Kidney Stones, Meatloaf and the Mendocino Shuffle


FINALLY – Part 3 of the latest VB Saga!

Dear Reader,

Valet Boy apologizes profusely to those among you for whom my absence of late has been particularly distressing.  But, it’s all just a matter of making time and apparently I had no time to make.

Most of you know I spend a very large chunk of my days with Mrs. Boy – VB’s famed 92-year-old mom.  At 92 she is still pretty darn healthy – Thank you, God!  I would imagine that’s largely due to the fact she has relatively low stress in her life.   In fact, at this very moment she’s gallivanting around Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a seniors’ bus tour of the Utah and Wyoming National Parks.

I, on the other hand, have now returned to my more northern roots in North Carolina where I have been reacquainting myself with long missed friends and trying to jump right into a social life from which I had been sorely deprived these past months.   In so doing, somethings may have gotten a little out of hand.  So my apologies to those friends and readers who might not have seen Valet Boy at his peak of perfection.

But, all good things must come to an end and I fear that the time for earnest sober thinking is upon me.  Buckle up and down, Mr. Boy, you may be in for a bumpy ride!

So, where was I lo those many weeks previous…?

Oh yes.  Now I remember.

Obviously, I was not murdered, raped or eaten by convicts on that cross-country journey and I did return to my car to find my passenger alive and well.  He took over for me with the gas can and after dumping most of it in the tank, he kindly primed the carb* and off we went.  (*Remember when we used to have to do THAT?)


View from the bay of the Mendocino “skyline”. My home from 1973 to 1976.

I have no recollection of the remainder of the trip.  In fact, I may have taken him to LA, dropped him off at a 7-Eleven or a Pioneer Chicken then continued on my way up I-5 and 101 northward to Mendocino, CA.

But for now another brief departure….

Reality Check In 10:30 PM – Checkout 2:30 AM

June was Kidney Stone Awareness Month.  But were you even aware of that?  Why the heck would you even want to be?

My best guess is that this comes from the folks who want you to drink more fluids, specifically more water.  Yes, cool, clear and refreshing H2O.  Summer time we get hotter and our bodily fluids deplete faster creating nice little asteroids that sprout seemingly out of nowhere inside our kidneys to begin what can be a long and torturous journey to our urethra before they pop out into the world of light.

If lucky, we can pass these little boogars on our own as Valet Boy has done many times in the past with little or no fanfare at all.

However, VB’s kidney stone luck ran out recently and just in time for June which, as I just informed you was KSAM, (kidneysstoneawarenessmonth, remember??).

I had just finished eating a lovely and very filling dinner with old high school chums Gary and Angie Donegan, when on the drive home my belly forcefully demanded being freed.  I loosened my belt and continued to Mammy’s Place.

At about 9:00 PM, I realized my discomfort was not merely the dietetic overload of salad, steak, baked potato and garlic bread.   (Earlier I had ingested a Zantac 150 hoping this would nip my tummy troubles in the bud… just in case.)

There was nothing I could do to get comfortable. The pains started on my right side between my hip-joint and my belly and the Alarm Bells were shrieking and Red Lights were flashing something I have always dreaded and never wanted to face especially on a Sunday night at bedtime:  “Warning. Warning. Danger, Will Robinson – APPENDICITIS ATTACK!”

VB’s Mom was already in bed and I debated whether or not I should sneak out of the house, run to the hospital, get this checked out and be back before she even knew I’d gone.  I weighed the pros and cons of this strategy and, after squirming and walking around in agonizing circles for another hour, I caved and rapped upon her bedroom door.

She had already taken her hearing aids out so I had to amp up the volume: “Mom, I think I’m having an appendicitis attack.  So I’m going to the ER.”

I’ve cannot recall the last time I saw a deaf 92-year-old woman sit up faster or straighter as her mind wrapped itself around the words she’d almost just heard her little boy utter.  “What?”

“I said, I think I have to go to the emergency room. I may be having an appendicitis attack.”

“How are you going to get there?

“I’m driving, of course.”

“No you’re not!  You call your sister and make her take you.”

I really did not want to waste the time to do this – the pains were shooting from front to back and then just hanging around my entire gut effectively shutting off all brain function as my doom fantasies took over.

“In a related story, an elderly man’s stomach exploded last night slamming his even more elderly mother with bile infused salad, steak, baked potato and garlic bread.  Both died at the scene in what this reporter can only describe as a dietary Hell which has no equal.”

