As expected, the move back to Vancouver was rough (emotional Arley + emotional cat + wheelchair + heavy bag + leaving forever + impending surgery and months of recovery + tons of stuff to do for work + sleep deprivation + did I mention leaving forever? is not exactly a recipe for awesomeness), but we made it here in one piece. I could spend roughly 12,400 words rehashing my complex feelings on leaving, how much I'm going to miss everyone, and how heartbroken I am every time I see poor Mika curled up on A.'s shirt at the corner of my bed, nuzzling it as if she could make A. reappear by doing so, then laying down on it with her head between her paws with a look of pure feline longing. Cat heartbreak is the very worst heartbreak of all!
But let's leave the emo-ness to the cat because we have more important topics to discuss....Invisible Cartoon Old People Hip Replacement Porn!
The day after I got back from Illinois, I went to the OASIS hip/knee-replacement orientation session. In truth, I tried to weasel my way out of it on account of the fact that I am perhaps a little too well oriented in what to expect following a hip replacement. If anything, I would like to become less oriented so that the mere sight of that stupid "sock aid" sitting on a chair in my room ready to aid me in spending 15 minutes just to put on a single freaking sock doesn't give me PTSD flashbacks. I decided to go, however, for two reasons: 1) the lady on the phone insisted in a very firm voice that it was mandatory and I am nothing if not compliant and 2) the last time I did the OASIS program, some chick fainted and I like being around people whose coping skills are worse than my own.
I will spare you a rehashing of the OASIS session. Suffice to say that it is like kindergarten class for people who are getting their limbs sawed off and reassembled. Some nice lady with a calm, gentle, day-care-y voice teaches you to how to avoid post-surgical constipation and demonstrates the best way to inject your stomach fat with bloodthinners to avoid bruising. Just when I was thinking that the day was going to be a waste of time, however, I spied a thick booklet on a pamphlet rack by the OASIS lady's shoulder: Sex After Total Joint Replacement. Let the real lessons begin!
The first time around, all I got was a one-page handout discreetly tucked into a folder of other hip-replacement info. This time, however, they've pulled out all the stops. For starters, the manual stars an elderly couple who resemble the neighbor couple from Dennis the Menace...and let's just say that in this booklet, Martha's doing a lot more than needlepoint.
On one hand, I can understand the thought process behind the cartoon old people. After all, you don't want Doris Q. Hip-Replacement-Patient to be stuck in her fanciest flannel teddy staring at the handout thinking, "Well, damn. In the diagram, your breasts are supposed to be right here, but mine are down by my bellybutton....It's so confusing! I just can't make it all line up!" On the other hand, however, I'm not sure why they felt the need to include images such as this one:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. That is a cartoon rendering of an old man counting the days until his lady love's post-surgical bruising has gone down to the point that he can rock her compression socks off.
Or this one, which I'm pretty sure depicts the same old guy waiting for his Viagra to kick in while the pamphlet warns about the post-surgical risk of...um....an arid climate in the lady garden:
Why does he look so downcast and alone? Is it because the clock on his chest is counting down the seconds until his sex-induced heart attack? Or maybe it's causing him to reminisce about the time he spent touring with Flava Flav? Who knows? Someone get this guy a Werther's Original because he needs to cheer the hell up. I mean, he's about to get some serious action. Perk up, buddy!
Of course, what would a post-hip-replacement sex manual be if elderly cartoon people didn't demonstrate the acceptable positions? I love some of the graphic-design choices that were made here. Eyes: no. Mouth: no. Perfect 1950s-old-lady updo: MANDATORY. Pearl earrings: ALSO MANDATORY. (Those of you about to make a 'pearl necklace' joke need to check yourselves). And if you ever want to know what exactly your beloved Gran-Gran and Pop-Pop were doing on that rocking chair you used to love as a child...the one with the hand-crocheted afghan....
I especially love the positioning of the artificial hip in this last position. It seems to say, "Oh, God, Walter. Take me with your four inches of medical-grade cobalt chrome! Don't stop!" (Too much? Too much).
But wait! Don't leave to go wash your eyeballs out with acid! It gets better. Do you want to know what this is? Do you want to take a guess?
If you guessed "an image of someone's Granny calling the doctor after she has f*cked her husband's hip right out of its socket," then give yourself a hand! Clearly, someone got a little in to the old cowgirl rocking-chair routine and is going to have a great story to tell to the Bridge Club. Apparently when you put a little Crown Royal in her Ensure meal supplements, she goes wild! You git it, girl!
But..see...here's the problem. I am single. It's bad enough that for ages post-surgery I'm going to have to greet potential suitors with the phrase, "It's nice to meet you. Let me put down this walker so that I can shake your hand." And I'm pretty sure that any sex that requires you to cross-reference your positions with any type of manual is not the kind of sex I want to have. But even if I did want to give some lucky gentleman this booklet as a little homework assignment, what do you think the reaction's going to be? "Thanks for this reading material, darling. I was worried about how to accommodate your post-surgical needs, but now that I mentally associate you with eye-less cartoon old people, I am suddenly overcome with wild feelings of lust! You can consider me officially in the throes of desire!"
Okay, OASIS program. Thanks a lot. You can consider me officially oriented. So oriented that I'm about to buy a few more cats and a pint of Haagen Daaz and call it a day.