Early morning mist made driving up to the house tricky. Today the place gave me the creeps for some reason. The hair on the back of my neck started tingling while rising up trying to see why my heart was pounding in my chest. The whole thing was crazy. Just because I read the murder mystery, Evil in the Mirror, late into the night shouldn’t make me feel like a sissy boy the next day. Sometimes I can’t figure out why I read books that scare the hell out of me.
I pulled into my usual parking space anticipating how much work we would get done on the extensive remodel we were doing to the house while the owners were gone for the summer. My headlights scanned the trash hauler and I was amazed at how fast it was filling up. I got out, walked toward the trailer and noticed a pile of rusty barbed wire thrown in a heap close by. Obviously the caretaker had come last night and expected me to haul the wire to the dump. At the same time I was looking at the nasty wire a horse whinnied and scared the crap out of me.
I walked back to the truck, grabbed a pair of heavy gloves and reluctantly headed to my destiny. As I grabbed the ragged coil, I was reminded of the book I had just read. The evil twins had wrapped a strand of barbed wire around one their female victim’s head and tightened it with pliers until blood dripped down on what had once been a beautiful face. At that same moment I pulled on the rusty loop and the rest of the wire instantly coiled around my bare legs as if it were alive. I fell to the ground, cussing and squirming to get out of its ugly reach. This was one of those times when I wished I had long-legged pants on instead of jean shorts.
With some effort and a lot of foul words, I broke away from the demon wire that had left ugly cuts around my ankles. As I headed for the first aid kit in my truck, dripping blood all over my boots, I was trying to think of the last time I had a tetanus shot. I couldn’t remember, so I planned to go to Urgent Care the next day. In the meanwhile, I bandaged my legs as the work crew arrived curious as to my dilemma. “It’s nothing, guys – what say we get to work!” There were a few raised eyebrows because this was not my usual demeanor. No way was I going to let them know that a pile of rusty barbed wire had just whipped my ass.
The next day I wandered into the clinic and requested a tetanus shot. The first thing the nurse asked, “Was the barbed wire around any horses?” It seems horses carry tetanus and in fact the first serums were made from horse blood. Oh, swell – this whole thing was turning really ugly. She gave me the injection and told me the site might be sore for a few days, but the important thing was that I had received the inoculation. OK, end of story; I needed to get back to work. Wrong, the story had just begun!
Within two days my whole body was wracked with muscle cramps that brought me to my knees. By Saturday, which was “honey do” day, I could hardly walk and I could tell my wife was trying figure out if I was just hoping to get out of the chores that needed doing before guests arrived the following week, or was I really hurting that bad. I have been a big bull slinger in my day, but this was even out of my repertoire.
By Saturday night I had consumed large doses of pain medication and migraine meds that didn’t even touch the pain. Sunday I awoke to a body that somehow had been run over by a Mac truck and survived. I stumbled to the bathroom and took a hot shower, which relieved much of the aches and pains. I crawled back in bed which is where I spent the day sniveling. I don’t know how my wife puts up with it; sometimes I want to jump off a bridge to get away from my own whining.
Monday night and Tuesday night I soaked in a hot tub of Epsom Salts and this morning I felt well enough to maybe blog my story to an unsuspecting audience who might show pity.
The moral of the story is that sometimes (and it is very rare) people have an adverse reaction to tetanus injections. There are about ten symptoms of which I had twelve. Believe me when I tell you that you never want to deal with the tetanus virus. If you don’t keep your booster shot up to date at least every ten years (In my infinite wisdom, I waited thirty years. I didn’t need no stinking tetanus shot – shots are for wussies!), you may have to go through learning the hard way that tetanus can kill you deader than a rusty door nail.
I am wondering how many cowboys in the old days died of tetanus from rusty barbed wire. I think the first cure for tetanus may have been rot gut whiskey. That stuff could cure anything! Damn, wished I could have had some of that last Saturday!
I’m just saying,