday.  That was two years ago this July.  They haven't come back yet.

Buddy has gained some weight since we got him, and he's grown into the prettiest dog in the world.  No really, I'm not making that up.  It's been proven.

He's got the warmest brown eyes, and his ears are made of velvet.  His nose is just perfect, and you know it because he's always got it stuck on you somewhere (usually somewhere you don't really want pointed out in polite company).  He sleeps in less than modest positions, but he is a boy, so I guess we can't hold it against him.

So, all that to say, Buddy is a loved member of this family.  On Thursday, his human (me) was all set for a day spent in the recliner watching movies, playing on the computer, maybe stretching the ol' thinker by reading a book or two, but that was IT.  After 3 days of achievement testing with the homeschool group, that was all the noggin could handle. 

But nope, it was not to be.  At 11:15, the 8 year old screeched, "Mama, Buddy's bleeding!"  Without even turning to look, I assured her that Buddy was fine.  Chances were good that she was just trying to ruin my don't-do-anything-not-even-put-on-a-bra day.  But the screeching intensified as the 13 year old saw Buddy and then Buddy started howling in tune with them.  The 11 year old took a lookie loo and said Buddy's leg was dangling, and he even seemed concerned.  Since he usually doesn't notice if someone has been decapitated, I finally hefted myself from my recliner (rather disgustedly, I might add) and checked and went to the front room to check on the stupid dog.

He was sitting there, looking sad like hounds do, and his leg...  Good gracious, sakes alive, his leg!  Call 911!  Something's wrong with Buddy!  Oh goodness!  He's gonna die!  His leg is broken!  He's bleeding.  Some neanderthal done hurt my sweet boy.  I have my vet on speed dial so I called them and before they can finish saying their good mornings I shriek that my baby's hurt and I have to come right now right now right now. 

The receptionist, let's call her Cathy to protect the innocent, said, "Kerri, is that you?" 

"Yes!  My baby's hurt! Fix it!"

"Is it your horse?  What happened to Blitz now darling?"

"No it's not Blitz. I'd be upset if it was Blitz.  It's Buddy. Something's wrong with him.  Fix it!"

"Would you care to elaborate, honey?" Again with the calm voice.  It's so annoying.

"Well, he's broken.  His leg is broken and I need it fixed. NOW." 

"Can you come at 3:15?"

"That's an awful long time away.  Can't I come now?"  I wasn't whining, honest.  Sniffling a little, maybe.

"You could come now, but the vet's not here, so you'd just have to wait."

"Well, fine. Whatever."  I'm a big believer in mature behavior.

While waiting to go to the vet, I called my mama, my husband, my son, my neighbors (all of them), put it on Facebook, emailed it to everyone, and maybe put it on the prayer chain at church.  What can I say, I wuff my BudMan.  Buddy spent most of the time looking all pitiful and moaning in pain. He did his chocolate melty eyes at me and made me feel sad for having working legs.

At the vet, he got a shot and his temperature taken, which he was quite offended about since he claims that was an exit only.  After the shot kicked in, he didn't really care anymore though.  Xrays were done (expensive!) and showed no break or anything.  And that cinched it.  He was snake bit. And why he couldn't tell me about this before I had $80 in xrays done is beyond me.  After we got home, I got the whole story out of him, before he came down off his drugs.  That was one seriously happy dog.  I want me some of those drugs. Wow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Deaf Action

I have been told about the coolest of the cool places.  There's this place called Deaf Action Services.  They give you FREE STUFF.  I went there the other day, and this really sweet lady (hearing, but we won't hold that against her) asked to see a copy of my latest audio.  She took one look at it, whistled, and told me it was impressive.  I beamed. I do love to impress.  If I can't do it with my gorgeous body or brilliant mind, I'll wow you with my hearing loss. Like my mama always said, use what you have.

So she then proceeds to tell me what she can give me today.  That's right, GIVE!  For F.R.E.E!  I just love free stuff, don't you?  It adds something to the value, I think.  Like, this here alarm clock is worth $150 dollars, but I'm going to give it to you for free, so you can tell your friends it should have cost $300.  That's what I'm going to do, only by the time I get done telling this story, it'll have cost me about $800.  That's the way my stories work, in case you haven't noticed.  Nothing is to be taken literally.

