Thursday, October 24, 2013

Surprise Arizona, a Horrible Place to Die...

My day started badly and progressively got worse. That's a horrible way to start any day, but if you read on you'll understand. I had been speaking with a woman that lived close and in spite of the fact that she was not attractive to me, she seemed nice. I made a date with her to ride along with me to Surprise Arizona, where I would pick up my deceased son's personal effects. To get to this point was no easy task, as the police department was less than helpful, every step of the way. Here's a fact, "The Surprise Police DO NOT return calls"! Unless you break a law, you will not hear from them.........period!

Shortly after my son's demise, I contacted the Surprise cops to ask what I needed to do to find out his cause of death, as he was found in a Surprise hotel room, dead. The officer after many tries, finally called me back to tell me that the procedure is, that they send out his blood to two separate labs in two separate parts of the country for analysis and if they agree, it should only take about 3 months to get the results, however if they differ, it will take 4 months for the final results, due to a third test. He assured me that they would call me immediately after they were returned. Three months came and went and no return call, so I assumed it would take 4 months and continued to wait. after 4 months, still no call, so I began my quest to contact them. I began calling and leaving messages on 10/3 and left several voice mails for the detective department, but nothing. Finally, I called and spoke with what I assumed was a desk clerk and he asked me several questions and told me to call an additional number and that would be the detective in charge of the case. Two days later, she returned my call and told me that the desk clerk was wrong, she was NOT on that case, so it was back to step one. Then she gave me the number of another detective who WAS on the case, but was on vacation for a few days. A few days later, detective number 2 calls me and tells me that she is indeed the correct person, but I need to call the evidence department and make an appointment and she proceeded to give me the case number and told me I needed to call and set up a time, but they told me that they were there all day and was I coming today, Thursday. I said, yes! She said, see you tomorrow and I hung up.

Back now to my drive along date with the woman. We agreed, since she had a Meet-Up date with a group of people that enjoy Ethiopian food (WTF?) she wouldn't be available until 1:30 or so. At about 1:15 she calls and sounds like she's confused. Our prior agreement was that she would ride with me to Surprise to get to know one another. (Sure beats driving alone, I thought) She told me she lived only a block from my old address, so when she called, I asked for her street number on Paradise Lane. She was reluctant to give that to me and wanted to meet somewhere. I said, okay, how about the Circle K at the corner. She said, wonderful. Then she asked where we would go? I said, Surprise, to pick up my son's belongings. She said, I'll just follow you! I'm thinking that although she is a nurse, she's certainly not a brain surgeon! I calmly explained that it would defeat the purpose. The purpose being that we could ride and talk. She said she didn't feel comfortable riding along in the same car. I explained that it would have been nice if she'd told me that hours ago, instead of having me wait all morning for her to stuff starving people's food into her mouth and what kind of people eat Ethiopian food, if you're not Ethiopian? I hung up and angrily hopped into my car mumbling stuff...

Now for the looooon boooooring ride to a place called Surprise, Arizona. I arrived in Surprise.......surprise, but could not for the life of me locate the police department. I considered breaking a few laws to get noticed and have the police come to me, but decided it was not in my best interest. I found a shopping center and it had a Walmart, but I couldn't find a greeter or anyone that spoke English and decided to search some more. Having the address was useless. Where the address took me, AND my cell phone GPS, was just a block wall, that ran for blocks. I found an unmarked driveway that looked to me like a construction site and low and behold, there was the address written on a building way back from the street and it said 17274 and "Evidence". That was it! It had several doors, but they were all locked, plus I imagined walking in and several cops pulling out their guns and yelling, "GET ON THE GROUND", then firing at me. At the back of the secret building, there was a single door and above it, it said Entrance. Finally, my journey looked like it was coming to an end. With me, I had the death certificate, as instructed and my personal identification. I entered a small block room, about 7 X 7 and a bullet proof glass window like the tellers have and a motel bell with no one around. I dinged the bell and a nice young lady entered and said, hello. "Do you have ID?" I was about to say, yes, when she said she didn't need it, she knew who I was because of my 3 o'clock appointment. I asked how she knew I was her 3 o'clock appointment because I was told I didn't need an appointment, just to come in. The girl said, "Oh my!" I said I was there to pick up my deceased son's effects and she said, she works in another department, the girl that's allowed to go into the evidence room in not here. I'm starting to boil again and this time I'm not going to mumble! As I was planning my attack on the Surprise Police Department, she interrupted me and said, the girl I need to see has a 3 PM appointment and she knows she'll be back by then. It was a long ride to Surprise and I asked if I could use their bathroom? She said, it's across the street at Walmart, sorry. I had an hour to kill anyway, why not? I left walking with my legs very close together and headed to Walmart, when I realized that this may just be the Walmart that all the hideous pictures and jokes were taken at! Walking across the parking lot were 3 young ladies with their yoga pants so tight, that I think I spotted a hemorrhoid!

