Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Weirdest Day Ever, with Averted Amputation

Yesterday was a strange day. Very, very strange.

First, at lunch, Dave came into the library with a wide-eyed expression and handed me his phone. Apparently he'd been getting strange text messages from a number we've never seen before. Rather than try to describe them I'll just let you read them in their entirety, along with Dave's hilarious response. (Apologies in advance for the language.)

At first, we just laughed, because this guy was so clearly out to lunch. And what's up with the picture?

Then, after Dave left, I began getting a little concerned. Did this guy really think Dave was messing with his wife? Is the picture not of the texter, as I'd at first assumed, but of the wife-loving perpetrator? It does look vaguely like Dave, although I've never seen Dave wear an expression quite like that. I called Dave and we talked, but he seemed thoroughly unconcerned about any risks from this person. And indeed we haven't heard from him again.

("Quag," incidentally, is apparently a slang term combining "queer" and "fag." We had to look it up.)

And THEN... the day's second bizarre incident, I got home from work in the evening and we were just settling in to watch TV with a glass of wine when I noticed a welt on the outside of my left wrist. It was a swollen, angry red and hot to the touch. In the center -- not to be too descriptive here -- was a thumbtack-sized crown of pus, and most alarmingly, I had a long red streak running from the welt all the way up my arm nearly to my armpit.

Now, I clearly remember my mother telling me to go to the doctor if I ever see an infection with streaks. So my first reaction was to exclaim "HOLY SH*T!!!"

I didn't have any kind of fever, but my arm was a bit tingly. I didn't recall being bitten or injured in that spot. Dave got online and did some reading, but neither of us had ever seen anything like this before, so we weren't sure what to do. Out of an abundance of caution, we went to the emergency room at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

I was prepared to spend the next eight hours there, because that's what often happens in American emergency rooms. But no! Despite the fact that we heard a staff member tell a patient that they were "very busy," we were seen within 20 minutes. The doctor took a look at my welt and rather anticlimactically wrote "insect bite" on the diagnosis form. (I would have preferred "insect bite with potentially septicemic complications," but that's just me.) He lanced the welt, gave me a Band-Aid and an antibiotic and sent me home. The whole visit lasted about half an hour.

I still have no idea what caused it. Maybe that guy who texted Dave slipped a venomous spider through our mail slot?

(Photo: Someone in St. John's Wood has a neat, methodical system for disposing of used coffee cups -- tucking them into a street sign!)


  1. Yikes! When I was younger, I would have used the word "icky" to describe all of that. I'm glad that you're all right and hope the wrong number dude disappears from the earth.

  2. should have had a second glass of wine

  3. Wow, glad it was only an insect bite. Years ago, a sore finger and streaks kept me in the ER for hours until I got a shot and a bottle of large antibiotics. I really did have blood poisoning. Re the texts, its sometimes hard to know if its merely misdialed...

  4. Oh dear. What a day of drama. I'm glad you both escaped unscathed.

  5. That texter had a certainly style about him, didn't he?
    I love Dave's response.
    And really? You only had to wait twenty minutes in the ER?
    I'm moving to Great Britain.
    Is there huge celebration around the new baby girl born to Kate?

  6. Okay, that is one very strange set of circumstances. Seeing streaks coming from a bite would have sent me to emergency too.

  7. This is the funniest post EVER! The text messages clearly the most worthy! So sorry about your insect bite, I would have been very worried, I mean it could have been anything, you never know! Glad you avoided the loss of limb.

  8. Maybe a school kid? Sounds a bit like it.
    When we were living in London about 100 yrs ago, we used to get phone calls from men wanting to come over for sex. Never mind who answered (male or female) and we initially just put down the phone. Eventually, I had the bright idea (sometimes I do) to ask where he got my number from and it turned out that it was written inside a phone box at Euston Station. He was very polite and offered to scratch it away. But the calls would not stop, so we went there and found it in all of the phone boxes... vandalism ensued.

  9. Love Dave's response - his "correctness" is a nice contrast to Crazy Texter :)

    And yikes about that bite! I have mystery bruises & such all the time - I am always walking into things or scratching myself without remembering it.

  10. Oh my, what a curious, unsettling but also very funny day. I'm glad all ended well.

  11. Better safe than sorry - if I had those symptoms I'd be going to the hospital too. Glad it turned out all right. And what a rude texter! With poor spelling skillz :)

  12. Elizabeth: It definitely was fairly icky. So far, wrong number dude has remained missing.

    John: Ha! We did, AFTER the hospital. :)

    E: Well, that's the thing -- it CAN happen, right?

    Marty: Thanks! Oui, quelle dramatique!

    Ms Moon: We haven't seen a whole lot about the royal baby, but then, we've been so busy we haven't paid much attention to news. I've heard that all the betting shops are running all sorts of games related to her yet-to-be-announced name.

    Sharon: Good! That makes me feel better!

    Linda Sue: Weren't those messages great? We couldn't have asked for more colorful harassment.

    Sabine: I doubt it was a kid. How STRANGE about your old number! What a nightmare!

    Bug: Yeah, the hyper-politesse is what makes it funny!

    37P: Indeed, and thanks. :)

    Jenny-o: Not skilled at spelling, but unintentionally skilled at comedy.

  13. Only you would go to the hospital for a bug bite. Yup. My brother.