Saturday, December 23, 2006

I am Not an Animal – A Christmas Story (kinda sorta)

I live in a bubble. It is all I have ever known. I am a bubble snowboy. I have severe combined immunodeficiency disease, or SCID. I live inside this bubble all of the time. It isn’t as limiting an existence as some people might think. Let me show you some pics. This is me:

I’ve vacationed all over the world. I got lots of family. I have to watch puncture wounds, but that’s not as bad as it seems. I’ve got a pretty advanced filtering system because I need cold air pumped in a lot. I tend to get soft otherwise. So if I get punctured, the air goes through my filter and gets cleaned before it touches me. If it didn’t, I’d be toast – and that’s a bad thing for a snowboy to be.

Here’s me when I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with my friend Jim. It took us about six weeks to reach the summit. I felt bad for Jim when I got deflated on the way up. It was funny to me but he got scared when he started to inflate me. He used a hair dryer! (Jimmy doesn’t have much hair, but he says he is perpetually happy and needs to look his best, so he uses the hair dyer every day!) With the hot air, I got disfigured like the Elephant Man. I teasingly did my Wizard of Oz bit. Jim got all pale. I thought he was going to pass out! He switched to the right air blower and I inflated immediately. “Happy Birthday!” I said, which is what I always say when I am reconstituted. I really don’t know why. It’s something I learned from Frosty.

It must suck being him and having to go downhill on two legs. I just rolled. I was at the bottom three days before him. A couple of tubes of bicycle tire cement and I was good as new!

I was really happy when I got to the bottom and was fully inflated again. Uncle Smiley was there to meet me. His name isn’t really Smiley, but we call him that because he likes to drink a lot and is usually snookered! Notice the Rudolph Nasal Effect.

He’s a nice enough guy, but sometimes he causes us a lot of work. He’ll get snookered and will sleep in the wrong place. Next morning, Uncle Smiley is either melted or in chunks spread around several yards. We spend half the morning reconstructing him. It is nice to have him visit, but it’s nice to see him leave, too. Regardless, I’ll be honest – when I saw him at the bottom of the mountain, I was thrilled! After my session with bicycle cement, I was so dizzy from blowing and blowing to get myself inflated that I think I was snookered, too!

That night, Uncle Smiley took me out for dinner. There were lots of people there. Nobody looked funny at me, which was really cool. Everybody was watching the stage. These girls were humping a pole like a dog and changing into and out of their pajamas! I asked Uncle Smiley what they were doing and he was too busy thinking about something to answer me. I turned up my air conditioning to be safe: Smiley had a little puddle under him and that concerned me.

After a little while, some guy came up to and asked if I wanted to earn some money. “Sure!,” I said. “Want me to clean your sidewalks? Show you how I can ice skate?” “Something like that,” he said.

Next thing I knew, I was up on stage! Music was playing and everybody was clapping and watching me closely! I had a new friend, too. Her name was Lil Pea. She was a great ice skater! She told me everything to do. It’s the small things that matter, and I didn’t know that. You should have heard the crowd go wild when she would lick my candy cane! I didn’t mind; she said she would buy me a new one.

It was so much fun being on stage! Poor Uncle Smiley was p-r-e-t-t-y soft by the time I saw him again! He borrowed some of my AC to get hard, and then him and Lil Pea went for a walk in the alley behind the club. It must have been a warm night because when he came back he was soft again!

The next day Uncle Smiley had a surprise for me! We went to see a baseball game. It was awesome!

A-Rod made another error at third base, but he’s trying really hard to do good. He struck out three times, and the fans were shouting things like, “join the WNBA!” and “you probably can’t get to first base with your cranky wife, either!”

After the game, we took the short drive to Atlantic City, where it was party time! I hit the slots and made some money!!!

Little did I know it would be one of my last happy days for a long, long time.

The next day I hit the town – or should I say, the beaches! WAHOO!!!!!!!

After a tough day on the surf, I headed to a bar to relax and replenish. Then it all got bad. I didn’t know it at first; had no idea that it was all going to get so bad. I just stepped out with a few friends that said they had a “cranking good time” planned for me.

Here’s my new friends, and me with the new pipe they gave me:

(Oh yeah, the perp shots are from the Multnomah County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office.)

Well, maybe I should’ve known I wasn’t in good company. But when we got to talking about buying more meth, and they got to telling me they wish they could make their own … then I had a great idea!

That is me in my very own meth lab!

I started cranking out the meth by the pant loads! I could make meth for a long time without breaks because of my air filtration system. Still, sometimes I needed a break. It was getting increasingly hard to get Alleve in big quantities since they started to stock them behind the pharm’s counter. Boo hoo!

On some of my downtime, I would stroll through the park. After I became a familiar face, I started to make friends. I asked Jimmy, here, tell me how many bottles of wine he had drunk that morning. “One or two,” he said. Then he analyzed the differences between screw tops and corks. Jimmy liked to talk.

I was doing so well with my lab, I didn’t want to sleep too far away (I was usually so wired I didn’t want to sleep at all!). I can’t sleep inside – you ever smell one of those places? Cat urine big time! My filters were getting clogged. So I camped out back and was real comfy!

After living in the alley for several weeks, I think I made a mistake. Who’da thunk that the feds would care about somebody holding a homeless vigil? Well, they did! Then went looking for the cat because of the smell and couldn’t find one and, well, my lab door was open. Ut oh!

My new home was a little warmer than my old one, but not as comfy.

Because of my SCID, I got special cellies. They were meth-heads, too.

The snow guy was cool, and had the same bad teeth most of us crankers get after a while. The dwarf scared me; too happy.

Prison life was ok. The bad part was detoxing. I had nasty dreams. In one I thought I was standing outside my bubble. No, the bubble was inside me. And people were inside me. One of them was me. But I was also outside of me. And my arms were sticks. It was very confusing and even more frightening!

In another dream, I saw monsters standing outside me!

After a few months, I was feeling ok. Boy, I sure missed my meth pipe! But anyway, I went to trial on a whole bunch of charges! I got hit with Conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine (21 U.S.C. 846), Possessing equipment and chemicals for methamphetamine manufacturing (21 U.S.C. 843 (a) 6)), Possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute (21 U.S.C. 843), Maintaining a drug house (21 U.S.C. 856 (a) (1)). Whew, that’s a mouthful!

I testified and really enjoyed talking about how I did my work. They don’t let pictures to be taken, so here’s an artist rendering.

I thought the jury really liked me. They were laughing and really yucking it up while I testified. I was kinda depressed when the judge came back and said I was going to do 240 months in a federal penitentiary. Boy, that seemed excessive!

My new cell is a lot nicer than the other one.

I made a new friend, too. He never goes anywhere without his egg. I don’t ask. We all do whatever we need to get by, know what I mean?

The screws tell me it’s time for a cell inspection. See you in 20 years! Oh, and Merry Christmas!

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