Once I entered Walmart, I realized that they had their Halloween costumes on sale and considered buying a clown costume so I'd fit right in with the Surprise Police! Instead, I saw there was a McDonalds and decided a quick "pick me up" was in order. I used the restroom and watched some really freaky people eating. Checking the time, I realized I'd killed enough of it and headed back to the Evidence department. I already mention that the 7 X 7 room was made from block, but I didn't mention the awful acoustics if offered. It was like being in an echo chamber or trying to use a cell phone with AT&T as your carrier! VERY ANNOYING to speak and hear your own voice bounce back at you. Maybe that's how they keep people form screaming at them. As I walked in this time, I was greeted by a young lady in uniform and I was pleased to see some professionalism, finally. But I came to my conclusion too soon. It was not a good sign that this lady knew who I was and started back-stepping immediately about a small problem. She cannot release some of the evidence, as it is an ongoing case. I asked what piece of evidence it was and she replied, his cell phone. I said, that's fine, keep the cell phone. Then she told me that detective Stoopid never signed off on anything and she cannot get in touch with her and how does she know I'm who I claim to be anyway? I said, Duh, because I have ID and the Death Certificate! That's when I realized she was not authorized to release anything to anyone and it really wasn't her fault. I told her that only one word comes to mind when reviewing this entire incident and that word is "UNPROFESSIONAL"! Frowning she agreed. She told me I was welcome to wait, I laughed. What exactly am I waiting for? She replied, you're waiting for detective Stoopid to call and release everything. I smiled and told her that I'm here to pick up these things, because it's the right thing to do. Not because I want a suitcase of soiled clothing from my dead son. I told her when it's finally released, to just throw it away and left.

I was going to suggest that the Surprise Police should exchange their uniforms for clown costumes, but kept it to myself.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 and Ambien, Uh Oh!

Around the time that my son passed away, I developed a horrible case of insomnia and a friend of mine, who happens to be an MD, prescribed Ambien. If you know anything about Ambien, it does have some unusual side effects, to say the least. Knowing this, I never leave the house after taking it, but rather stay home and embarrass myself in privacy. I've used this drug in the past as well.

So one night about 3 months ago, it's about 3 AM and of course I'm wide awake and drop a pill. Still, I cannot sleep, so I get out of bed and decide to surf the web. I have an old AOL address that I do not use, so after retiring from Match about 18 months ago, instead of putting up with all the spam mail Match distributes, I change my address with them and send the junk mail to my AOL account. Problem solved.

So here it is about 3 AM when I get up and look for something to do. I decide to check this AOL account to see how many winks and flirts and emails I have, just to occupy myself. Sure enough, I've got about 300 emails from Match and I happen to notice that I have 26 current emails from women. Emails drop off after 30 days, so that's a lot for a man number one and in addition, I had hidden my profile prior to my last membership expiring. I'm thinking, why? Did I get featured as the fool of the month? Was someone that I knew trying desperately to get in touch with me? Had I won something? Here's the deal. They tell you that you have a gazillion women interested in you to get you to rejoin, but will not let you see who they're from or what the emails say. I go back to bed, but still can't drift off, even drugged. Anyone with insomnia knows that one trip to the kitchen is not enough, so it's up out of bed again and I keep staring at the 26 nameless emails and figure, I MUST find out what's up. Back to the bedroom, but this time to get my wallet with it's credit card inside and plop down $85 so I can read my 26 emails. I'm drugged remember?

Rubbing my hands together, I'm audibly announcing, "come on baby, give it to me" (the emails, of course) and voila, here they are, right before my very eyes. Twenty-six of these babies. As I begin, I see that one screen name is repeated about 15 times. In other words, one woman sent me 15 of the 26 emails and that woman from the looks of it is 75 years old, white haired and plump, living in Nebraska, hmm..... What could she want? As I read the first email, it wasn't really an email. It held one word describing the pose I was in, in that particular photo and there were 15 photos. Each email read, "STANDING, SITTING, SIDE VIEW, OUT HOUSE, WITH DOG, MORE DOG, and so forth. She was obviously suffering from dementia, poor thing. I deleted he emails and still had another 11 to look at. These were all from out of state and from elderly women that evidently took Ambien too!

So here I am on at age 67, $85 poorer and the victim of a process that evidently works. I've dated a few women, so it really wasn't a waste of time and money. Some were great, others were not so great, but they represent the title of this old worn out blog.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Aftermath of Max...

I slept late today and rightly so, I was bushed. I spent the entire day with Max, my 9 year old grandson, the son of Brad, my 40 year old son. Brad and his wife went to the Cardinals game and I am always more than pleased to drop down to Max's age for about 8 hours or maybe even 9 and spend the day with him? He reminds me of things I haven't remembered in many, many years. Like putting your finger into your mouth and popping your cheek while watching TV, kind of a lost art. The highlight of the day was when around 4:30 PM, I lost him, but I'll get to that later.

