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Between a Stone and a Hard Place

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I've probably painted a less-than-flattering image of me, what with my yellow teeth, hairy armpits and furry beer belly.

In fact, my friend Dickie emailed me after reading my blog, and said, (and I quote), "You actually come across a bit troll-like."

However, I can assure you that I'm not nearly as grotesque as you may imagine. Sure, my teeth aren't exactly movie-star white, but hey, at least I don't look as if I could eat an apple through a chain link fence! And yeah, I could do with a touch of manscaping here and there, but thankfully, my back is hair free and the stuff on my head hasn't started to migrate to areas it has no business being in.

The best news, however, is that my beer belly is no more. Unfortunately, it took getting my ass kicked six ways to Sunday by a kidney stone to finally make me realize I was beginning to give K-Fed a run for his money in the "shocking weight gain" sweepstakes. I'd ballooned to 191 lb., up from my usual weight of around 175 lb. and, although not a rapper, I was definitely becoming a bit of a Puff(y) Daddy.

If you'd asked me about kidney stones six months ago, I would've told you that they were something that old and fat dudes got. Until, of course, that fateful night back in late January, when Mick (as my little friend came to be known) decided to become a rolling (kidney) stone and inflict pain the likes of which I'd never imagined possible. (They say it's akin to child birth, but at least if you're giving birth you have the option of an epidural!)

I'm sure I scared the crap out of my wife, and in between foolish attempts at self-diagnosis on the 'net (Bad curry? Bad gas? Bad gas caused by the bad curry?), it soon became apparent that some sort of medical intervention was required and an ambulance was summoned.

It wasn't long before three of Hamilton's finest paramedics were in our basement. I have to admit, that as a somewhat obsessive compulsive homeowner, I did (briefly) consider asking them to remove their wet boots, which, even in the haze of my near-death experience, I noticed were dripping melting snow on our new carpet. Or at the very least, could they not have put on those little plastic booties like the dudes from Sears did when they delivered my couch? And why were they talking so loud, don't they know we have a sleeping toddler upstairs? (I don't care if I'm dying, just don't wake Sadie up!)

My deplorable diet was exposed when I had to admit to the paramedics that yes, we had eaten other foods after our dinner earlier that evening (a jumbo bag of Doritos and a bottle of Chardonnay -- but hey, it was our weekly Greys Anatomy date night). And no, I didn't take any street drugs that I needed to tell them about. ("Hey honey, do you fancy a glass of wine and some chips tonight, or should we pop that tab of ecstasy we've been saving for a special occasion?")

Regardless, I was later informed that my less-than-stellar diet, coupled with my infatuation with the salt shaker, probably contributed to Mick's extended residency at Club Kidney. After my brush with death -- thankfully I didn't actually have to "pass" the little bastard, he simply broke into a million little pieces (with apologies to James Frey) -- I swore that I would adopt a healthier, sodium-reduced diet.

My new healthy regimen, coupled with my becoming Hamilton's version of Zola Budd (maybe not the best comparison, since she's quite tiny, from South Africa, female, and famous for bumping into Mary Decker -- but you get the point -- I'm running long distances), has resulted in a slimmer waist line and a stone-free kidney. Oh and if you see my old friend Mick, tell him he can piss off!

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