• Enterprise reporter got the poop on this story

    by Cathy Speck

    When people ask me how I continue to find meaning in my life since I can’t sing/perform on stage anymore, I smile and say, “I’m back to the beginning of my future.”

    When I was a kid I always said I wanted to be a writer. Then I wanted to be an Olympic women’s basketball player, and I wanted to be a songwriter/singer/performer. (I also wanted to skydive when I was 21.) I’ve done it all except the Olympics stuff. I played with an Olympian (Denise Curry) throughout high school. Over the four years we played together, we lost maybe a total of four games. I did play in college for two years, but I blew my knees out — all the way up to Uranus, and they never came back.

    So here I am, not singing or playing basketball, but I am writing in the present time, until that presence is eternal…

    Greetings all (caveat to all readers who do not enjoy my stories that involve “poop,” just wear the brown paper lunch bag of shame on your heads — be sure to cut holes in the bag so you can scroll all the way down to link for the newspaper story), my lovely sister Barb who lives way up in Crescent City sent this link to me. This was on the front page of The Davis Enterprise today, Sunday, Oct. 2. Of course, I always subscribe to our paper, but she wanted friends and family far away from Davis to be able to read the story. Thanks, Barb!

    I was so exhausted from the ALS Walk, I didn’t get to read the story until the afternoon. And even then, as I read the story from the comfort of my super-duty recliner, I kept dozing off, slouching over, stretching my oxygen tubes, and giving my nostrils a lovely new shape. In no way am I implying that the story was boring. It’s quite the opposite. While reading the story, I realized that I’ve had a life that makes for captivating reading.

    The reporter, Anne, interviewed me for three and a half hours, and stopped only because she ran out of paper in her notebook. She did a wonderful job of shaping my rambling stories filled parenthetical whimsy, and turning them into intriguing literature. She even laughed at the appropriate times, including not only at the wacky “Where do you come up with these things” type of humor, but the dark gallows humor too. And, she didn’t run screaming when she came outside with me after Mazie pawed on the screen patio door (that’s Mazie’s dainty way of saying it’s her “doody time.”) Shhh, I don’t want to embarrass her. (Mazie is our amazing pug/poodle/terrier monkey princess)

    Mazie, who was not on a leash, was taking her time finding the perfect poo poo spot, while Anne seemed to look more and more puzzled. I was rumbling around on my walker with my right hand in a plastic bag, following Mazie all around the front lawn on “D” street.

    She was being so picky, and Anne kindly followed us (perhaps she was worried that I might fall over on my walker or Mazie that would dash across street, get hit by a cyclist who’s texting while pedaling, and then my story would not meet the deadline.)

    Well that didn’t happen, but Mazie finally found the perfectly arranged blades of grass to do her “doody.” She did it, looked up at me and cringed as I scooped up her diarrhea in the plastic bag. Great. I’m standing on the lawn, Mazie staying close, Anne gazing at the bag of diarrhea in my hand. And then I came to my senses. “What do I care? I have ALS. So what if this story is about why I’m being inducted into the Hall of Lame! I’m dying.”

    So, I flung the plastic bag of the “diarrhea mush” to the middle of “D” street, and howled like a wild dog — with a walker. Well no, I didn’t do that in front of Anne; I slyly dropped it into one of the clay potted dead plants in our patio garden.

    Well that ‘s the latest news from this news-maker in the loving, supportive community of Davis, California. I am one lucky girl. You can read the full story at The Davis Enterprise.

    P.S. At this time, 12:39 a.m., I am now, finally, feeling much better than yesterday. (I started this letter at 10:20 p.m. on Sunday) Yesterday, for some reason, after over-exerting myself, I got a fever of 100.6 but I was freezing. And my dentures chattered like those joke “wind-up” toy plastic ones do. My lovely wife Linda had to lug me around like “Raggedy and Chatty Cathy” doll with low batteries. Can you picture her/me? A nearly lifeless, silent ghost of chattiness? Yes! The image boldly marches out from the monitor onto the keyboard — or was it the other ways around. Hmm, maybe that’s why I make so many typos!

    So now that it’s Monday, I can start evaluating whether or not I’m well enough to go to work. My decision will be announced to the world (via world-wide-net.) In the meantime, with a bright yellow smiley face, I say to all of you, “Have a nice day.”

    • Cathy, always a pleasure to read your stories. Yay for poop throwing. I would have just pushed it into the street without the plastic bag, myself.

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