I just walked into the restroom and noticed that the mirror over the sink was a continuous mass of water spots, as though someone had washed their hands and dried them directly on the mirror. I remember how that one happened. Max had just finish 1/2 a box of Oreos and walked into the TV room and I said, Max, go wash your hands and he did! After washing his hands, he came to me and asked if I had any toothpaste, as he wanted to brush his teeth too. I took him to my bedroom bathroom and offered him a squeeze of toothpaste, but not before he quizzed me on the brand and flavor. I suggested he try it, brush it around his mouth and teeth and if he didn't like it to just spit it out and left him to his own devices. I DID NOT intend on him spitting the toothpaste onto the mirror however! Last night when I went to bed and read for a time, I realized he had turned the room fan to high and investigated my Kindle. If you've ever used a Kindle to read, you know that it doesn't calibrate in pages, but rather it shows percentages of the book already read. I had just spent a week reading a book and I only had about 5% left, about 50 pages. When I picked up my Kindle and started where I had thought I'd left off, it read 77%, meaning that Max had changed my reading spot to where he was strumming through. Ten minutes later, when what I was reading sounded awfully familiar, I realized what he had done and smiled, taking another 20 minutes to find my place.

Normally, I keep at least an ear on Max's behavior, if he's out of sight, but yesterday our cable went out, along with the TV, modem and wi-fi. This all occurred around 5 minutes after Max was showing me that I don't need a remote to operate my DVD player. I'm not accusing him, but just a strange coincidence. I literally had to spend about 2 hours on the phone with Cox. During that time while I was occupied with a lady named Tammi from Cox, in upstate New York, Max was in the bathroom sending me text messages and photos of my shower head from his Kindle Fire, that his grandmother sent him. I think that was around the time that I noticed my kitchen floor was covered with Oreo crumbs and every door frame in the house was showing 9 year old finger prints in dark brown Oreo stains or it could have been from the chocolate covered ice cream sandwich he had. I don't think there were too many times through out the day that Max wasn't eating something, when suddenly he announced he was HUNGRY! I looked at my watch and noticed it was getting close to the time we had to get to his hockey game. I remembered some burgers I had cooked and frozen and he agreed to eat one of those, but wanted ketchup, lettuce and tomatoes on it. Whoops, no lettuce. I don't have lettuce. Men living alone don't eat enough lettuce to have it last for more than one sandwich, so it's too perishable for most bachelors. An actual light ignited over my head as I asked a dumb question. Do you like McDonalds. Max yelled "Big Mac"! We didn't have time to get dressed, pack up his huge bag full of equipment and eat an entire Big Mac, so I suggested a regular burger. Max assured me that he could eat a Big Mac faster than anyone he knew and when we got there, he ate his Big Mac faster than I thought prudent, but including napkin wipes, Max broke every record known to mankind and some women too! I'd say, 2 minutes flat! I was still eating my regular burger when he grabbed my fries and asked if could finish them in the car. As he dragged me out the door of Mickey D's, I was forced to drink my Coke in the car. By the time I got the Volvo into gear, Max's cheeks were full and he handed me the empty fries bag.

As we pulled into the skating rink parking lot, Max was out the door and we needed to get his bag out of the truck. Accomplishing that, we headed towards the front door, when I realized I'd forgotten my sweatshirt. In an effort to keep the ice from melting, the arena is kept at about 55 degrees (guessing) and the last time I almost froze. With Max wheeling his huge bag, I told him to go ahead, I'd meet him inside as I went to get my sweatshirt. I had to walk maybe 15 feet back to my car and grab the sweatshirt and did. When I got inside, Max was nowhere to be found. I started checking dressing rooms, but could not find Max! I believe the word for it would be semi-panic. There were a lot of dressing rooms and a lot more kids. In one dressing room, I told some father that I was looking for my grandson. He asked me what team my grandson was on and of course I didn't know. He asked me how old he was and I said, 9. He asked what his name was and Told him Max. With a smile he said, "well, there's Max, right there!" I apologized and said, "Sorry, wrong Max"! (Imagine that guy trying to pawn off the wrong Max?) I went all over and finally called my son Brad, at the Cardinals game. Of course he couldn't hear me and the call was dropped several times. We were both in noisy arenas with heavy cell phone traffic. I finally got his text saying that Max was #13 and on the Bruins and that Brad would be here in a little while, the football game was over.

At some point, I spotted number 13 on the ice, he'd gotten dressed himself and I was certainly relieved. Just then, Brad walked in with a smile on his face, pointing to Max on the ice and what could have been a disaster was averted. I'd say that off hand, I'd walked/ran about a mile in an indoor arena circling the ice and locker room areas, Great exercise, huh? WHEW!