By DARREN HANDSCHUH
It was supposed to be a nice leisurely stroll with the family hound through the woods of one of our lovely provincial parks.
Instead, it was an agonizing journey of pain and discomfort all because of a tiny, little piece of tree bark.
As luck would have it that tiny, little piece of tree bark managed to hit me square in the eye.
At first, it was no big deal. Things hit people in the eye all the time and this felt no different that any other speck of whatever that has landed on my peepers.
So, I pulled the upper eyelid over the lower (something I learned in first aid), and felt I had resolved the issue as I had many times in the past. However, the speck had a different plan.
As we kept walking I noticed my eye was stinging a little bit and by the halfway mark of the walk I could not keep the eye open and it was watering like Brian Mulroney's mouth at mention of the word kickback.
Of course, it had to be at the exact halfway mark of the stroll when the speck decided to make a full-fledged attack on my eyeball.
That meant at least a 20-minute to walk back to the car and then a 15-minute drive home, all the while I was in so much discomfort I literally could not see. Fun times for sure.
When we finally got home, I rinsed my eye with 326 gallons of water, and not Canadian gallons, but those big ol' American gallons.
Problem was, the eye was still killing me. My wife put a patch on my eye so I would not irritate it any further, and off we went to the walk-in clinic.
At 6'4” it is already hard to blend in to the crowd, but throw a big, white patch on one eye and I might as well have been holding a sign that said, 'Hey everyone, look at my gimpy eye.'
Too bad it did not happen on Halloween, because I could have dressed like a pirate no one would have been the wiser.
While waiting in the doctor's office, I took the patch off and asked my wife if I looked better without it. The look of horror on her face said it all and I put the patch back on.
It would seem my right eye had swollen up to just slightly smaller than the eye of a blue whale and was red enough to guide Santa's sleigh.
I told the doc what happened, she flushed the eye with some sort of freezing, antibacterial, voodoo potion and within a minute the eye felt better. Mind you after how it had been feeling, having a crow peck it out and fly away with it would have felt better.
I also had a small cut on the eyeball itself which was the main cause of the discomfort. Leaving the doctor's office I climbed in the car and looked in the mirror.
“Holy moly, what the hell is that,” I exclaimed while looking at the deformed, Quasimoto-esk looking eyeball. It really did look terrible.
I looked like I went a couple rounds with Evander Holyfield, but instead I just had my butt kicked by a piece of wood that was a million times smaller than I was.
Because I wasn't having enough fun, the goop Doctor Feelgood put in my eye was orange, and some of it had overflowed, so not only was my eye big and puffy, but the eyelids top and bottom were a funky orange colour.
Having missed lunch, the Missus and I stopped for a bite to eat. She asked if I wanted to wash the orange stuff off, but I was hungry, I did not want to even touch the eye and besides I figured I would give people something to talk about.
People did not mean to stare, but c'mon who wouldn't look at a big puffy orange eyeball?
I know I would.