(Almost) Killing a Confucian
Yeah. Okay. This has been one hell of a week. Time for it to end. I’m holding my ankles now. (For an explanation of all of this, read below the fold).
First, at the end of last week, we had a pretty intense family tragedy occur, and that left us emotionally wiped out for the weekend and for a good part of the beginning of this week. Then, on Monday, I had a traumatic experience at the airport picking up Henry Rosemont (one of the top Eastern philosophy scholars in the world alive today). Henry was scheduled to speak at the convo at my school and to give the keynote address for the convocation series at my wife’s school (we know Henry and had arranged for him to give talks at my school and hers). For two hours, Rosemont’s plane didn’t arrive. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if not for the fact that no one seemed there to think that there was a late plane due in. So as a result, I was sure that I’d booked him a flight to Springfield Ohio or Illinois, or somewhere disasterous. I was positive that Rosemont was standing in the front of some Springfield airport and here I was in Missouri, and both schools were out a convo speaker. Many cell phone conversations ensued between me (furious pacing back and forth at the airport) and my wife, our conversation mostly full of lots of interjected “AAAAAAH!!”s. Luckily this situation resolved itself (he was indeed on a late plane, the airport didn’t even know it), but not before I’d lost 5 pounds, which is substantial given my current weight.
But then, late Thursday, it continued. My daughter (who is 2) walked into the living room with an open box of rat poison (one of those leave-under-the-bed boxes full of bait that Terminex installs in your home), a considerable amount of which my German Shepherd ate.
My wife and I (and my mom, who is visiting) were wrecks (lots of loud “AAAAAH!!!!”s), thinking that not only was my daughter poisoned, but that one dog was certainly going to be dead (saw him eat the bait), and perhaps even another one was (smaller dog). Many trips to the vet ensued, endless calls to the national poison control center, and so on. Luckily, Parker is in the clear (daughter) but each dog had shots of vitamin K (which you need in this case) and I have to give pills to each one for 6 weeks to assure that they don’t die of poisoning (given that this particular poison is long-lasting nasty stuff). So yesterday I was pretty exhausted mentally dealing with all of it.
So you’d think that was it…but no. Why end there? There’s still more time left in the week! Last night on the way home from Henry’s MSSU convo talk, we were all involved in a pretty bad car wreck. Apparently some guy (I have no idea if he was drunk) flew out of his lane (two sided one lane each way 55 mph road) and swerved towards us, setting up a potential (deadly) head on crash. My wife reacted quickly, jerking our car to the right in the midst of audible “AAAAAAH!”s, and onto the gravel on our side of the road (still moving forward fast, though). Unfortunately, the guy seemed intent to hit us, and he did, but luckily into the driver’s side of the vehicle (instead of head-on, which I fear would have been deadly). Rosemont is sitting there in his seat, air-bag deployed and with the driver’s side external rear view mirror sitting in his lap (all of the driver’s side windows blew out and threw glass inside the car, all over us). My wife is flipping out because the car is full of smoke (we thought the car was on fire but it was smoke from the other guy’s tire). So we jump out of the car and there is me, Christie, and Henry Rosemont, standing on the side of some road in Joplin at 11pm, all of us luckily unharmed (although we all have whiplash) but stunned, and with glass all over us. Our car, and the other guy’s –completely totaled (other guy unharmed too).
Knowing the more specific details of our week, Henry Rosemont turns to my wife and says (and this is very funny if you know Henry, and so you know how he talks — very slowly, very deliberatively, and very seriously): “Well, Christie, perhaps on Saturday you might find the time to sit down, and, perhaps…have a nervous breakdown?”
Sometimes you just have to embrace weeks like this. At some point they just take on a comically surreal feeling. Weeks like this remind me of something someone once said to me, in the midst of things going wrong all around her one week long ago. She said: “well, at times like this you just have to bend over, grab your ankles, and hope you survive the (plane) crash.”
I’m there, dude.
UPDATE: My wife has chided me for some hyperbole; none of us has actual ‘whiplash’ (well, my neck does hurt). Especially Henry, who upon boarding his plane claimed that he felt no discomforts, neck stiffness or anything of that nature. So there’s no need for concerns anywhere on the accident, everyone is fine! My wife also informs me that I got some of the poison-story time details wrong, while could be true, but the essence of it is correct. Hell, I’ve had a hard week!