“Watch your head!” followed by “Oops! Knocked your noggin’.” My beloved says it a dozen times a day…mostly to our blind puppy dogs…but sometimes to me. With blind puppy dogs, we have had to “puppy proof” all the sharp edges inside and outside our old farmhouse. Feed bags filled with feed bags to guard and cushion sharp corners or narrow pasteboard boxes turned on their side to keep lost puppies from wandering where they shouldn’t. I should probably just dress in bubble wrap.
The puppies, Maddie and Tilly, do well considering their disability. Much better than their master. I have my vision and still run into things. I seem to bark my shins or forehead with an increasing frequency.
Coming in and removing my cap, I hear, “What did you do to your head?” My beloved’s voice is fraught with faux concern, a mischievous grin plays on her lips and an impish twinkle flashes from her hazel eyes.
I’ll have none of it, “You know damn well I scrapped it on your cartop day before yesterday. It’s just taken this long to scab over.”
If it had not been her canvas convertible top, it would have been something else. It seems as my birthdays have increased and the hair on my head has decreased I can’t keep my scalp intact and unmarred. Some mornings I awake and, while brushing my “tooth”, find I have been mugged during the night if the mirror is to be believed. “Where the hell did that come from?”
I am my father’s son and he and WKRP’s Les Nessman could have been brothers. Dad would come in from work wearing a band-aid, bandage or dressing on something, usually on his nose or forehead. The wounded area was usually somewhere not easily camouflaged and in a different spot from the previous one.
Working with him at Springs Mills during my high school days I remember an early morning shift after a late-night football game. I had dragged a beaten and bruised body into work and found myself emptying quill boxes, quill being the bobbins after they had been emptied of tread. It was a job I could do on autopilot but probably shouldn’t have. My father would agree.
I pushed a quill buggy up and down the long allies of looms working myself into a sweaty rhythm. Push the buggy down the ally, stop, turn to the right, pull out the heavy metal box, carefully empty it into the quill buggy, carefully slam the box back into the loom, turn to the left and repeat. Yep, autopilot…until you hit something that shouldn’t be there.
If I had been paying attention I would have seen him sprawled in the ally in front of me, but I was on autopilot. The buggy bounced back at me, both startling me and waking me from my walking nap. I was soon facing an angry father with blood dripping down his face. I had startled him as he worked under the loom causing him to sit up quickly.
There are a lot of sharp and hard angles with metal gears under a loom. Ernest’s forehead had found one and blood was already dripping down his nose…”Oops! Knocked your noggin’” never came to my mind. The gear teeth left an ugly mark until covered by his pre “Les Nessman” band-aid.
Now, where did I put those band-aids? I’m going out to work on my tractor. I’m sure I’ll need one before the day is done.
The image is of Les Nessman sporting his trademark band-aid from the late Seventies comedy series WKRP in Cinncinati.
For more musings by Don Miller https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM