Monday, April 16, 2007

Charlie horse!!!!

Saturday night, I was climbing the stairs to my apartment when I suddenly felt the back of my right thigh bind up in a knot. I froze in place immedately. It wasn't a full blown charlie horse at that point but I could tell that moving as little as a single inch one way or another might get it there. If you've never had a charlie horse, consider yourself lucky because they hurt like few things in life hurt. I've had them in the middle of the night where my leg seized up so bad it literally threw me out of bed and on to the floor. The guy in the picture there to the right knows what I'm talking about. I've never tried putting on satiny lime green shorts and dragging my butt along the ground as a remedy, but if I thought it might work I would. Take a pair of giant needlenose pliars made out of live hornets, grab hold of one of your muscles and twist as hard as you can and don't stop for at least an hour and you'll get some idea of what 45 seconds of a charlie horse feels like.
So there I was, like one of those poor doomed bastards in a war movie who realizes he's stepped on a land mine and that as a result his next move will be his last. I'm taking quick, shallow breaths ("ohshit, ohshit, ohshit, ohshit..."), standing motionless in mid stair-step like I've been cornered by a cobra waiting to strike. "It's a cramp", I think. "So what I need is a quick shot of pottassium. Do I have bananas upstairs? Shit. No, I'm all out of bananas. It might just be dehydration. Do I have Gatorade? Of course not, unless by Gatorade I mean Heinekens. Hell, just let me have some water!", as though ingesting the first mouthful of any of these substances would instantly save me from cramp hell. I was even willing to drink tap water at this point (tap water in Tampa comes from the Hillsborough river...there are cleaner cesspools).
I eventually eased my way slowly and gingerly up the stairs and got inside without a full-blown charlie horse seizure, even though it was always kind of *there* the rest of the night, like a Russian submarine lurking a few miles off the coast, it's presence reminding you that it could destroy you and your happy American way of life if it decided that it felt like doing so just out of spite.
And that's why I spent $60 on bottled water, Gatorade and fresh bananas on Sunday.

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