Mrs. Valerie walks me through how to use my multi-purpose alarm clock.  I was expecting one of those jet engine loud ones I've researched on the internet.  You know, the ones that would wake up my sheriff deputy neighbor 200 yards over and he'd have to arrest me just for making him mad.  Even though he had that stupid rooster right outside our window for years, til we had us a dee-lishious chicken dinner one Sunday afternoon.  So, like I was saying, I was expecting 113 db of classical music to sooth my awake in the morning, but she told me it was inaudible.  Well, yeah, most things are to me.  But inaudible and deaf don't go well together, in case you didn't catch that.  And she gets paid for this job?

Ok, very quickly, I have to break away from the point of this story and tell you an aside.  I showed her a picture of my little'uns.  She looked at my most recent photo of them, which is two years old, and said they were the most beautiful children she'd ever seen.  She was good at stating the obvious, obviously. Then she points and says, "What's up with that one? All the others look a like, but he," (Chad) "doesn't fit.  Did you adopt him or something?"  She was not being rude or nasty, and was smiling, so no mean intent whatsoever. I never had anyone say this before, so I was actually surprised.  I thought he and Ainsley looked a good bit alike, at least with coloring.  But I responded with, "Actually, he is adopted.  I just finished therapy from dealing with that traumatic time. Thanks for bringing it up."  The look on her face was a sight to behold.  I did assure her I was joking, I promise.  I just can't seem to control the sarcasm.  

Then she showed me how the alarm clock worked. You don't need sound because you attach these vibration things to the bed and your lights to the clock, and when the alarm goes off in the morning, you don't need to hear because the bed picks you up and dumps you on your keister. If you're still sleeping after landing in a puddle on the floor, the seizure inducing flashing lights should do it.  I'm not sure it will work for me, but we'll find out in the morning.

But wait, it gets better!  It also comes with a doorbell and a phone jack.  I'm so glad we don't have a phone line.  Every time someone called me, every light in the house would be flashing and walls would be vibrating.  This isn't the sturdiest of houses and it would probably fall down like a house of cards.  If not, I'd be laying in the middle of it, biting on a wooden spoon to keep from swallowing my tongue.  The doorbell is iffy.  I haven't decided to put it up for sure.  It comes with velcro, so if the kids think it will be fun to ring it and run I can always hide it after I beat them silly.

They have other things for deaf people thing, but I'm only allowed one new toy at a time.  It was kind of like being a kid in a candy store.  "I'll take one of those, yup, and those.  Ooooh, what's that?  Yeah, gotta get me one of them!  You take credit cards?"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trail Tales I (The Original Adventure)

You know it's going to be a pip of a trail ride when you have to use the four wheel drive just to get to the parking lot, let alone through it. We growled up the hill, tires trying to grip, engine roaring at full volume. Once we parked in the swamp, um, parking area, I mean, we unloaded the horses. The horses did not want to unload at all. Either they just hate to back up, or they had a premonition of how this ride was going to turn out and they wanted no part of it.

We put their finery on them, tightened cinches, and loaded the saddle bags with only the absolute necessities – lots of water, cookies, and toilet paper. Hey, if I have to go in the woods, I am NOT using leaves. The last time I tried that, I mistakenly used poison ivy leaves. Unpleasant business, that. But I digress.

We load up, my posse and me. My 67 year old mother used a step ladder to climb on leggy Diva, 12 year old Maggie daintily mounted her paint, Moonshine, and 8 year old Ainsley clambered her way up on her one-eyed pony, Jane. As for me, I was still trying to convince my posterchild-for-Ritalin Blitz to stand still. I was getting dizzy from the circles he was spinning.

Finally mounted, we headed down the nearest trail. That was a mistake, seeing as how it promptly dropped off into an abyss. Blitz, in the lead, took one look, and back pedaled as fast as his paws could take him. He even shook his head in denial like “Heck, NO! You're nuts, woman!” Everyone came up and looked, and my mother emphatically stated that there was no way on God's green earth she was going to go down that. I was willing to give it a shot, but I was out-voted, and we turned around to find another trail.

