Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eyes on the dizzy button

By Ed Wall

The flu is getting the headlines. Maybe that’s why nobody seems to have noticed my new disease.

It attached itself to my long-time neurological ailment, which gives me a three-martini dizziness without the calories. As one who lives alone, except for a darting trip-triggering cat with feet fetish, I was recently persuaded to sign up with Rescue Alert. I was given a button to press in case of a bone-jarring fall or any other emergency. This button is attached to a cord, which I’m supposed to wear around my neck at all times.

Yes, it is waterproof.

Now I have developed two new psychiatric disorders, which are so new they are not even listed yet in the famous directory of mental diseases.

The first one is Bosom Anxiety. Will the next hug squeeze my button and set off a false alarm chain of commotion? It is almost impossible to talk to an Episcopalian without an embrace, and I worry about that even though I live among Catholics. If I were younger than 84 I might be anxious about other bosomy button pitfalls.

The second disease is Button Envy. When I’m out and around I try not to get scowled at, or maybe arrested, as I scan the chests of strangers. I’m looking for alarm buttons, of course, and when I find them there’s a compulsion to compare. Is the stranger’s button bigger than mine? And, although I have no bias, I note its color.

I’ve played enough Solitaire. My game now is Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?

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