My sister Peggy  (known affectionately by everyone as P.A.) rose from her overstuffed Ethan Allen and in near slumber agreed to take me to the ER – though she warned me ahead of time, “It’s probably just a kidney stone”.  (Smart ass.  Kidney stones run in our family, but then again so do smart asses.)

Okay – the short story is yes it was a kidney stone.  I’d spent 5 hours in the ER, during which time no one had informed my dear deaf 92-year-old mother what was going on.  This went over, as one might expect, like George Zimmerman winning the Bushmaster AR-15 Lottery.

At one point a Baptist Hospital ER Staff Admin poked her curly red-head into my “suite” and wearily inquired, “Are you Valet Boy and do you have a deaf 92-year-old mother?”

I immediately wondered if this was a person with whom I’d gone to school and somehow had recognized me from all those years ago – “Why, yes…Yes I am and Yes I do.”

“Would you please call her, she’s been phoning the front desk and wants to know what’s going on with her son!”  With that the exasperated Staff Admin whirled around and took her leave.

OH BOY!   I rolled off the bed, grabbed the IV fluids line to move with me, found my cell phone and called dear mater.  She was in tears and hysterical, but anger was definitely the overriding emotion as she lit into me.  I smoothly shifted blame to my little sister and promised I give her whatfor when she came back to pick me up later.

After the repeated blood draws, the fluids, the EKG and my first ever CT Scan, the ER Doc came in and proclaimed officially that I had a kidney stone on my right flank and that I was free to leave after visiting the Accounts Payable desk.

It was just a 4mm kidney stone. Nothing special.  No need to think you’ll get a TV series or a new adventure out of this deal, Mr. Boy.

But the adventure did continue…FOR 6 MORE WEEKS!  Until the last Wednesday in June when I finally relented and let my urologist go in there with a team of spelunkers and grab the offending rock and drag it out.

kidney stone

Actual size of Mr. Boy’s Kidney Stone….not really, but it sure felt like it!

Surgery went smoothly – of course I was out to lunch enjoying the deep dreamless sleep of the innocent.  Michael Jackson was doubtlessly looking down (or up) at me with envy as the triple whammy cocktail of Versed, Fentanyl and Propofol lulled me into compliance.

That definitely was the high point of the experience because once out of surgery and once the anesthetics wore off it was screaming, cursing and groaning.  But three days – and a healthy supply of Demerol – later, Valet Boy was ready to rock and roll.

Now, I realize this still has not finished the VB Saga…but I promise that the very next episode will wrap up the Cross Country Mystery.   And you’re in for a treat with some photographs of Mendocino during the counter-culture heyday of the 70’s taken by famed photog Nicholas Wilson.

So, until next time…which should not be too far into the distant future…I promise!….

Thanks for Reading,

Valet Boy


About Valet Boy

Valet Boy has risen from the graveyard of forgotten blogs as an occasional hump day publication! Yes, once again Valet Boy will drag his zombie like corpse out into the rarefied faux-literary air populated by lonely but hopeful pseudo-authors with nothing better to do with all their free time than sit on their fat fannies in front of computer screens going blind....or turning Japanese...or both Anyway, thanks for stopping by!
This entry was posted in Friends & Family, Funny Stuff, Ghosts of Route 66, Highway to Hell, Humor, On The Road Again and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Kidney Stones, Meatloaf and the Mendocino Shuffle

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a weasley way to get out of finishing the story that you got me hooked on many weeks ago! You’re a writer and the kidney stone was all in your Hemmingway mind!

    • Valet Boy says:

      What better way to be slapped in the face than by a dear old friend?! have no fear. I’ll get right on that. And thanks so much for the very kind, sweet and complimentary words, Ske. It was Marci who sent me a note a week or so ago wondering where VB was that got me off my fanny. And now you are pushing me to finish. So, I guess I better get on it! Thanks, Ske.

  2. Gees, your poor Mama! Oh, yeah, and you… very sorry you went thru this….no, I mean so sorry THAT went thru or tried to go thru you…..whatever. It sure looks sharp. OUCHY.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lol…..vb, I have never had one and looks of that picture I sure do not want one..but have beer on hand just in case

  4. Philip Chambless says:

    VB, picture of the stone says it all!!! OUCH!!! May you pee freely from here on!!!
    Loved it as always VB!!!!

  5. Deb E says:

    Loved this one – I feel your pain, literally. I had one of these, too. I don’t care what they say, drinking sweet tea does NOT cause them…

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