Friday, March 14, 2008

Stress Test of Death

She told me to bring sneakers and wear something comfortable, "she" being the chipper receptionist at my cardiologist's office. I have to take a stress test on Monday, which is a test that helps a doctor determine how your heart handles physical labour. I can save them the time - nothing in my psychological or physical make-up handles labour well. I would not do well in a prison camp, and would probably die within the first 15 minutes of a marathon. I'm not some obese, acne plagued gamer living in my mother's basement, nor am I lazy. I just shudder at words like "shovel" and "exercise". They are permanently eradicated from the memory banks of my brain and I have to be shown cartoon illustrations before I am required to perform either of the aforementioned tasks. I volunteer, work hard, give back to my community and all that other good stuff that still goes on in every community without requiring big government, lefty legislation. I just don't do grunt work.

Now, why does a 35 year old seemingly fit young man have to endure the rigours of a cardiologist and other specialists? Well, as long time readers know, there was a time 4 or 5 years ago when breakfast was a mug half filled with coffee, a bit of milk, and lots of Jack Daniels (my breath was resplendent). It seems this breakfast of champions was not on Health Canada's approved guide to a nutritional breakfast.

Ironically, I own a pair of the abominable eye sores known as "sneakers" due to my past life of debauchery. About 5 years ago, when I first tried to sober up, I was in detox with a nice enough young fellow who had an upcoming court appearance after he had slapped around some kid who owed him money for drugs. He was a kind and intelligent enough young man now that the drugs were coming out of his system, but he didn't own any dress shirts or ties. I felt sorry for the kid, and spruced him up in one of my suits (luckily the fit was perfect). The judge went easy on him. As a gesture of gratitude, as I was leaving, he gave me a pair of expensive sneakers of some brand or the other. He asked me not to ask any questions as to where he had gotten them (I didn't), and they were a perfect fit.

Anyway, I have to get ready to jog on a treadmill strapped up to wires and machines like some lethargic version of the bionic man. I have a feeling this is going to go as well as the time I tried to be a gentleman and light a lady's cigarette with my spanking new Zippo lighter, inadvertently setting half of her hair ablaze (true story).

As for the kid who loaned me the sneakers, he's a pillar of the community now and has helped countless kids come off the junk they're on and lead productive lives. I saw him recently, and the guy went from a skinny coke head to a muscle bound, chiseled-chin crusader. He could probably run the stress test treadmill for 12 hours, then eat the machine for a snack. I expect to be sweating like a fat man eating tacos in a sauna after about 2 minutes. Wish me luck, and send donations in lieu of flowers.



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