Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 24

with 5 comments

So, here’s what I’ve realized: radio stations assume that people work and only tune in at the beginning and end of their days.  Otherwise, everyone (not just I) would realize that right now there are only nine songs out there: two by Pink, two by Rhianna, two by Bruno Mars, two by Katy Perry and one by Cee-lo (with two versions).  Not working is like being trapped in an elevator.  But I don’t want to ruin the mood, because today was a good day.

I had a good feeling about today from the get-go.  It was a perfect Los Angeles winter morning– crystal clear, heading up to 72 degrees.  After passing the strip club, psychic and trashy lingerie store, I dropped my kids off at their Day School.  I then stayed for a class given by the Principal.  He discussed how the world was created with a balance of light and dark, good and evil.  Very deep, meaning of life stuff that I was thinking would be nearly impossible to work into today’s post.  Then I thought, “I’m hungry.  Did I eat breakfast?”

As I was walking out, I was grabbed by the school Administrator, who asked to speak to me for a moment.  Immediately I thought, “oooooh, you’re in trouble!”   The Administrator started telling me about the standardized tests that all the kids take.  I interrupted, “My child was sick that week.”  The administrator continued, “Yes, but your child took the tests subsequently, and the results…” “I’m willing to fight the results.  I want them stricken from my child’s records.  Those results are meaningless.  Every contemporary educator discounts the importance of standardized testing.”  “Your child scored exceptionally high on the tests.”  “I knew it!”

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife the story: “So the Administrator told me about our child’s test scores…” “Those test scores are worthless.”  “I know, that’s what I told the Administrator. I also said our child was sick for the three weeks before, but our child did great!”  “Really?”  “Yes!  Isn’t that fantastic?” “Yes.  But there are other reasons our child might not have done well on the tests, I wouldn’t have brought up the sick thing.”  “What would you have said?”  “I think the reason our child didn’t do well is because our child gets stressed by the pressure.”  “Yes, but the sick thing definitely played into it.  Our child missed three weeks of school.”  “True, but some kids just aren’t good test takers.  It doesn’t mean our child isn’t smart.”  “I guess so.  Who cares about the test.”  Yes, my wife and I got into a phantom discussion about why our child didn’t do well on the test our child aced.  In any event, I am now a staunch believer in standardized testing.  Until our other child bombs.  But as for now, as Pink says, our kid is “too school for cool”…

I need to add a sentence or two between talking about my children and what I’m about to discuss.  Maybe a little musical interlude: I’d catch a grenade for ya’, Throw my hand on a blade for ya’, I’d jump in front of a train for ya’, You know I’d do anything for ya’.  Thank you Bruno Mars.

I have always been a big proponent of the Recycle, Reuse, Re…joice?  Refrain?  I don’t know.  The point is, I don’t like to waste things.  I’ve used versions of the same jokes in at least 7 different sitcoms, ditto funny stories, ad-libs, etc.  Since I didn’t want my perfectly good personal grooming to go to waste (see yesterday), I decided to have some work done on my groin.

I’ve pulled my groin before (okay, stop giggling, I know what I’m saying) and the only thing that’s ever been effective has been alternative medicine.  About ten years ago I had a lower ab injury that was cured by Dr. Shin– the accupuncturist of the Lakers.  Dr. Shin would cure you by causing so much pain in another part of your body through stomping on you, scraping your skin, blood-letting, burning and some horrible medieval torture called cupping, that you would forget about the affliction you originally came in for.  Dr. Shin could cure anything.  And I mean anything.  Well, almost anything: four years ago I got a letter from Dr. Shin’s lover that said Dr. Shin had died of AIDS and thus would no longer be doing alternative healing.  Didn’t see that coming, did you?  Well, neither did I.

Anyway, I have replaced the sadistic Dr. Shin with a friend of mine who is an amazing chiropractor.  Unlike Dr. Shin, he is not dead.  But like Dr. Shin, he hurts a lot.  I used him a year or so ago to solve a groin pull on my left side, and I still get chills thinking about the treatment.  I used all my courage and texted him to see if he could treat me today, knowing that if I didn’t I would suffer through this injury for at least another six months, and would probably have very little to write about today.  He told me that he wasn’t available until tomorrow, but his associate, I’ll call her Jill, was available.  My chiropractor friend is 260 pounds with hands the size of frying pans.  I said I’d happily take Jill.

Jill was about 5 feet tall in 6 inch heels so I was sure I chose wisely.  I got undressed for the second time in 24 hours to have that part of my body worked on.  Not bad for age 45.  I laid down and  Jill asked me what was bothering me and I told her my groin.  She then grabbed the area right above my knee.  I told her I was flattered but I think she needs to move north about a foot.   She explained that there are two tendons that run through the groin and she wanted to see which one was affected.  I asked her if it would hurt.  She responded blithely, “Yes.  It will hurt a lot.”  “Wait, is there another— YAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”  Jill: “Okay, I found the tendon.”

I told Jill I had chosen her over my friend because I thought she would be more gentle.  She laughed, “Well, you were wrong,” and jammed her thumb into the part of my groin where every single nerve ending in my body converged.  “AARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!  You’ve got to be kidding me!”  Jill assured me that she wasn’t kidding.  According to Jill, I had two small tears in my adductor (groin) muscle.  She didn’t need an x-ray or MRI to tell this, she figured it out by jamming four fingers three knuckles deep into my thigh and dragging her hand down to my knee.  “OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!! What are you doing?”  “I’m working out the inflammation.”  “You’re killing me!”  She told me to count to three.  “One…. AAAAAAGGGHH!  You said you were going to start on three!!”  “No, I said count to three.  I’m going to do this three times.  Two–” “MOTHER FFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!”

I understand that childbirth is the most painful thing a human can go through.  This must have been a close second.  For the next 25 minutes Jill attacked my pulled groin muscle from every possible angle– one time, and I’m not kidding, I think she went through the back of my leg.  And each time, to her credit, she told me, “this is going to kill.”  And she didn’t lie.  Not even once.   The pain got so severe that I started to laugh.  Maybe out of fear, or joy that I was about to meet God, or just my body wanted to be ironic.  In any case, I hobbled off the table, found my pants and bid farewell to the evil Jill who warned me to put ice on my groin and stretch.

And as I limped out of the office I thought of my kid who did great on a standardized test, and I laughed again.  Good and evil.  Light and dark.  Pleasure and pain.  And then I got into my car and listened to Katy Perry singing about being a Firework.  And I kind of got it.


Written by 100daysoff

March 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Jeff…. sorry about your pain and your pulled groin muscle… but after reading your first 10 days I had to subscribe – so I won’t have to go onto facebook to read your blog… you are hysterical!! loving it thanks.. Dawn


    March 9, 2011 at 7:05 am

  2. Jeff, I laughed ’til I cried!

    Steve Schultz

    March 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

  3. Jeff, Your Blog is so addictive. I can’t wait to read the next installment. You need to eventually publish this as a book.


    Larry Modrell

    March 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

  4. (as I yet again wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes) I’d buy that book. Could I at least get an autographed copy.


    March 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm

  5. If I make it, I’ll consider it.


    March 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

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