By now it seems customary to begin my posts with an apology. As I've said many times, I'm well aware that leaving loyal readers in the lurch, without a meaningful update to brighten their mornings, is a grave, possibly unforgivable sin. To go nearly a week without reporting from the front line -- well, it may be an offense so odious as to be beyond terrestrial judgment altogether. With all of this in mind, I offer my sincere thanks to the Arniholics who, despite the toll my irregular posts are taking on their work and home life, continue to faithfully check the blog. (And no matter what your spouse or boss tells you: when Arnie is your drug, rehab is for quitters.)
To make it up to you, the loyal readership, I offer this post. More than mere words, this post is a multimedia experience. It's six days worth of posts consolidated into one super-charged, video-packed blitzkrieg of an ArnieUpdate.
To really get the most out of this post, however, there are some instructions you'll have to follow. Before you scroll down to the second half of this post, go ahead and play the embedded video below. Although this video is not technically a prerequisite to understanding the sentences that follow, I think its function as tone-setting device is crucial. (For those of you who have heard NPR's This American Life, you know what I'm talking about.)
Seriously, go ahead and press play. Don't worry about me. I'll wait on the other side while the video loads.
Are you hearing music? If not, you've either directly disobeyed the clearly stipulated rules of this post or you've proven unable to operate a fairly adult-proof application. I admire either your defiance or your complete unfamiliarity with YouTube.
For those of you hearing the [insert your own adjective here] voice of Bob Dylan, you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. Great job! (Whether this makes you a tech savant or a feckless lemming is probably the subject for another post. Either way, thanks for playing along.) From here on out you can treat this like a traditional post. Even forget, if you can, that this is a full-fledged multimedia experience. Forget that this is totally Web 2.0. Just let the music play in the background as you scan, using your eyes, from left to right, sounding out words where necessary.
So: According to my calculations, Papa Goodwin has spent 23 straight days in the inpatient facilities of the U of C Medical Center. Although not precisely the same as a stay in a minimum-security prison, it's not really that far off either. While the food may be (a little) better at U of C, his taste buds have been too disagreeable to make any use of it. Although he isn't forced to pledge allegiance to the Aryan Brotherhood to survive an afternoon in the yard, he also hasn't actually had the opportunity to be outside in about a month. So, while I've never heard A. H. refer to the hospital as a penitentiary, the analogy doesn't seem too far-fetched.
(Right about now, The Band and its many famous accompanists should be thundering towards the chorus. If you're one of those speed-reading types that likes to show off by going faster than everyone else, take a few seconds to do this math problem [(32 + 12) x 81] before continuing. Once you hear all of them shouting about "any day now" you've reached the ideal point in the song--and in this very carefully orchestrated multimedia experience--to read the following paragraph.)
If my Dad's been an inmate for the last month, then the news I'm here to deliver is the akin to a call from the warden. As you've probably guessed by now, it looks like A. H. Goodwin, long a prisoner of IVs, catheters and socially challenged dermatologists, is up for parole. Although the terms of his release haven't been finalized, there's hope that he'll be out by Friday, December 21st. As in two short days from this very moment. While it's probably too early to celebrate in earnest (and although he's still feeling severely under the weather), I think it's fair to shut your office door, grab your guitar, and sing along with Bob and The Band. After all, if sparkling-new marrow and Christmas at home isn't worth singing about, I don't know what is.
Free at last, Free at last,