Normally when I’m bartending on an early- or mid- Saturday afternoon, and some sporting event is playing out on the TV overhead, I’ve noticed that the programmers must be targeting an older audience; perhaps elderly; and it seems evident not just in their advertising but in the listings of surrounding channels. While skimming for some new Sport!, I’ll see programs in the menu like the one pictured below, in which the late Larry King speaks to us from beyond the grave about his prostate (which is doing much better thanks) or a strangely hypnotic Total Gym informercial called “Chuck Norris is 80 and Still Shredded”–a programming title so ballsy and direct I had to turn it on (this was around 4 p.m.) and since there was nobody sitting at the bar I just leaned against the register and marveled at the absolute sincerity of the title:
Chuck Norris is 80 and Still Shredded.
One of my managers was doing his perusal of the dining room between shifts and saw that I was watching a Dutch-angled black-and-white montage of an elderly Texas Ranger operating resistance technology with extreme prejudice, and asked, “What is this.”
I gestured at the screen cuz he never takes these things seriously. “Look at this.”
“Alex, change it.”
“Look at Chuck Norris.”
I switched back to ESPN just in time to catch a commercial about some kind of pressurized glove used by people with carpal tunnel. It’s a pressure thing. Keeps the electric numbness at bay.
It looks like an exercise glove or a biker glove because the fingertips are cut off–which is good for me, cuz I for sure have carpal tunnel, and it’d be cool if people saw me wearing that glove and asked, “Are you as dangerous as you appear?”
Whereupon I’d smile and raise a painlessly gloved fist and, “No, ma’am. Just disabled.”
The carpal tunnel is turning into a pepperjack nightmare. Not quite agony–in some respects it’s not even quite painful–but it’s uncomfortable as fuck, my whole hand feeling like it’s dipped in an ice bath even though I’ve got no limitations in mobility, and it doesn’t really hurt to lift anything. Only fine motor skills like writing, or using scissors, are what make for an electric pain that, weirdly, manifests more in my lower back than my hand.
Literally: I push a pen across a page, and the bottom right quadrant of my back starts to spasm.
Maybe it’s only acting up so bad because I’ve been typing up the handwritten manuscript of the novel lately, which still has no title, and which clocked in today at 125 pages and, with only 40 more college-ruled pages of handwriting to go, doesn’t look like it’ll exceed 220, which is just about where I want it, cuz it means that the final draft will be somewhere around 200 pages, and I think it’ll be my most manageable pitch so far to tell an agent, “I’ve written a short propulsive thriller and it’s all about Cuba and, again, you can read it on an airplane or beach weekend.”
At the moment, however, it’d be nice to not have the pain, so I think I’ll invest in a glove.