Feb 8, 2013
'tis the same old shellelagh...
Lately it's been living on its own dedicated nail in the spot handiest to the desk and used from time to achy time in the wake of an aviation accident.
The wheels-up landing from the second step of shop entry stairs scared me for longer than I like being frightened, about 60 seconds, crookedly prone on ice and frozen crushed lime pebbles. That's the time it took to inventory the parts and determine the extent to which the usual processes had been modified by percussion. Inventory complete, I hobbled to the quarters, in fact with part of the kindling I'd just cut cradled in the left arm. The right was busy steadying this veteran carcass on whatever was handy along the way -- a tree, a vehicle, the big garbage can and, finally, the hand rail.
I built the fire, popped some ibuprofen and settled on the couch. To ER or not ER, that is the question. The answer was "not yet, anyway."
That was all a week ago tonight. The bruises have cleared up, the questionable knee again dependable and the elbow fit for lifting. What's left of the mishap is some sort of torn or pulled or otherwise disheveled muscle or tendon. If I were to describe it clinically, scientifically, I'd call it "like, y'know, a charlie horse."
It yields to five count-em-five ibuprofen every morning and, when I'm walking a lot, a little assist from the Irish persuader. I would carry it all the time in hopes of eliciting sincere sympathy. Unfortunately I don't travel in circles like that. ("Humph. Old fart ought to be more careful.")
If the reader believes this post is primarily for the purpose of relating a personal mishap, he or she is somewhat mistaken. Like all TMR communications, it is intended to edify. In this case on the matter of Irish weaponry and Irish history.
My shillelagh is phony, pure Midwest Brand X, like a Pakistani pocket knife. It is the stem of a scrub cedar whereas it should be blackthorn or, even more traditional, oak.
In the glory days of Hibernia, no Irish gentlemen would have set out for the pub without his oaken stick. Then came the bloody British looking for women prettier than their own and lumber for their ships. They found both, captured a few our women and all of our trees. This accounts for the blackthorn, the occasional attractive English person, and the fact that many of you have heard of a sailor named Nelson.