Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oreos in Maryland

Chevy Chase, Maryland

I am eating Oreos on the seventh floor of the Marriot Courtyard Chevy Chase.  That is because I came rolling in here at 10:30 PM with a stomach that thinks it is 8:30 PM and wanted a nice salad or something.  Unfortunately, room service closed at 10:00.  I was feeling sufficiently peckish that I wandered back downstairs, desperate enough  even for McDonald's, if necessary.  Luckily, they have a little alcove with a microwave and Lean Cuisines.  There were yogurts, Oreos, peanuts, etc...

I'm good now.

I am here in Maryland to do some contract work for the Center for Applied Linguistics.  I have to admit that I don't have the best attitude about it.  I would prefer to be at home; training the new teacher I just hired, snuggling up with Chuck at night and dealing with the Horse Ointment Situation (more on that topic below...)  But here I am. I want to try to embrace my situation, so I decided not to get a cab and to use the Metro instead.  I enjoy the sensation of descending into the subterranean world and coming up in an unfamiliar place.  I like riding down a dark tunnel, stopping periodically for the door to open and streams of interesting people to file past me.

I emerged fro the Metro at Friendship Heights in Chevy Chase, oriented myself to the nighttime store windows, and pulled my wheelie case up Wisconsin Avenue to my hotel.  It is now after midnight here and I want to get up at 6:00 so I can go for a run.

Before I sign off, the Horse Ointment Situation.  Just when I think I have pretty much seen it all at my job...

First of all, if you have ever hung out much with Mexicans you know that they come from a culture with far fewer food and drug regulations; and that they will go for a home remedy  over a doctor visit almost every time.  So, last week (unbeknownst to me) one of my students, Ricardo, brought a bottle of lotion to school.  If I am understanding him correctly, this is a topical cream kind of like Ben-Gay, only for farm animals.  So Ricardo uses this stuff to ease the pain in his muscles after a hard day lifting sheet metal; and he brought it to school to offer to another student in this group, who also gets aches and pains from work.  The student he wanted to give it to was not there, but another student in his group was, and she saw the lotion bottle sitting out on the table.  "Oh, good,"  she thought, "Lotion."  She rubbed it all into her hands, and when Ricardo saw her he was alarmed.  He warned her that the stuff was not recommended for human use; and that no matter what, she must not try to wash it off.  "Do not apply water," he said.  But she did, and the resulting cramping has debilitated her for a week, now.  Her arms are killing her; she can't pick anything up; she can't grip. 

So, she came to tell me about this, and I had to hold a summit conference between her and Ricardo.  I told Ricardo that I need to know what is in that lotion.  I need the bottle, the package, the instructions:  anything I can get.  I wanted him to bring every it by the school this morning before I left for Maryland, so I could call Poison Control while sitting in an airport somewhere, and get advice for the affected student.  He couldn't get it to me before I had to leave town, so I asked him to bring it to school, have the receptionist scan all the pertinent information for me and e-mail it to me.  Hopefully it is waiting in my inbox so I can deal with this when I am not falling asleep.  Luckily, I think her hands are getting better...  She says she can move more now than she could before.  This is my first ever poisoning at Guadalupe. 

Fading fast!  Time for bed.

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