John Friedlich

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The Price of Convenience

I read a piece about the technology of implanting snaps and velcro into the top of the head for attaching a hair piece. It seemed to be a great idea; you could implant them in all sort of convenient places and attach all the stuff you regularly need but can't ever find. Then you could stick a pencil here, glasses there, phone book and calendar over there, etc.

I'm glad I didn't rush into it though cause I remembered a fishing trip I once went on. I had one of those vests with fifty zillion pockets. You know the type - with just the right pocket somewhere for anything you could put in it. Well, I spent the entire winter getting ready for the trip, zipped up all those little pockets, and on the first warm day of spring off I went to commune with nature. Got my hip boots on, climbed into my vest which now weighed about 40 pounds because of all the stuff in my pockets, grabbed my rod, and down into the river I went.

That was my first mistake. Since getting sick I haven't been too steady on my feet anyway, but I should have known slippery rocks and I wouldn't get along. That's OK though, I had my compact first aid kit in one of those pockets.

When I finally found the bandages and got one on I also discovered that one of my boots had a leak. Zip zip snap snap - ah! - the patch kit! I Followed the instructions for the patches and really did quite well considering that I got my finger glued to my foot a few times.

The extra glue turned out to be a blessing though - it worked like fly paper and before I knew it the fish were all swimming up to look at their first exposure to a fast food service. The thrashing water was so spectacular I had to get some pictures. Oh no! Which pocket! I got so frazzled that when I found the camera I dropped it in the water. The pictures probably wouldn't have come out anyway because it was already getting rather dark. The fish were all so full I suspected that they wouldn't be wanting to eat much more anyway so I gave up on the fishing and headed back to my car.

Hmmm, I hadn't realized there were so many paths, but after a nice little walk of 16 miles I got my car. I recognized it because I had my name painted on it. Ha? Keys? Yup, another search through all those damn little pockets! And while I was looking for them I also noticed I'd left my fishing rod over by the water. Yup, right over there, not fifty feet from the car where I had been fishing earlier.

Finally I got the car going, found my way home, and stuffed the damn vest in the trash. No more pockets for me! Not with CFIDS! And no velcro attachments either! It's easier to just buy five or six duplicates of anything I need so I can always find one.

© Friedlich, 1994
from The Chronicles of CFIDS: One Patient's Forum

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