Telephone for grownups

Do you remember a game called “telephone” from your youth? It was generally carried out whilst sitting in a circle. Person A would whisper something into Person B's ear and then Person B would whisper to Person C, and so on. This went on until it reached the end of the line. Person Z would then say aloud, for all to enjoy, what was just whispered into his/her ear. At that point, it would be so distorted from the original that Person A, (the originator of the words whispered), would, more than likely, laugh until she wet her pants. She would then announce what she had really stated.

Last weekend I was involved in such shenanigans, minus the pant wetting part, and that is the subject of today's column. Actually, now that I ponder, there was no circle involved either so it was like a grown up game of telephone for the lack of a better description.

It all began on a perfectly delightful Saturday afternoon when suddenly, my son flew through the house whilst exhibiting signs of derangement or, whilst displaying MORE signs of derangement than usual.

In this particular instance, he was desperately trying to impart that he was having difficulty breathing, swallowing and uttering any kind of intelligible sound.

After examining his throat with a pen light, provided to me by Wally Hyde of Springboro fame, I concluded that his uvula was the size of a newborn's leg and that immediate precautions should be taken due to the breathing factor involved.

For those not familiar with a uvula, it's that dangling deal that hangs in the throat region. In his case, there was no hanging about at all as it looked like it was attached to the top and bottom of that region.

Moving along, I calmed the child and then made the decision to call 911. I knew we'd be heading to the ER and did not want to perform an emergency tracheotomy on the poor dear along the way. I mean, he could have been having some sort of episode along the lines of an allergic reaction so, better safe than sorry.

The crew arrived, I leaped into Edna, (the van), and followed them to the hospital. Yes, I was an ambulance chaser in literal terms and I've digressed which was the whole point, actually.

Backing up a touch, prior to exiting the home, I told Friend of Child to let my mother know what was unfolding. This is where the story picks up pace, so ride at your own risk.

Life went on after arriving in the ER and suddenly, Mother appeared before us like a vision of, well, er, concern, to put it gently, yet effectively. She explained that Friend of Child told her that Spencer, (actual name of child), had stopped breathing. I actually doubt that Friend of Child said that but, that's what she heard. Evidently, she couldn't have been too terribly worried about the breathing since she took the time to drive Friend of Child home but I digress again.

The kid was given a dose of Benadryl and a steroid through an IV followed by “bagged” antibiotics. He was released and we happily skipped home—just trying to hold your attention.

Upon our arrival, I clicked on the phone message deal, formerly known as the answering machine, only to hear Friend of Mother blathering on wildly about how she had heard this, that or the other. Honestly, I did not listen to the full message because I was tending to the sick offspring.

Later on I received a call from Mother who proceeded to tell me the following. Wait, this is actually a combination of stories as told by Mother and Best Friend Karen, which intersect and relate to the infamous game of telephone, as described in paragraph one of this insanity.

Mother had a dinner date with Friend of Mother. She got the call about Spencer from Friend of Child. She then, evidently, panicked, telephoned Friend of Mother and told her the story quickly and breathlessly, mind you.

At that point, Friend of Mother thought that Mother was calling to say that SHE couldn't breath. Friend of Mother then telephoned a woman I call Aunt Linda, as she is Best Friend Karen's aunt. Are you following? That makes one of us.

Friend of Mother told Aunt Linda that she had received a call from Jackie, (that would be my mother), and that Jackie was saying something about not being able to breath. Aunt Linda then picked up on the unsolved mystery and called Niece Karen, also known as Best Friend Karen, to see if she had knowledge of the situation.

In the interim, Pastor of Mother was alerted to the crises. Pastor of Mother then arrived on the property, walked about, looked in windows and tried to ascertain if Mother was alive or if she had suffered some kind of hideous demise. After making his way to the back of the home, he performed gymnastic maneuvers in order to battle some shrubbery which was blocking his way to a small window in the garage. After winning the war of the roses, so to speak, he was able to peek into said window. With that, he discovered that Mother's car was gone and she was clearly still among the living.

All of the above was told to Mother and to Best Friend Karen. They, in turn, filled me in on the particulars and brought me up to date on the epic saga.

Now, let us ponder a bit on this situation, shall we? As some of you, who have read this column on a regular basis, know, my mother is the epitome of all things good manners. She's the Emily Post of the reading region. She is known through out the land as one classy broad. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, would she really call a dinner date to cancel, (as that is socially appropriate after all), BEFORE calling 911?

Wouldn't her first course of action be to seek help for whatever ails her? In order to keep up appearances would she really call a dinner companion before, oh, say, preserving her own life?

I can imagine the thought process if she did decide to throw caution to the wind. She might think, “I can't breath. My throat is closing. I must get to the phone. I have to...reach my FRIEND to let her know I cannot make it to dinner tonight.”

It's all too much but that is what life can be for all of us who dwell in small towns and villages across this great land of ours. There is the telephone for grownups story.

That's all I have for now plus, I can't type anymore. I just severed my right leg and it's hanging on by a thread. Oh dear, should I call Friend of Lisa first in order to cancel our movie date tonight? What to do, what to do. Well, wish me luck.