Sunday, June 09, 2002


This is how my mind works on prescription drugs

        I was on drugs a few days. It was good.

        Not that I'd make it a habit. Drugs ruin your life and make you want to be Jerry Garcia. I came to realize that five days of seeing groovy colors on the walls of my bedroom that was spinning like a carousel was not the best way to go through life. My brain took the Salvador Dali train to Edgar Allan Poe Land.

        Just say no, OK?

        But when you need them for legitimate medicinal purposes, drugs are swell.

        I needed a few after surgery. For a few years, I had a glob on the left side of my neck. It looked like an alien. People would meet me and say, “Nice to see you. And who is your little friend?”

        It was a lump of fat. The doctor called it a “huge lipoma.” It looked like Gak. Maybe it was.

        It had to go, for symmetry's sake. A few Wednesdays ago, it did. All that remained was an an excellent, 6-inch, Frankenstein scar that scares little kids and gets me profiled by the police. And some interesting pain.

        That's where Vicodin came in. The Vike Man. I took him whenever I felt like someone was stabbing me in the jugular with a pitchfork. He put me in my happy place.

        If the nursery rhyme person had been on Vicodin when he or she created nursery rhymes, one would have sounded like this: “Hey diddle diddle/the cat played the fiddle; the many-colored cow seated in the lotus position jumped over the candy-coated grasshopper.”

        The Vike Man made “I Am the Walrus” seem like “The Ballad of the Green Berets.”

        Four days after surgery, I went to Columbus to write about golf. The Man went, too. We drove with Schmidt. At one point, on the way up I-71, I got agitated.

        “My god, Schmidt!” I said. “There's a man on the hood!”

        (OK. I lied. It wasn't a man. It was a huge cauliflower.)

        At the golf tournament, I was amazed that people could actually put golf balls the size of a zeppelin into a hole the width of a bottle cap. Especially with the woman in the babushka waving her arms, speaking in tongues and making the greens levitate.

        I intended to write about the little red man dancing on top of the leaderboard at the 18th hole. Why was Mr. Peanut M&M at the Memorial? Only no one saw him but me.


        “Uh, Paul, maybe you should come inside now.”

        I was swaddled in several miles of gauze for a few days, then covered in a Band-Aid bigger than a loaf of bread. The left side of my face was numb. When I smiled, I looked like half an over-easy egg. Or Shaquille O'Neal. People had questions.

        I said, “I cut myself shaving.”

        I said goodbye to the Vike Man several days ago. “Yellow matter custard, my friend. Until we meet again, I am the Eggman. They are the Eggmen.”

        Contact Paul Daugherty by phone: 768-8454; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:


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