Wonderful times for the couch – my doctor is a Killjoy

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This is Percy Salzman and we need him back before Claire Martin predicts herds of locusts, rivers of blood and snowstorms in July! Please ... someone clone a Percy!

This is Percy Salzman and we need him back before Claire Martin predicts herds of locusts, rivers of blood and snowstorms in July! Please ... someone clone a Percy!

By Terrance Gavan

I am supposed to be embarrassed.

Because at this time of year I am inordinately tied to my couch. You know… basketball and hockey playoffs. This is not a good thing apparently. I’m over 55 and my muscle tone has receded. My doctor tells me that I must work up a sweat at least five times a week.

I explain to her patiently that I try but it requires some help from those useless tools at Environment Canada. It should be hot enough right now to allow me to rally up a great sweat just lying on my futon.

I tell my intern, Dr. Rosie Killjoy, that if that cloyingly prim Brit-expat weather person on CBC television would only cooperate, I would be happily sweating up a storm on my leather bound EZ-Chair – making all those embarrassing sounds that soaked leather promotes when bound to exposed skin – watching the Dallas Mavericks humble those boorish Miami CHeats. Or reclining through seven games of this utterly confounding Stanley Cup. In a week I should be slavered in perspiration like Northern Dancer in the Derby stretch, while stretched out on the chesterfield watching a fortnight of Wimbledon.

“It’s not my fault Doctor Killjoy that the hellish oil sands are screwing with our spring. Normally, at this time of year I would be going through three cotton tee shirts per game.”

Killjoy stares down at her notes. Sternly. She peers up long enough to glare at me in derision. She picks up that tea-total and grandeloquent index card.

“You know what I’m talking about,” says Killjoy. “Quit being a smart ass and read this, moron!”

“I don’t have my reading glasses, and I can’t read your writing. Just because you guys know Latin doesn’t mean you have to use it on long-suffering patients as a foul and soul-sucking shorthand, to make us feel inadequate,” I say.

“Okey dokey,” says Killjoy, the smile now imbued with her trademark sarcasm. “You need to lose 15 pounds and you need to get some exercise. You’re creaking. You need to stretch. You need to be active.”

“I’ll have you know,” I say, stretching from my preoccupied slouch to a semi-erect Air Canada chair back in the upright position pose. “Ouch, my back; owww; that I can… ooch, my back… still jump over a tennis net.”

“Good,” smiles Killjoy. “First play six sets and then jump over the net.”

“What about shin splints?” I whine. “Have you been to those courts in Head Lake Park? They make Gallipoli look like the I-95. I swear I saw an old guy disappear into one of those cracks yesterday while I was walking the dog.”

“I play there five times a week,” says Killjoy, moving over to her computer. “Shin splints I can treat. Arthritis and atrophied joints I can’t. So, I’ll expect you on the courts  on Saturday morning at 6 am. You can show me that you really can jump over the net. Because quite frankly, on the basis of that huge crack I hard when you tried to rise out of your permanent slouch, I don’t believe you.”

“And by the way,” winks Killjoy. “Sweating on a rocking chair does not count as exercise. It’s useless. Why don’t you watch Wimbledon on that treadmill you bragged about last year.”

“Wow, doc, whatcha’ got up there, a photographic memory?” Note to self, never regale Killjoy regarding my petty indulgences with exercise equipment. I didn’t tell her that I would have to remove my June wardrobe from the infernal machine; and that I had forgotten how to turn it on.

I played tennis with Killjoy last Saturday, and the courts are pretty good.

I watched the final game of the Canucks Bruins Stanley Cup series heading uphill on my Sears treadmill, bought myself a rowing machine, and it’s rejuvenated my posture, got my heart pumping and kick started my brain. I’m back to my tangential thought patterns. This weather got me thinking.

I just wrote a letter to the president of the CBC. Here it is:

To Hubert Lacroix President of the CBC:

Hey Hubert! Earth to mothership!

Why does the CBC, our national broadcaster, find it necessary to scour Bumbersbee on Essexl for a resident weather expert. We are a nation that stakes its reputation on our canny and unabridged knowledge of weather patterns. We wake every morning bitching about it. We start every conversation with: “What about this weather, ay?”

So smaaten up Hubie! Send Claire Martin – the ex-patin question  – packing. She’s messing with my karma. I’m blaming her for the floods, the tornadoes, the rain and yes, when that plague of locusts comes trippin’ on over a Haliburton hilltop? I’m blaming her for that too! Hubie the woman is bad karma. A menace.

We need a chalk-chucking Canuck in charge again.

Percy Saltzman.