Tuesday, March 27, 2012



They don't warn you when you lose weight that you'll also lose your wedding rings.
I write rings in the plural because I've lost two.
And a mummified finger.
And the unique gold Sun signet ring given only to the originals who started the little paper that grew  and grew until the evil Quebecor accountants started treating it as the goose that lays golden eggs even when they triy starving it.
Somewhere in my cozy home where we've lived  for decades, there's a modest lost fortune.
I blame it all on my GP, the very very very busy Bernie Gosevitz, and Mary, who used to brood when I had a second piece of apple pie with slices of very old cheddar cheese. Truly a dessert invented in heaven!
About 25 years ago or more, I figured my family doctor was incompetent. (The authorities slowly agreed and banned him from writing prescriptions. At least I spotted him earlier.) And I made an appointment with Gosevitz who was the gifted doctor for many friends of mine like Paul Godfey.
While I waited first for Bernie, I stepped on his scales and discovered to my horror that I was 319. He came in behind me and I said you don't have to say a damn thing, that's terrible.
I've already written about how I've shrunk over the years to being 100 pounds lighter. Indeed at the present 219, I am lighter than when I played high school football and was actually in shape.
What I haven't written about is how my rings started dropping off. No alterations helped.
When Mary and I exchanged wedding vows and rings, she gave me a nice solid gold band. I haven't seen it for decades, although I still have the Blue Bird box it came in.
I hunted and hunted without success. Finally Mary gave me another wedding ring, this time a gold band set with little diamonds. Women who look for a wedding ring on your finger right after they check out your ass used to admire it.
After my descent into hospital hell last year, when I lost 45 pounds over three months in four hospitals (I give an illustrated lecture on request, but no one has) my rings were looser than my shoes and shorts.
For years I haven't worn rings on those rare occasions when I work with my hands because of the nasty things that can happen when you hook a ring on a rung or a tool.  After hospital hell, I started wearing rings only on social occasions.
I decided to do that after a very refreshing evening out when I found that all my rings had slipped off during the night. I found them after a search through sheets and the dusty corners under the bed.
After all, I didn't want to lose a second wedding ring.
 Or the nice signet ring with the Downing crest (from Downing College at Cambridge) that my three sons and I wear after it was designed by Marie, the daughter-in-law who is a talented creator of jewellery.
And the first Sun ring, lost in the house somewhere, or perhaps in the hotel room on a great trip to the White House Correspondents' Dinner  in Washington when Ronald Reagan was charming us all despite a secret battle with Alzheimer's.
The marvelous atmosphere had not yet been driven from the Sun corridors, so the Sun ring was replaced as a special present at one of the great staff Christmas dinners we used to have at the Old Mill.
I carefully guard the surviving rings because there's no way the Sun ring would be replaced under Quebecor, and a new Downing ring would take time and trouble to replicate.
 So now I wear them only on special occasions. As for that second wedding ring, I placed it carefully last summer in a safe place. And one of these days, I will remember where that is.
Oh yes, you wondered about the mummified finger?
I lived in high school years with my cousins, the large Plewes family. The head of the clan was a brilliant but idiosyncratic engineer who created unique machines to be used in manufacturing.
 Some of the machinists who worked for Uncle Dave at the Plewes-Jackson Engineering shop just north of the Ex on Fraser Ave. were about as wacky as they come. And one of them, to make sure he didn't have to go to World War Two, cut off his trigger finger in a big metal-cutting press. Did it sober! Uncle Dave took him to St. Joseph's Hospital and then pickled the finger until it turned to a grey stone. It came into my possession because even my rowdy cousins didn't much care for it.
I used to take the stone finger  to school in an empty match box (remember when people carried matches) and pass it around to the gagging shock of girls and the admiration of the guys.  One day, much later, when my sons were into Egypt and its mummies, I thought I would show them the real thing, although this one dated only to 1943.
I searched through the strange stuff that you accumulate over the years and couldn't find it. However, I know it will turn up. And when it does, I wouldn't be surprised if it was wearing three rings.

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