Thursday, 26 June 2008

faster than...what?

Honestly. Toileting people is the least favorite element of my job. I have a list of people who need to be assisted in some degree in the bathroom, and on any given day, just before or after lunch, that's were you'll find me. Eventually I will have an aide to assist with these things but in the meantime, I've gotten into a certain routine wherein I can get a person down on the bowl, and changed into fresh pull ups, without taking both pant legs off. 2 minutes. Maybe 4 if it's involved. I don't aim to break any records but I don't feature having to be in there any longer than necessary. Dignity is of utmost importance. Get 'em in, get 'em out.

Anyway, this one fella reminds me of old Ted Danson. He's an attractive, tall and lanky Irishman, with the shock of white hair, blue eyes and glasses who was stricken with bouts of incontinence. He's very cool and funny, but quite debilitated functionally, due to Alzhiemer's disease. I have his routine down to a science, in fact today, I may have set a new record with him. I don't tend to make too much small talk in there, however this guy is funny and I always get a kick out of his clever responses which sound more like pick up lines to me.

"You seem really dry, Mr. ___. After this I'm going to get you a nice tall drink of water."

" I'd rather have a nice short one." Makin' eyes at me. He asked me why, if I think he's so funny, he's not getting anywhere."

" I don't date the members here. Against our policy. Besides I don't date marrieds or spoken-fors either. Don't relish gettin' beat up." He's quite spoken for.

So Mr.__, today is my Aunt A's birthday. What do you get a 91 year old lady for her birthday? Any ideas?"

" A 90 year old man."

" Good one."

With that the belt was back on and buckled.

"There you go. Let's go."

"You're faster than the hammers of hell."

That one cracked me up. I've never heard that before. The hammers of hell. I asked him if it would be OK to post that remark anonymously. He agreed. I asked him if he wanted me to create a fictitious name, he said " O'Brian."

I suppose he was thinking Conan?

The Origin of "Hammers of Hell" remains somewhat obscure, but can be traced at least back to the early 1900s. The term appears to relate to the ringing of bells, commonly done with a "hammer" or "clapper." A 1911 first novel (The Trail of Ninety-Eight, relating to the Alaskan Gold Rush) by poet Robert Service mentiones "the flying hammers of hell were pounding..."
Not too long after this, in 1920, Sinclair Lewis (Mainstreet) mentioned "Hell's Bells" in a passage. From these sources, the terms seem to have taken hold in English dialects as ways of describing problems, or being under great pressure.
Other related terms like the "Clappers of Hell" can also be found in later literature.

4 comments:

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Tough job. I'd like to know how one person can manage it. Seems like a two person job ....excluding the one doing the big job, that is.

Anonymous said...

Thats funny G

ken said...

Sounds like me in a few years...

Gina said...

He actually reminded me of you, Ken.