(Names have been changed to protect the not even close to innocent.)
Recently my father sent out a mass email to his 4 children and two daughters-in-law. Everyone responded. I found the entire interaction to be wonderfully amusing and as I am missing the filter which delineates some information as private and other information as public, I am now sharing the whole series with you.
Here are the players:
Dad = my dad
V = the oldest son
C = V’s wife
J2 = the next oldest son
T = J2′s wife
J1 = me
B = the youngest son
To any of my siblings who are just now discovering I have published their personal writing for all to see, my sincerest apologies and remember: you really should have seen this coming.
Here are the emails between us completely unaltered other then to protect identities:
“Greetings and hallucinations,
I, your father, am notifying you of my upcoming RCR(R). For the uninitiated that is Rotator Cuff Repair (Right Shoulder). I injured it at the biginning of October. It did not heal. I went to the doctor. He, had me take? gave me? an MRI. (I’m sure that must be some sort of medical perversion) I go in Friday, 12/10/2010, for pre-admission. The surgery is scheduled for Tues, 12/14/2010, at 12:00 pm. (Admission at 10:00 am) The doctor assures me that there is only a .000000000000000000009% chance of cessation of vital signs. However, the anesthaesiologist makes no such guarantee. You, though, may rest easy because he is not beneficiary to, nor inheritor of, any property, monies, or other material items. Your inheritance of your parents’ state of impoverishment remains intact.
In loving memory,
“DAD! Be sure to tell me anything I can do to make your pre-op, surgery, or post-op recovery easier, more fun, or speedier.
I shall read books to you and change your bedpan and moisten your lips with ice and dole out medications dutifully.
By the way, I’m assuming they’re replacing the entire rotator cuff with titanium and robotic punching mechanisms, and I want you to know I fully support you on this, your first step to becoming the cyborg we all knew you really were at heart. Be sure to threaten the anesthesiologist and surgeon with water-boarding performed by yours truly if everything doesn’t work out PERFECTLY. Thanks for the heads up.
P.S. Notice that I’m the first to respond and therefore the only one of your family that truly loves you, cares about you or even has an actual heart and soul.”
“Injuries, as we’ve all been told, come not from weakness of joints, ligaments and connective tissues but weakness of intellect. Obviously, years of strenuous child-rearing have taken their expected but sad toll. I shall alert the media and the medical professionals to implant the latest in cerebral implants to rectify and restore your powerful brain so it can order your body to heal (and heel) and heed your orders regarding cartilaginous integrity. This is very important as we of your progeny expect to enjoy many years of animated gesticulating while your are describing yard squirrels or whether mom purposely sewed your pyjamas to the bed.
As I am certain your typing will not be up to it’s usual brilliance 3 hours after the surgery (that is to say, two and a half hours after you are discharged; I have insisted they actually let you stop moving for the event; they had planned it to be a truly ambulatory procedure with the doctors, nurses, and attendants performing the procedure as you walk from the bill-paying station back to you car), we will anxiously await an update via carrier pigeon or trained nutria.
*hugs on your good arm*
-The 2nd Eldest, J2″
“Wow.. big news!
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make sure your recovery goes well. Because as you know, MY concern is genuine. As we all know, J1 is just using your personal pain as one more step in her plans for world domination. Cyborg? Really.
I think J2 has been in on J1′s plan for wold domination all along. A cerebral implant? I think not. It’s a beaming device. How interesting the movie TRON is coming out soon. Coincidence? I think not. Dad, I’m sorry to tell you that you are a pawn in their master plan.
Had I not come along 18 years ago it may have happened sooner. Alas, I’m sorry I was not there to protect you. I’ll make it up to you somehow. Probably a check. Or cash. Maybe a cake?
Hugs & Love!!
YOUR FAVORITE DAUGHTER, T”
“Hmmmm… J1 et al. seem to have reserved most, if not all, of the tents in the loving, devoted, swift and painless recovery camp. Does that force me into the cramped, despised yet awkwardly tempting dream-less and speedy exit camp? I attribute temptation to such a lonely, deprecated and morally indefensible place because of your obvious attempt to put the blame on me; your injury in early October… you visited me in early October… it’s pretty clear isn’t it? Well, I’m a lot closer to Mexico than you think. Go ahead and send your Marshall “Boots” to Chase me, you’ll never pin this on me, Tex!
On further consideration I side with the pro-recovery lot. I’m quite fond of the feeling of solidarity I experience when I watch your favorite TV programs on Hulu the day after you enjoyed them on your DVR device just minutes after their regularly scheduled time slot. Please allow me this one small criticism: Timing? Your pain and suffering could have spread sweetness and light to all those who would have been located nearer, both geographically and temporally, the long arm of justice which is so thoroughly attached to the recently incapacitated shoulder of justice. I don’t intend to be harsh, I’m just saying.
OK, jocularity aside, could you provide just the tiniest bit of detail regarding the cause and nature of the injury as well some broad outlines of the proposed procedure? For example, will they be using your right or left ankle as a replacement shoulder? Will they be able to recover the necessary replacement cartillage with a long overdue rhinoplasty (say, they might be able to get a headstart on the other shoulder and both hips; waste not want not I always say). I’ll see to Mom while you are off shirking and messing about in the operating theater (the lengths some amateur dramatists will go… I would have tried acting classes at the local community college, but that’s just me).
Your longest running torment, V”
“Since all the cerebral space has been taken up with jockeying for the title of sharpest wit. I will simply say “I love you. I wish you a speedy recovery, and I shall send you chocolates and champagne.”
The other daughter-in-law, C”
“I am currently on the phone with J1 who has hounded me into response. This is me responding. Here are my witty one-ish liners.
“DEAD MAN WALKIN’”
feel free to take the low road, or downhill road, whichever one morally and physics wise won’t stress “the sweet fixie” your riding these days, damn Hipster.
I think dad’s gesticulations and his injury are directly correlated to the immense amount of items you broke throughout childhood, exp: Coffe table, Glass dining table, island counter (with dishes inside), bed, Dinner chairs in assorted sizes and years, couch (you know how you broke that for all of us). Let us not forget the fact your Fresnel lense ended up in my hands so I hold you responsible for the back deck being on fire as well.
Stop poking holes in the plastic wrap on the honey jar, and you know dad’s only interested in cyborg reconstruction that will help him turn his 3 hour lectures into even longer filibustering rants!
By the way how is the sweet tachyon business? Sorry Hypno business, sorry no NLP, wait sorry no Taco Bell, wait sorry no Seminar…lets just make it simple. How goes the whack job search for totally impossible to empirically prove technologies and job opportunities with the fringes of society.
I can’t wait to get my sweet pyramid hat or the sequel to that AWESOME book “the secret”. Whats the follow up called I can’t quite remember? Something like.
“The reason you’re poor and hungry is because you haven’t had enough positive thoughts”. I hear the release party is in the burn ward at Woodhull Med center, if only they had spent more time thinking more positively!
For me, tonight as a favor, fool V with a little bit of trickery then strike him in the neck.
You’re a ginger, nothing I can do for you but accept your disability with aplomb and benevolence
I didn’t poke holes in the top of the honey jar!
And that was the end of that.
As you can see we all enjoyed our “family e-union” as V called it. See Mom and Dad live in Amarillo, J2 in Chicago, T in Houston, B in New York City, V and C in California and I’m currently in Oregon.
As a final update, my father has come through the surgery very well and is recovering speedily.