That’s going to leave a mark

Yesterday sucked. It sucked with an expansiveness and a volume that defied the laws that rule the earth.

Unbeknownst to you all, I have not been feeling well. (The violence with which I held the yarn in contempt yesterday for my own incompetence should have been a basic clue that I was a little out of sorts, though Joe points out that I have enough…er, “passion” that it can occasionally be hard to tell.) I woke up yesterday morning and came rapidly to the conclusion that the UTI that I had been dealing with (mostly by drinking cranberry juice and wishing it would go away) had gotten right out of hand. (No lectures on the perils of leaving a UTI untreated for three days please. I have an immune system, and I’m always willing to give it a shot to step up. Besides. I have been punished enough.) I phoned my perfectly charming and affable family doctor and was in his office (stopping only to further wreak havoc looking for the stupid zephyr and to knit my requisite repeat on the baby blanket) two hours later.


The doctor and I agree after a few words that I am completely correct and have a very nice UTI, he writes a prescription and delivers the mandatory lecture on not seeking timely medical advice and “how much worse it could have been.” I snatch the precious prescription from his chastising hand and beat it the hell out of there to the pharmacy. (If I give up on alternative medicine, I’m usually sick enough to be in a hurry.)

Through a serious of events involving availability, affordability and my own hostility and impatience, 20 minutes later I am out the door furiously carrying about 46 gallons of PEDIATRIC antibiotics.

Pediatric antibiotics are, naturally being intended for babies and young children, a little different than the adult version. For starters they are liquid. (A truly nasty flavour that is supposed to be “fruit punch” and actually resembles fruit punch exactly the way that creme brulee resembles cat litter.) In addition to being a liquid, they are not so strong. This means that if a grownup needs to (for the reasons of availability and hostility mentioned above) take these pediatric antibiotics, that she needs to calculate her weight, and then take the right number of millilitres per kilogram. Roughly translated, I need to take about sixteen GALLONS of this foul stuff (fruit punch my arse) every 12 hours.

So I’m heading home (with my backpack full of the bottles and bottles of the pediatric antibiotics) and I’m furiously heading for the turnstile of the TTC station and in my (aforementioned) state of yarnless hostility, I dump my money into the farebox and pretty much go through the turnstile.


I say “pretty much” because all of me went through, with the mere exception of my entire left thigh.

My left thigh (probably still due to some degree of hostility, or perhaps a result of some sort of gross miscalculation from the added weight of the veritable ocean of pediatric antibiotic I was carrying) did not go through the turnstile. My left thigh, which I can assure you with all confidence is NOT two inches wide, caught between the spoke of the turnstile and the wall of said turnstile in a space which IS (not by coincidence I am sure) exactly two inches wide.

For the record, in case anyone is wondering, should you get your left thigh caught in a turnstile during some sort of antibiotic temper tantrum (which, much like the antibiotic, was very pediatric) the pain that you feel when you wedge your entire freaking thigh into this impossibly small space is enough to make you see a brilliant, flashing parade of colours. The foul language that you use is enough to wither nearby summer flowers, and the temperature of the tile floor you fall onto as you writhe in agony having wrenched your not two inch wide thigh free of the spectacularly two inch space is quite cool.

This event is actually so incredibly painful, even to passersby that the dude behind you in line at the turnstile will actually gasp in horror at your misfortune as you gnarl yourself into a knot on the floor, breathless and stunned spectacular, and then that dude will say with low reverence and shock (and I quote)

“Whoooaaaa…That’s going to leave a mark”.

Thank you dude. YES IT IS.

Now, because I am a McPhee, and unless you are one you will never really understand this, I must…MUST get up off the floor of the TTC station and carry on to the bus (even though my mangled thigh is screaming vociferant high volume pain messages to my brain) I must get up, and walk to the bus while publicly laughing it off. The code of McPhee states that you must pretend nothing is wrong with you even if you are on fire or need an ambulance. You get up (even if you only have one working leg) and you smile at nearby dudes, and carry on. Which I did.

When I got to the bus I took deep breaths and clutched my pediatric antibiotics, quietly begging for a swift journey home.

By the time I got home, I was no longer quite so prideful and injured, just seriously pissed. I guzzled the first of my gallon doses of antibiotic, avoided Joe’s stares and when Amanda (who is finished high school for the summer and continually home, and continually talking) said “Mom?” I responded with “Don’t call me that”.

The kid took a minute, absorbed the antibiotics, the glaring hateful stare, the wild and humid hair and the newly aquired FREAKING LIMP and then said….” Stephanie?”

I went upstairs. I had a smashed thigh, an angry immune system, pain in regions best left unmentioned, a sloshing belly full of incredibly vile pediatric antibiotics, a teenager home for the summer and NO ZEPHYR YARN to heal me. What better time to do laundry I ask you, what better time. So I’m in the bedroom and the pain in my leg is still purple and I’m snatching things up and hurling them into a laundry basket in a way that I hope conveys my full fury and disappointment at my current karma level, when I wrest one of Joe’s tee shirts off of the treadmill. (Which we do not use, but holds a lot of laundry).

There is a small box on the treadmill.

My vexation is complete. You know what is in the box, don’t you? After I have searched the house, threatened it on the blog, trashed the contents of every closet, screwed up every possible hiding place in my whole house….I have been sleeping for days no more than a metre from a small box that has the Zephyr in it.

I was so angry I went downstairs without opening the box.

It was two hours before I could forgive it.


(PS. I’ll be signing books this Sunday from 11-12 at BEC. The show isn’t open to the general public, but is attended by booksellers, librarians…anyone at all to do with books. If you know anybody…send them by. I’ll be at the Thomas Allen & Son booth. [Thomas Allen is the Canadian Distributor of Storey Publishing. They handle all Canadian stuff to do with the book.]

Free signed books. What more could you want? Well, except gallons of pediatric antibiotics. Yum.)