This one went through a river, so at least it wasn't boring. Okay, so it was a creek, but lets call it a river so it sounds better, okay? Blitz deigned to go through water for me (probably because he'd already seen the the choice behind Door Number 1), just this once, but behind me I heard loud splashing and turned just in time to get a face full of ice cold river water. Moonshine does love the water and likes to play by lifting her front leg up as high as she can and slapping the surface repeatedly. The whole point here was for the horses to go through the water, and the humans to stay dry, but she's more of a “good for the goose, good for the gander” kind of horse. We made it through without her laying down to roll in it, at least. Yes, she has done that.

Next we go riding along the banks of this beautiful river, enjoying the crisp, clear weather. This is the life. Nothing is better than riding horses with the people you love, and doing in it the gorgeous backwoods of Mississippi. This is God's country, and he made it just for us. I feel close to God when I'm riding through his creation, especially in my home state. I love the sand creeks with ribbons of water, the stately pines, the sky that's bluer than anywhere else...I even love the mud.

And that's good, because we were fixing to see a lot of it! We followed the trail away from the river, and hit mud. Not just a little mud, now, because it's January in the Homochitto Forest, and January means rains similar to those Noah might have experienced. This is real mud. Suck your shoes off kind of mud. Blitz is now in his element. He goes to his knees in mud, and bounds out in a single leap, then bolts forward to build some momentum for the rest of the primordial ooze. We take off, both deliriously happy, me clinging to his neck lest I slide right off the back, him galloping through sucking, slurping mire, then bounding up the root marked trail to the top of the ravine. We twist to the left, then to the right, he slams my knee into a tree. It's exhilarating! Behind me I could hear blood curdling screams from various members of my family. I chose to believe they were happy screams, but evidently not all people or horses like to run through the slough. Go figure.

I waited at the top of the hill for my first follower, Maggie. She gave me a dirty look and said she wanted a normal mother. Moonshine, who is a paint with white legs, is now covered with black slime up to her chest. She's breathing hard, but personally I felt like she looked happy and excited. Maggie assured me this wasn't the case and they could have died. Then came my mother. The look she gave me has no words to give it justice. She may have made some comment about me being just like my father, but at least she had been able to divorce him. I'm sure she was joking. Finally, up came Ainsley on little Jane. We call them Ainie and Janie, and they are quite the pair. Ainie is laughing and yells, “let's do that again!” I do love that child of my heart.

So continues the ride. Mud, the occasional dry spot, more mud, muttering from my mother about how she should have know better than to go anywhere with me. She knew – she just knew – this ride was a bad idea. Maggie was still glaring and warning me that she better not get any ticks in these stupid woods. She didn't want to get lyme disease and die. And she didn't want to see any bears either.

Ainsley perked right up and looked around. “Bears? There's bears here? Where? I wanna see one!”

“Probably not any bears,” I tell her, “but maybe some panthers or bob cats.”

“Yay!” she shouts as her sister screams in horror.

After way too short of a time, we came to a small dirt road. My mother breaks into the Hallelujah Chorus, assured that we can now find our way back to civilization. Maggie follows her cue, and Ainsley and I pout. After arguing over which way to turn (I vote left and Mama votes right), we turn left and almost immediately – not even a whole mile – come to our first sign. It reads “160A Timberlane”. Well, an address is civilization, so I guess we're almost back to the truck and trailer. I'm still mentally pouting, but try to put on a happy face for everyone else's sake because that's just the kind of self-sacrificing person I am. We followed the road another mile or so and came to a dead end. There 's a trailer there, inside a gate, on which has a sign that that states, “Private Property, Do Not Enter.” Another sign boasts, “Trespassers will be shot.” That's like waving a red flag in front of bull to me. I enter. If they want to be rude, I can be ruder.

Maggie is wringing her hands and planning my funeral, begging me to come out. I assure her the people that live her probably don't mean they'll shoot me literally. They were probably just kidding around and were really cheerful people in person. Alas, no one is home, so I don't get directions. I also don't get shot, which I guess is good. We turn around and head back the way we came. I tried to convince my mother that any one of the trails that branch off the road would surely take us back to the trailer, but she's lost all faith in my navigational abilities. She made some rude comments about me having the sense of direction of a gnat.

