Desperate is as desperate does

Ed Smith
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When you're desperate, you do desperate things.

That's why tired and weary men take to the woods in the fall of the year to hunt moose. They have to fill their freezers with meat to see them through a long and hungry winter.

Sometimes they head off on these long and difficult trips with nothing but a couple of cases of beer between the two of them for the weekend - and a 40-ouncer, a tub of salt beef and 40 pounds of potatoes. And a slab of fatback pork.

When you're desperate, you do desperate things.

Other Half sometimes finds herself on the phone with someone trying to sell her something she doesn't want and doesn't need and furthermore tries to pretend is free. Then she has a desperate need to irritate them as much as they irritate her.

She's very good at it. I've heard her stay on the phone with one of those individuals for almost an hour. After listening in on several occasions, I would say without hesitation she is responsible for the resignation of several hundred telemarketers.

When you're desperate, you do desperate things.

We once had a beautiful black Lab that decided one day to come in heat. This attracted a large number of admirers who formed a ring around our house, so as to cut off any means of escape.

My response to that, being human and infinitely more intelligent than dogs, was to take Queen outdoors on a very short leash for a very short time, wearing heavy steel nose boots. She didn't seem the least inclined in keeping them at bay, no pun intended.

Then I put the dog in the basement where she would be safe from enthusiastic if temporarily thwarted suitors and equally enthusiastic thwarted suitee.

After a couple of hours of normal household activity, something gradually dawned on us. All was quiet from down below. She had obviously given up and I went down to see that she was OK.

Indeed she was. Lying down on her rug as though she hadn't a care in the world. And sitting up next to her was one of the larger neighbourhood dogs (male) with his tongue hanging out and a greasy grin on his face. Around the happy couple were the shattered remains of a basement window.

When you're desperate, you do desperate things.

I didn't start out to talk about dogs. As usual, I digressed. Believe it or not, my intention was to discuss some of the drugs that are available for some of your more painful, chronic diseases. There are so many very scary things about these drugs that only the desperate would ever contemplate using them.

There are degrees of scary on the scary scale. I have a rather simplified version which is outlined below.

Some time ago, a rather fundamentalist gentleman told my granddaughter's boyfriend that if he (the boyfriend) knew what his girlfriend's grandfather believed, it would scare the face off him (the boyfriend). This may or may not have been correct. Who am I to judge?

I do know something of what the boyfriend's friend believes and that truly scares the hell out of me. Now I ask you, which scare is the scarier? And how much better chance do I have of getting into heaven with no hell in me? Does this sound ridiculous to you? The whole thing is totally asinine to me - speaking personally, of course.

If you take too many Aspirin on a regular basis, you are probably aware that you could do damage to your insides. But when they advertise it on television, they don't state there have been fatal side-effects from taking Aspirin.

I think the same risk is associated with drinking Coca-Cola, given what it does to a nail left in it for any length of time. But again, the label on the bottle does not list the number of fatalities in the past 12 months from consuming that product.

Most of us know that the warning on a package of cigarettes that smoking will kill you should be taken very seriously. Inhaling that stuff will lay you in the ground face up and contemplating the underside of grass sods.

If you watched the warnings associated with some of the drugs advertised on television, you know that Coca-Cola, Aspirin and even cigarettes are small potatoes compared with some of that. There are people everywhere in chronic and debilitating pain from a shipload of diseases that afflict us. Among them are the various kinds of arthritis, especially rheumatoid. But there's also pain from vertebrae problems such as slipped and ruptured discs.

And then you see this product that promises miraculous relief, and the happy faces of those people who were once in agony now pain-free and living life to the fullest. So you listen a little more and read a little further.

Severe reactions have been known to occur in people who have kidney problems. In rare cases, these reactions have been fatal. Do not take this product if you are pregnant, or were once pregnant or may be pregnant in the future or may try to be pregnant any time in your life. If this happens to you, see your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have ever had to take Rolaids or Lifesavers. This product has been shown to be carcinogenic in some people. If you have spent any time boating on the salt water, you may experience severe skin breakdown after taking this product. In rare cases, this has been fatal.

If you suffer enough, you may be willing to play this game of disease Russian roulette with your body. If the pain is strong enough, you will risk almost anything to get rid of it, or at least alleviate the pain for a while.

If you're desperate enough, you'll do desperate things.

Many are.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His email address is

Organizations: Coca-Cola

Geographic location: Springdale

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