So this past weekend I had my wisdom teeth out. I elected to go full pansy and get all the anesthesia the doc would give me. Accordingly, there is a gap in my memory after coming out of surgery. Luckily, my charming wife took notes for posterity on what happens when an Army officer and historian has no earthly idea what he is saying.
The following are in what I am told is chronological order.
“My tongue feels anesthesiologist.”
” In my dream, Hilary seemed really racist.” Straight up have no idea what dream I was talking about.
As I was coming out from surgery, apparently I kept repeating this to anyone who would listen, emphatically: “I’m the command historian for [redacted] and I can’t feel my face…I can’t feel fuck all.”
“This hotel has weird service. I’m just kidding I know we’re at the dentist.”
“This is a nice blanket, we should bring it home.”
“I’m thinking how they did surgery in the Civil War. Whiskey and chopping. Whack. Whack. Saw.” True story. Battlefield medicine in the Civil War was…painful.
“Whatever I say don’t give me my social media device until….I don’t know, I kinda want to do some drugged tweeting.”
“Dude, if they had this gas in World War I, it would have been happy.” But they didn’t, and instead World War I was miserable and terrible.
“My name is [Angry Staff Officer] and it,s July 7, 2016. That’s all I really wanted to get out there.”
“I feel pretty cogent.” Note from wife: You’re not quite cogent.
So then I told this joke, that my brother in law had also told after coming out from having his wisdom teeth removed. It had become a sort of inside family joke, and its actual contents aren’t all that important. What is important is what followed:
“Want to hear another joke? The U.S. Air Force. They have desks and stuff.”
“Dude, can you imagine if they had this shit in the Civil War? Chamberlain wouldn’t have lost his balls.” Now, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain did not actually lose his man parts in the Civil War, but he was sorely wounded in that area and lost the use of them. Which is just terrible, but makes his post-war feats – president of Bowdoin College, governor of Maine, etc – that much more impressive.
“I feel like a grown ass man now.”
“Have given me the laudanum yet?” Let’s jump back to the Civil War comment, as apparently I was really fixated on the idea that I was damned lucky not to be living at that time. Laudanum was an opiate-based painkiller; loads of people got addicted to it, because that’s what you want: tons of veterans addicted to opiates.
“Yeah, but the blacksmith was this dude who had this business [dentistry] on the side. Shoe your horse and pull your teeth.” No idea how I remembered this, but I was indeed correct.
“I wonder if I can remember the Soldier’s creed. I am an American Soldier, I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values. I will always place this mission first. I…I like big butts and I cannot lie.” So much for rote memory. Well done, Sir Mix-a-lot.
“Dude, stoned history would be the best.”
“The history of the Civil War: alcohol, sharp things, lots of pain. No me gusta.”
Me: “It’s so hard to say stuff.”
Wife: “Honey you don’t need to say stuff.”
Me: “I have a duty to history.”
“There are way worse ways to go. Yellow fever. Diphtheria.”
At some point around here I began remembering what I was saying, it became a lot less interesting. But now I have fulfilled my duty to history. You’re welcome.