We pass our original trail, and I beg her to turn down it. Riding on the road is boring. I could ride on the road without hauling my horses 70 miles to do it. I want to go through the woods, dadnabbit! My mother refuses to “go back into that hellhole of mud” and keeps going.

“It ain't the right way, Mama!” I shout after her. She waves her hand in dismissal. Her mama didn't raise her right. Southern ladies are supposed to have manners.

We rode forever, Mama and Maggie in front, positive they'll see my black four wheel drive Dodge and white-with-a-touch-of-rust stock trailer any moment now. An hour later, we pass 160B Timberlane Road. Goodness, with this kind of space between neighbors, you'd think they could have their own numbers and not have to share, but what do I know? We kept trudging. Blitz must have been bored, because I swear I could hear him snoring as he walked. His head was practically on the ground and his ears flopped to the side. Even Jane had her one eye drooped almost shut, with only a slit of eyeball visible. Diva and Moonshine - idiots – had their ears perked up and nostrils flaring, just knowing the rig was only over the next rise. They share their riders' delusions.

Finally, we stop. It's been hours, it'll be dark soon, and we haven't seen any sign of civilization since 160B Timberlane, which we passed 3 hours ago. The horses go on strike and refuse to move one more step. Even the delusional Diva and Moonshine, stupid as they are, know that we're riding further from the trailer, not closer.

And to top this off, my mother looks at me and bluntly states, “This is all your fault.”

Me?! What did I do? I told her to take the trail! Didn't I? It's not my fault she never listens to reason. She adds insult to injury, adding, “You are just like your father.” I know she means to insult me because she thinks my father, whom she divorced over 30 years ago, is the spawn of Satan. He's been dead for 5 years, but that doesn't seem to be enough to pay for her grievance. Talk about holding a grudge, huh?

Maggie joins with Mama in mutiny, slides off her horse and whining about needing to go potty. I pointed to a tree and told her to have at it. This offended her. She's a lady! Ladies don't pee in the woods! Whatever. I grab the toilet paper and head to the aforementioned tree, followed by Ainsley, who for the first time in her life, managed to not wet the entire backside of her britches when she had to make use of God's facilities. If only I had been so lucky.

I finally conceded defeat. It'll be dark soon, temperatures will drop to freezing, and it's supposed to rain. I drag the cell phone out. With one tiny bar of signal, I call my husband, who is in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico on an oil rig. I explained the situation and, after he stopped laughing and saying impolite things like, “I should have known you'd do something like this”, he looked up the Homochitto National Forest on Google Maps. I explain where we parked and the addresses we passed, and he did his best to try to find us, but to no avail. Google doesn't include one lane dirt roads on their maps. I tell him thanks for nothing and hang up.

I try to convince my mother to backtrack, but stubborn she remains. She tells me to call the sheriff.

“I don't have the number.” Really I just didn't want to admit defeat.

“Do you know how to dial information?” I sense sarcasm. Maggie nods in agreement with Mama. Traitor. I went through a lot of pain to have that child. The least she could do is take my side.

So I called the sheriff's office. “Hi,” I say when the dispatcher answers. “We're riding horses in the Homochitto and - ” She starts laughing. “Let me guess,” she chortles, trying hard to breath, talk, and laugh at the same time, “you're lost in the woods?” I guess I'm not the first one, judging by that attitude. She gets serious. “Call 911.”

“911!” I yelp. “Nobody's dying here. This isn't an emergency. Can't you just tell me where we are?” I went through my spiel again about 160A and 160B Timberlane. She explains that she can locate me through my cell phone if I call 911, and that the call will come to the sheriff's office anyway. It's a very small town, I guess.

So I call 911, embarrassed as all get out. Only wimps call 911 for being lost. The same person answers. I re-introduce myself and this time hear laughter and “is that her?” in the background. She assures me they're sending someone and he'll “be there in just a sec”.

Thirty minutes later, a shiny white Ford Explorer pulls up and the deputy sticks his head out the window. “Y'all wouldn't happen to be lost, now, would ya?” I was tempted to get smart and say that no, we always love to hang around in the middle of nowhere right before dark, but I suppressed the desire when my mother practically tackled him and begged him to save her because her insane daughter (she meant me) had tried – again - to kill her with another one of her hair-brained schemes.

