Back in the mid-90’s, I broke my right foot. While it isn’t relevant to this story, the background of the break is something I bring up once in a while to Mrs. PoP. We lived in an old ranch house with a basement. There were several huge trees in our yard which caused endless hassles for keeping the gutters clean. One day during a rather large rainstorm, a sizable branch fell onto our roof. While it didn’t damage the roof outright, it did pull the gutter away from the house a bit. This exposed the roof to the weather at that point, but more immediate was all the rain was now pooling around where the gutter was hanging instead of draining down the spout. That pooling led to the water overflowing into the window well of my basement. Needless to say the window didn’t like that and was leaking worse than the Deep State against Trump. So, I did what any 20-something homeowner would do: I pulled out the ladder and climbed on the roof to remove the offending branch. I didn’t fall off the roof. I made it up, removed the branch and started back down the ladder. With 2 steps to go a huge thunderous boom happened causing the ladder to slip and fall off the roof. Like I said I was only 2 rungs left to go so I only fell about 2 feet, but that was enough, my right foot snapped.
I laid there on the deck in the rain for about 10 minutes. I finally managed to roll over and crawl my way back thru the garage and then to the house door, where I pushed it open and fell upon the floor, panting heavily. After a minute or two of breathing heavily, Mrs. PoP says (from the other room) “Are you OK?” Let’s just say the words flying out of my mouth were loud and not polite.
ANYWAY, since it was my right foot, I couldn’t drive. I stayed home for the first 5 weeks just watching daytime TV. This was still early days of internet and AOL was the big thing. The phone bill would have been huge were I able to be online at the time, so TV it was. I was having fun watching all the crap like Jerry Springer. Now I am pretty sure that most, if not all, of those shows are faked. People can’t be that f*cked up, or so I would like to believe. Three weeks in and I feel as if this is rotting my brain, but I really don’t have a lot of choices. So I keep watching.
The one that finally pushed me off of TV was an episode entitled “I have a secret…” I guess that is a recurring title for shows like that. So first you have a woman on there whose secret is that she is sleeping with her husband’s brother. Yeah, nothing too special there, except when they bring the brother out, he is a midget. OK, a sort of interesting twist. The next one is a younger girl who looks to be 16 but claims to be 18. Her secret is that she is sleeping with the married neighbor who is 20 years older than her. She had to confess to her single mom, who ALSO had a secret in that she also was banging the neighbor. Still nothing too bad, just sounds like a bad porno.
Then comes the last one. This person gets on there and she is a darker complexioned person who looks like a woman but really doesn’t. When she speaks, for sure it isn’t a woman, but a guy trying to sound feminine. She does the usual minute or two of small talk with Jerry then he asks her what her secret is. She says “Well Jerry, I am here to tell my boyfriend John that I’m really a man!” The crowd goes crazy and I’m just wondering, who thought otherwise? Apparently John did. So after the applause dies down out comes the most stereotypical white trash piece of Appalachian male who sits down next to her and hold her hand. They do the small talk thing and then Jerry says “Well john, she asked you here today because she has a secret to tell you.” John turns to her and actually looks at her expectantly, like it might be good news. She says “John, I am here today to tell you <dramatic pause> that I am really a man”. The crowd starts hooting and John jumps straight up, looking shocked. What he said then made me turn off daytime TV forever. He says “What? All this time youse was wantin’ it in your behind and in the dark I thought you was just a freaky ho!” My first thought was ‘you mean to tell me that you never accidentally bumped into something with back there?’
I stood up, turned off the TV and hopped my way into the other room and told Mrs. PoP that she had to take me to the store asap so I can buy a computer game or a million books because if I had to watch any more daytime TV I was going to shoot it.