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From the Mouth of the River

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From the Mouth of the River

Boots gives up "the cowboy way" in favor of therapy

I can’t remember who said it, but someone said the first thing to go is your memory. Standing there with the fridge open and wondering what it was you were looking for is a sure sign. The same thing happens while standing in the closet, then it progresses to phone numbers and people.

“Your face looks familiar but I just can’t recall your name.”

“I’m your wife you idiot, now quit acting like a fool and help me find where we parked the car.”

You have two sides to your brain and as we get older these two sides gradually stop communicating. For instance, one side of the brain will say, “I’m going to pick up that rock and move it over there.” The other side of the brain will say, “Nah, that’s too heavy.  You’ll hurt yourself.”

“Don’t be silly,” says the first side, “I placed that rock there my self, twenty-five years ago, watch this.” Grunt, grunt, “Yikes! Bad words and dirty names #@&%$*. I think I tore something.”   

“Told you,” said the brain. “Shut up,” said the other side, “you sound just like my wife. Besides, it will heal up in a few days. Okay, I’ll give it a month.”

So after you have surgery on your shoulder for a torn rotator cuff and after the doctor puts back all the pieces and parts, therapy is required by professional therapists. They teach you how to use that extremity all over again correctly without damaging all the nice work the doctor did.  

This is unlike the “Cowboy Way” of doctorin’ which usually involved duct tape and two sticks with a lot of encouragement from other cowboys saying things like, “I had a worse spot than that in my eye, just walk it off.” “What are you a sissy? Now get on that bull.” I always wondered why bull riders had one arm six or eight inches longer than the other one.  The only thing that held it on was scar tissue and their shirt sleeve. I know one old bull rider who was almost thirty that had so many bones broken and muscles pulled out that he walked sideways like a sand crab.  

“Never seen a doctor in my life,” he said proudly. “I was always put back together by a committee in a motel room.”

It said on his tomb stone: I.R.Tough Died at the age of 32 from gangrene and unknown substance abuse.

I had already had enough of the “Cowboy Way” over the years so I decided to try this therapy thing. Besides, Sergeant Sally at the front desk wouldn’t let me have any more suckers out of the candy dish if I didn’t show up for therapy.  

There’s one more very important thing I forgot to tell you. After surgery they cinch your arm down at your side and chest where you can’t use it until it heals, leaving you with, in my case, my left hand to do all those important things you can’t live without. This is the same hand you have treated like an ugly stepchild all these years. I have seriously considered facial reconstruction after trying to feed myself with a fork for a week and you don’t even want to go into the bathroom situations. Your left hand starts having spasms at the thought of hacking at your face with a sharp object like a razor and it’s totally unaware of what to do with toilet paper. In fact, it doesn’t even want to go there. My wife, Lovie, says taking care of me is like having three little children all under the age of three.  

Therapy is also very expensive.  Not the therapy itself so much. It’s just my wife has nothing to do but shop for an hour and a half after dropping me off at the office and I go three times a week so you see what I’m saying. I’m not sure I can afford to get well as I have another month or two to go.

One of the first things I noticed about my therapists was that they were young, attractive females.  Not complaining, you understand, just making a quick observation. It wasn’t until my second session that I began to realize why therapists are young and attractive females. If they were old and ugly no one would ever come back to be tortured under the name of therapy. It is not a pleasant experience plus it really hurts a lot.

I think with losing your memory the next thing to go is your tolerance for pain as middle-aged men seem to be the prominent majority in my therapy class of whiners. All have had shoulder operations just like me. Some have been coming three days a week for eight, ten, twelve weeks and I think that there’s one guy that lives in a back room as he’s there all the time. Women have injuries as well. Most have carpal tunnel syndrome from zipping their credit cards too often and on occasion a knee injury from kicking their husbands. But mostly it’s just old farts who tried to lift heavy things that pulled their shoulders apart and also increased the need for hernia operations as well. Who knew the shoulder bone was connected to the stomach muscle. I always thought it was the elbow. That’s it I gotta go to therapy.

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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