I was elected to ride with him to get my truck, and come back and pick everyone else up. Since it was eight miles by road (and we were going the right way, if we didn't mind a very long trek) it took a while, so we talked abut the latest in forensic technology. He's an expert because it's his job, and I'm an expert because I watch CSI. While in the car, he radioed to dispatch that he had a middle aged (excuse me!?) caucasian female in the vehicle. Why not just come out and and say “old white chick”?

Anyway, to make a long story short, I picked everyone up and we headed home. The horses leaped into the trailer with more enthusiasm than I've ever seen them load, my mother crawled grumpily into my truck, the girls got in the back seat, both irritated but for different reasons.

“I want to be home NOW and take a long hot bath.” That was Maggie.

And then there's Ainsley's irritation. “I don't know why we couldn't have ridden longer.” That's my kind of kid.

It wasn't until after we got home and I posted my exciting day on Facebook that someone mentioned that their phone had gps to use for situations like that. Well, ain't that just my luck? I have gps on my Blackberry too.


Yeah, I've heard it all before: don't give up. You'll be rejected so many times before you're published, etc. But I don't think I can be a writer.  Maybe I'm simply not good, and that's okay I guess.  A blow to my ego, but okay.  I don't write to be published. I write to make the voices in my head shut up.

But I wrote that story with such joy and really thought it would at least place in the top three.  Not only did it not place in the top three, it didn't even get to the reader's choice part.  So, do I suck?  When I was at the convention I listened to Trisha Goyer say to read the magazine ahead of time and taylor my writing to their style in order to be published, but....I don't want to. 

More important than being published to me, is being me.  If nothing else, I write to be real. I'm not perfect, and I might even be a little nuts, but I'm real.  And this is me.  Sometimes I like to write exaggerated stories for no other reason than to make people laugh.  Other times it's to tell a story.  Sometimes it's to get something off my chest or preserve a memory.  But it's for my benefit, not to fit in a mold set by others. 

I'm doubting myself tonight, and yet, I'm not. I enjoyed writing my Trail Tales Number I.  Since it wasn't published, would you like to read it now? 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Test Numero Uno

So yesterday was the first of my medical tests.  It was mostly an indepth hearing test, since I haven't had one in about five years, and then this really cool space age thing where I got to wear Star War goggles and stare at smiley faces.  There was lots of talking beforehand - all about ME! - where I got to answer questions about family history of hearing loss, yada yada blah blah blah.  Then the hearing test, same-o same-o.  My personal favorite is the "repeat the word after me".   Hello, I've been doing this test for at least 35 years.  You should change the words.  I can tell you the words before you say them.  Here goes:  baseball, seashore, toothbrush, railroad...  I got a 92%, and that's just because I dozed off for a minute there.  Well, I must admit, she did change the list the second time around and it was way hard because the words were one syllable.  Then you can't tell if she said go or goat or goes. 

My bad news?  My "good" ear is now my "bad" ear.  My hearing loss has progressed more.  My overall threshold has gone from a 70db loss to almost 80db.  Sucks eggs, I tell you.  The good news?  I have among the best deciphering skills she's ever seen.  As long as I'm in a quiet room with no background noise, and I have volume increase (aids) my loss in virtually undetectable.  Throw in background  noise and it's all out the window.  All my life I've been told I have nerve deafness, and actually I have the exact opposite.  My cochlea is shot all to you-know-where, but my nerve is perfect. Nice to know.

The next test involved the goggles and some crazy stuff.  First it was just following the dot with my eyes while the computer (Windows 98 of all things!) tracked my eye movement, then I got to lay down while she covered the goggles so I was in the dark and shot my ears with cold air at the speed of a tornado to see if I would get dizzy. Ya think?  I'm fairly sure the table I was laying on was in lift off mode while she kept repeating, "I promise you're not moving." and I kept calling her names in my mind.  Maybe a few were verbal. Not sure. She smacked me once, so that may be why. She did each ear twice, so see if I would go in different directions. I think she graduated from the Acadamy of American Sadism with honors. Afterward, she assured me I did well, but didn't offer me a sticker, and I know she had them because I saw them when I first came in.  They had Buzz Lightyear too.

Diagnosis:  hearing loss.