Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Mrs. Bird is suffering from back pain. One day she had been visiting at my across-the-street-neighbors and was walking home. She only had to walk past seven homes but at house number two and she felt funny. Woozy. She called her daughter and said, "Come and get me." She had to sit down on the curb she was so woozy.

"Where are you?" her daughter asked.

"Five houses away."

Her daughter, naturally, was mystified. "Just walk home," she kept saying but Mrs. Bird was incapable of walking home. When she got home she took the "pain patch" off and recovered. She threw the rest of them in the garbage and they are now in the landfill.

So, her doctor gave her a prescription for pain pills. The first was Oxycontin. Great! No pain but the symptoms were unbearable. Things like dizziness, weakness, light headedness, and the list went on. Mrs. Bird flushed the Oxycontin down the toilet.

"Do you know the street value of Oxycontin?" I asked.

Mrs. Bird just looked at me with an, I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that look.

"So," she said, ignoring me, "the doctor gave me a prescription for Percocet."

"And..." I said. There is always an "and" when Mrs. Bird is telling a story.

"Well," she said, "I was so nauseous I could hardly get off the bed."

"And so...?" I asked. There is always an "and so" when Mrs. Bird is telling a story.

"So, I flushed them down the toilet."

"Do you know how much the street value of Percocet is?" I asked.

"Lynne," she said. "Do you think I'm going to go stand on the street corner by the high school with a sign that says, 'Pain pills for sale?'"

"Well, no," I said.

But the image of her doing that was very enticing. I can just hear her talking to Officer Friendly.

"But officer, I'm sure there are kids in pain and I was just trying to help. And besides that, with this economy like it is right now.... I'm sure you are feeling it, aren't you? And do you have pain somewhere?"

And then he would tell her--because she is so friendly--that he does have pain. Sitting in a squad car all day, handing out tickets to people who are going to lie to you or cry or both is just more than he can take some days.
Mrs. Bird is very sympathetic. And understanding. She invites confidences.

Then I wake up and realize that that Officer Friendly isn't going to be hoodwinked by a pair of sparkling blue eyes.

"Just come quietly and there won't be any trouble," I can hear him saying.

And then I see her, making her one phone call from jail.

And then I see her husband, Mr. Personality, saying, "You are WHERE?" And then I see him laughing so hard he can hardly stand up. You'd think he had seven or eight pain patches on, he is so weak from laughter and falling all over the place.

In the back of my mind I'm thinking about those expensive pain meds being flushed down the toilet and that somewhere, downstream, there are fish who don't give a darn if they are caught or not because THEY ARE FEELING NO PAIN.

Mrs. Bird now takes Ibuprofen like the rest of us.

PS I KNOW that the pills aren't flushed downstream. They go to a treatment plant. And somewhere, there are treatment plant worker who are FEELING NO PAIN.

PPS I know that doesn't work either but it make a better story this way.

PPPS And somewhere, there are landfill rats that are FEELING NO PAIN as they are wearing Mrs. Birds pain patches. And it's only right. If you have to live in a landfill--or "a dump," as we called it when I was a kid--there should be some compensation.

I knew a man who lived at the dump in Richfield. But, that's a story for another day. I knew a woman who combed the dump for treasures--she was my mother--but that's a story for another day. And there will be more stories about Mrs. Bird. Stay tuned.


Kim said...

lol, great story! my morning smile!

Mental P Mama said...

I just love that woman....

Annette said...

What a classic Mrs. Bird story, and her picture is beautiful. I miss seeing her every week.

Michael Rawluk said...

That is funny but maybe send this link to Mrs. Bird:

Karen Deborah said...

Wow they gave her some potent stuff. Funny how your mind traced the path of pills. You should see what goes down the drains at the hospitals. Maybe that's what's wrong with all of us, we are on residual drugs.

hillary said...

I went to the dump once, Max wouldn't let me search for treasures. He's not very fun.

You sure know how to write. Has anyone ever told you to write a book? HMMM.....

Bonnie said...

Dearest Lynne,
I haven't read anyone's blog for weeks, and so I decided to read some tonight.

I am so sorry to read that you have lost the sight in one of your eyes. You are a wonderful woman and deserve the best in life. You are also very much loved by many people including me. I've been thinking about you for weeks, but I've been busy and haven't written on my blog nor have I read other blogs for a long time.

Despite your traumatic loss, you still manage to brighten my day by writing this humorous story of Mrs Bird helping the fish and rats to feel no pain.

Ami said...

I received a prescription for percocet the other day but wasn't planning on filling it. After reading your post about the street value I might just have to pick it up!