Sorry, We’re On Strike

Chapter 10, Blog 2

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


The pain shot up my leg straight to my brain.


All I needed was Cujo to complete my all-too-real nightmare. For a long minute, I sprawled helpless on the cold, crumbling backtop. It was unanimous. My muscles declared a work stoppage. No way they would reconsider. Outnumbered, my brain grappled against the rest of my throbbing body, now in full mutiny.

It was no contest.

“Git up! C’mon, guys. Listen to me.”

No response.

“For Pete’s sake, just don’t lie here.”

“Knock, knock.”


“We said, ‘knock, knock’.”

“Christ! Who’s there?”


“Abused who?”

“YOU abused US for way too long.”

“Please, can we take this over to the sidewalk? We’re going to get run over here.”

“Forget it.”


“Not on your miserable life.”

Finally, a compromise broke the impasse: No training for one day with an option for two more. We had a deal. Work stoppage lifted, my muscles put me back on my feet. The bat I left. I couldn’t stoop and take the chance of toppling again. Dragging my bad ankle home, I dreamt of the speed I burned the day before. That’s all I could do because I was crippled. Sure, the bastards took the option. I knew they would when I made the deal.

But what could I do? They held all the cards.

On the morning of Rehab Day No. 3, I had my left foot chilling in a bucket of ice up to the knee, next to a bucket of scalding-hot water. Ice for two minutes, then hot for two minutes followed by ice for two minutes, hot again and finish with ice. You can’t get any more old school than that. In high school, when you couldn’t work out because of injury, you had to do therapy. Back then, coaches did not recognize that muscles had rights or even options.

I was almost done when there was a knock at the front door. Unable to move, I yelled “Come in” and hoped it wasn’t Cujo making a house call. Worse, it was Ralphie. He stood there gaping at me and my buckets. In his hands he tossed a dribble-worn basketball.

“So whut ya doin’ now, Butthead?” he asked.

“What the hell does it look like, Ass-wipe?”

Ralphie smirked at the ice bucket.

“Got any beer in thar?”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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