Ramona on Corona and…Lower Back and Other Pain

A humor series on navigating this difficult time

Ramona on Corona

IG: Chari Pere

I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way.

This is my pre-election essay. I do intend to get in last licks and exercise my First Amendment rights on what’s at stake November 3rd. I will do this in the second half of this essay.

First Half

I had felt, somewhat smugly, that my body held steady at around 45-55 years old for the last 20 years or so; the vicissitudes of old age would not find me as long as I continued to play tennis, ride my bike, walk with vigor thirty minutes a day and wear Lululemon athletic wear. This turned out not to be true.

A month ago as I was pulling our 2010 Volvo, which I love like a third child, into the driveway, a pain hit my lower back. It became more intense as I attempted to get out of the car. I felt a twinge not unlike the one I felt on my first plié when I returned to ballet class after half a century. I found myself frozen, unable to move as I was half inside, half outside the car. I called my husband K. on my cell and with clenched teeth asked, “Could you please come out of the house and remove me from the Volvo?” 

He answered, “I’m stuck in the shoes on the pedals. I can’t get off the Peloton. Can you come up and get me out?” I used bad language. I took a deep breath and said, “I’m stuck too. Call your friend Mark, who talked you into buying it.” 

Thankfully, within a few minutes K. arrived in the driveway to help and began by asking me a question even though I was a solid 15 on a pain scale ranging from 1-10. “Should I call AAA?” he asked. “NO!!!”, I screamed. “Just get me out of the damn car!” 

When untoward things like this befall other people it’s usually a straightforward affair. Not us. K. was just about to pry me from the car when Chuck, the propane guy, came barreling down the driveway in his truck with a delivery. K. left me for Chuck because K. has a need to let Chuck know we are nice folks. He does this by calling him ‘sir’ a lot. And using words he never uses like ‘gosh’. He thinks this will make Chuck not short change us on the oil or not carelessly blow up our house. So far it’s worked. 

K. enjoys communing with men who know about oil, tank size, well water, fuse boxes, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and other such things he knows nothing about which are vital to our lives as homeowners. I had no choice but to wait half in, half out of the Volvo as K. charmed the propane guy and a bird pooped on the windshield.

Once the tank was filled and Chuck pulled away, K. returned to attend to me, steadying my hand and elbow as I braced myself for the extraction, and slowly peeled the right half of my body from the car. It took ten minutes to walk to the house, about 10 feet away, as I grimaced with pain and perambulated slower than a sloth. 

I immediately called my doctor who ordered an MRI, which they seem to recommend for a hangnail these days. K. drove me to the appointment with a neck roll pillow supporting my lower back and the passenger seat tilted all the way down, which I lay on flat as a corpse in an open-view casket. 

He stayed in the car as I entered the building with a glacial gait. From under my mask, I answered a nurse’s questions about Covid-19 at the security check-in, and had my temperature taken by a flashgun to the forehead.

Most people are claustrophobic, but I actually like MRIs. They are the only place I can really get away from it all. Though a tube of one’s own does not afford peace and quiet with all the loud, metronomic buzzing, clinking, clanking and hammering of the MRI machine, one can divert oneself by counting Electoral College votes backwards. 

I wore a green hospital gown with matching paper booties and was swaddled in a toasty blanket by two technicians. Once wrapped, they slid my mummified body into the rocket-like tomb. Twenty minutes later they slid me out.

I received test results later that night on my patient portal which is an online replacement for your doctor who’s probably having dinner under a heat lamp outside a fancy restaurant. They showed I have disc decompression which is basically a euphemism for “We kicked the tires and you need replacements.” 

Seems the vicissitudes of aging have found me after all. But that’s okay. I’m grateful I am at least here to be found. 

Second Half

Some of my followers have expressed feelings more extreme than intense dislike for what one lady describes as Ramona’s “left leaning tendencies, similar to Bernie Sanders.” Of late I feel compelled to wax political (who doesn’t?) so in an effort to ameliorate any hard (right) feelings I will now express what I have perceived from the other side. 

Des Moines, Iowa Oct.14, 2020

Air Force One touches down. President Trump descends the stairs, walks across the tarmac and preens before a throng of supporters. He points to no one in particular in an effort to convince no one in particular he recognizes them. He waves, pumps his left fist, pumps his right fist and finally ascends the stairs to the podium. He mouths to his fans “thank you, thank you,” like a blowfish. He smiles a smile indistinguishable from a grimace, without showing teeth, and gives a thumbs up. 

He speaks into a microphone that is not programmed to mute after two minutes. “Hello Des Moines,” he shouts. “I love Iowa. Very windy here. But I can take it. My hair can take it, very strong, very powerful, my hair.

Thrilled to be back in the American heartland with all you patriots. I saved the farmland, the farmers. I love the farmers. Great people. Very strong. Very beautiful people, the farmers. Nobody’s ever done for the farmers what I did for the farmers. A poll just came out. We’re up 6%. 

I saved Ethanol and all they talk about is Covid, covid, covid, covid, covid, covid, covid, covid. We’re rounding the corner, we’re turning the bend on the virus. 228,000 dead; it is what it is but it would have been 2.2 million. Suburban women, I’m too busy to be nice to you but you gotta get out there and vote for me. I’m gonna kiss you all. A big fat kiss.”

Random quotable quotes from the current President of the United States:

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” referring to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018. Rain was his excuse for canceling the visit. He referred to more than 1800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. (The Atlantic, Sept. 3, 2020)

“Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years…Fauci is a disaster…People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots.” (Phone call with staff, Oct. 20, 2020 Las Vegas, Nevada)

“I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!” (Tweet, July 29, 2020)

“I’ve gotta say, I’m working my ass off here.” (10/28/2020 rally, Lansing, Michigan)

“They’re blaming Russia. No, it was Russia’s fault…It was Russia, Russia, Russia. Aren’t we tired of this crap?” (10/29/2020 rally, Tampa, Florida)

“I saw Adam Schiff the other day…watermelon, he looks like a watermelon head. Right?” (10/29/2020 rally, Tampa, Florida)

“I felt water on my face. I said, ‘Where the hell is that coming from?” …Let’s find out if they’re friend or foe, and if they’re foe, let’s take care of those sons of bitches.’” (10/29/2020 rally, Tampa, Florida)

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Need I say more? OVER AND (let’s get him) OUT.

The last word(s) before Tuesday’s election: